Conservation in Africa
And make a difference
Conservation in Africa – How we do it
Jonathon set up Encompass Africa in 2008, launching officially in July 2009 and his idea was to provide a one-stop Africa travel company for those wishing to experience an off the beaten track and immersive safari holiday. His vision to create a company with sustainability at its core was and continues to be the all-encompassing motivation for success.
Encompass Africa contributes to efforts in Africa that are specifically launched and designed to save critically endangered species, protect local wilderness habitats, help communities become sustainable and much more.
We tailor our African safari holiday experiences with conservation at the core to ensure you experience the best and have as little impact on the natural surroundings as humanly possible.
Your holiday with Encompass Africa directly contributes towards community, land and wildlife conservation efforts in Africa, so to that effect thanks for choosing us.
Tread lightly, leave nothing but footprints in the beautiful African safari landscapes and smile knowing you’ve helped to make a difference and potentially save threatened ecosystems and endangered species not to mention community heritage.
Our ultimate aim is to wow you and all of our guests with outstanding safari experiences so you become champions of Africa. Together we share a love for travel, love for Africa and a commitment to saving the future for its people and our own children and we pray, our grandchildren so they may one day admire the beauty of its wilderness and magnificent wildlife.
Our efforts hearten Africa. Your travel can too.
Many of Africa’s wildlife residents are facing extinction including, certainly not limited to the mountain gorilla, elephant and rhinoceros to lion, wild dog and even giraffe. Other critical species include gravy’s zebra, hippopotamus, leopard, chimpanzee, cheetah and even wildebeest (African Wildlife Foundation).
Wildlife is at risk for numerous reasons, human poaching or wildlife attacking livestock and then being shot by farmers in defence. The challenge for us is how can we play a role in reducing conflict between people and wildlife in Africa. The African Wildlife Foundation has a number of solutions it is working on in the bid to find balance between the needs of Africa’s people and African wildlife. These projects range from sniffer dogs as anti-poaching units, community conservancies to implementing community projects that benefit both parties (like rainwater tanks to deter people from going into the forests to collect water and thus contributing to deforestation).
Wherever there are species of endangered animals, we identify partners and ensure they get our support. Conservation in Africa – partnerships is what makes the biggest difference. Collaboration, communication = great conservation success.
Wilderness and Community Conservancies
A movement in Africa is creating conservancies. It is happening in Eastern and Southern Africa to great effect. One of the primary motivating reasons to create community conservancies is to protect wildlife outside national parks and ensure the safety of local communities and their livestock.
In Kenya, 70% of wildlife survives outside national parks. This means that the community land holds significant value in securing the future for endangered species including lion, elephant rhino and many others threatened by loss of habitat.
The African Conservation Centre has spent significant time and money studying the rangelands of Kenya to better understand the changes that face pastoralists and the wildlife. The safari industry works closely with ACC to strategise ways to improve livelihoods through better use of the natural resources and conservation.
Mara Triangle is an integral part of the greater Mara Ecosystem. Huge efforts have been made and continue to this day so the ecosystem is protected, creating a secure environment for the animals, community and a great experience for our guests. Its position is precarious because it is right on the border of Tanzania, so it’s vulnerable to illegal activities that cause detriment to wildlife, wilderness and local farmers.
Did you know that over 3500 poachers have been arrested in the Mara Triangle since 2001 and almost 50,000 snares cleared? Endless animals have been treated for injuries from the snares and even 200 heads of cattle recovered and returned to rightful owners.
Another great example of powerful partnerships with communities is in Tanzania’s Gombe region where the chimpanzee habitat was under huge threat.
Local communities are now managing the forest’s natural regeneration and working to reduce human impact to ensure a sustainable future for themselves and chimpanzees.
Commitment to Conservancies
Namibia as a country has invested in communal conservancies, defined borders and governance managed by the local community to protect their wilderness and wildlife.
Since 1998, the country has created 82 communal conservancies that now cover 20% of the country.
Over $7 million US has been generated each year as cash income for the communities (189,000 community members which is just short of10% of Namibia’s entire population).
This money and other in kind support goes straight back into the community to improve education and health and ensure a sustainable future for the conservancy, protecting wilderness and animal residents with anti poaching strategies and wildlife management.
Threatened Ecosystems in Africa
As a continent, Africa is enormous and diverse with a multitude of ecosystems, many under threat. Here are just four that are under threat and you are likely to experience first hand on your African safari holiday, depending where you go.
Deserts are home to some 300 species of wildlife from cheetah, hyrax, ostrich and giraffe to African wild dog, elephant and rhino. It is a valuable ecosystem and in Southern Africa it’s the Kalahari and Damaraland area that see threats that could impact wildlife.
Rivers run through Africa from the Congo River (the deepest) to the Nile (widely regarded as the longest river in the world), Luangwa and Zambezi. Each and every one of Africa’s river systems teem with wildlife and a diversity of fish plus hippo and crocodile. Rivers are the lifeblood of the continent and are at threat from pollution, over fishing and poor management.
Savanna ecosystems are tropical grasslands in areas that are mostly warm throughout the year. It’s the quintessential African landscape with rolling low grasses that blow in the breeze on a horizon dotted with trees. Here you have the prized wildlife species like elephant, lion, cheetah, gazelles plus some of the greatest migrations. The threat on savanna areas are climate change, encroachment on the land from human population growth and agriculture demands.
Wetlands are well known in Africa, particularly the Okavango Delta. This and other wetlands around the continent are under threat from climate change, human encroachment, poaching and draining from agricultural demands.
Africa’s Threatened Wildlife
Africa has a huge portion of endangered and critically endangered species and so the following is far from the definitive list. There are endless creatures large and small not included here.
Black Faced Impala – Endangered since 1970
Brown Hyena – Endangered since 1970
Cheetah – Endangered since 1970
Leopard – Endangered since 1970
Ankarana Sportive Lemur & Back-striped Sportive Lemur – Endangered since 1970
Chimpanzee – Endangered since 1976
African Wild Dog – Endangered since 1984
Beira Antelope – Endangered since 2008 (Ethiopia)
African Lion – Endangered since 2008
Multiple lemur species listed Endangered since 2008
African Elephant – Endangered since 2008
Rothschild’s Giraffe – Endangered since 2010
African Penguin – Endangered since 2012
African Pangolin – Endangered since 2008
Critically Endangered Species
Black Rhino – Critically Endangered since 2008
Western Lowland Gorilla – Critically endangered since 2008
Mountain Gorilla – Critically Endangered since 1996
Eastern Gorilla – Endangered since 2008
Northern White Rhino – Critically endangered since 1996
Riverine Rabbit – Critically Endangered since 2008
Pickergill’s Reedfrog – Critically Endangered since 2010