After an unconventional year, but still full of Wilderness adventures in conservation and community upliftment, we invite you to have a look at our 2020 roundup. And as we venture into 2021 and all it promises, we also wanted to share some of the highlights we are looking forward to.
Image by Sarah Kerr
The Launch of DumaTau – A Linyanti Journey
Unexpected delays during 2020 have only built on the expectations around the launch of the completely rebuilt DumaTau, and brand-new Little DumaTau. These two camps in the Linyanti Wildlife Reserve are bound to be the crowning glory of a life-changing Botswana journey. Anticipating a launch in 2021, we have compiled a few of the camp’s highlights – from conservation-related stories to details on our new impact-driven décor and fine-dining experiences… Read here.
Children in the Wilderness – Celebrating a Two-Decade Journey
Children in the Wilderness (CITW) is a non-profit organisation supported by our company, and aims to facilitate sustainable conservation through leadership development and eco-education of children in Africa.
In August 2001, some 20 years ago, Paul Newman and his family travelled to Africa on a two-week safari with Wilderness During this trip, it was suggested that the respective visions of the Association of Hole in the Wall Camps (Newman’s initiative) and Wilderness Safaris could be blended to create a sustainable and effective African programme. In December of the same year the first CITW programme was launched.
The creation of Children in the Wilderness was an organic evolution of the vision of Wilderness , which has always been that we need to face the challenge of Africa’s wildlife areas being under severe pressure – indeed, the areas in which Wilderness operates are some of the planet’s more sensitive environmental hotspots. Therefore, by focusing on the children in our neighbouring areas, CITW believes that a programme of this calibre can impact significantly on local communities, in the hope of securing the conservation future of fragile wilderness zones.
With CITW’s 20th anniversary in mind, we look forward to sharing some uplifting success stories from our past campers, such as the inspirational Destiny here . And after a year of postponements we are greatly looking forward to the 15th annual Nedbank Tour de Tuli, CITW’s premier annual fundraising event; registrations are now open.
Africa in Focus – Journey through Africa with Our Olympus Winners
Our annual photographic competition, Africa in Focus, brought us some amazing images and as we build up to our next competition (details to come …) we will be taking a closer look at some of our winning photos and the photographers responsible for these breathtaking images.
We start with Lance Van De Vyver and his overall winning shot, “Scaly Protection”. Lance is a multiple award-winning photographer who started out studying Zoology at Massey University in New Zealand. The roots of his love of photography began while studying insects under microscopes, wishing he could somehow capture the images he saw before him. Lance got his first camera in 2006 and has never looked back. Since that time, he has moved to South Africa to further pursue his dreams.
We look forward to sharing some tips and insights into Lance’s phenomenal photos, so watch this space.
A Food Journey through the Wilderness
Wilderness is embarking on a new food journey, incorporating a larger variety of mindful menus and plant-based dishes, prioritising fish and chicken over red meat, using legumes, grains and plants as the majority of the menu with less animal protein – a holistic approach to reducing our “food-print”.
By improving this food-print and leading by example, we hope to have a ripple effect on our guests, staff and suppliers, inspiring them to become change-makers within their own communities and spaces. Several of our camps have their own farming operations within or near camp, enhancing our farm-to-fork initiative.
One of our most popular recipes currently in camp is that for Magwenyas, a Batswana adaptation of the doughnut. Find the recipe here.
A Wellness Journey in the Wilderness
Wellness encompasses a healthy body, a sound mind and a tranquil spirit. We are broadening our self-led wellness journeys through the inclusion of wellness centres and spas in our Premier and Classic Camps. The latest addition is the spa at Little Kulala in Namibia.
"I think of the spa as a refuge, a place of pampering after exposure to the harsh desert outside. From climbing dunes and being out in the elements like wind, sand and sun, the spa will be a sanctuary for our guests to enjoy welcome hydration, an experience bound to do wonders for someone who has just climbed Big Daddy, one of the world's tallest dunes!
Little Kulala is partnering with Healing Earth, an award-winning premium brand specialising in natural body-care products. The signature Sossusvlei Desert Escape treatment starts with a full back exfoliation, followed by a skin-quenching Namib Melon full body massage, rounded out by a jade crystal facial massage. Other treatments include the Miracle Repair, a luxurious anti-ageing procedure using African potato balm to repair the skin on a deep cellular level. The Body Rebalance is a blissful aromatherapy massage using powerful indigenous phyto oils tailored to the guest's individual needs, in order to leave them glowing, relaxed and hydrated.
Conservation Heroes – Life-Changing Journeys
Initiated at the start of the pandemic’s tourism bans, and with great support from our travel partners and families, our Wilderness Safaris Conservation Heroes programme will continue throughout our communities. One kind soul making a significant difference is our long-time partner in Germany, Karin Frölich, who, inspired by our stories of our neighbours’ hardship in Botswana, started collecting donations in her local community, and has to date contributed an impressive USD20 000.
"Karin, in my mind, is an unsung hero who, through her own personal networks, was able to raise significant funds to help the people in Africa.
We have received amazing support on this project from wonderful people all over the world and hope to continue this throughout 2021 to ensure our local communities are well cared for during this difficult time.
Of course, as we make our way through the coming months, many more exciting events and happenings will take shape – alongside strengthening the ongoing conservation and community initiatives already in place. Stay tuned for more!
Image by Sarah Kerr
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.