Top 5 places in Africa to see endangered animals. Most animals in Africa are to some extent endangered, although the term generally refers to an animal that is in danger of extinction. The causes are mainly linked to humanity – poaching for food or the trades of pets and “medicines”, as well as the loss of habitat due to climate change and competition for land.
The high-quality safaris contribute positively to help endangered animals and people who live nearby. Many of the best safari lodges are located on private reserves where the owners actively partner with local people to conserve wildlife and where tourism revenues reach these people. This greatly reduces poaching, protects land for wildlife, and encourages people to view animals as beneficial rather than things that eat crops or provide dinner. Here are the stories of five lodges that do just that.
Tswalu Kalahari, South Africa – Pangolins
An estimated one million pangolins, mostly Asian, have been trafficked in the past decade to meet the demand for scales valued for their supposed medicinal properties and for meat considered a delicacy. These curious and charming creatures are also found in Africa where the threat is increasing, partly due to climate change causing habitat decline.
Tswalu Kalahari is a pioneer in the restoration of natural habitats on the edge of the Kalahari Desert. It’s a fascinating place to see arid savannah creatures like eland, brown hyena, meerkat, and African wildcat. Valery Phakoago is based there and conducts doctoral research on terrestrial pangolins so that we can better understand these shy creatures. During a walk, you can see a young pangolin curling up in a protective ball when you approach it before it relaxes and goes in search of ants and termites.
Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, Uganda – Mountain Gorillas
The last mountain gorillas in the world live in the misty volcanic hills where Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo meet. The main threats to these powerful creatures are accidental snares, hunting and disease. The determined efforts of national park staff and high-value tourism mean that populations have grown from 620 in 1989 to just over 1,000 today, with numbers increasing in all three countries.
Making your way through the “King Kong” scenery of mists, forests, and volcanoes in search of gorillas is an unforgettable experience, and the final encounter is impressive. The cost of doing so is high, but funds from gorilla permits help pay for the armed guards and environmentalists who protect these great primates. From Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge in Uganda, you can enjoy a unique morning spent in the company of a family of semi-accustomed gorillas, helping environmentalists in their efforts and experiencing one of the rawest and most immersive encounters imaginable.
Namiri Plains, Tanzania – Cheetah
A cheetah can go from 0 to 60 mph in three seconds, competing with the fastest sports cars. To watch one of these agile felines run across the plains in pursuit of a gazelle is to see poetry in dazzling motion. But speed isn’t everything – in the Serengeti and the Masai Mara combined, there are only 300 cheetahs against 3000 lions. The smallest cat suffers from competition from its larger cousin and is killed by farmers and hunters. Cheetahs are considered the ultimate feline pet in some Middle Eastern countries.
In the remote plains of eastern Serengeti, more than an hour from any other camp, are the plains of Namiri. Previously closed to the public for 20 years, the oceans of rolling meadows surrounding the camp were part of a successful cheetah conservation project. Now, with exclusive access to the area and the opportunity to meet the research team, it is one of the best places in Africa to see the cheetah, alongside other cats and the whole range of wildlife. from Serengeti. By the way, the 10 elegant tent suites are shameless luxury, each with a bathtub on the deck where you can drink in the pristine view while soaking in bubbles.
Old Mondoro, Zambia – Elephant
You stay in the charming and intimate Old Mondoro Camp. As you watch elephants pass by you to swim and wallow in the waters of the Zambezi, you would be forgiven for thinking that these mighty creatures can hardly be endangered. Yet the 30,000 people living in neighboring villages in the Lower Zambezi National Park see elephants trample and steal crops, while ivory poachers from neighboring Zimbabwe and Mozambique pose a constant threat.
The small exclusive camps scattered along the lower Zambezi actively participate in the “Lower Zambezi Conservation”, which manages anti-poaching patrols. They also developed cutting-edge ideas such as helping village farmers to cultivate “chili fences” that deter elephants from entering farmland and producing a cash crop for sale. An elephant can knock over a tree and make its way through a huge branch, but it can’t stand hot peppers!
Lewa Wilderness, Kenya – Rhinoceros
Between 1960 and 2000, the rhino population in southern Africa decreased by 98% due to poaching of their horn. It is still a serious problem as 80 rhinos are poached every month, particularly in South Africa where the largest number of survivors remain.
One strategy to save the rhinos is to move them to safer places, and in recent years, some have been taken to Botswana where large private wildlife concessions and small populations of people provide security. In Kenya, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is a pioneer in rhino conservation in dynamic partnerships with local communities and has been so successful that they can send rhinos to new conservation projects. You could stay at Lewa Wilderness Lodge with the Craig family, founders of Lewa, where these wonderful creatures and a spectacular array of other wild animals thrive.