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Clive Stockhil, Chilo Gorge, reaffirms the importance of ecotourism – the future of travel African Travel

The ideals of ecotourism that emerged decades ago in Africa on the need for sustainable community initiatives. Given the national parks, which are surrounded by communities whose survival depends on wildlife, it was important to find a viable solution to provide sources of income in an environmentally stable manner. National parks, the private sector and tourism companies must find out more than ever how they can “hold the fort”. Maintaining an ethos and incentive for communities to continue to work for nature conservation, and maintaining a healthy and viable wildlife population for future tourism.

With many more communities in need of help, ecotourism came into play. National parks had to consider ways that would generate revenue in a more sustainable way. With pioneers such as Clive Stockhil, a legal platform was created for the private sector, which enabled communities to benefit from sustainable solutions through eco and cultural tourism, thereby designing environmental protection initiatives and travel experiences based on environmental protection. Clive is a vehement conservationist and expert who lives and breathes Zimbabwe’s wild spaces. In recognition of his commitment to the ecological cause, Clive received the Prince William Award for Conservation in 2013.

Chilo Gorge Eco Tourism Conservation Travel

Chilo GorgeThe company, located in the Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe, is a success story of such initiatives. A luxury lodge on the edge of serenity formulated the Mahenye project over 40 years ago, which is based on community engagement – to ensure long-term sustainability. This project was launched by Clive, driven by his passion for wildlife. It arose, among other things, from the need to protect both the environment and the surrounding communities.

Clive talks about the importance of community engagement in conservation projects and the mutual benefits of meaningful participation and the protection of natural habitats. The rewards are obtained through improvements in livelihoods such as food, education and infrastructure developments. These rewards show the community that nature conservation and tourism have an inherent value.

Chilo Gorge Eco Tourism Conservation Travel

These visionaries and pioneers of nature conservation and community tourism have created a platform on which the future of our national parks is undoubtedly crucial. An institutional memory was created through experience with logistical and operational knowledge as well as through community contacts and previously implemented projects. These past encounters, partnerships and benefits will determine the future for nature conservation and tourism.

We were lucky enough to delve into the spirit and immense experience of Clive Stockhil and send his answers to our questions in a video from the deck of Chilo Gorge in Gonerezhou:

  1. Can you tell us how and why it all started, since we have been a dominant voice in human-animal conflict for almost 40 years and have won the Prince William Award for Conservation during this time?
  2. What was your biggest challenge and your greatest success in implementing strategies for conflicts with human wildlife?
  3. The Chilo Gorge was built as a solution to provide income and jobs for the community – which benefits conservation and the concrete benefits for local Zimbabweans – education, empowerment and environmental responsibility. How was this made possible?

Listen to his answers in the video published on our website Facebook site or Instagram TV.

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