As the African countries compete for the all important tourist dollar, there is the danger that the goose that lays the golden egg may be killed. Opportunistic and shortsighted tourism development may lead to the demise of ecosystems and the loss of whole cultures. Hence the need for more thoughtful and less intrusive ways to develop tourism, enhance the environment, preserve indigenous cultures and introduce travellers to the best Africa has to offer.
Conservation and sustainable development must be the catchwords for every national planner and investor. Lasting harmony has to be established between tourism, culture and the environment, by making adventure, discovery, excitement and enjoyment meet the social responsibility to balance the needs of the visitor with those of the local communities and nature.
Some western environmentalists and conservationists, must stop conducting themselves as if it is their role to preserve a playground for tourists in Africa. Local people must be allowed to earn a decent living out of their environment in a sustainable way, if conservation efforts have to succeed. The exclusion of human activity from "protected areas" tends to be counterproductive as such measures remind many of the colonial times when indigenous communities were evicted from their lands and resources to create recreational and hunting reserves for the "masters" and their visitors.
Safarimate will deal exhaustively with environmental, cultural and travel issues.
Every issue of Safarimate will be a forum for the best writers and journalists covering some of the most compelling people, events and places in Africa.
Information about tour packages, hotels and attractions, travel accessories and gear, cuisine and attire, and investment potential - all reflecting the emerging worldwide concern with matters of multiculturalism, conservation and sustainable development - will be included.
Our readers are welcome to offer suggestions for improvement, write letters and contribute articles for possible publication in future issues.
A magazine of this nature cannot survive without advertising support from the corporate sector. I urge those in positions to give us such assistance.
I hope you will enjoy reading this maiden effort and subsequent issues.