As World Elephant Day approaches on August 12, the S.A.F.E. campaign (Safeguarding a Future for Africa’s Elephants) has introduced a collection of conservation-based itineraries called “The S.A.F.E. Travel Collection”. Travelers can experience these curated experiences to get up close and personal to these majestic and endangered animals as well as visit behind the scenes with organizations leading the charge for conservation and against poaching in Africa. Offerings range from volunteering with baby desert elephants to aiding a professional team to create an elephant awareness film in Kenya, allowing guests to truly make a difference. S.A.F.E. travel partners also contribute financially to the campaign, with many donating a portion of proceeds directly from these packages.
Travelers can take the trip of a lifetime while simultaneously taking action to help protect Africa’s vulnerable elephant population with one of the following packages:
Andrew Harper – This itinerary starts in Zimbabwe at Elephant Camp, a refuge for rescued elephants in view of Victoria Falls and goes on with a stopover at Zarafa Camp, a model for conservation in Botswana, concluding with three days at &Beyond Xudum Okavango Delta Lodge.
Elevate Destinations – Volunteers can help one of two desert-dwelling elephant populations through the Elephant Conservation Volunteer Project in Namibia by building protective walls over water sources for the elephants.
Epic Road – Wake up to the sound of elephant herds at the Maasai Wilderness and Elephant Conservation Safari, where visitors gain hands on experience bathing, feeding and walking baby elephants that are being newly released into the wild.
Extraordinary Journeys – This excursion allows participants to experience the conservation challenges experienced every day in Nairobi, Samburu, Laikipia and Masai Mara. They will work first-hand with anti-poaching and conservation organizations to help strengthen the conservation efforts.
Outside GO – Aid a filmmaking crew in creating a short film to create awareness of Africa’s disintegrating elephant population. Participants will also take an inspiring film and photography workshop.
Singita – Visit Singita Gumeti in and the Tanzania Wildlife Divison to help restore the natural balance of Africa’s Great Plains while simultaneously giving elephants a better habitat to live in. Also, aid the anti-poaching unit to stop poachers from harming innocent elephants.
Wilderness Collection – At Abu Camp in Botswana, guests become part of elephant herd by riding and walking along with them, as well as being able to sleeping above them in a unique ‘star-bed’ among the trees.
Additional itineraries are featured on the S.A.F.E. website, including opportunities to visit beneficiaries on the ground such as exploring the research station of Save The Elephants while staying at the Elephant Watch Camp, visiting orphaned elephants in person, at The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust or staying at one of the many African eco-tourism lodges of the African Wildlife Foundation, working closely with local communities to help protect the area’s wildlife.
World Elephant Day is an international effort that was created to urge people from around the world to express concern, share knowledge and offer solutions to stop the destruction of the African and Asian elephant population.
Launched in January 2014 in response to the alarming rate of elephant poaching in Africa, The Bodhi Tree Foundation’s S.A.F.E. Campaign (Safeguarding A Future for Africa’s Elephants) aims to unite the travel community – both industry and travelers – to take action to save Africa’s vulnerable elephant population. Both an awareness and educational campaign and vehicle to support field organizations working on the ground to protect elephants, the S.A.F.E. Campaign grants funds to the following beneficiaries: The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, WildAid, Save The Elephants, and the African Wildlife Foundation. Among the 25+ travel partners that have already joined the campaign include prestigious brands such as Wilderness Safaris, Singita, Andrew Harper, Outside GO, Extraordinary Journeys, Elevate Destinations, ProTravel, Epic Road andAbsolute Travel, Century Travel, Artistico Travel Consultants, Heritage Tours, and Ovation Vacations. A critical component of the campaign’s mission is to educate travelers about and inspire them to travel to Africa to see up close the majesty of elephants in the wild themselves.