AndBeyond’s New WILDeconomy Masterclass
AndBeyond have partnered with the School of Wildlife Conservation to create an interactive and engaging 6-day educational journey. This East Africa adventure sets out with the aim to unpack how your wildlife safari ultimately fits into the bigger wildlife economy picture and specifically sustainable tourism.
Scheduled to take place from 3rd – 9th November 2023, the WILDeconomy masterclass will be held at two of andBeyond’s luxurious properties. It will include a three-night stay at the Grumeti Serengeti River Lodge in Tanzania and two nights at andBeyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp in Kenya’s Masai Mara.
“There has long been a growing awareness of the role that tourism and conservation play in the economy of many African countries,” says &Beyond Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Nicole Robinson. “However, what became blatantly obvious during the peak of the Covid pandemic is that the resilience of conservation is compromised when we rely on a single activity such as tourism to drive economic benefits for communities and governments.”
For more than 30 years, &Beyond’s business model has been based on the premise that, in order for conservation to be successful and sustainable, it has to benefit the communities that surround Africa’s wildlife reserves. The company now aims to draw attention to the fact that there are far more activities than just tourism that need to be understood in order to create a successful and balanced wildlife economy.
The masterclass will be led by Dr Snyman and her team, dive a little deeper into the importance of the wildlife economy through a combination of interesting resources, respectful debates, and hands-on application. Amongst other topics, this WILDeconomy Masterclass will ultimately unpack the role and contribution of the wildlife economy in Africa. Tapping into research conducted by African Leadership University, this immersive itinerary will revolve around five key economic activities including, ecotourism, hunting and fishing, carbon markets, forest products, and game ranching.
“As an organisation deeply rooted in Africa, we feel that it is our responsibility to draw awareness to these five wildlife-based economic activities,” explains Robinson. “With international travellers growing increasingly more concerned about sustainable travel and the economic development of the destinations that they travel to, we felt the time was right to create an itinerary that would explore the broader context of how wildlife can contribute just as much as other resources, such as human capital, oil and gas, to Africa’s economy and, by consequence, to the protection and conservation of its natural assets. In this way, we hope to get our guests, many of whom are influential in their respective fields, to start understanding, educating others about and advocating for the potential of Africa’s wildlife economy.”
In addition to a full complement of game drives and walks, the itinerary also features plenty of opportunities for thoughtful discussion, a complete set of educational resources and a range of interactive experiences. This trip commences with your arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport, where you will be met by a member of the andBeyond team who will transfer you by road to Arusha Coffee Lodge. Take a stroll through one of the oldest coffee plantations in Tanzania and enjoy a dinner and briefing with your host, Dr Snyman.
The following day arrive at the Grumeti Serengeti River Lodge, where you will spend 3 nights. During this stay you will have the opportunity to learn more about the Lukungu community and the remote fishing village’s way of life. Interact with the local villagers, engage with the village fishermen understanding the importance of fishing, learn how to forage for native ingredients, and visit a traditional doctor to understand more about medicinal plants and remedies in the region. You will also have the opportunity to go for nature walk or game drive and more.
Departing for &BEYOND Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp in Kenya on day 5 for 2 more nights. During the 2 days stay you will explore the magical Nyekweri Forest, visit a Maasai manyatta (a Maasai settlement), complete with an unforgettable performance by traditional Maasai warriors and more.
Related: Roar Africa and Emirates Are Offering the World’s Most Expensive Safari
Some of the questions addressed during the Masterclass include the role of tourism in a post-Covid world and how the tourism sector can be made more resilient, as well as more controversial topics such as hunting and whether wildlife should be assigned a monetary value. Attendees will also seek to understand the importance of carbon markets and how the Western world’s commitments to net-zero are providing further economic opportunities.
“We don’t claim to have all, or even most of, the answers to the questions that we pose. However, it is our hope that, by stimulating discussion of these topics, we can come to a greater understanding of the economic potential of Africa’s wild places, and how the wild economy can sustainably conserve and protect these places for generations to come,” concludes Robinson.
More Info: Aandbeyond.com