Wilderness Safari’s Sustainability and Community Projects

From the outset of the company’s humble safari operation in 1983, Wilderness Safaris has always sought to protect and conserve Africa’s wilderness and wildlife. They have done this by creating life-changing journeys that inspire positive action. In everything they do, they strive to ensure protecting the environment.

Environment is at the heart of everything Wilderness Safari's do. They create life-changing journeys for their guests and doing so have been able to protect more than 2.3 million hectares across seven biomes harbouring 33 IUCN Red List species.

The below info graphic shows a few examples of the impact their presence has had in Rwanda through the creation of Bisate Lodge. This visionary ecotourism lodge benefits not only the land and wildlife, but also the community. To date the lodge has planted over 30 000 indigenous trees in their reforestation programme – a project that involves each and every Bisate guest. - More about Bisate http://www.uniquefamilytravels.com/2019/07/12/bisate-lodge/


All of their 40 camps across 7 countries (Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, Rwanda, Zambia, Zimbabwe) operate a strong conservation and community purpose. 

War on Plastic

In 2012 they committed to reducing the use of bottled water by rolling out reusable water bottles across all areas of our operation. Their reusable bottles, used by guests in their camps, are filled with water that has been filtered through a reverse osmosis filtration system. As a result they have seen a significant reduction in bottled water used throughout Wilderness Safaris camps. The introduction of Wilderness Safaris reusable bottles has greatly reduced their reliance on bottled water – the result has been a 77% reduction in bottled water usage from 2012 to 2017

War on Plastics campaign is an ongoing initiative to reduce and eliminate the use of plastics wherever possible. They are especially proud of their reduction in cling wrap usage – a reduction of 3 000 km of plastic that is now replaced by buzzy wraps, made with bees wax. These material covers are hygienic and keep food fresh. Many of buzzy wraps are made by local villagers in the communities which they support – a full-circle community and waste-prevention project.

Packaging is also carefully considered and their suppliers are all encouraged to replace plastic with cardboard and paper. Other examples include metal straws that have replaced plastic straws. We also use glass containers for storage, when refilling items like ground coffee, butter and jam. Nothing is overlooked in order to reduce plastic!


 Powered by Nature


All their camps are 100% solar-run helping to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. All camps are situated in remote areas where they are required to produce their own electricity. Historically, generators accounted for 50% of their carbon emissions. With this in mind, Wilderness made a commitment to reduce their carbon footprint –reducing the volume of diesel and other fossil fuels consumed. Today 17 of 45 Wilderness Safaris camps are 100% solar. 

 The remainder camps all use a variety of hybrid solar and other power systems to mitigate fossil fuel usage. As a result they save nearly 2 500 tons of carbon a year – carbon that would otherwise have been burnt and contributed to global warming.

In addition to this, the camps have 845 solar geysers providing hot water to guests and staff, greatly reducing our power demand.



Building with a Light Footprint

In order to host guests, and thus ensure the sustainable protection of the wilderness areas that they operate in, they have built a selection of safari camps in these concessions across southern, and more recently, East Africa. It is of paramount importance the camps have as little impact on the environment as possible, not only during the building process, but also on their day-to-day operations.

“Our ideal result is a camp that blends into the natural features of the site and becomes one with its surroundings as time goes on. Our goal is that if at some stage we have to move the camp, we can restore the site to its original natural state, leaving no sign of our presence.”


See below info graph to find out more.


Water Conservation


Water conservation is one of Wilderness biggest focus areas, even in areas which appear to have an abundance of water. It is therefore essential that all camps have a set standard of requirements that are adhered to. Examples of this are:

1.) Water efficient shower heads, taps and toilets

2.) Rain harvesting where practicable or viable

3.) The use of appropriate eco-detergents which are made using natural ingredients that do not pollute water sources or the environment

4.) Water meters to take daily recordings, reported to a central database monthly

5.) Water reticulation maps – to ensure that faults and leaks can be traced quickly

6.) Low pressure systems set up in areas that are not connected to municipal water

7.) The recirculation and use of ‘waste’ water from reverse osmosis filters

8.) Biannual water tests in all lab certified camps

Waste water management requires careful management. Many camps are located in areas with high water tables or alongside rivers, 30% use above-ground sewage treatment plants (STPs). These systems ensure there is no contamination of ground or surface water.



Children in the Wilderness (CITW) is a life-changing non-profit organisation that aims to facilitate sustainable conservation through leadership development and education of children in Africa. The impact that this programme has had, and continues to have, is truly inspiring.

Children in the Wilderness is a life skills educational programme that focuses on the next generation of decision-makers; inspiring them to care for their natural heritage and to become custodians of these areas in the future



Adult Empowerment Projects

While Children in the Wilderness creates incredible opportunities for young learners, it also goes well beyond this by empowering adults through skills and business training. Sue Goatley, Community Development Liaison for CITW Zambezi, realised that school fees in the areas supported by CITW in Zimbabwe were often not being paid, and as a result many children had to drop out. Seeing this happen, Sue and her team set out to create community businesses.  These are now thriving income-generating projects, and have enabled adults to pay for school fees to provide education for their children who might not otherwise have had the opportunity.

Some of the inspiring projects include basket-weaving, run by a womens group at Tsholotsho:  they use plastic bags, chip packets and other litter to create these colourful creations.

The Nganyana men’s income-generating group makes bricks and beads from recycled glass that is sourced from our Wilderness Safaris camps in Hwange National Park. The group utilises everything from wine, beer and spirit bottles to mayonnaise jars and tomato sauce bottles. The glass is then crushed into fine powder and used as a substitute for river sand. Their business is booming and is supported by local community members who buy the bricks and use them for construction within homesteads.

Unique Family Travels supports many sustainable resorts and projects around the globe and we have noticed our clients do too!


Click link to see all of Wilderness Safari camps  https://wilderness-safaris.com/


To enquire about any of the camps and receive our special rates please contact Dani uniquefamilytravels@gmail.com


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