As a destination, Africa is synonymous with safaris, but that doesn’t have to mean marketing the same Big Five sightings in a 4x4 that’s been sold thousands of times before. According to industry experts, safari trends are changing.

Tourists are looking for holiday packages that are not only environmentally conscious but also socially. “We have seen a huge trend in international guests wanting to actively participate in conservation activities as well as community upliftment initiatives,” said Lisa Goosen, owner and CEO of Tintswalo Lodges.

An agent specialising in bespoke safari experiences, Gemma Campodonico from Famba Famba, echoed Goosen’s feelings saying she curates safaris that include support and protection of endangered wildlife species, from visits with anti-poaching units to assisting with rhino dehorning, wild dog collaring and game counting.

Located on the edge of the Kruger National Park, Tintswalo Safari Lodge offers guests immersive experiences in both conservation efforts and community engagement. Guests at the lodge can go on an excursion to neighbouring community, Manyeleti, where they have the chance to visit the school, meet local families and watch crafters at work.

They can also visit the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre & Cheetah Research Project – an educational experience with opportunities to engage with some of the animals at the centre.

“At Tintswalo we believe that the adventure and excitement of finding the animals are as important as learning about the environment, the history and the conservation efforts around protecting the land and animals for generations to come,” said Goosen.