TORONTO — Going beyond and behind the scenes of regular African safaris, Exodus Travels’ new collection of luxury adventures, in partnership with the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), offers everything from gorilla conservation in Uganda, to conserving elephants and their habitat in Zimbabwe, to protecting a fragile population of wolves in the historic highlands of Ethiopia.
Exodus notes that since 1961, AWF has been helping local communities to recognize the benefits of conserving wildlife, rather than viewing it as a threat to their livelihoods.
Not only will travellers on these safaris witness Africa’s extraordinary creatures firsthand, says Exodus, they’ll also experience VIP access into AWF projects across the continent and meet with the incredible people and personalities making a difference along the way, adding that AWF is revered globally for its work to ensure conservation strategies work for wildlife and people.
Says Robin Brooks, Marketing Director for Exodus Travels: “During these times, supporting like-minded organizations such as the African Wildlife Foundation is more important than ever before. We are honoured to join forces with such an incredible group of people and their efforts through this partnership; and as with all Exodus adventures across the globe are dedicated to ensuring tourism dollars are used responsibly to support regenerative and sustainable initiatives and organizations that benefit destinations and the communities within.”
One of AWF’s knowledgeable conservationists, Carter Smith and Craig Sholley, will lead each itinerary. Smith worked with Sir Iain Douglas-Hamilton at Save the Elephants, spent years rehabilitating birds of prey in the bush, and owned her own safari company; while Sholley studied mountain gorillas with Dian Fossey at Rwanda’s Karisoke Research Centre, was a scientific advisor for the IMAX film, Mountain Gorilla and currently serves as the Senior Vice President of AWF.
Safaris will begin departing in September 2021 with bookable trips that run in both 2021 and 2022.
Exodus says it is committed to responsible, regenerative and sustainable small-group tours to ensure that every adventure they run is a beneficial experience for everyone involved, most importantly the local community. Exodus will donate a portion of each sale back to AWF for one if its local projects, as part of its partnership with AWF.
In the meantime Exodus and AWF will host a free virtual safari from Uganda on Thursday, March 25 at 1 p.m. EST. Those interested can watch on the Exodus Travels Facebook Page and join the safari remotely, from anywhere in the world.
“When I started designing safaris in Africa nearly two decades ago, I never imagined I would be creating safaris for an online audience,” said AWF’s Carter Smith. “Our virtual safaris have exceeded my expectations during the pandemic, in terms of lifting spirits, creating a platform to reminisce and allowing us to dream of a time we will travel again. It is rewarding to bring the beauty of these countries to people who cannot travel, as well as connect individuals with AWF conservationists.”
Itineraries include ‘Extraordinary Ethiopia: Highlights and Beyond’, ‘Namibia Flying Safari’, ‘Uganda: Great Apes and Wild Savannas’ and ‘Zimbabwe, the Wild Zambezi & Victoria Falls’.