Greenlife Africa Safaris is committed to conservation and sustainable travel. We believe that the only way that our wildlife areas can survive given the pressure due to poverty and mismanagement is to raise their profile through tourism and the creation of opportunities for locals.
Greenlife was born out of a passion for the environment. Russ is a true ambassador for nature and anyone, who has had the opportunity to travel with him, will be inspired by his enthusiasm.
We are very mindful of the impact that travel has on the environment and will never undertake any activity which compromises the wildlife or local communities. Poverty is the single biggest threat to the biodiversity of Africa. Russ Weston has put a considerable amount of time into environmental education, mentoring aspiring community tourist entrepreneurs and highlighting environmental issues and seeking solutions.
He is the founder member of KEAG, the instrumental NGO which safeguarded much of the southern Cape Peninsula before South African National Parks took management of the area. The area has some of the rarest flora and at a time without adequate protection, it was particularly vulnerable to unscrupulous developers.
A major role in post-apartheid South Africa, was to work with previously disadvantaged communities through the process of self-determination and rekindling an interest in the environment, a privilege which was long denied to them. Russ and his fellow conservationist Wally Petersen, used a community tree planting project to connect with the locals and build trust and a new appreciation for the environment.
Greenlife has also shown its commitment to community tourism initiatives by mentoring and assisting the African Ivory Route project. The concept to create a combination of community wildlife and cultural destinations managed and run by locals. At a time when land ownership is in the political spotlight, it is imperative that communities upskill themselves and buy into land stewardship which promotes conservation and eradicating poaching and habitat destruction.
Currently Russ Weston is the Director of the Soetwater Environmental Centre near Cape Town.
The vision is to inspire youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds to experience nature with our environmental education team. We place our hope in the young generation and future decision makers to make the difference. Sponsorship is needed to give as many children the opportunity of this experience. Please contact me if you are able to assist in any way.
Conservation, Poverty & Tourism is in the balance. Without tourist dollars, poverty increases and habitat destruction continues and our wildlife disappears.