World Environment Day’s focus this year is on ecosystem restoration and its theme is Reimagine. Recreate. Restore. Ecosystem restoration means preventing, halting and reversing this damage – to go from exploiting nature to healing it. This World Environment Day will kick off the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030), a global mission to revive billions of hectares, from forests to farmlands, from the tops of mountains to the depths of the oceans.
This is something that Wilderness has spent the last 38 years working on, encouraging others to take some of their learnings in camp home with them to better the world for us all. In this way we are reiterating what the UN is doing for #GenerationRestoration, and we would like you to join us in changing lives.
What is an Ecosystem?
Ecosystems are defined as the interaction between living organisms – plants, animals, people – and their surroundings. This includes nature, but also human-made systems, such as cities or farms.
Journey through a few Wilderness Ecosystems
Wetland ecosystem – The Okavango Delta
The world’s largest inland delta and a World Heritage Site, the Okavango is one of the richest and most varied habitats in Africa, and ranks as a top wildlife destination.
The Okavango Delta consists of 15 000 square kilometres of water channels, lagoons and islands, forming an extensive wilderness sanctuary. Each year, floodwaters flow from Angola, over 1 000 km away, to create this extraordinary wetland habitat. Home to hundreds of species of animals and birds, the Delta offers the chance to spot creatures that are not often seen elsewhere, such as sitatunga, African wild dog and wattled crane.
Desert ecosystem – Namibia
Namibia takes its name from the Namib Desert, a sea of red sand along the Atlantic coastline, and the oldest desert on the plane. A country of astonishing contrasts, Namibia is celebrated for its vast open landscapes, infinite blue skies and starry nights. The country’s many national parks and game reserves boast a huge variety of wildlife in a kaleidoscope of differing environments: dazzling white saltpans in Etosha National Park; towering red dunes at Sossusvlei; isolated Skeleton Coast beaches and the uninhabited wilderness of the Kunene Region. Astonishing contrasts are everywhere for the visitor to savour, enjoy and photograph.
Forests – Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park
Rwanda’s terrain is defined by undulating hills and mountains, with rainforest on the western peaks and cultivated fields in the valleys below. From the central plateau, the land slopes away to the savannahs and marshes of the east. The Virunga Massif features volcanoes and swathes of rainforest, and one of Africa’s Great Lakes, Kivu, in the west. Many lakes and marshes are found in the east, interspersed with tongues of clay-based savannah.
The Bisate Concession is situated on the lower slopes of Mount Bisoke and comprises 42 hectares (103 acres) adjacent to Volcanoes National Park. Immediately outside the rock wall that marks the park boundary lies densely cultivated farmland (potatoes, wheat, pyrethrum), taking advantage of the rich volcanic soil.
It is here that our property and its groundbreaking reforestation project are located, the lodge nestled inside a natural amphitheatre that is the result of the erosion of a far smaller ancient volcanic cone, the sides of which shield the lodge from disturbance and create the impression of actually being inside the Park.
Savannah – Zimbabwe’s Hwange
Hwange is Zimbabwe’s largest national park; within it, our Makalolo and Linkwasha concessions offer some of the best game viewing in Africa.
Hwange National Park covers some 1.4 million hectares (3.46 million acres) and includes a mix of habitats. This diverse area is shared between desert-adapted and woodland species, ensuring large numbers of animals all year round – elephant, buffalo, sable, roan, giraffe, wildebeest, impala and even gemsbok.
How Can You Make a Difference? – REIMAGINE. RECREATE. RESTORE.
We cannot turn back time. But we can grow trees, green our cities, rewild our gardens, change our diets and clean up rivers and coasts. We are the generation that can make peace with nature.
Let’s get active, not anxious. Let’s be bold, not timid. Join #GenerationRestoration
Reimagine – All camp waste is recycled, reused or repurposed, such as the glass recycling group in Zimbabwe. The project utilises wine and beer bottles collected from Wilderness Safaris camps in Hwange and other surrounding lodges. The coloured bottles are used to substitute river sand in the making of concrete breeze blocks, while the clear bottles are used for bead-making.
Recreate – The new DumaTau was built using reclaimed materials from the original camp to recreate this Linyanti wonder. Materials that couldn’t be used in camp were repurposed in the staff village, as well as used to build a nursery where trees are grown to help reforest the area.
Restore – Bisate opened in 2017 and since then 54 000 indigenous trees have been planted, helping to restore the area’s magnificent rainforest – evidence of this habitat restoration can be seen in the return of golden monkeys now regularly sighted enjoying the trees and bamboo planted in and around camp.
"UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not. "
Let’s plan your next journey
When we say we’re there every step of the way, we mean it, literally. From planning the perfect circuit, to private inter-camp transfers on Wilderness Air, and easing you through Customs. We’re with you on the ground, at your side, 24-7, from start to finish. Ready to take the road less travelled? Contact our Travel Designers to plan an unforgettable journey.