Contributions to Community and ConservationTwenty years of operating safaris throughout the African continent has given EXPLORE an exceptional opportunity to help preserve wilderness, wildlife and traditional cultures. Our travelers are increasingly interested in making a difference while exploring the wonders of Earth’s most beautiful, wild places, and EXPLORE is dedicated to making that possible for them. Many of our travelers have made prior trips to Africa and desire to give something in return. This is seen in the form of helping to build schools, supporting local wildlife research projects, bringing clothing and toys for street children, volunteering at local orphanages or township projects, and countless other acts of generosity.
Cherri Briggs, founder of EXPLORE reveals she, “never intended to be in the tourism industry. I started out in conservation and film making and was basically forced into creating a travel company because people wanted to accompany me to the wonderful places we were trying to preserve. Eventually, I came to understand that tourism is the single most powerful force for conservation of land and conservation of indigenous cultures. Traveling to Africa inevitably provides a life changing experience, but at the same time it can make a big difference in the quality of life for its people and in maintaining wilderness habitat.” EXPLORE is a constant and vigilant advocate for operators and those who practice sustainable tourism and provide meaningful opportunities to local people and conservation.
Our staff constantly searches for the most authentic, sustainable lodges and ensures our clients are given an insider’s introduction to the environment and local people. We insist that the lodges we work with go beyond the standard game drive and offer our travelers the educational, in depth experience they are seeking. This alone creates spontaneous partnerships that could never be contrived. We find that if people are given the chance to help, they do. It’s a matter of making the connection and facilitating its realization. Our clients have directly contributed over two million USD to helping preserve African wildlife and indigenous culture; and oftentimes contribute more significantly sacrificing their time, creativity, and energy over the years.
EXPLORE is now providing the opportunity for all of its travelers to donate a percentage of the total cost of their trip to a pertinent conservation or community development organization in the countries which they visit. This is an effort to formalize our commitment to supporting worthwhile causes throughout the continent. Below are our chosen causes; we encourage all of our clients to study these links before traveling so they familiarize themselves with some of the emergent issues throughout Africa. In addition, EXPLORE travelers can potentially visit the organizations during their trip. EXPLORE does not attempt to ‘save Africa,’ but rather inspires local people, as well as our travelers, to make every effort to act for the preservation of Africa’s incredible and irreplaceable local cultures, wildlife and resources.
For more information on EXPLORE’s projects please click on the Zambia link above
DIRECT IMPACT AFRICA
Since 2008, EXPLORE’s owner Cherri Briggs and her husband, Richard Wilson, have worked very closely on many projects with the Chiawa community in Zambia, located 20 miles upstream from their lodge in the Lower Zambezi. Direct Impact Africa was formed in 2010 by Cherri and Richard as a result of their increasing involvement in community and conservation projects in Zambia.
Projects sponsored by DIA include:
- The first community-owned fish farm and protected farms in the area
- Training and establishment of professional women’s tailoring projects
- Providing water to the local clinic serving 18,000 people
- Initiating the “Chics for Chicks” rural women’s chicken co-op projects
- Refurbishment of the local girls’ school dormitory for 50+ local girls
- Establishing 3 small organic produce farms for local people trained in advanced farming techniques by DIA
TO DONATE TO ANY OF THESE PROJECTS Please contact EXPLORE: 970-871-0065 or firstname.lastname@example.org
All projects are directly linked to conservation efforts and designed to reduce human and wildlife conflict and provide economic alternatives to poaching wildlife for bush meat and ivory. DIA links all its projects to educational efforts, which furthers conservation values and enhances the understanding of the benefits to preserving natural heritage. DIA’s efforts have resulted in the meaningful empowerment of many of the women residing in the Chiawa Chiefdom of the Lower Zambezi.
- The Math Behind African Farms 2016, by Ed Trousil
- 2011 NOV | Zambia Daily Mail | Chiawa Fish Ponds Defeat Croc Threat
- 2011 OCT | Zambia Daily Mail | Fish Project To Empower Chiawa Community
Other EXPLORE Zambia Project Updates
- 2017 Project Update
- 2013 Project Update
- 2010 Summary – Chiawa Community Mini World Cup / Trip to South Africa
- Full Newsletter on the Chiawa Mini World Cup Tournament
- Full Newsletter on Trip to South Africa
- EXPLORE 2009 Zambia Project Summary
Lower Zambezi Conservation Trust
Chiawa Community Cultural Village
Goba people of the Chiawa community in Zambia’s Lower Zambezi valley (Muguramena village) present their welcome dance.
WorldWomenWork: Promotes education & empowerment for women and wildlife conservation
WorldWomenWork partners with women artisans and activists in some of the most remote parts of the world. They purchase beautiful products from small, women-owned enterprises and sell these unique things to women all over the United States. They provide a steady stream of income to grow the enterprise, and the proceeds from the sales support women in Kenya, Nepal, Indonesia and 11 other countries. Their way of funding their efforts is unique and effective; nearly 100% of the proceeds supports projects that are educating girls, building economic independence for women, and protecting the natural world.
