Tourism is a key funder of conservation in Africa, and a healthy wildlife population is what the industry is built on. With most holidays on hold until next year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Africa travel industry is in dire straits and the trickledown effect on the ground across the continent is already being felt, as funds for conservation dry up. Budgets have been cut dramatically, including rangers’ salaries and operating costs in some of Africa’s flagship wildlife areas. Many people have been laid off, which is not only having a devastating effect for the families of those rangers (many of whom have 8-10 dependants) but is also leaving the wildlife they protect more vulnerable. Rangers across Africa are the first line of defence against poaching, illegal grazing and logging, and without them many species like elephant, rhino, lion, giraffe and pangolin would be at even greater risk.
The UK Africa Travel industry is and has always been passionate about recognising the vital role played by Rangers on the frontline working to ensure the protection of Africa’s unique natural heritage. It has therefore established the Ride4Rangers Challenge, with tour operators inviting all African safari guests, wildlife enthusiasts, conservation champions and cycling fanatics to join in cumulatively cycling 30,000km – the equivalent to circumnavigating Africa! The challenge starts with a cycle ride from Lands End to John O’Groats (LEJOG) on 15th August, ending on 29th August. Click here to check out the route.
As part of the Wildlife Ranger Challenge, all funds raised will go towards supporting the salaries and deployment of African rangers during this crisis, and will be matched to double the impact.
Wherever you are in the world, you can get involved and help them reach their target.
Ride4Rangers is supported by Land Rover