Best for Community Benefit

  • sponsored by Singer Group

    The Best for Community Benefit is awarded to a tourism organisation with a creative and long-term approach to reducing poverty and improving quality of life in local communities.

  • Gold: Dorobo Tours and Safaris (Tanzania)

    Dorobo operates small light-weight mobile camps and safari vehicles in northern Tanzania. Its greatest achievement has been promoting cultural dignity and supporting land security for vulnerable communities.

    Dorobo has assisted community partners to secure 23,500 hectares of their land for traditional hunting and gathering in the Yaeda Valley. Along the Maasai Steppe, over 27,000 hectares of grassland is being sustainably managed by the local communities for livestock and wildlife grazing. With legal certificates to the land and transparent tourism agreements, communities earn revenue for protecting this vital area against agricultural encroachment, permanent settlement, and charcoal production.

    Fourteen tourism agreements with local villages benefit in the order of 55,000 local people. The business works directly with local village governments who represent the greater community. Contracts span five years and follow local laws and customs. A payment structure and a guaranteed annual income are agreed upon, enabling communities to budget efficiently each year. Communities members have access to periodic reports of revenue from tourism that has been disbursed and can hold local leadership accountable for the management and use thereof. Further, in 2018, Dorobo Safaris employed community members for 1430 days of work hosting clients in community areas – this was in addition to locals employed in full-time positions.

    Silver: Ultimate Safaris //HUAB Under Canvas

    In 2009 the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism translocated six desert adapted black rhino to the Huab Conservancy with the intention of catalysing tourism in the area and generating much needed revenue for the local people. Ultimate Safaris signed a joint venture agreement with the Conservancy in 2016, catalysing extensive community benefits.

    Conservation and tourism-based jobs have become available with two full time rhino tracking teams now employed, dramatically increasing the number of community game guards, as well as jobs for camp staff and various contract workers for ancillary jobs. A sustainable fire wood harvesting project and small-scale vegetable gardens and craft sales generates income for households. Further, the conservancy receives revenue from a land lease, bed night fees, rhino tracking fee, salaries, wood supply, part time labour. Tourism activities have already generated ZAR 650,000 in conservation investment into the area and generate ZAR 500,000 annually for the Conservancy. All benefits are channelled through the Conservancy office, and the Conservancy Committee acts as the governing body for the area and the members that inhabit it.

    Silver: Anvil Bay (Mozambique)

    Three local communities have 40 percent ownership in this small coastal lodge in the Maputo Special Reserve local communities – Mabuluco, Vakuza and Tsolombane. The judges were impressed by the income from sourcing of local products and services, local employment and a bed levy earned by these communities in the two years the lodge has been in operating. There is clear evidence of a true partnership focussed on economic inclusion and empowerment. The judges believe that a win in future years is possible should Anvil Bay continue this trajectory.