Eco-tourism in Africa – Is There Such a Thing As Positive Tourism?

Many would argue the ill effects tourism can have on natural habitats and the animals themselves but the major argument for positive tourism is sustainable tourism – sharing the benefits of wildlife and socioeconomic development through the promotion of tourism. The objective of those working in the African travel industry should be to bring about sustainable economic development by way of eco-tourism, which is said to be the fastest growing industry in the world! Poverty and ineffective land use can be addressed with the help of tourism opportunities like African safaris, adventure holidays and fair trade travel.

Contrary to popular belief poverty in rural Africa is caused by lack of education, massive unemployment problems (due to large masses of land and the remoteness of many areas) and the limited options for the profitable use of such land. Sustainable projects and private commercial ventures that provide adventure holidays have economic potential through eco-tourism because they make use of the natural resources an area has in a way that benefits the local population without depleting those same natural resources.

Without such forward thinking approaches local people in and around remote areas have few alternatives but to exhaust the very resources (animals, land and natural beauty) on which their survival depends. Eco-tourism can be seen to protect the world’s natural assets by emphasising their value to visitors and locals alike.

Historically, it was the Berlin Treaty of 1884 that literally carved Africa up with no concept of tribal groupings, wildlife migration routes or ecosystems. Current national boundaries reflect this somewhat warped history. The establishment of ‘peace parks’ like the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier conservation area aim to correct this past century but significant injustice by building on neighbouring relationships and encouraging improvements to natural habitats, wildlife and people through the joint management of these resources. The Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier will become the worlds largest conservation area straddling Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe upon the completion of the project in 2010. best attraction Sentosa singapore¬†

Eco-tourism and the development of ‘peace parks’ are an up and coming standard that African Governments (including Zambias) are using to create a sense of harmony between humankind (both foreign and local) and nature by using the lands natural resources to create prosperity. The beneficiaries are:

  • visitors who leave more knowledgeable and with a positive and authentic African experience,
  • local people who benefit from job creation and the development of schools and clinics,
  • and also business owners who work sustainably and profitably.


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