Safari is a word that is derived from Swahili. The word means actually ‘journey’, and back in the colonial days, the idea was that the colonists would be hunting for big game, they would shoot it, and then a big group of local tribesmen would exhaustingly lug the killed animals overland to where the hunters want it.
In America, president Teddy Roosevelt made the concept of ‘Safari’ quite popular and he was known for embarking on safaris of grotesque proportions, evidently with the goal of loading the Smithsonian Institute with all sorts of African specimens.
The president’s parties were responsible for shooting over 11,000 animals, and 512 of them were so-called ‘big game’, animals such as lions, elephants, leopards, hippos, buffalo, and rhino. Roosevelt’s parties even shot 6 white rhino, quite rare even in those days.
But that was back in the day, and we’ll get back to the topic of hunting later. Nowadays, safaris are in no way hunting trips. Also the so-called ‘African Budget Safaris’ have absolutely nothing to do with hunting trips, and hunting for sport is also not endorsed.
Safaris as hunting trips is a very primitive pastime of the colonial past and Africa has for the major part said goodbye to these practices.
The Safari Evolution
These days, all negative hunting ideas related to the word ‘safari’ have for the larger part been replaced with contemporary associations like environmentally and socially responsible adventure and travel.
Nowadays, African Safari Travel is typically associated with adventurous journeys that include game viewing and time spending in wilderness regions such as national parks and game reservations.
Traditional African safaris are generally centered on watching wildlife in Africa, but safaris are in no way limited to merely watching game.
African safaris surely still involve wildlife, but the activity has really undergone a change of purpose and today means something totally new. Along with quite some other activities are safaris these days organized to admire and watch wildlife and birds in the wild.
For the major part have safaris developed into often luxury holiday journeys that indeed are benefiting African wildlife because they are contributing to all sorts of regional conservation programs and support wildlife sanctuaries. Where back in the day safaris were set up for animal hunting are they now offering visitors the chance to encounter these animals.
Safari tourists can really help make a difference as their trips are contributing to the protection of endangered species. Safari companies are actively contributing towards various conservation programs or they passively make their contributions as the revenue that tourists bring in is for a considerable part used for managing wildlife conservation programs and projects, and will support game reserves.