Care of the Wildlife
Our guest experience revolves around the ancient drama of the great wildlife spectacles of the world - a natural theatre to which people are drawn time and again.
By creating exceptional safaris in the natural kingdoms of the world, and attracting passionate and experienced naturalists and environmentalists to host each journey, &Beyond offers our guests an experience that promises to reawaken the soul. Through this encounter we also aim to capture the imagination of our guests (who are often people with huge influence and resources, and future leaders). We promote a greater consciousness of the possibilities and responsibilities of managing the wildlife resources on our planet, demonstrating that they can be conserved on a sustainable basis if we all respect and value them.
We work hand in hand with a number of conservation bodies and the communities surrounding our lodges, who are vital stakeholders in the conservation story.
In many cases the land that surrounds our lodges belongs to national and private park owners. In those cases, we strive to remain integrally involved in decision-making at a high level, as well as in managing careful and sensitive interactions with the wildlife and habitat.
&Beyond Conservation Firsts
We have consistently been the first to introduce a number of initiatives in managing careful and sensitive interactions with wildlife and habitats.
- First Big Five private game reserve established in KwaZulu-Natal (&Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve)
- First Southern Hemisphere winner of the British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow Awards (&Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve)
- Partnership between &Beyond and Taj - the only private company involved in the project to translocate endangered gaur bison to areas of India where they have become extinct
- First free-ranging cheetah reintroduction on private land in KwaZulu-Natal (&Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve)
- First unified lion pride to be formed from members of different prides (&Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve)
- First adult elephant herd relocated from Zimbabwe to private land in South Africa (&Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve)
- First private sector partner with South African National Parks (&Beyond Ngala Private Game Reserve)
- First African operator to substantially decrease the number of beds in a conservation area in order to reduce impact (&Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge)
- First operator to negotiate an increase in lease payments to provide a more equitable deal for local landlords (&Beyond Klein's Camp and the Ololosokwan community)
- First multinational ecotourism operator to voluntarily introduce ecotourism audits at all its operations
- First African operator to produce specific educational eco-guides for each lodge
- First tourism operator to produce an annual compilation of observations and research carried out by its own field staff
- Only private sector tourism operator to be invited to present at the plenary session of the World Parks Congress (Durban, South Africa, 2003)
We believe that a heritage of wild landscapes and animals should be recognised as any continent's most precious natural resource. The rewards of wildlife and nature conservation can be reaped sustainably through multi-use tourism, benefiting not only travellers, but also a continent’s land, animals and rural communities.
- Rhino Translocated from Phinda to Botswana - in the first ever private game reserve donation of rhino to another country, luxury experiential travel company &Beyond translocated six white rhino from &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve in South Africa to Botswana’s Okavango Delta. Facilitated in partnership with RHINO FORCE, this conservation coup was generously funded by lead sponsor, Motorite Administrators.
- Leopard Monitoring at &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve - several leopard have been radio collared for satellite tracking, and their movements and interactions documented. The research findings have led to the reduction of leopard trophy hunting in the region.
- Groundbreaking Translocation of 50 Gaur - this pioneering project restored the species in Bandhavgarh National Park in central India. The success of reversing a local extinction is measured by how well the new population does in its new environment; despite tiger-inflicted mortalities, the herd is continuously growing.
- Black Rhino Range Expansion Project - the Ezemvelo KZN-Wildlife Black Rhino Range Expansion Project selected &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve as the first release site for 16 black rhino in 2004. The endangered rhino have thrived in their new home and Phinda's third black rhino calf was born in 2008.
- Protection and Monitoring of Green Turtles - &Beyond Mnemba Island, just off the coast of Zanzibar, provides a safe breeding refuge for green turtles. &Beyond Mnemba staff monitor and document all turtle breeding activities, and make their data available to local marine biologists.
- Relocation of Suni Antelope to Jozani Forest - over 50 suni antelope living on &Beyond Mnemba Island were captured and translocated to the Jozani Forest Reserve on Zanzibar Island, greatly enhancing the species' status at Jozani.
- Monitoring of Endangered Wattled Crane and Other Threatened Birds - guides at &Beyond Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge and &Beyond Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp monitor wattled crane and other species, which helps them to understand the population dynamics and ecological requirements of wetland-dependent species.
While &Beyond channels USD 8 million directly into the conservation of biodiversity, we also contribute annually in subscriptions to a variety of regional conservation NGOs with proven track records and affiliations, and independent research or conservation projects. In addition to providing financial support, we are also involved with hands-on collaboration in terms of data gathering and research in the reserves where we operate.
- WWF (South Africa) - annual lease fees paid by &Beyond have been used to expand the Karoo, West Coast and other national parks.
- Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania - involved in environmental education and forest conservation in the Eastern Arc and coastal forests. The monitoring project for two globally threatened bird species in the East Usambara Mountains (www.wcstarusha.org) is being funded by &Beyond.
- The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) - offers support in terms of educational workshops and courses, publishes and distributes materials, and actively participates in international conferences and forums.
- Birdlife South Africa - promotes the enjoyment, conservation, understanding and study of wild birds and their habitat.
- Kakamega Environmental Education Programme (KEEP) - works with teachers and children to promote the value of Kenya's Kakamega Forest as an important water catchment, a site for renewable forest resources and a source of income through ecotourism. The KEEP chairman has been sponsored to visit Kichwa Tembo to see the benefits of responsible tourism, as well as &Beyond 's Positive Health programme.
- Birdlife Botswana - maintains a holistic view of bird conservation and the importance of birds as environmental indicators. &Beyond has contributed to the wattled crane monitoring project in the Okavango Delta, and has provided data on the slaty egret and other species.
- Endangered Wildlife Trust - initiates and funds research and conservation action programmes to combat species extinction.
The &Beyond model of community participation has become the standard for ecotourism within the industry.
Sustainability is not always about reduction - it's sometimes about growth.
At &Beyond we believe that we are responsible to the planet and the environment in which we operate our business.
Carlisle on Conservation
Catch up with our Group Conservation Manager, Les Carlisle, on his blog.