In an age where we have more access to information than ever, humanity finds itself deeply divided in their interpretation of the information; one could argue that the real pandemic we are facing is divided opinion. And, as we are witnessing all over the world, the intolerance that results from divided opinion is not conducive to progress. An exception to this somber trend are wildlife lovers and conservationists. In the face of adversity we have put our focus into what is most important to us, keeping wildlife travel (and the conservation revenue generated from it) alive. During these difficult times and at great expense, our partners in the industry and guests around the world have remained steadfast. Both lodges and wildlife enthusiasts have agreed to move 2020 tours to future dates to ensure that this revenue remains in the wildlife travel industry. If wildlife and wilderness areas survive these trying times, it is through the will of these people. Of the many disheartening things we witness in this day and age, the tenacity people have shown (regardless of their differences) to protect this thing so precious to us all gives much hope and faith in humanity.
The lack of funds derived from ecotourism has forced change and we expect future guests to be pleasantly surprised by the many ingenious ways in which conservation bodies have tightened their belts and become more sustainable. At Bellingham Safaris we are obsessed not only with providing our guests with exceptional service, but in ensuring that each guest and each safari leaves the world a better place, driving both conservation and restoration. We do this by carefully vetting the properties that we work with and making sure that we partner with lodges that put conservation and community first, not as a sideline or greenwashing afterthought.
One of the most exciting developments in recent years has been our deepening partnership with The Long Run. The Long Run members collectively conserve over 20 million acres of wilderness and none of this work has stopped despite tourism’s pause. That’s because Long Run members are primarily conservation and restoration projects although they use tourism as a funding and advocacy tool.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE LONG RUN.
Each year we commit over a limited number of nights to donating a minimum of 70% of the value of your stay at selected properties to The Long Run.
How it works:
Long Run properties donate accommodation “bed nights” to The Long Run.
The Long Run hands over these nights to Bellingham Safaris.
Bellingham Safaris sells these nights as part of our guest itineraries (the cost to guest is always equal to what you would pay if booking directly through the lodge).
Monies generated through these sales are donated back to The Long Run. And if you prefer you may donate this portion of your stay directly to The Long Run which is a registered UK charity (donations from the US can be arranged through Riverwind Foundation).
Next time you book a holiday, make sure it meets your values. Are you happy to simply leave a place doing no harm, or do you want to leave it a better place? If so we would love to guide the way 🙂
Warm regards from Simon, Jen and the Bellingham team
Opening image: African Elephant by Simon Bellingham.