Like many of its counterparts in sub-Saharan Africa, Ethiopia has experienced significant economic growth over the past several years. The country has charted a 10.8-percent growth rate since 2005, according to the African Development Bank. Ethiopia was predicted to supplant Kenya as East Africa’s largest economy in 2016, and its gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to hit almost $80 billion this year.
An African safari is an adventure everyone should experience at least once. In order for that to be a possibility for future generations, it’s important for all guests to practice sustainable tourism. Since 1981, AWF partner Thomson Safaris has been a leader in sustainable tourism in Tanzania, with custom-designed camps and eco-friendly amenities that leave little impact on the surrounding land and wildlife.
A s part of the Serengeti–Mara ecosystem, the Naboisho area in southern Kenya sees tens of thousands of wildebeest and zebra pass through the landscape each year. But the area began experiencing pressure from uncontrolled development and overgrazing. With the assistance of a few operators, among them ecotourism operator Asilia, the Maasai landowners in Naboisho formed a conservancy in 2010— eventually transforming a degraded landscape into a prime tourism destination.
Ethiopia’s protected area system covers 14 percent of its land mass, a proportion that is larger than the global average.
Shiferaw Asrat began his career as a trekker guide in Ethiopia’s Simien Mountains National Park. He is also one of the business partners of Limalimo Lodge, a high-end ecolodge being built in the park with financing from AWF subsidiary African Wildlife Capital. Shiferaw describes the challenges, rewards and early mornings that come with the job.