If you’re eager to give back on your next trip away, look no further than andBeyond’s new WILDeconomy Masterclass. The travel company has partnered with the School of Wildlife Conservation to craft the six-day itinerary which delves into the valuable role of the wildlife economy in Africa.
Slated to run from 3-9 November 2023, the WILDeconomy masterclass will be hosted at two of andBeyond’s luxury properties. This includes 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.
The workshops will build on the School of Wildlife’s research project which focuses on five key economic activities that contribute to the wildlife economy: ecotourism, hunting and fishing, carbon markets, forest products, and game ranching.
“As an organization deeply rooted in Africa, we feel that it is our responsibility to draw awareness to these five wildlife-based economic activities,” explained chief marketing officer at andBeyond, Nicole Robinson.
“With international travelers 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,” she continued, “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.”
Helmed by Dr Sue Snyman, the director of research at the African Leadership University’s School of Wildlife, the one-off masterclass will feature an array of interactive experiences, talks and discussions exploring what it takes to create a sustainable, balanced wildlife economy.
Among the activities will be several game drives to explore the stunning surroundings and a day trip to Tanzania’s Lake Victoria with the Africa Foundation to gain an insight into the economic impact of fishing on the Lukungu community.
“We don’t claim to have all or even most of the answers to the questions that we pose,” said Robinson. “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.”
The andBeyond WILDeconomy masterclass is just the latest example of the luxury travel company’s dedication to conservation. Previous projects include reintroducing endangered white rhinos and Aders’s duiker to the Phinda reserve in South Africa, and launching the Oceans Without Borders marine conservation initiative with the Africa Foundation at Benguerra and Vamizi Islands in Mozambique.