Endeavour safaris gorongosa disability tourism initiative


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The development of an Inclusive Tourism Eco-lodge within theGorongosa National Park, Mozambique

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Endeavour safaris gorongosa disability tourism initiative

  1. 1. 1 Gorongosa Inclusive Tourism InitiativeThe development of an Inclusive Tourism Eco-lodge within the Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique
  2. 2. 2ContentsExecutive Summary 3.Mission Statement/Vision 4.Market Opportunity 5.Background: Gorongosa National Park 6.Proposed Eco-Lodge Development 7. Accommodation and Operations 8. Activities 9. Access 10.Future Expansion by Endeavour Safaris Mozambique 10.Original employment opportunities 11.Marketing Strategy 11.Management Summary 12.Company Summary – Endeavour Safaris 13. Ownership of Endeavour Safaris Mozambique 13.Potential Concerns 14.Human Rights Treaty 14.
  3. 3. 3Executive SummaryMozambique has one of the fastest growing tourism sectors in Africa and is fast becoming a top touristdestination in southern Africa. It has traditionally been a beach and diving destination, however, this isset to change as one of the biggest National Park resurrections in history occurs within its boundaries;the restoration of the majestic Gorongosa National Park. The Carr Foundation, a non-profit organizationestablished by the world renowned philanthropist Greg Carr to promote the protection of naturalresources, is working closely with the Mozambique government to return the park to its former standingas one of the premier wildlife havens in Africa, and as such as top safari destination. This developmentwill give Mozambique the “perfect” combination of top quality wildlife safari destination and a tropicalbeach experience, undoubtedly making it a top holiday destination within Africa.Endeavour Safaris Mozambique is currently involved in a tender process to develop an ecotourism lodgewithin a prime, private 28,000 hectare concession within the National Park. Uniquely, our lodge will beaccessible to both able-bodied and disabled guests, and as such will be the first “Inclusive Tourism”operation in Mozambique. The lodge will form a perfect balance between offering a space that isaccessible to both the able-bodied and disabled, in terms of both accommodation facilities and safariactivities, whilst still being an attractive, aesthetically pleasing and ecologically sensitive holidaydestination.Our project will also offer both training and employment to disabled people from local communities,demonstrating to others within the hospitality industry the substantial capabilities of this, oftendiscriminated against, sector of society.This business plan was constructed to encourage investment in this pioneering Inclusive Tourism eco-development.
  4. 4. 4Mission Statement/Company VisionEndeavour Safaris Mozambique aims to provide the best Inclusive Tourism experience within southernAfrica. Utilising the latest green technology, we will give both able-bodied and disabled guests anexceptional safari experience; providing high quality, ascetically pleasing yet fully accessible eco-lodgeaccommodation and safari activities.Through Inclusive Tourism, Endeavour Safaris Mozambique aims to provide training and employmentopportunities for disabled people within Mozambique, and ultimately increase their employment withinthe mainstream hospitality industry.
  5. 5. 5Market OpportunityMozambique has one of the most rapidly growing tourism sectors in the world (WTCC). Between 2004and 2009 the number of tourists visiting Mozambique more than tripled from 711,000 to 3.1million.However, the number of hotel beds increased by only 7,000 in the same period, suggesting that there issufficient room for growth within sector. In 2009 the sector generated $195 million for Mozambique, afigure that the Tourism Minister expects to increase to $2 billion within the next five years.Our unique design of an eco-lodge that is attractive and accessible to both able-bodied and disabledtourists will allow us to target a larger market compared to a typical safari operator. Inclusive Tourism;the provision of tourist accommodation and activities accessible to both able-bodied and disabledpeople is experiencing substantial growth. Within Europe, 127million people are disabled and up to 70%of these people have sufficient economic funds to travel. In the United States, where Inclusive Tourismis more established it is estimated that people with disabilities spent $13.6billion on 31 million trips lastyear. A study into travel by people with disabilities undertaken by Deloitte & Touche found thatdisabled people rarely traveled alone, the majority travelling with at least one other person. Ourexperience has demonstrated this multiplier effect, in fact around only 20% of our clients are disabled,the majority being friends, family or carers of that individual who have no disability themselves. Thiseffectively multiplies the number of people who require Inclusive Tourism destinations, creating atourism market worth an estimated Euro 166billion worldwide.However, the provision of accessible tourist destination within