Our Inaugural Safari with a Purpose
On March 22, 2019, African Community & Conservation Foundation’s (ACCF) leaders, Brady Forseth and Pete Mattson, had the privilege to host ACCF Ambassador Josh Duhamel, in addition to Taylor Moor, Kendahl Prokop, Scott Riedl, Will Kelleher, and Mick Kelleher for a humanitarian and conservation safari on the Serengeti. We are pleased to announce that Josh Duhamel recently joined the ACCF board to increase awareness of our mission.
Every member of the safari felt compelled to travel to Africa and learn more about the impact of excessive hunting and widespread poaching, and the effect it has on the wildlife ecosystem and livelihoods of local communities. This group united to raise awareness and funding to protect African wilderness and empower surrounding communities, contributing to a sustainable environment.
“This is a new charitable endeavor, and I can’t thank Josh, Taylor, Kendahl, Scott, Will, and Mick enough for being on the forefront of this cause and traveling to the front lines to see first-hand the vulnerable wildlife, such as rhinos, elephants, and lions, living in constant threat of endangerment. We watched the anti-poaching team train and visited the communities living alongside wildlife that face poverty,” said Forseth. “This first safari confirmed we are making a difference, but we need more support to meet our goal of animals and people thriving together, forever.”
Our Safari with a Purpose enables individuals to experience the Serengeti while aiding the conservation of the 350,000-acre private concession and supporting the 20+ neighboring villages. This five-day trip includes safari drives through the Grumeti concession, meeting anti-poaching teams and meeting local families, while staying at the Singita Sawaska Lodge and Sabora Tented Camp at the Grumeti Reserve.
With the inaugural Safari with a Purpose, the team ventured onto the Serengeti and witnessed wildlife, including prides of lions, an elephant amid a mud bath, and hyena cubs. Getting up-close and personal meant experiencing behind the scenes work at the Grumeti Reserve, such as touring the high-tech command center, which tracks wildlife populations and protects them from the constant threat of poachers.
A moving and memorable part of the day entailed seeing the massive collection of snares game scouts have removed from the reserve. Being able to bear witness to the boots-on-the-ground worker’s commitment during every hour of every day to protect wildlife is a vital feature of our Safari with a Purpose.
The team got personal in Tanzania when the team engaged with the locals and met with a family that received support from the Grumeti Fund’s Community Outreach Program. The mother now diligently supports her family through the revenue raised from her own sewing business. The team visited the Environment Education Center where children from local villages learn about conservation and gain the tools to become a leader in their community to preserve natural resources.
During the adventurous week, the team had the opportunity to work out with the game scouts and experience their regimen for optimal fitness for the rigorous anti-poaching efforts. A highlight of the anti-poaching initiatives also includes learning about the canine unit. These dogs possess the ability to find a machete hidden deep in the bush and sniff out poachers.
Because of the success of the first Safari with a Purpose, ACCF is planning two more safaris this year. ACCF will be forever grateful to our first supporters who ventured with us and contributed greatly to wildlife conservation, anti-poaching and community outreach, specifically conservation, human-wildlife initiatives, women’s empowerment programs, and small-business enterprise. They will forever be known as catalysts for a sustainable wildlife ecosystem alongside thriving communities in the Serengeti.
If you have interest in attending an upcoming ACCF Safari with a Purpose, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information as spots are filling up quickly.