November 15, 2023

Wildlife ACT Takes First Prize at WTM World Responsible Tourism Awards 2023

The Responsible Tourism Partnership has announced that Wildlife ACT has received first place in the 'Best for Nature-Positive Tourism' category at the prestigious WTM World Responsible Tourism Awards for 2023.

Wildlife ACT Takes First Prize at WTM World Responsible Tourism Awards 2023

After securing the Gold award at the WTM Africa Responsible Tourism Awards earlier this year, Wildlife ACT was subsequently nominated alongside other regional winners for the global championship.

These awards play a pivotal role in promoting and endorsing responsible and sustainable tourism practices within the travel industry. 

“The WTM World Responsible Tourism Awards not only showcase the best of the best in responsible tourism, but sets the compass for our global industry in creating sustainable travel and holiday experiences,” says Megan De Jager, Portfolio Director – Travel, Tourism & RX Africa Marketing.

Through our voluntourism model, Wildlife ACT has been able to provide continuous, professional monitoring services to over ten protected areas in Zululand for 15 years. We also contribute to endangered species management across Africa, as well as the restoration of North Island in Seychelles.

This global award for Best Nature-Positive Tourism underscores the importance of Wildlife ACT's voluntourism and community conservation models, which complement the essential conservation work carried out by our team.

Also recognised by the judges during the decision-making process was Wildlife ACT's Community Conservation Programme (CCP). We are abundantly aware that many individuals living near South Africa's protected areas and national parks have limited access to these natural spaces. In order for conservation efforts to be effective and sustainable, these gaps must be bridged. Our CCP seeks to promote participation in and enhance people's understanding of the conservation sector, underscoring the value of nature and highlighting economic opportunities within the field.

Wildlife ACT Takes First Prize at WTM World Responsible Tourism Awards 2023
Photo by Casey Pratt / Wildlife ACT

“I am extremely proud of our dedicated team of Wildlife ACT conservationists who are so committed to our endangered and priority species of wildlife. This award is a reflection of their passion and dedication. I also want to thank the incredible volunteers who have joined our projects to make a meaningful and quantifiable contribution to our projects. Without your hands-on involvement, Wildlife ACT simply would not have been able to achieve what we have the same level of impact over the last 15 years.”

- Johan Maree - Wildlife ACT Co-Founder and Director.

This remarkable recognition is a notable achievement not only for Wildlife ACT and our partners but also for South Africa and the entire continent. Africa continues to make its mark as a preferred destination for responsible travelers.