Regenerative Travel

Zakouma, Michael Lorentz

What Can Nature Teach Us About Resiliency?
Right now, people around the world are discussing the concepts of strength and resilience.
How do we rebound from adversity? Where can we look for inspiration? 

Eminent travel journalist Sophy Roberts writes in ‘Africa’s Year of Zero: a special report on the future of wildlife tourism’ that … in Africa the situation is profoundly precarious. She asks when will we be able to go back? And, crucially, what will be the right way to do so? 
The New York Times declared the next phase in tourism to be “regenerative travel” (or leaving a place better than you found it.
 
Numerous African companies have been “doing the right thing” by their communities and ecosystems since their inception.
Years before the pandemic hit, they were already leaning into the zeitgeist as it is currently being described, regenerating depleted areas and advocating a conscious, connected humanity.
Mass tourism isn’t Africa’s sickness, as it is Europe’s.”

Nature has an astounding ability to persevere, thrive, and adapt when given the space to do so.
Along with National Geographic Society, we are finding inspiration and hope in the tenacity of nature.
In its 30 Days of Hope initiative, it posted inspirational stories about the natural world and the people, organizations, and countries working to protect it. 

Zakouma National Park in southern Chad is a story of hope and resilience.
Years of unchecked poaching had left this once thriving ecosystem depleted. In just eight years 4,000 elephants had been killed for their ivory—95 percent of the park’s elephant population. 
But in 2010, the Chadian government entered into a long-term partnership with African Parks to restore and manage the park.
Together they have overhauled the park’s law enforcement and all but liminated poaching.

African Parks manages 19 parks covering over 14.2 million hectares, representing nine of the continent’s 13 ecological biomes.
This is the largest and most ecologically diverse area in Africa under conservation management for any one NGO.
It has established the largest counter-poaching force for a conservation organisation in Africa, with over 1,100 rangers and growing.

Michael Lorentz, a Royal Geographical Society Fellow, a renowned pan-African specialist, an accomplished naturalist and a committed conservationist, says:
”When I first went to Zakouma in 2012 the elephant herd was highly traumatized by brutal poaching out of Sudan.
There was not a single baby in the 400 + herd and they were near impossible to approach.
Today, thanks to the extraordinary efforts of African Parks, the herd numbers well over 500 with 100 + babies and increasingly normalized behavior.
Zakouma is a real beacon for hope in the African Conservation narrative.”

Acknowledgment: National Geographic Society, Sophy Roberts – FT.com 
Images courtesy of Michael Lorentz

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