The Responsible Safari Company – Placement Dissertation
I have always had a keen interest in Africa. My mother is from Zimbabwe and many of my family still live in South Africa. I grew up listening to my families’ stories of Africa, ranging from its beautiful landscape, to its unique wildlife, and especially it’s Safaris. So naturally, when the opportunity arose to go on a placement dissertation to work for the Responsible Safari Company in Malawi I seized the opportunity, and here I am, writing my first blog before heading out for 4 weeks!
What is the Responsible Safari Company?
The RSC is an ecotourism Safari Company based in Malawi, specialising in wildlife and cultural Safaris. More importantly it focuses on Experimental Learning and Development experiences in which guests are truly emerged in Malawian culture. In addition to this, the RSC plays an integral role within the local communities, supporting several CBO projects and implementing a “payment for ecosystems services” toll, with 1.5% of every booking fee being contributed to community and Environmental projects around Malawi. The RSC ethos is centred around the principle of “socially responsible travel”; this is the concept that “Tourism generated income can be used to build sustainable solutions in local communities”.
My area of research focuses on the concept of sustainable development, through the practice of community based ecotourism which is what the RSC specialises in. I will be spending 4 weeks in Malawi, working for the RSC and investigating how they remain as a competitive enterprise, whilst maintaining their commitment to “socially responsible travel” and environmental protection. Throughout my stay, I will be vising serval CBO projects which the RSC has been supporting either through financial support, or through training and education. I will be investigating how the RSC supports these projects, and also how the local community benefits from this relationship.
Overall this promises to be an exciting 4 weeks, and I am thoroughly excited by what lies ahead. I will try to keep this blog as updated as possible, but I’m sure you will appreciate that sometimes my access to the internet will be limited, so it is likely that my posts will be quite sporadic! Until then, wish me luck!
Go here to learn more about the Responsible Safari Company!