Ecotourism for Somkhanda Game Reserve
College Affiliation: Stevenson College
Graduation Date: June 2018
Project Date: Sep-Aug 2016
Partner Org: African Insight
Partner Website: africaninsight.co.za
Technologies Used: Could Technologies, WordPress
Project Themes: Tech literacy, Community Development, Wildlife Conservation
People Served Directly: African Insight Staff
Community Served Indirectly: Tourists, Students, Gumbi Community Members
For African Insight, the Somkhanda Game Reserve is more than just an environment for adventure- it’s also a community cornerstone. After receiving their land back in 2006 due to the Apartheid, the Gumbi tribe had faced problems of poaching, a lack of jobs for community members, and poverty. Although the Somkhanda Game Reserve was designated as a conservation for wildlife and their habitat, it was not enough to progress further towards the restoration of their community. Thus, African Insight, my partner organization, was hired to supply several components to run the tourism side of the park. African Insight’s goal is to share the South African bush experience to all visitors through EcoTourism. This means to accommodate tourists, host volunteer groups, and even hold academic programs like internships.
With my project, I was able to create a website for Somkhanda Game Reserve, establish an area for public relations, and teach tech literacy to Gumbi employees. In the long run, more information from African Insight would be accessible, employees would have more skills for more jobs, and most importantly, African Insight would cover a greater surface of networking. The Everett Program has helped me through various degrees of project organization from studying social justice to developing digital skills like web design. There’s no other place in the world like the bush where I got to wake up every day and know that I was going to make a difference for the community, wildlife, and business. One challenge I faced was working around the conditions of the environment whether it was the power shortages, drought, politics, etc. Overall, my expectations of this project were exceeded by the international relations, wildlife knowledge, and South African culture which I will always treasure.