Wilderness Safaris Participates In Inaugural Argentinian Natural Summit

Wilderness Safaris’ Group Culture Coordinator, Bongani Baloyi, participated in Argentina’s first Natural Summit held in Cordoba last month. Organised by the Argentina Secretariat of Tourism, Aves Argentinas (a BirdLife International member), Agencia Córdoba Turismo (Cordoba Province Tourism Bureau), Federal Tourism Council and the Argentina Chamber of Tourism, Bongani was honoured to be part of the summit and discuss the company’s pioneering ecotourism model.

The Argentine Republic identified nature-based tourism as one of the country’s national goals to achieving economic growth. To do this, the state has partnered with conservation NGOs, private land owners and communities to establish national parks in the country. Ecotourism has been identified as the best land-use option to drive this process, and with it being fairly new in Argentina, the federal government recognised Wilderness Safaris as a pioneer of the model in Africa, and wanted to learn about the company’s ecotourism successes.

The summit drew high-profile government officials, prominent nature-based companies and conservation NGOs, amongst others. The audience wanted to see evidence of the sustainability of Wilderness Safaris’ ecotourism model, and Bongani used various case studies to illustrate this. In his discussion, he talked about the company’s community and conservation initiatives, such as the Botswana Rhino Reintroduction Project, projects in Namibia that help mitigate human wildlife conflict, and anti-poaching in Zimbabwe.

“The fact that the organisers of the summit singled out Wilderness Safaris, amongst many other companies in the industry, to showcase how we use high-end ecotourism to benefit communities residing in the peripheries of our areas of operation, and help protect fragile ecosystems confirms our commitment to making a positive difference and inspiring positive action”, concluded Bongani.