Elephants Without Borders (EWB)
Elephants without Borders (EWB) works across Africa, addressing challenges and complex issues elephants and people face through education and research studies. EWB monitors the movements, status and behavior of elephants. Better understanding elephant ecology and sharing this information with local communities allows them to work towards securing key habitats and migratory corridors. EWB believes elephants are one of Africa’s most valuable wildlife species – the flagships, directing and providing the opportunity to reconsider the boundaries between conservation and rural development. Their vision, to open borders for Africa’s wildlife through education and research helps enable future generations to share their lives with these great giants.
African Predator Conservation Research Organization (APRCO)
The African Predator Conservation Research Organization’s (APCRO) mission is to initiate and facilitate multidisciplinary conservation research on a number of African predator species throughout the continent. This organization provides a vehicle for the gathering of scientific information and sponsors projects that will increase the potential long-term survivability of native carnivores.
Ditshwanelo is an advocacy organization which promotes and protects human rights in Botswana. They work to affirm human dignity and equality irrespective of gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, social status or political convictions.
In pursuit of this mission, they educate, research, counsel and mediate on issues of human rights, with specific reference to the marginalized and the disempowered. Ditshwanelo has been a vigilant advocate for the Basarwas / San (Bushmen), immigrants, and refugees as well as children.
Hope Through Education
Devon Esrick founded Hope Through Education after an EXPLORE trip to Africa with her family. Hope Through Education aims to provide an education for underprivileged children throughout Africa; giving them the hope to become future leaders in the fight against disease, violence, and poverty that exist in the regions today. Hope Through Education funds the building of schools and orphanages throughout the continent as well as donates money and resources for schools to obtain books, computers, desks, chairs, musical instruments, etc.
Elephants in Peril
Lemur Conservation Foundation (LCF)
The Lemur Conservation Foundation (LCF) is a small non-profit corporation dedicated to the preservation and conservation of the primates of Madagascar through captive breeding, scientific research, education, and reintroduction.
Dar Taliba Educational Project
The Global Diversity Foundation (GDF) has joined forces with Maghrebio and the Natural History Museum of Marrakech (NHMM) to sponsor an educational project at Dar Taliba, a girls boarding school in Ourika, which lies in the foothills of the High Atlas mountains. Their goals are to increase educational opportunities for young girls – enhancing their future role in community development – and to allow them to gain a deeper appreciation of their own culture while they pursue formal schooling.
Carr Foundation, a U.S. not-for-profit organization, has teamed with the Government of Mozambique to protect and restore the ecosystem of Gorongosa National Park and to develop an ecotourism industry to benefit local communities. In January 2008, the Foundation signed a 20-year contract with the Government to co-manage the Park. They are training a revitalized anti-poaching team, rebuilding park infrastructure, conducting biological monitoring including a large herbivore count, carnivore survey, fish survey and vegetation map as well as creating a permanent biological research center in the park that will not only advance scientific understanding but also provide education and employment opportunities to Mozambicans. The Carr Foundation and the GOM are working to improve the lives of people in the park’s surrounding lands by creating employment in park jobs, funding schools and health clinics, and training local farmers in sustainable agriculture.
NamibRand Nature Reserve
The NamibRand, located in southern Namibia, is a private nature reserve established to help protect and conserve the unique ecology and wildlife of the southwest Namib Desert. The NamibRand Nature Reserve is a model for private conservation in Southern Africa as it demonstrates holistic biodiversity conservation balanced with financial sustainability. Low-impact ecotourism is a means towards sustaining conservation efforts through park fees. The funds generated through these park fees enable the Reserve to be financially self-sustaining. Although the daily management of the Reserve is adequately funded through tourism, special projects require additional funding. To help fund such projects, the Reserve has established the NamibRand Conservation Foundation. This independent, non-profit organization has already provided the Research and Awareness Centre and the Namib Desert Environmental Education Trust (NaDEET) with significant funding and hopes continue this support as well as identify new projects.
The Grootbos Foundation was established in 2004 to manage and implement environmental and social development projects for Grootbos. The Foundation strives to conserve the biodiversity of Grootbos and its surrounds as well as aid in the development of sustainable nature based livelihoods through ecotourism, research, management and education.
The Chris Hani School
Located in Langa township outside of Cape Town, the Chris Hani Community School is dedicated to the concept of the transformation of South Africa through the education and the empowerment of all of its people. The community-based school has specifically targeted children of the ALTA hostel dwellers (underemployed and unemployed immigrants from rural areas). The program seeks to take in functionally illiterate, culturally deprived children (aged 6 to 16) with limited language and social skills. The school is committed to teach and transform them into school-ready learners who can be mainstreamed into the state-supported (public) education system.
Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust (CSWCT)
Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust (CSWCT) purpose is the long-term care and welfare of confiscated orphaned chimpanzees from poachers and illegal traders with no chance of survival in the wild. CSCWT from the onset of sanctuary, devised means and programs for the reception of rescued individuals, their care, rehabilitation and providing them companionship. CSWCT takes into consideration the physical and psychological well being of rescued chimpanzees in its program and the health and welfare of individual chimpanzee is of paramount importance.