Published: 13 November 2020

You don’t have to be a Gandhi or Mandela to leave a legacy in today’s world. You also don’t have to dedicate your life to outreach work, or donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to worthy organizations. Of course, if you have the means to do this then please don’t let us stop you, but if you’ve always asked, “how can I help Africa?” leaving a legacy can be the most significant gift you give in your life, because it empowers you to change the future simply by going on a tailor-made safari.

1. An African Holiday is More Meaningful Than You Think

An African holiday arranged with us is much more than just game drives, the oh-so-stereotypical khaki and G&T, sleeping in luxurious 800-thread Egyptian cotton, and experiencing sundowners overlooking watering holes. Yes, these can all be part of your holiday with our bespoke offerings, but what we really want is to awaken your spirit through travel. Going on holiday in Africa contributes to the livelihood of African people, conservation efforts, and creates a better future for generations to inherit. Let’s explore just how.

2. Tracking the Money Trail

While travel certainly is expensive, your money isn’t going into the back pockets of global conglomerates. With Anywhere in Africa Safaris, we hand-pick lodges that are either owner-run, or who place great focus on involving local communities. With over thirty years in the travel industry we know these individuals on a first name basis, and we ensure that your money reaches the people who you meet during your stay, as well as the surrounding communities. Whether you visit now, or book for a stay in 2022, your booking ensures that conservation efforts and employment for the future can continue during these challenging times. By making a deposit you are making a dedicated commitment to future travels.

3. “Special Offers Aren’t So ‘Special’”

We hear this all the time, and we don’t blame you for thinking this - especially if you’re a local - but there’s a reason why hotels charged guests over $500 a night pre-Covid. It’s not because the owners are making a fortune out of the properties - as one would like to think. With many lodges situated in remote areas, the upkeep can be pricey due to transportation costs and staff living on the premises. Many lodges also spend money upskilling their staff’s families, building schools for children, and teaching communities to live in harmony with nature. Tourism and conservation are inextricably linked and the extent has never been more apparent than it is now.

In 2019, on average, a lodge or hotel’s occupancy would have to be at least 35% just to break even, and yet the final occupancy level for that year was only 45%. Therefore, very small profits were actually made to carry them through 2020’s plans. With the temporary closures of hotel groups and heavily discounted Special Offers (which often don’t cover all running costs), hotels would now need at least 85% occupancy levels in 2021 just to cover the 2020 shortfall - that’s if they make it until then.

4. Let The Numbers Sink In

According to South African Tourism, the tourism sector currently accounts for 2.9% of GDP (8.6% indirect), supports about 725 000 direct jobs (1.49 million direct and indirect), and accounted for 8.2% of total investment activity in 2019. Inbound tourism generates R82.5 billion (€4.1bn) in direct foreign spend, contributing an equivalent of 9.2% of total national exports.

If you look at Africa and the effects of Covid on conservation tourism, the impact has been seismic. In 2019, tourism contributed 14.7% of Namibia’s GDP, 10.7% to Tanzania’s, and 8.2% to Kenya’s. According to 2019 figures published by the World Travel and Tourism Council, wildlife-based tourism specifically generated more than US$29bn annually for Africa, and employed 3.6m people.

5. A Reality Check

The entire framework of the tourism industry resembles a spider’s web where each thread is directly linked to the other. The absence of travellers and tourists at game reserves and lodges leads to the direct loss of jobs for people from the surrounding communities. A direct causal sequence slowly plays out, starting with the tourists who cancel their plans to travel and who insist on getting a refund, instead of moving their bookings to 2021 or 2022. In most cases lodges are honoring their 2020 rates and so moving dates won’t incur additional costs. By requesting refunds and canceling trips entirely, the locals who relied on tourism are becoming so desperate that their only food source becomes bush meat, as governments and companies do not have the means to offer furlough schemes or grants.

Opportunist poachers involved in the illicit ivory trade and wildlife trafficking are taking full advantage of the lack of tourists and game rangers. They now have easy access and can move around brazenly in areas without the eyes and tentative ears of tourism operators and engaged communities to deter them. The wildlife and rich landscapes that conservation groups and hotels have worked tirelessly to preserve and grow over the last twenty years are in a precarious position. Yet you could be the one to change this trajectory, simply by visiting Africa or booking and confirming a holiday in Africa for travel in 2021 or 2022.

6. Be an Ambassador

We’re not asking you to push your body to extremes, or become an ‘influencer,’ all we ask is that you become an ambassador for African travel. No where else in the world can you get the same level of luxury, warm hospitality, and unscripted and unspoiled wildlife, as you can here. Yes, the Trevi Fountain, the Grand Palace in Thailand, and Route 66 are all bucket list travels - and you should do them, but only after you’ve seen and explored Africa.

Let's face it, Africa is perhaps the best place to travel to at the moment given her beautifully sparse lands and strict protocols in place - which help explain her relatively low Covid infection rate, in comparison with Europe and America. These are tough times, and we are all battling, but for those who still have money to spare on travel, or who’ve put their European tours on hold, choose Africa, and leave your legacy here instead.

According to Anywhere in Africa Safaris CEO and Founder, Kirsty Gordon, “if we don’t become ambassadors of our own continent Africa, we will fall into dire straits over the next couple of years”, impacting the lives of millions of people with a devastating, negative effect on conservation. The preservation of these lives and nature therefore lies in tourism, which is why we need to live adventurously in these unprecedented times.

7. Stress-Free Travel

Let us arrange your next African holiday as our rates benefit locals directly. There is a misconception that if you book directly with lodges you’ll get the best rates, but that isn’t always necessarily true. There is value in booking through a reputable travel agent like Anywhere in Africa Safaris as we have close relationships with the lodges thanks to our thirty years of industry experience.

Covid has also shown the downfalls of booking your holiday of a lifetime through Google and online booking platforms, where obtaining a refund is proving difficult. Choosing to go through a trusted travel agent ensures that there is someone who will fight for your cause and get your refund back - should you wish to do this. To a travel company like Anywhere in Africa Safaris we know you by your first name, we know that you’ve put aside some of your life savings to go on a trip of a lifetime and we know exactly what interests you. You’re definitely not just a reference number dealing with different call center agents in the wheel of the company.

8. It’s Time to Leave Your Legacy

Leaving your legacy through booking a holiday in Africa, may feel uninvolved, but your booking will have a spin on effect in helping build schools in remote areas, upskilling communities, creating jobs, boosting economies, and preserving one of the last true remaining wildlife sanctuaries in the world.

We challenge everyone from the Kigali barman who works until 03:00, to the field guides who catch the first sunlight every day, to the international travelers and local South African residents - become an ambassador for tourism in Africa. Do it for the pristine beaches, the most captivating sunsets and landscapes. Do it for the game reserves. Do it for the animals, the cuisine, the friendliest and most generous local people. Do it for your children. Do it for Africa.

By traveling with Anywhere in Africa Safaris, you make a meaningful difference to the land, wildlife, and people of the areas that we specialize in. We invite you to travel with heart and embark on an unforgettable journey with us in Africa and Indian Ocean Islands.

If you’d like to relook at the Special Offers Anywhere in Africa Safaris is currently running, please follow this link www.anywhereinafrica.com/specials.

Alternatively, reach out and we can arrange a trip to Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Zanzibar or even the Seychelles as all of these countries do not currently have quarantine restrictions in place for South African travelers.