noun | bio·di·ver·si·ty
The variety of plant and animal life in the world or in a particular habitat, a high level of which is usually considered to be important and desirable.
Conservation in Singita’s world is about much more than wildlife protection. Our philosophy encompasses the three complementary elements of environmental sustainability, support for local communities and biodiversity within each ecosystem. While the balance between all three is important to the success of our conservation vision, rich and thriving biodiversity is, in line with our 100-year purpose, the primary objective of each reserve.
The Singita Sabi Sand K9 Anti-Poaching Unit patrols the reserve 24/7 to ensure the security of the wildlife and other natural assets of the land.
Singita is in the unique position of being directly responsible for the conservation management of 96% of the land on which we operate – our concession in the Kruger National Park being the only exception. To this end, Singita employs a resident professional ecologist and full-time anti-poaching teams at each property. These field teams have the added benefit of access to the knowledge and experience of the group’s Conservation Committee.
Some members of the Conservation Committee (L-R): Dr. Neil Midlane, Dave Wright, Stephen Cunliffe & Ellery Worth
This team of scientific and conservation-focused minds was established some years ago as a platform for sharing experiences, best practice, challenges and successes in our work to maintain and increase the biodiversity of the various regions in which Singita operates. The think tank – described by COO Mark Witney as “Singita’s conservation brains trust” – meets twice a year at one of our 12 lodges and camps in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Tanzania, to discuss research projects and outputs, management successes and failures, and emerging conservation challenges that affect the group.
In addition to the senior biodiversity staff from each of our reserves, the committee includes an external consulting ecologist, Singita’s conservation projects manager and a member of Singita’s Board of Directors, thus ensuring support at the senior executive level of the company. With an impressive collection of three PhD and two Masters degrees in the conservation and ecology fields, meetings are always thought-provoking, bringing forth challenging ideas and robust discussion. An example of just such a discussion happened recently when it was suggested by one ecologist that a potential new acquisition of land should have zero human footprint; that is, no lodge, just leaving the land as is. Singita founder Luke Bailes says: “It’s good to have someone like that on staff. Our model depends on hospitality, so we can’t do nothing, but it’s good to have someone in the conversation with that pure starting point. He keeps us honest.”
The ability to approach particular challenges from a variety of different directions is key to the committee’s success and broadens the perspective of everyone involved. Decades of experience in conservation management, research and monitoring, sustainable tourism and hands-on biodiversity projects are shared, resulting in the spread of knowledge and implementation of best-practice conservation tools over the vast wilderness areas of which Singita is a proud custodian.
Singita Faru Faru Lodge is set in Singita’s 350,000-acre reserve in northern Tanzania, forming part of the Serengeti Mara ecosystem.
Singita’s 100-year purpose is to preserve and protect large areas of African wilderness for future generations. It is an idea that drives every decision Singita makes as a conservation company and informs the way in which we operate, including our dedication to biodiversity, sustainability and community partnerships. You can read more about our ongoing conservation projects in each region in this blog post, and see Luke Bailes talk about our conservation vision in this short film on our Vimeo channel.