“The decisions we take over the next decade will determine the fate not only of the world’s biodiversity, but also the fate of us all.” Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Executive Secretary of the UN Convention of Biological Diversity.
The story of biodiversity on our planet reads like a tragedy. We’ve watched it being written for decades, we’ve heard the alarm calls, but despite that, it’s gaining momentum, directly impacting the survival of wild animals, the majesty of natural spaces and all of us who depend on these ecosystems.
It’s particularly alarming that by 2100 we could see the loss of 50% of Africa’s bird and mammal species. This widespread impact will be felt by us all as the untamed splendor of the places you travel to diminishes. To say that this is an urgent cause that WILSON TOURS AFRICA backs, underpinning all of the choices we make as a company, is putting it mildly. For we know more than most that how you travel, where you choose to venture, the people you engage with and the experiences you seek there are key contributors to biodiversity.
Sustaining the African dream
By definition, biodiversity is the variety of life on Earth, but for us as passionate protagonists of conscious and sustainable travel, there’s a world of depth beyond these words. Biodiversity is what’s at the heart of our enduring love affair with Africa; it connects all living things and forms the essence of what moves you during a trip with us. It’s the foundation on which we’ve built a conservation-led, responsible tourism business.
Being awoken by the primal call of lions reverberating in the still night air, watching as the jewel-toned malachite kingfisher flits a path over Botswana’s life-giving Okavango Delta and being stilled by the sight of Rwanda’s last remaining mountain gorillas as they make their way through the salad bowl of the rainforest. These indelible moments are the ones that WILSON TOURS AFRICA strives to deliver, for they awaken something deep within us all – a reminder that we’re part of something bigger, something altogether more significant than our busy lives. These integral chinks in the chain of Africa’s biodiversity are what connect us to the living world.
Tipping the scales
Beyond the sheer joy of moments like these, biodiversity tells us about how our impact is affecting the natural world and reveals who we are at the end of the day. Over time, our choices as human beings have eroded the equilibrium of the planet. Factors such as climate change, war, urbanization, deforestation, poaching and animal trafficking are all critical contributors to the rapid loss of biodiversity on the planet and particularly in Africa. Ironically, this is a continent famously rich in biodiversity, gifted with high numbers of endemic mammals and plants, but also acutely threatened with an increasing number of endangered ones.
It’s no compliment that eight of the 34 biodiversity hotspots around the world are in Africa. Described as the most biologically rich yet simultaneously threatened regions on the planet, these hotspots are a red flag – Africa is in dire need of help. Some of these hotspots include Madagascar and the Indian Ocean Islands (including those in Mauritius and Seychelles, the Eastern Afromontane (encompassing parts of Uganda, Mozambique and Zimbabwe) and the Cape Floristic Region in South Africa.
Contributing to a legacy
For Africa to thrive for generations to come, the onus is on each of us to leave a legacy for those to come. It’s in our hands to make choices that will ultimately write a different ending to this story. Contributing to a destination and its community is the essence of what sets WILSON TOURS AFRICA apart. While we know that travel is escape, adventure and discovery… it’s also philanthropy. By choosing to travel with us, you’re choosing to make your mark. We put as much impetus on creating memorable travel experiences as we do on transformational ones.
With that in mind, know that your actions matter more than you realize. We encourage you to learn about your destination by exploring the recommended reading and watch lists we send out to you prior to your trip; they’re packed with local insight. Allow yourself the time to truly connect with Africa and listen to the very people who are defending her natural riches rather than merely skimming the surface. Immerse yourself completely, there is so much depth that comes from a life spent looking and learning. In the end it will determine what we leave behind and who we are as a people.
Let your trip with us be the catalyst for a legacy in conservation, the start of a new story that honors the natural world