Celebrating conservation partnerships on World Wildlife Day


Culture & Communities


Lauren Dold


Wilderness Impact Conservation Desert Lion

World Wildlife Day 2023

Conservation. Collaboration. Co-existence. Our approach to helping conserve the wild places we operate in has always been one of co-operation; joining forces with local conservation groups in the field, on the ground, making a real difference.


Every year on 3 March, the planet celebrates World Wildlife Day. This year’s theme, Partnerships for Wildlife Conservation, perfectly encapsulates Wilderness’ ongoing approach to conservation. We’re in it for the long haul. As part of our ongoing aim to increase the world’s wilderness, we collaborate with conservation groups across Southern and East Africa who work to make sure the wildlife and people of these regions thrive alongside one another.

Nyae Nyae and Save the Rhino Trust


In the battle to keep Africa’s rapidly decreasing rhino population safe, real, ongoing support is vital. Wilderness has pledged its support to Save the Rhino Trust’s (SRT) Community Rhino Ranger (CRR) Incentive Programme in Namibia’s Nyae Nyae conservancy. Our support goes straight to the people on the ground; providing rangers and rhino monitors with food and provisions, salaries, fuel and vehicle running costs.


“By working with partners like SRT, we are confident that our impact efforts will continue to make a positive difference to our last remaining wilderness areas, and the wildlife they protect within,” says Vince Shacks, Wilderness Group Impact Manager.


Lion Recovery Fund


Direct investment. Effective intervention. Real impact. Wilderness is proud to support the Lion Recovery Fund (LRF), a group of dedicated lion conservationists set on doubling the number of lions by 2050. We know that when lions thrive, the environment around them thrives. In partnership with the LRF, Wilderness has pledged ongoing support of the Lionscape coalition, – an innovative group of leading commercial, conservation tourism companies, which have joined forces to help secure a future for Africa’s lions and their landscapes. So far, the LRF has supported 16,073 anti-poaching patrols across critical lion habitats on the continent.


In Namibia, support goes to Dr Philip Stander and Desert Lion Conservation, a small non-profit dedicated to protecting a precious population of lions who’ve adapted to the harsh Namib climate.

Lionscape Coalition

“As a founding partner of the Lionscape Coalition, we are proud to be working with our conservation tourism partners to make annual philanthropic investments into the LRF. In this way, we are not only supporting lion conservation projects in our regions, but beyond the boundaries of our direct areas”, says Derek de la Harpe, Wilderness Chief Risk Management and Corporate Affairs Officer.
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African Wildlife Foundation, African Parks & the Rwanda Development Board


Wilderness is proud of our partnerships in Rwanda, and the work being done to expand the habitat of Endangered mountain gorillas. Never losing sight of our ultimate goal to double the amount of land under our protection by 2030, at Wilderness Bisate the 70,000 trees we planted have already become crucial habitat for local wildlife.


The proof? Camera trap footage of a mountain gorilla on the property; dung belonging to a forest elephant spotted at the helipad; golden monkeys, side-striped jackals, servals and buffalo moving through the property all let us know we’re successfully extending their habitat. We couldn’t be more thrilled.


Ecoexist Botswana


Botswana is home to the world’s largest population of elephants, and the country’s conservation groups require constant support in the challenge to mitigate human-wildlife conflict. Wilderness has been working with Ecoexist since 2019, sponsoring satellite elephant collars that help collect data and map elephant movements in the Okavango Delta and Linyanti. This valuable data helps Ecoexist understand where human communities and elephants are coming into contact with one another, and how best to manage these situations.


Fences, roads, and human development restrict elephant movement in Southern Africa. But elephants don’t recognise international borders, and move between Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Zambia, following ancient migratory paths used by elephants for generations. Securing safe passage along corridors is critical to enabling them to move freely between protected areas and critical resources.



“We have been working with Ecoexist for several years and are proud to be able to support their project. In areas of heightened competition for water, food, and space, they find and facilitate solutions that work for both species”, says Kim Nixon, Okavango Wilderness MD.

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