Conservation Conversations from Around the World
Updated: Apr 6, 2021
From coral preservation to research programs to elephant rehabilitation, conservation is essential all over the world. These properties focus a variety of initiatives to help restore and maintain their surrounding habitats.
From its family owned origins, Singita’s exquisite portfolio of lodges and camps across Africa have grown into a collection of environmentally sensitive properties, driven by a desire to preserve and protect the most vulnerable ecosystems for generations to come. As Singita strives to honor its 100-year purpose – the guiding light for every key decision and every area of operation, their role is to contextualize the numerous conservation and community projects for guests, while bringing together the funds and trusts to support this far-sighted conservation vision. This complementary relationship between Singita, individual philanthropists, and the funds and trusts highlights the importance of sustainable tourism in conservation and give meaning to their commitment to safeguard the continent’s most vulnerable species and their natural habitats well into the next century. These funds support a variety of community and conservation initiatives, ranging from K9 support rangers in the Sabi Sands to Early Childhood Development initiatives in South Africa. Read more about Singita’s Conservation Efforts in the Sabi Sands here.
Tschuggen Hotel Group
In 2019, Switzerland-based Tschuggen Hotel Group partnered with myclimate, a non-profit Swiss organization advising companies on climate protection and sustainable development, to make the hotel group’s five properties CO2 neutral and get their guests involved in conservation. The hotel group has since updated the heating and energy systems throughout all of their properties and helped to restore a peat bog in Neuchâtel to compensate for their inevitable CO2 emissions, and now they’re giving travelers the option to play an active part in climate protection. With myclimate’s “Cause We Care” initiative, hotel guests can compensate for their travels to and from the hotels. There are four categories with corresponding amounts to choose from, ranging between $5 and $150 per person, depending on their method of travel and distance from the hotel.
Fregate Island in the Seychelles is committed to protecting the underwater world by regenerating and preserving the corals surrounding the island. Fregate Island, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World, has partnered with luxury watchmaker Blancpain and Coralive.org to build unique underwater coral structures and create 3-D of the ocean floor to study and preserve the fragile ecosystem surrounding the Fregate Island. The coral reef structures are made out of ferrous metals, which includes power transformers to provide a weak electrical charge. This method promotes growth of coral and resulting in a higher survival rate of coral fragments when compared to classic rehabilitation methods. This trailblazing method is the first of its kind in Seychelles, and only 1 of 5 locations in the world that utilize this practice. See here for a short video about Fregate Island's conservation efforts.
Quasar Expeditions is a leader in experiential travel in Latin America. The company pioneered high-end expedition cruising in the Galapagos Islands in 1986 and played an important role in establishing the Galapagos Archipelago as a must-see destination for world travelers. Their core mission is to offer guests the possibility of visiting remote destinations while leaving the smallest footprint possible. To do so, the company has partnered with The Charles Darwin Foundation and Galapagos Conservancy on their projects to help protect, preserve and restore the islands. Each Quasar trip includes a visit to the Charles Darwin Foundation for guests to learn about their initiatives and how they can make a difference. The company also works directly with Godfrey Merlen, a biologist living on the islands for the past 43 years, whose work on the Galapagos Whale Sanctuary, the Galapagos Marine Reserve and the Biosecurity Agency has key towards the protection and survival of the Galapagos biodiversity.
Tswalu works to preserve the eco-system of the Kalahari by restoring the natural environment, re-establishing and protecting biodiversity, and maintaining the Kalahari’s characteristic ecological process. Research informs every conservation decision made when it comes to conservation, and is a vital part of what Tswalu is all about. Guests are encouraged to interact with scientists and doctoral students in the field, should they have a keen interest in a specific subject. Long-term, large-scale project goals of the research center include the effects of climate change on key species such as pangolin and aardvark at Tswalu.
Gaya Island Resort
Gaya Island Resort is a five-star property located on the Malaysian island of Borneo, set within the protected Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. The property plays a proactive role in animal conservation through their Gaya Island Resort Marine Centre and Gaya Island Resort Wildlife Centre programs. Led by the resort’s Resident Marine Biologist, the marine centre advocates turtle rescue, coral reef restoration and conservation through education. Since its launch in 2013, the marine centre has rescued, treated and cared for multiple endangered green turtles, provided a controlled environment for freshly planted corals to recover, and hosted weekly conservation talks to guests to learn and become involved in their programs. At the wildlife centre, the resort’s Resident Naturalist leads their programs to preserve the island’s endangered proboscis monkeys, research and rescue wildlife species and create nature trails around the island. During every stay, guests are invited to visit the centres and take part in one of their signature experiences, including their Mangrove Kayak Tour and Coral Garden Marine Expedition.
Shambala Private Game Reserve- Elephant Rehab Program
Nestled below the ancient Waterberg mountains lies the almost 10,000 hectares of pristine African bushveld that is Shambala Private Game Reserve, offering safari experiences and intimate close encounters with magnificent African wildlife. Shambala Private Game Reserve is actively involved in wildlife conservation with their main objective being to maintain the most favorable natural conditions for wildlife to thrive. Shambala features an elephant rehabilitation program to help domesticated safari elephants return successfully to the wild. African elephants roam across much of Africa, but these magnificent animals remain under severe threat from poaching, habitat loss, and human-wildlife conflict. The introduction back into wild rehab process involves careful monitoring of the elephants, who have previously been used to considerable human interaction. Doctors and elephant experts are also involved to ensure the success of the program, and research is carried out to document the team’s data and to share with others. Shambala also gives guests the opportunity to experience some of Africa’s most spectacular wildlife while working on a team expedition to complete projects that are designed to improve life for all the species on the reserve.