Wilderness has been a leader in high-end, low-density conservation tourism since 1983. We’re all about protecting the Earth, one life-changing journey at a time. The Wilderness Trust is our independent non-profit entity, founded to safeguard the planet«’s most significant wild places, protecting the land and life that exists there.

As pioneers of purpose, when it comes to making a lasting impact on Earth’s ultimate, untamed places, we’re all for making plans. Plans for what exactly we need to do and plans for how we measure the changes brought upon by our activities.

In order to balance the scales, the Wilderness Impact Theory of Change has identified 3 broad goals to work toward in all the regions where Wilderness operates;
1. Protect: Ensuring people and wildlife are better protected from each other
2. Empower: So that the conservation economy grows
3. Education: Improving children’s access to learning

Together with local community trusts and like-minded individuals in the areas where we operate, our projects focus on specific activities that we believe will help us reach these goals. It’s all about low-impact tourism with high-impact outcomes.

Find out more at wildernesstrust.com

Empowers Africa has partnered with Wilderness Trust in order to provide a cost-effective solution to fundraising in the United States by acting as their fiscal sponsor. Any donations made here will be granted to Wilderness Trust.

Empowers Africa uses Stripe to process credit card donations. Stripe has very stringent security rules which may lead to declined credit card transactions. If you are experiencing trouble processing your donation, kindly contact Nadia Derelieva at (917) 328-1611 or via email: nadia@empowersafrica.org

Wilderness Trust Campaigns

Botswana Human - Lion Co-existence

In partnership with the CLAWS Conservancy (Communities Living Among Wildlife Sustainably), a collaboration was born to foster a pride in our prides. Working with neighboring communities, we aim to reduce human-lion conflict and foster co-existence. It’s about building a strong, inclusive program for exchanging ideas and using technology to our advantage. Take, for example, our first-of-its kind automated, adaptable Lion Alert System, which gives communities real-time warning messages when a lion is close.

There’s also our Wildlife Friendly Beef initiative, which ensures cattle remain disease free and away from wild Cape buffalo through mobile quarantine enclosures and supporting rangeland grazing. There’s a dual impact here where empowering local cattle farmers economically ensures cattle are managed effectively, and ultimately lions and buffalo in the area can thrive.

Namibia Rhino Rangers and Desert-Wildlife Protection

Together with partners like the Desert Lion Conservation Trust, Save the Rhino Trust, Skeleton Coast Brown Hyena Project, and desert-adapted elephant researchers, we’re creating a world where this unique wildlife thrives.

Here, we’re actively working to alleviate human-wildlife conflict, conduct essential research and monitoring, and managing populations to ensure the future survival of desert-adapted elephants, black rhinos, giraffe and lions, as well as leopard and brown and spotted hyena. Through our support of the Save the Rhino Trust we are challenging the conventional military-style rhino protection tactics, and rather taking on a simple, but highly effective approach, harnessing respected local people and their unrivalled skills, such as traditional on-foot tracking techniques and knowledge of the landscape, to monitor and protect Rhino. This fosters a newfound, locally-grown pro-rhino attitude.

Additionally, we support projects that provide water, create predator proof kraals, implement early warning systems, and conduct game counts and aerial wildlife monitoring. We’re also funding radio collars, camera traps, computer equipment, optics, drugs, wildlife medication and veterinary equipment, and assisting in operational requirements, such as salaries for staff, uniforms, vehicles and vehicle operating costs, camping equipment and provisions.

Zimbabwe Scorpions Anti-Poaching

The lions, elephants and giraffe of Hwange National Park often fall prey to snares, while poisoning of elephant by ivory poachers is increasing. Together with the Scorpion Anti-Poaching Unit (APU) we aim to provide the manpower and resources to assist Zimbabwe’s Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA) in reducing these levels of poaching.

It’s a purpose-driven multi-pronged approach that provides practical on-the-ground response, with community education, data collection and guest participation.

