Top five safaris for responsible travellers
At Rainbow, responsible travel is at the heart of everything we do. We know you, our valued clients, care about ensuring that your travel experiences are as sustainable as they are incredible, so we've rounded up our top five safari trips for responsible travellers.
1 | Kenya Elephant Safari
Each of the camps or reserves suggested on our tailor-made elephant safari play a significant role in the conservation of Kenya’s wild giants and their vital habitat – like the eco-lux Elephant Watch Camp in Samburu where you can meet the researchers and conservationists who monitor the reserve’s 66 elephant families. We recommend a two-night stay in the Maasai-owned Selenkay Conservancy, an ecotourism project on the northern borders of Amboseli National Reserve. As one of just 18 guests permitted daily in the 15,000-acre private game reserve, visitors will experience conservation-in-action as they come face-to-face with elephants and predators that had previously all but disappeared from the region.
2 | Botswana Wilderness Journey
Thanks to an enlightened attitude towards sustainable tourism, Botswana leads the continent in terms of conservation. Our 12-day wilderness safari centres around the country’s wild and wonderful north, staying in remote eco-camps within extraordinary private concessions. We recommend three days to explore the wonders of Linyanti Concession, a conservation area bordering Chobe National Park that harbours one of the densest concentrations of elephant in Botswana: at times several thousand can be on the move through the 121,000-hectare reserve. The concession works closely with government bodies to ensure the conservation of wildlife, with a focus on IUCN Red List species including the African wild dog, elephant, lion and roan antelope.
3 | South Africa Biodiversity
Our two-week South African self-drive adds somewhere rather special to the well-loved Garden Route. Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is a five-star paradise with just 11 deluxe eco-suites, showcasing the incredible floral diversity of the southern tip of Africa. The reserve protects over 2,500 hectares of pristine Cape flora and helps to train local people through its Green Futures programme. The holiday is topped-off with a safari at the wonderful &Beyond Ngala Tented Camp in Timbavati, a Big Five private reserve that shares unfenced borders with Kruger. Here the sustainability ethos revolves around care of the land, care of the wildlife and care of the people.
4 | National Parks of Malawi
Such is the success story of Majete Wildlife Reserve that Rainbow now includes three safari days here on our National Parks and Wildlife of Malawi itinerary. When conservation charity African Parks first took management of Majete in 2003, elephants had been poached to extinction and there was little or no other wildlife in the reserve. Significant restocking and community engagement has allowed more than 400 elephants to return to the area, and the reserve is now Malawi’s first Big Five zone. Our comprehensive tour also includes the opportunity to go off-grid on Mumbo Island, a private solar-powered isle in the world’s first fresh-water marine reserve where snorkelling and scuba diving are the order of the day.
5 | Namibia Cheetah Rehabilitation
Our top Namibia self-drive includes a night at Okonjima, base for the renowned AfriCat Foundation. With an emphasis on conservation through education, this not-for-profit organisation rehabilitates cheetah, leopard, lion, caracal, wild dog and hyena, returning them to the wilds of the 55,000-acre private nature reserve. A stay at one of Okonjima’s luxury camps directly contributes to AfriCat’s work, and guests have the chance to visit the fantastic cheetah project and track the released cats on foot. Don’t miss the opportunity to take a game drive in search of the reserve’s free-roaming rehabilitated leopards – the normally elusive carnivores are located by radio-tracker making multiple incredible sightings possible.
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