Three of the five winners of the inaugural People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA’s) Animal-Friendly African Safaris Award are based in Africa.
The award recognises safari companies that offer wildlife viewing on protected reserves or in national parks and, among other considerations, maintain a respectful distance from wild animals and guide small groups at specific times of the day in order to minimise stress to the animals.
All the winning companies also offer exclusively vegan menus, cruelty-free toiletries and linens, and zero exposure to trophy hunting.
The African winners are:
Kings Camp in White River, Mpumalanga, South Africa
Kings Camp offers a luxury safari experience with a certified vegan hospitality consultant.
The camp is located in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, facing an open savanna plain with an active waterhole visited by a wide variety of wildlife.
Guests are invited to visit the Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, a haven for abandoned, injured, and poisoned wildlife, including lions, rhinos, and leopards.
Air Safaris 269 in Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
Vegan owner and pilot JC De Klerk personally ensures that his tours are 100% vegan, including vegan versions of traditional meals such as braai (South African BBQ) and melktert (traditional milk tart).
Travellers can choose from 14 packages that allow them to view animals in their natural habitats by air and on land, visit a rehabilitation centre for previously captive African big cats, and learn about research into African wild dog populations.
Vegan Safari Africa in Boseja, Maun, Botswana
One of the featured lodges on this safari, the Deception Valley Lodge, was once a collection of eight cattle farms that were rewilded by removing the fencing and creating corridors for migration, naturalising waterholes, and allowing roads to become overgrown so that wildlife could thrive again.
Vegan owner Helene Forward visits all the safari lodges to ensure that they are vegan-friendly and personally trains the chefs for the mobile camping safaris.
The other two winners are Alluring Africa in Winter Park, Florida, United States of America; and World Vegan Travel in Squamish, British Columbia, Canada.