Home » Africa: Research Shows that only 15% of Safari Owners are Black as White Men Dominate African Safari Industry, Prompting Calls for Inclusivity

Africa: Research Shows that only 15% of Safari Owners are Black as White Men Dominate African Safari Industry, Prompting Calls for Inclusivity

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The African Travel and Tourism Association has reported that approximately 15% of its over 600 members are Black safari owners.

This statistic sheds light on the growing representation of Black entrepreneurs within the safari industry, highlighting their significant presence and contribution to the tourism sector in Africa.

According to travelnoire.com, With an increasing number of Black-owned safari businesses, there is a notable diversification within the industry, offering unique perspectives and experiences to travelers seeking authentic African adventures.

On a recent trip to Kenya’s Maasai Mara region, a friend and I noticed we were the only Black travelers out during our game drives. It was shocking, to say the least, considering Kenya is a predominantly Black country. This realization made me go down a rabbit hole as I started thinking about the number of Black-owned safaris.

READ: Africa: Chad’s Zakouma National Park Transforms into a Haven for threatened Wildlife and a must-visit safari destination

In Africa, the tourism industry brings in $39 billion, and safari accounts for more than $12 billion in annual revenues in countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, and more. However, much like my experience on the gaming reserve, I found there aren’t many Black-owned safaris. Research from the Berkeley Economic Review found white men dominate the safari industry. According to The African Travel and Tourism Association, 15% of its more than 600 members are Black owners.

Finding a Black-owned safari on the continent is a long shot, albeit not impossible. Here are 6 Black-owned safaris to support during your visit.

Founded by Zimbabwean guide Beks Ndlovu in 2006, African Bush Camps is where guests will become immersed in some of the world’s most incredible wild spaces. African Bush Camps has locations in Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Ndlovu made it his mission to hire local guides, allowing travelers to come face-to-face with fantastic wildlife.

Choosing Bushman Plains Camp means you will be a part of history. The founders say the camp is Botswana’s “first Bushman-owned safari camp.” Located in the Heart of the Okavango Delta, studies have found the Bushmen or The San people are among the oldest cultures on earth. The San are among the earliest hunter-gatherers in Southern Africa, and they are known to track lions and the meat from their kills. With the camp, guides pay homage to their hunter-gatherer heritage.

Desert & Delta Safaris is one of Botswana’s most successful safari operators with more than nine safari properties. One significant factor in its success is that it’s one of few African Safaris run by the local community. According to a spokesperson for the property, it’s a publicly traded company on Botswana’s stock exchange. This ensures that the property is locally owned.

While the company is not fully Black-owned, it is Black-led. Another unique aspect of Desert & Delta is that the guiding team consists entirely of women at Chobe Game Lodge.

Deo Magoye founded Njozi Camp in 2018. In Swahili, the word Njozi translates to dream – a word fitting for travelers embarking on a trip of a lifetime. The camp is guide-owned and operated. What travelers will like is the flexibility. There aren’t scheduled meals here like most safaris because the team wants to ensure guests aren’t missing the animal action. Njozi Camp follows the Great Migration from the Ndutu region of the southern Serengeti to the Mara River crossings in the northern Serengeti.

Tangulia Mara Camp is the only camp in the entire reserve that is 100% locally owned and run in Kenya’s Maasai Mara region. Camp directors Jackson Looseyia and Dominic Nchoe were both born and raised in the area, allowing an authentic experience in the Mara. The property sits in the middle of the bush and offers breathtaking views of the wildlife.

As Travel Noire previously reported, Zebra Plains is owned by Alfred Korir, a local who has more than a decade of experience in the industry. He has also made it his mission to give back to the local community, as 90% of the camp’s employees are from the indigenous tribe.

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