The Importance of Tourism in Conservation
By Hannah Campbell
Guests all over the world are able to experience the wilderness and wildlife of Loisaba by staying at one of the three Elewana Collection tourism properties: Loisaba Lodo Springs, Loisaba Tented Camp and Loisaba Star Beds, or our Acacia Campsite.
Not only does the experience of visiting Loisaba educate tourists in our various conservation efforts, the conservation fee that guests pay to stay at the conservancy and other revenue from tourism makes up almost half of our operating budget.
Conservation fees help contribute towards…
We have a well-resourced, trained and disciplined ranger force of over 70, including an armed NPR (National Police Reservist) unit, rapid response teams, a canine unit comprising three tracker dogs and a Lion Ranger team. The team provide round the clock patrolling of the conservancy to eliminate the threat of poaching, in addition to high level security for all our guests and personnel.
Systematic morning and evening aerial patrols are also carried out, using our Piper Super-cub. The flight patrol plans are based on prior ground observations such as wounded animals or intrusions, which orients the nature of the flight.
Without financial support, this team would not have the necessary training or resources, and the conservation of wildlife and habitat would become increasingly challenging.
Community Support – Education
A vital part of conservation is educating the local communities about its importance, and to help place a value on the environment and wildlife. Here at Loisaba we support the building and development of local schools (including classrooms, libraries and internet access) and education strategies, and hold regular education days at our Conservation Centre.
The goal is to provide community members with the means of learning about the importance of wildlife conservation and habitat protection, and show how important careful land management is in the greater Ewaso ecosystem. In our experience, children have a keen interest in wildlife and conservation, but lack the opportunity to see these in practice.
Loisaba aims to provide that link, to help with conservation education, and to encourage positive participation in the landscape. We hope that by providing this resource to the next generation, we can target and reduce human-wildlife conflict that is becoming ever more threatening with the growing human population.
In addition to this, Loisaba Conservancy offers scholarships to students at primary, secondary and university levels.
Community Support – Heath Care
Loisaba supports a number of health services within the neighbouring community conservancies, such as providing the monthly salary for nurses and community health workers, building and equipping a maternity wing, family planning (in partnership with Communities Heath Africa Trust), facilitating the procurance of medication, and providing medical outreach camps to communities. In addition to this, our Community Health Officer, Kaltuma, visits Ewaso Dispensary to attend to patients on a weekly basis.
Conservancy Operations and Maintenance
For Loisaba to operate effectively as a conservancy and working ranch, we have to employ a variety of people with various skills in order to keep running smoothly. From chefs in the staff village to accountants in the finance office, our employees are a critical part of Loisaba Conservancy.
In order for our security and conservation teams to function, research to be carried out, and of course for game drives, hundreds of kilometres of road must be maintained by regular grading and resurfacing.
As its name suggests, Loisaba is a Private Conservancy rather than a National Park. This means we can offer horse and camel rides, bike rides, fishing, bush walks and many more activities, but we do not receive any funding from the government to help us look after the land. Instead, we must pay for business permits, operational licenses, land rates (to the county council) and land rent (to the government), which your conservancy fee helps towards.
We need your help!
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in an effort to contain its spread, Loisaba Lodo Springs, Loisaba Tented Camp and Loisaba Star Beds will be operationally suspended on the 1st April 2020.
Unfortunately, this means that our operating budget will be reduced significantly due to the reduction in conservation fees. While we will ensure prudence and efficiency in our expenditure, the reality is that to continue protecting the critical habitat and endangered species at Loisaba we need your help.
If you would like to help us maintain zero poaching levels, keep our rangers on the ground, protect endangered species and support local communities who have no access to healthcare, please donate today.
Even a small donation will make a huge difference to Loisaba’s conservation and community development work.
Thank you, and stay safe.
Leave a ReplyWant to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!