If you’re travelling and start to ask yourself, I wonder who came up with that clever idea? People who travelled and are now redirecting the global compass with green economies? Those answers are here, among the few game-changers who made the way we see, taste, sail, and circle the world that much more incredible – part four.
Fifteen years ago, Majete Wildlife Reserve in Malawi was a forested wasteland, with just a few antelope wandering its perimeter. But today a visitor there would encounter elephant, zebra, lion, eland, kudu and more—such a menagerie, in fact, that by late 2017 Majete had airlifted 154 ellies to another poached-out reserve clear on the other side of the country. Meanwhile, tourism to the park grew more than 14 percent in two years with the opening of a new lodge, bringing needed income to the reserve and local communities. This is just one cog in a master plan to rewild some of the continent’s most barren spaces dreamed up in no small part by Peter Fearnhead, the mild-mannered but tenacious co-founder and CEO of African Parks, who’s helping to write a hopeful chapter in a conservation narrative typically dominated by heartbreak and loss (see: the recent death of the last Northern White male rhino). He’s been scheming it for ages: At 13, the Zimbabwe native persuaded his school to develop a wildlife reserve on its campus. Today the foundation’s model succeeds by lassoing foreign funding ($88 million last year) to restore habitats and wildlife in parks that the nonprofit then manages—from law enforcement to reintroducing species—for governments too strapped to protect their wild spaces. Founded in 2000, African Parks now oversees 15 parks in 9 countries from Chad to the Congo, with a goal of 20 by 2020. It doesn’t hurt their chances that Prince Harry was installed as its president in 2017. Add to that the partnership deals with high-end lodges like King Lewanika in Zambia’s Liuwa Plain, now with the second largest wildebeest migration on the continent; and soon-to-open Magashi Camp in Rwanda’s Akagera National Park, as of 2018 home to the Big 5; and it’s a safe bet that African Parks will continue filling the map with new life and landscapes—not to mention human livelihoods—for years to come. —A.P.