Green Safaris: Love and Empowerment in the Time of Coronavirus

Did you know that an elephant’s gestation period is 22 months? This means that a baby elephant sits inside its mother’s womb for almost two years, curled up in the dark, doing nothing at all, just waiting to be born. It’s only been just over three weeks since the coronavirus was officially labelled a pandemic.

Responsible travellers around the world are delaying their dream holidays and staying at home.

We know that it’s a strange and difficult time. It is for us too.

Tourism has taken a hard knock and nobody knows what is going to happen to travel when we have gotten through this. We hope that travellers will be smart, and kind, and delay rather than cancel their holidays. But in the meantime, our guests and future friends from around the world can’t get to us.  

Luckily for us, Green Safaris is not just about creating a dream holiday for our guests. We were born out of a romance with Africa and from the need to make a positive change in our communities and environments.

So, we have decided to use this time to make something beautiful. And it won’t take us 22 months!  

Green Safaris is going to ramp up their efforts to support our neighbouring vulnerable, growing communities and wild spaces until they too can grow to be as strong, capable, and gorgeous as an elephant.

Our properties remain open at the moment. We provide vital employment in a very vulnerable part of the world, but if it seems at any point that this decision is a danger to our team or local guests, we will immediately close and find a way to support our staff.

For now, our middle name is Hygiene!

Most governments around the world are emphasising the importance of a few small steps on fighting the COVID-19 disease: isolation, social distancing, protecting the elderly and the immunocompromised, and washing your hands as often as possible.

But these are difficult goals in Malawi and Zambia, where families often live on top of each other in very small mud huts or houses, where community is a vital part of every person’s identity, where the elders are cared for by their children and grandchildren, and where many hygiene products are a luxury rather than a necessity.  

We are taking steps to protect our staff and communities with a proactive education initiative and a delivery system for basic necessities.

Our teams are identifying the oldest and most vulnerable in the local villages and ensuring that they have an understanding of the situation and the support that they need. We are explaining social distancing, isolation, and simple affordable ways to maintain hygiene standards.

We have also initiated a delivery system to ensure that people in our immediate surroundings have access to basic hygiene and food products without needing to go into town and put themselves or their family at risk.  

This system is still in its early stages but is likely to become a vital way to enable our community to avoid unnecessary contact and to curb the spread of the disease if it does reach our areas.  

Do take a look at our other incredible ‘Baby Elephant’ initiatives here

We can’t wait to show them off when the world becomes open for adventures once again.