Making conservation pay - a tale of two lodges

Enclosing wildlife in a fenced area, often termed a sanctuary or conservancy, prevents the natural inflow and outflow of the animal population. Management of the wildlife has to be by human intervention and comes at a cost. If endangered species are involved, the costs can be particularly high as special measures are required, not least for ensuring security.

Conservancies have limited sources of income with the two most significant being the business of tourism and the benevolence of donors - be they government or private. Donors, while often essential for starting up a conservation operation, are not often prepared to maintain their interest over the longer term.

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Stepping up from a Scout to a Guide

When your continued existence relies mainly on the income from a stream of visitors experiencing a safe and memorable adventure, you have to be sure your staff are "at the top of their game".

On a rhino tracking experience at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary (ZRS) in Uganda, visitors are privileged to walk in Wild Life country through grassland and woodland to view, close up, wild White rhinos.

They will be led by a guide who is knowledgeable, approachable, interesting and, above all, safetyconscious. To achieve the appropriate level of professionalism, the six- step process the guide has to go through is so rigorously assessed that few survive.

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