What We Do
The African Safari Foundation offers a variety of services to and on behalf of our partner communities. Our activities include:
The ASF has provided transaction advice to numerous communities, private sector tourism investors and conservation managers who have entered into Community Private Partnerships in the tourism sector. We remain advisers to the communities, the conservation authorities and the private developers after the projects have begun. This enables us to manage conflicts that can arise in these partnerships. All parties see us as facilitators who want the projects to work for the benefit of all.
The ASF sources and manages financial investments from private businesses, philanthropic foundations, government programmes and a range of finance institutions interested in promoting the connection between nature tourism and rural development. These funds – including an interest-free loan facility managed on behalf of the Ford Foundation - has helped several communities to become shareholders in the tourism products on their land, which is an advance over the more traditional approaches where community benefit is restricted to labour and, in some instances, rent collection.
The ASF is particularly proud of its training initiatives that have seen 140 youths, the vast majority of them being women, from local communities in the ASF’s project areas participating in nature guiding and hospitality courses. We were also central to the development of new professional standards for nature guides in South Africa that make it easier for rural residents to get access to these skills and associated jobs. We encourage our private partners to make internship opportunities available for new graduates from host communities. These internships are valued opportunities that give students from our partner communities a head start, even if they do not get a job in the local lodge.
Policy and Advocacy
The ASF participates in numerous forums and meetings that contribute to an enabling environment for community participation in responsible tourism. We are regarded as one of the leading organisations in the ecotourism-community benefit sector. For example, we made presentations at the 2003 and 2014 IUCN World Parks Congresses, which highlighted some of our projects and the lessons learnt, as well as to the South African Institute for International Affairs.