Namibia, Southern Africa
In the sub-Saharan country of Namibia, tourism is increasing and is now worth more to their economy than gold mining.
One of the biggest draws is Namibia's wildlife.
In particular, one of the rarest creatures on Earth – the black rhino
But Namibia risks losing the rhino, and other wildlife species to poachers, trophy hunters and a growing human population.
Benefits of Ecotourism
To save both Namibia's wildlife and economy, the Namibian tourist board has been encouraging ecotourism ventures for the past two decades.
One of these is the Torra Conservancy.
The Torra Conservancy
This is a joint venture between the Namibian government, a safari company, and the local community.
Lina Florry, Manager, Torra Conservancy – "Before Wilderness Safaris was here, we didn't know that much about tourism and nature conservation. We did saw the tourists driving up and down in our local villages... but we didn't know what they was looking for, we didn't know how important the animals was at that time."
The conservancy demonstrates the positive aspects of ecotourism, which although not perfect, provides a better alternative to traditional tourism.
The local community owns the land, so they receive revenue from the tour company – around 10% of the profits from tourism.
The locals are also employed by the company – generating further income and ensuring the community has a vested interest in the conservancy.
The conservancy is an official custodian of the rare black rhino for the Namibian government.
And locals have realised that protecting the rhino, and other wildlife, is now more profitable for them than hunting it.
Lina Florry, Manager, Torra Conservancy – "We know that if there is hunting in the area, that the tourists won't come to our area. So we know if there is no tourist in our conservancy, no benefits, no jobs at the end of the day, and we will end up where we was."
The Torra Conservancy is now one of four community wildlife conservancies in Namibia.
Which, through ecotourism, encourage the protection and enjoyment of the country's natural reserves.