Zambia Protected Area Support

Prior to ​Wilderness’ presence, Kafue saw significant poaching resulting in game numbers declining. With the growth of ecotourism in Zambia, these wildlife numbers are starting to recover. Here we support the game scouts and anti-poaching units of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife logistically and financially year-round.

We’re also working to open up elephant corridors (not just in Zambia, but beyond). For many wildlife species, including elephants, corridors are essential to allow free movement across borders and through rapidly changing lands. Essentially, it boils down to incentivising communities to keep migration corridors free from development or major disturbances so that wildlife has right of way.

Rwanda Gorilla and Chimpanzee Forest Rehabilitation

When it comes to increasing the mountain gorilla population, the key is ensuring they have somewhere to live. Our forest habitat expansion project aims to increase the amount of suitable habitat for mountain gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. Through restoring a more diverse indigenous landscape, in turn we provide employment opportunities for several hundred community members. To date, more than 85,000 indigenous trees have been planted at Wilderness Bisate adjacent to Volcanoes National Park, encouraging an increase in gorilla and buffalo numbers in the park, as well as a burgeoning population of endemic golden monkeys, serval, side-striped jackals and a multitude of forest bird species on the property.

Similarly, the protection of Gishwati Forest has seen chimpanzee numbers grow from a mere 13 individuals to over 30 individuals and their forest habitat almost double. These are numbers that we want to see increasing, through further expansion, reforestation and restoration. With an established indigenous tree nursery, over 20,000 indigenous trees have been planted with more rooting themselves daily.

Children in the Wilderness (CITW)

It’s no secret that investing in the minds of the future ensures the most sustainable outcome. Children in the Wilderness (CITW) is Wilderness’ flagship community engagement and education impact programme.

If we are to ensure our wild, untamed places continue to exist, the children of Africa should be the ones preaching the importance of conservation and its relevance in their lives. Hence, this environmental and life skills educational programme focusing on the next generation of decision-makers through hosting Eco-Club programmes at local partner schools, running annual camps at Wilderness and other camps, upskilling local teachers and Wilderness camp staff in environmental projects, and mentoring those children with commitment and potential to take on conservation leadership roles.

School Scholarships

In many of the areas where we operate, primary education is free or has a minimal charge, while secondary schooling is expensive. As a result, many children only ever complete primary schooling. Providing a child with the opportunity to complete their education is life-changing and a gift we are privileged to facilitate. We also assist with paying school fees, buying uniforms, and providing boarding accommodation.

In addition to this, we assist local councils with schooling infrastructure, and assist in building school gardens and implementing nutrition programmes. We believe true, effective learning can only take place when other, more basic needs are met.

General Conservation

Through human-wildlife co-existence and wildlife security programmes we can effectively protect people from wildlife and wildlife from people.

General Empowerment

By providing value to wilderness and wildlife, increasing employment opportunities and showing support for small businesses, we can reduce our reliance on natural resources and protect the Earth, one life-changing journey at a time.

General Education

By improving rural education we increase economic opportunities and family resilience, and build sustainable support for conservation.

General Donations

If you do not have any specific project in mind and wish the organization to use their own discretion, please click here.

Donate in Rand

If you’d prefer to make a donation in Rand, please use the following donation button. You will have the chance to indicate a specific program if applicable.

Empowers Africa can only offer tax deductibility in the U.S. as we are a U.S. 501(c)(3) public charity and not a South African nonprofit. if you wish to make a tax deductible contribution in South Africa, you must contact Wilderness Safaris directly at info@wildernesstrust.com.

Donations can also be made by check or wire transfer:

Checks should be made out to “Empowers Africa” and should be mailed to:

Empowers Africa
2 Beekman Place, Ste. 18B
New York, NY 10022
(917) 328-1611

Kindly note in the memo section of the check that funds are for Wilderness Trust and indicate a specific program if applicable. Or email us at info@empowersafrica.org.

For wire transfer details or more information, please email us at info@empowersafrica.org.

Empowers Africa has been approved as a U.S. public charity, contributions to which are tax deductible for U.S. federal income tax purposes under Section 501(c)(3) [EIN: 32-0403737] of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.

Thank you for your support!