Africa, the cradle of humankind is globally popular for its mesmerizing scenic beauty, diverse flora and fauna, and fascinating culture. It has attracted tourists since time immemorial. However, today the increasing population and poverty are forcing locals towards illegal activities like poaching, which brings in an additional income to the families. There are several African wildlife species that are pushed to the brink of extinction because of this. Wildlife conservation is a herculean job for the government with insufficient funds.
To help give you an idea of the scale and breadth of the problem, Tusk Photo, have put together an infographic looking at Africa’s most endangered, how many are left, and the threats they’re facing.
The silver lining is that ecotourism is a major contributor to the economy of Africa, only second to mining. Ecotourism involves traveling to natural destinations with minimal negative impact. Ecotourism brings in revenue in the form of entrance fees, restaurants, accommodation, and other expenditures, and the reserves must contribute what they earn through ecotourism to wildlife. Therefore, tourism revenue directly contributes to the wildlife conservation by helping maintain Africa’s national parks. It also helps create jobs for local residents, who become guides, provide food and accommodation, sell crafts, or organize cultural performances. With a steady income, it motivates them to conserve wildlife. Also, with ecotourism comes better standard of living with improved facilities like clinics, roads, electricity, drinkable water sources, etc.