The Conservation Conversation

The Conservation Conversation

At Original Travel, we spend a lot of time discussing our part in the great sustainability and tourism
debate, particularly regarding conservation. As champions of responsible travel, we go beyond providing exceptional experiences to actively promote a positive balance between human interests and the preservation of the natural world. Here's a quick summary of our current thinking...


  1. The Big Idea
  2. Local heroes
  3. Sustainable Tourism
  4. Original Travel and Sustainable Tourism
  5. The Bottom Line


The Big Idea

Conservation should, wherever possible, seek to align the interests of the human race with those of the natural world. While these interests are often at odds, we – travel companies, our clients, lodges, reserves, guides and others – must strive to square this circle.


Local Heroes

Conservation is not just limited to animals: it extends to plants, water sources, geology, micro-organisms and – particularly importantly – to local communities. The locals are the ones who have the greatest affinity with, and knowledge of, the habitat; they are the logical guardians of these precious areas and should be the ones preserving the natural resources around them. Through education, this should be achievable, but the pull of 'city life' is strong, so conservation for conservation's sake in local communities is swiftly dying out. Conservation now needs to make financial sense, which is where
tourism comes in.


Sustainable Tourism

Tourism and its consequent job opportunities seed many benefits. Chief among them is that it helps locals make a living and gives them an economic incentive to stay local. With their depth of knowledge and love for the land, they make ideal guardians to preserve wilderness areas. And this, of course, is a great thing, for communities and tourists alike. Ecotourism also provides levies and funds for specific conservation projects and their management, which sees a visitor's money go directly into the national park's coffers to pay for staff salaries, anti-poaching teams, aircraft to help with animal censuses, the repair of fences and so on.


Original Travel and Sustainable Tourism

We support many different conservation projects in Africa and across the globe. We believe that tourism should be for the good of the region in which it is located, as well as its inhabitants, both human and animal. In terms of conservation, we always aim to promote tourism that benefits the regional economies best placed to preserve the world's precious fauna and flora, and to try to be as sustainable as possible.


The Bottom Line

Tourism and conservation are inextricably linked; one cannot survive without the other. If there is no tourism, human economic and geopolitical needs will become too great and overwhelm dedicated conservationists, meaning the natural world will fall further into decline. If there is no conservation (led by pressure groups, governments and even individuals), then there will be no reason for tourists to come. So, tourism has to have a positive effect on conservation efforts by striving for ever more sustainable tourism, sponsoring the right projects and sending clients to eco-friendly accommodation. Also, we must always explain that one of the biggest benefits of our clients visiting these key areas is not just that they have a rewarding trip (hugely important though that is), but that their presence helps to conserve the natural world. This is what Original Travel strives to achieve – sustainable tourism that affects conservation in a positive way.