Wilderness Safaris has unique cultural and ethnic diversity across our regions, represented by the more than 27 ethnic groups employed in our camps and offices. Celebrating this diversity and incorporating it into our business is part of who we are and what we would like to achieve. Raising the awareness of our guests regarding the cultural and ethnic diversity in our regions is essential to the sustainability of our business.
Culture consists of a number of different elements and there are many ways to incorporate the celebration of diverse cultures into our camps. By employing staff from different ethnic backgrounds and cultural groups we bring culture directly into the camps. More than 90% of the permanent staff at Pafuri Camp come from the Makuleke Community. Other ways in which we incorporate culture are through camp design, décor, food, awareness materials and guest activities.
At Pafuri Camp, we have created a “Makuleke Curio Corner” where the Makuleke Community sell their crafts. These are all made by women in the three villages comprising the community – and the proceeds of these sales go back to the community. The Curio Corner also includes informative posters on the history of the Makuleke people, including its historic land claim, the Thulamela cultural site and the Children in the Wilderness programme run annually at Pafuri Camp.
Other ways that benefit the community includes the fact that Pafuri Camp buys eggs from the community. Pafuri also uses a local company to transport staff.
In this way, the benefits of ecotourism go beyond the wages and salaries earned in the camp and the lease fee paid to the community. These “multiplier effects” of ecotourism ensure that more households benefit from conservation and the associated ecotourism.