Sharing a passion for Africa
New World Safaris is a destination management company based in Johannesburg, South Africa. It was founded in 2010 to deliver unique, authentic and immersive African safaris to travellers from across the world. They share with them an unbridled passion for the continent’s people, its rich and diverse cultures and unparalleled wilderness areas.
Its mission is to share the beauty of Africa through tourism. Above all, by opening hearts and minds and creating lifetime memories while respecting both people and planet. Its vision is to reshape the African tourism landscape. Most importantly, they achieve this with thoughtfully curated, highly professional and customer-driven tourism services that deliver authentic, immersive and sustainable experiences.
In this article
Sustainability in our soul
Celebrating our 10th anniversary in business in one of the most disastrous years for tourism across the world, is interesting. Furthermore, to say that 2020 has been challenging for New World Safaris would be one of the biggest understatements in history. However, we’ve always had a “glass half full” approach to business (and life in general). So, we decided to take this year’s massive lemon and make a LOT of lemonade.
The principles of sustainability have always been part of the DNA at New World Safaris. This, thanks to our own deep commitment to the same values and ethics. We firmly believe that there is only one way to run a business, and that’s the right way. To clarify, we use a triple bottom line approach to ensure that the value of what we do, and how we do it, is shared along the entire value chain. This approach begins within the New World Safaris office, and our own people, who share our ethos for fairness in trade and respect for people and planet.
Putting people first
We believe good tourism practice starts at the foundation of a business. A business is only as strong as the people who work for it. Our staff are our biggest asset and we have literally built our company because of them. We operate as a family, supporting one another and each family member is given everything they need to grow and develop both personally and professionally.
“A business is only as strong as the people who work for it”
We believe in empowering people by making them part of decision-making processes. By allowing them to be involved directly in the growth of the company, and sharing our vision and plans with them at every step. When we put together travel packages for our clients, we seek to include products and destinations that share this ethos. But, putting people first doesn’t just extend to the staff within our (or their) walls. It spreads much further than that.
A people-first philosophy takes the concept of sharing along the entire length of the tourism value chain. So, it doesn’t just end with the people who work directly for us or the companies we do business with. It stretches out to the lodges, camps and hotels we use in our packages. To their staff, their staff’s families and the communities they live in. It takes every pound, euro or dollar spent on a luxury vacation and spreads the benefit of that as widely as possible. In this way, stimulating local economies, creating tangible value along the way.
The trickle-down effect in action
We develop tourism packages and use products and destinations that we know share our commitment to the triple bottom line. In this way, we know that we are helping to demonstrate an actual value for tourism at grassroots level. The tourism revenue we are sending down the tourism chain is having a positive impact.
This impact is reflected in the shift in mindsets and attitudes of the communities that live on the periphery of national parks and protected areas. They are sharing in the benefits of what we do and learning that what they have on their doorstep – the pristine African wilderness areas that tourists pay good money to visit – is worth protecting and conserving for future use. This in turn, creates a sense of ownership and inherent pride in these wild areas. It assists their custodians in the management of the land and the care of the wild fauna and flora that call it home.
“The pristine African wilderness areas are worth protecting and conserving for future use”
This is the amazing trickle-down effect of sustainable tourism. It sees every tourist dollar spent on a luxury safari have a direct benefit at each stage of its journey. From the moment a tourist leaves home to the moment they return.
When our travel designers make a choice of where to include in a safari itinerary, they know those tourist dollars, pounds or euros are going to be well spent. At the end of the chain, somewhere out there in the African bush, a rhino, lion, pangolin or other endangered species is being kept safe for the foreseeable future. That’s how far good tourism practice reaches.
If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that doing this business of tourism the “right” way doesn’t just futureproof your business or your industry. It futureproofs the destinations you are sending all those people to. Without them, the future hangs entirely in the balance.
Here in Africa, in our far-flung rural communities that border our reserves and protected areas, there has been no income from tourism for far too long. Conservation organisations that depend on tourism revenue for funding are in trouble. Communities that share in the benefits of tourism are in crisis. This puts the future of endangered wildlife like elephants, rhinos and lions in jeopardy as pressure mounts to put food on the table for people with no access to traditional economies.
“It’s more important than ever to educate on the benefits of sustainable tourism”
This means it’s more important than ever to educate on the benefits of sustainable tourism. To promote good tourism practice in everything we do. We encourage all of our tourism partners to operate as we do. With a set of clear principles that ensures we underpin our business models with ethical, responsible choices.
You will never see a New World Safaris client taking part in:
- Animal interactions
- Participating in any exploitative invasive community tours (dubbed “poverty porn”)
- Staying in hotels, lodges and camps that do not share our commitment to touching the earth as lightly as possible.
This includes things such as being water-wise, reducing/eliminating single-use plastics, reusing, recycling and reducing where possible and demonstrating the utmost respect for the environment and everything that lives in or on it. People included. In operating this way, we’re not just futureproofing our business, we’re futureproofing Africa.