Ecotourism in Africa: Our Top 3 Ecotourism Attractions to Recommend to Travellers

Last updated May 10, 2024

No, you’re not imagining it: the travel industry really has seen a significant shift towards sustainable and responsible tourism practices in the last few years. One of the most consistent trends in this swelling movement is ecotourism, a branch of tourism that prioritises environmental conservation and community development.

Because we love being African travel agents, we’re taking a dive into the heart of ecotourism in Africa, highlighting our top 3 ecotourism attractions on the continent. These attractions are so much more than just ecotourism accommodation: they offer breathtaking experiences that will live on in your clients’ memories while also contributing to the preservation of our planet’s natural wonders. 

What is ecotourism and why is ecotourism in Africa important?

We’re excited to share our top ecotourism attractions with you, but before we do, let’s make sure that we are all aligned with the meaning of ecotourism itself. In short, ecotourism goes beyond the definition of traditional tourism by emphasising responsible travel to natural and protected areas. Above all else, it seeks to minimise the negative impact of travel on the environment while cultivating a deep appreciation for conservation efforts and the upliftment of local communities. Ecotourism is a great way for travellers to explore pristine natural environments while actively contributing to their protection. 

Why Africa? The continent is home to some of the world’s most iconic wildlife species in the world, many of which are threatened or endangered. The boom in ecotourism in Africa helps to provide funding, much of which is directed into conservation efforts. Furthermore, ecotourism also has the potential to promote sustainable development in rural areas of Africa. It does this by providing opportunities for local communities to generate income through tourism-related activities such as guiding, hospitality and handicraft production. And when local residents are economically empowered through ecotourism, they are less likely to depend on unsustainable practices like wildlife poaching or deforestation for income.  

Our Pick: The Top 3 Ecotourism Attractions in Africa

1. andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve – Rhino Conservation Experiences

Phinda sets the standard for ecotourism in South Africa. For the eco-conscious, this well-known reserve offers much more than spectacular safaris. Visitors to Phinda have the unique opportunity to participate in the reserve’s rhino conservation efforts, including monitoring and tracking, notching and even dehorning. In partnership with Africa Foundation, Phinda uplifts its neighbouring communities, promoting local employment and investing in the education and welfare of the community.

2. Shamwari Game Reserve – Vulture Breeding Program

Made famous by the Netflix series Shamwari Untamed, this game reserve is the poster child for the Netflix Effect in tourism. Beyond that, Shamwari Game Reserve also stands as a shining beacon of vulture conservation. Vulpro @ Shamwari offers a safe, well-balanced ecosystem for both in-situ and ex-situ conservation programmes and provides financial support and sustainability. Most importantly, it limits the risk of having the largest captive breeding population of vultures concentrated in one location. As an added bonus, Shamwari’s anti-poaching unit provides optimal security for these precious birds.

3. Okavango Delta – Sustainable Tourism

Looking for ecotourism in Botswana? Then look no further than the Okavango Delta. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2014, the Delta is famous for its unparalleled biodiversity and pristine landscape. Travellers here have the option of participating in walking safaris and mokoro (traditional canoe) water tours, thereby cutting down on the noise and emissions caused by traditional vehicular safaris. By choosing sustainably-minded tour operators and ecotourism accommodation, visitors to the Delta have the opportunity to explore this unique place while supporting local conservation projects and sustainable jobs.

The Takeaway

As a travel agent, you play a pivotal role in sourcing and promoting sustainable travel experiences to your clients. And you have a great partner in that endeavour: at Global Accommodation, we understand the importance of responsible tourism just as clearly as you do. Just like you, we’re all about facilitating eco-friendly journeys. 

Our network of 150 Destination Management Companies helps us to offer ecotourism accommodation bookings, itinerary planning and expert guidance for all of the top ecotourism attractions in Africa. So don’t pass up the opportunity to make use of our services. Together, we can make a positive impact on our beautiful planet while enabling unforgettable travel experiences. 


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