Now part of the Ruaha National Park, this wetland area has long been a source of hunting trophies, but it also feeds into river systems throughout Tanzania. As a result of the expansion of large rice farms nearby, vast interconnected rivers have started to dry up, affecting people and wildlife. The new Asilia camp – with four simple tents, showers and camp-style fireside food – is at the heart of a project intended not only to protect this key resource and bring jobs, healthcare and education to the community through tourism, but to encourage guests to play a key role in citizen-science projects. Activities include setting camera traps, helping scientists collar lions and wild dogs and taking plaster casts of animal footprints. Wilderness Safaris is a standard bearer for stylish Botswana adventures, and its rebuilt Vumbura Plains – a contemporary retreat that seems to float on the floodplain – shows its heart. Vumbura exemplifies Wilderness’s partnership with the Okavango Community Trust. Chef Ipeleng Gloria Gasimodimo, whose popular water-lily stew graces the menu, has been with the company for 38 years.
SOURCE: CN TRAVELER