Eco Travel in Africa: Five Sustainable Safaris

&Beyond Africa is an eco travel company committed to the land, wildlife and people of Africa. This year, Condé Nast gave &Beyond one of their Traveler World Savers Awards. The eco travel company was also named Africa’s Leading Responsible Tourism Company at the 2010 World Travel Awards. &Beyond believes that eco travel is a vital part of the African economy, and essential for protecting Africa's future. &Beyond has a number of lodges and also leads safaris in Botswana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania and South Africa.

Wilderness Safaris is an eco travel company based in South Africa. The organization asserts that protecting wilderness areas will save Africa, and, in turn, save mankind. Wilderness Safaris runs a number of education projects for children, supported by Wilderness Safaris Wildlife Trust. The safari company, which was founded 27-years ago, runs tours in Botswana, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Wilderness Safaris employs almost three thousand employees across the seven countries.

Nyanja Safaris is based in Lusaka, Zambia. The company is family owned and run by David Bland, who is based in Zambia. Nyanja Safaris is an eco travel company that creates custom safaris, and promises to show you the "real Africa". The company returns a percentage of their profits to conservation education and community projects. Nyanji Safaris offers various custom safaris, including Horse Safaris, Elephant Back and Cultural Safaris.

Eco-Safari Adventure is an eco travel company run by The Earth Organization (TEO), which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the environment. When you purchase an Eco-Safari Adventure in South Africa, you receive a one year membership to the Earth Organization, which helps fund their conservation projects and education campaign. Eco-Safari Adventure also has a luxury camp called Thula Thula; a in the camp includes a day of voluntourism with the Zulu tribe.

The Safari and Conservation Co (SCC), focuses on wildlife and marine conservation, as well as poverty alleviation, employment, and health. SCC offers eco travel adventures through East Africa as well as lodges and camps. All of the associates work in different ways to support sustainability in Africa.The Borana Ranch, for example, supports three women's groups in the area who work on beading, and the lodge also engages in fundraising for local schools and habit management projects.

Photo credit: Gaurav Pandit