Conservation and Tourism go hand in hand; conservation efforts protect the wildlife and natural places that tourists wish to visit…and tourism provides the justification and funding for conserving wild areas. But COVID which has entirely frozen the tourism and travel industry, has heaped massive challenges on the shoulders of conservation everywhere.

Conservation organisations have, against the odds, maintained their presence in our planet’s special wild places. None more so than Conservation South Luangwa, an organisation of which I am proud to be a Trustee. Despite dramatic reductions in income for the 2020 and 2021 funding cycles, they have been adaptable and innovative, keeping scouts (rangers) in the field and holding the line against the inevitable increase in poaching.

I spend quite a bit of time with CSL’s scouts (usually during photo-shoots to document and promote their work) and each time I am impressed with their energy, dedication and positive attitudes. In the face of increasing pressure, and daily risks at the hands of poachers and big game, they continue to do their jobs and protect our Natural Heritage. It’s humbling.

And their work is tough. 230-250 days each year are spent on patrol, away from their families. Of course, they work in a beautiful place, but it’s hot, their kit is heavy and they camp out each night with only their training to protect them. Their work is highly valued, and they know that through the encouragement, leadership and guidance of mentors and leaders such as Benson Kanyembo & Rachel McRobb, both TUSK Award winners and finalists.

This year presents a new range of challenges, and we are fortunate that organisations such as the TUSK Trust have identified this and developed strategies to assist. Through the Wildlife Ranger Challenge programme, donations made to participating NGOs are matched (doubled!) by a generous grant from the Scheinberg Trust.

This means that your donation, whatever value, is doubled and has twice the impact! There’s no catch….it’s AMAZING! But there’s limited time to unlock this extra value, so please head over to the CSL/TUSK JustGiving Page and make a donation (even US$ 10 becomes US $20 and will be very welcome) to help CSL’s scouts protect Africa’s wild heritage for the future. Thank you.

Wildlife image from photo safari with edward selfe.