January 2022

Reflecting on 2021 & looking forward with purpose

in Biodiversity

Reflecting on 2021 & looking forward with purpose

Singita is driven by our 100-year purpose - to preserve and protect African wilderness for future generations. This vision lies at the heart of all that we do and underpins every goal and strategy that drives us forward. The start of a new year is always a time to reflect – on the successes and achievements of the year that has passed – as well as to reinvigorate our purpose and commitment to working alongside our partners to protect the increasingly rare and vulnerable wilderness areas across the continent.

While 2020 held challenges, we, together with our non-profit partners across Africa, made strides too, towards our goals. 

Looking back over 2021, we reflect on our successes and recommit to our 100-year purpose

Stronger together – a global goal for people & nature 

For wilderness areas and wildlife to thrive, the people that rely on the natural resources of these areas must thrive too. The many neighbouring communities surrounding the landscapes we operate in – from the rainforests of Rwanda, to the plains of Serengeti and savannas of Southern Africa – are key partners for us, and it is crucial that they see tangible benefits to living and working alongside these safeguarded wilderness areas. 

One of our greatest triumphs of 2021 was the opening of the third Singita Community Culinary School at the Muhubura Integrated Polytechnic College (MIPC facilities) in Musanze, Rwanda. One of the highly rewarding facets of our Community Partnership Programme, the SCCSs operate in South Africa, Tanzania and now, Rwanda. These schools offer community members from surrounding villages the opportunity to complete a year-long, internationally accredited professional chef development programme, on a full scholarship. This provides a platform for promising young talent in the hospitality and tourism sectors to launch their careers. The Rwandan SCCS welcomed its first intake of 10 aspiring young chefs from the surrounding districts, set to graduate in 2022. The launch of this facility despite the challenges of the global pandemic is testament to the power of collaboration and dedication to facilitate the desire of young culinary minded Rwandans to pursue their career goals. 

The Singita Community Culinary School is an invaluable platform from which aspiring chefs can pursue careers, and we are proud to have opened the third SCCS recently in Rwanda

Also taking place in 2021, the fourth consecutive Serengeti Girls Run was co-hosted by Singita and the Grumeti Fund, our partner in Tanzania. In October we welcomed a group of women runners at Singita Grumeti to embark on an experience of a lifetime – traversing the iconic plains of the Serengeti on foot while engaging with likeminded women from all over the world – and directly contributing to women’s empowerment and education in Tanzania. This community-and-conservation-minded event is one that truly represents the values we uphold, and its continued success is invaluable to our Safaris With a Purpose initiative. 

The fourth annual Serengeti Girls Run, in partnership with the Grumeti Fund, brought together women runners from around the world in support of women's empowerment

In South Africa, our non-profit partner in the region, the Singita Lowveld Trust continued support for all 17 Early Childhood Development Centres we partner with, providing the necessary Covid PPE materials each term to ensure these centres could continue to operate. All 17 (supporting approximately 2,000 pre-schoolers) have been able to remain open since September 2020 and throughout 2021. A remarkable achievement at a time where only 4% of all ECD centres across South Africa were able to stay safely open.

Safeguarding vulnerable species 

Running parallel to our Community Partnerships is the continuous protection of the critically endangered or vulnerable wildlife species under our care. 

The tireless work and dedication of our many conservation partners plays a significant role in rhino conservation across the continent. In 2021 the translocation of rhino from the Malilangwe Reserve to Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe by The Malilangwe Trust and local partners was an awe-inspiring feat of patient planning, logistical manoeuvring, and manpower – returning rhino to this National Park for the first time in almost 30 years and establishing a new satellite rhino population. A sterling example of the success that can arise from the cooperation between organisations, all with the same aspirations. 

The protection of threatened species, especially rhino, takes resources and is only possible with strong partnerships and generous donors

Once again, the generosity of our guests, partners and supporters shone through in 2021, providing ongoing support to the tireless efforts of our Anti-Poaching Units and K9 teams tasked with safeguarding this wilderness area. The funds raided in the November #GivingTuesday drive will aid the Singita Lowveld Trust in South Africa to ensure its rangers are able to remain one step ahead of the escalating poaching pressure. 

Committed to being Nature Positive by 2030

Our commitment to enacting real and positive change for the betterment of the environment sees us continuously reviewing our strategies. This is a guardianship we take to heart. We believe we can continue to contribute significantly to the United Nations global vision of a Nature Positive, Carbon Neutral World by 2030

Our commitment to the Global Goal for People and Nature 2030 will see us focusing on four key areas – which will be our central focus for the next 10 years, a defining time in our lifetimes as a decade of restoration and recovery. This commitment plays out in daily operational life across the properties we operate on in various ways. 

  •  ·     the halting and reversing of biodiversity loss
  • ·      ensuring zero further extinction of species
  • ·      the halving of our ecological footprint 
  • ·      carbon neutrality
The protection of Africa's unique wilderness areas spans some of the commitments we've made in pursuit of our UN-aligned goals

The power of collaboration

We couldn’t do any of this alone however, and every small step forward on this journey is testament to successful partnerships, the power of collaboration and the generosity of like-minded guests and donors. Our many conservation partners – the Trusts and Funds across our properties – are a source of inspiration, and demonstrate that with the right resources, passion, dedication and expertise, big successes can be achieved. 

We welcome a new year with hope in our hearts – and a commitment to leverage our influence and achievements to date to drive greater collaboration and continue to scale our impact across Africa. 

Learn more about various ways you can support our fearless conservation champions here >


Julia Freemantle
By Julia Freemantle

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