southern Africa remains highly limited.To make an area an attractive destination for people with disabilities it must contain facilities that allowtheir basic needs to be met. This includes the provision of accessible accommodation with suitabletoileting and washing facilities, accessible transport, medical facilities as well as accessible activities andexcursions. Whilst some hotels and guest houses within southern Africa provide a limited number ofadapted rooms suitable for disabled guests, few lodges are accessible to disabled people and none arewholly inclusive. Rooms adapted for disabled guests are often viewed as unappealing for able-bodiedguests due to their differing layout and presence of specialist equipment, limiting the number hotelswish to install, whilst the adaption of vehicles and other equipment for activities and excursions is oftenexpensive. The lack of accessible hotel and lodge rooms makes travel complicated for disabled tourists,especially when travelling in groups. As experienced operators, and market leaders, of Inclusive safariswithin Botswana, Namibia and South Africa we have demonstrated that once accommodation needs aremet and activities made accessible to all, disabled tourists enthusiastically travel to remote andpreviously considered inaccessible areas. We believe that the development of a Inclusive eco-lodgewithin the Gorongosa National Park, the first of its kind within the sub-region, will provide an excitinggroup travel destination to both disabled and able-bodied guests including the lucrative group andfamily travel sector.After detailed discussions with integral personal involved in the Gorongosa TDA development,Endeavour Safaris Mozambique has been encouraged to tender for a prime 28,000 hectare privateconcession. The concession will be secured on a 20 year renewable contract, with an automatic first
  6. 6. 6role over, guaranteeing an initial 40-year lease. In this concession Endeavour Safaris Mozambique willdevelopment a ground-breaking Inclusive Tourism eco-lodge with a variety of safari activities.Background: Gorongosa National ParkGorongosa National Park, lies within the Sofal Province of central Mozambique. Covering 4,000km2 thisdiverse and beautiful park lies within the southern extension of the East African Rift valley system. Map illustrating the location of Gorongosa National Park and the stunning Lake Uremawww.gorongosa.netThe park protects a vast area surrounding the imposing Lake Urema. The ebb and flow of the riversflowing into the valley from the Barue Plateau, the Cheringoma Plateau and Mount Gorongosa, creates arich mosaic of temporally flooded savannah grasslands and woodlands, supporting a wide variety offlora and fauna species. These include apex predators such as lions, leopards, African wild dogs andspotted hyena, numerous herbivore species including elephants, hippo, zebra, buffalo, hartebeest, sableand oribi, over 400 bird species and many species of reptiles including the Nile crocodile.Whilst the park’s wildlife population substantially decreased during the Mozambique civil war,historically mammal densities were among the highest in Africa; aerial surveys during the 1960’srecorded 200 lions, 2,200 elephants, 14,000 buffaloes, 5,500 wildebeest, 3,000 zebras, 3,500waterbucks, 3,500 hippos and hundreds of eland, sable and hartebeest within the 4,000km2 reserve.Since the end of the civil war the Mozambique government has worked hard to restore this majesticpark to its former glory. In 2004 the Mozambique government entered into a partnership with the CarrFoundation, a US-based non-profit organization, to rebuild the Parks infrastructure, restore its wildlifepopulations and promote local economic development. Through the investment of over $10 millionbetween 2004 and 2007, with another $40 million pledged over the next 20 years, the foundation isworking closely with local communities and government departments to re-establish the Parks integrity
  7. 7. 7as a wildlife haven and tourist attraction and ensuring its long-term preservation through thedevelopment of a 5,000km2 Sustainable Development Zone, buffering the park through protection offorests and watersheds along its boundary.Wildlife populations are already recovering, more recent aerial surveys show a steady increase in manyherbivore populations, including approximately 450 elephants. Natural population growth is beingaccelerated by the annual re-introduction of many of the crucial herbivore species including buffalos,wildebeest and zebra. The park is also now well protected against illegal activities due to thedeployment of a well trained and dedicated team of 144 game rangers. Trained in conservation lawenforcement these rangers, employed for local communities, patrol the park protecting wildlife frompoachers, illegal fires and bush clearance.With such support, the naturally highly productive Gorongosa ecosystem will, without doubt, in timereturn to its former glory, supporting substantial populations of wildlife within a beautiful and variedecosystem.Proposed Eco-Lodge DevelopmentAs part of the Tourism Activity Development initiative that is currently underway within the GorgongosaNaitonal Park, Endeavour Safaris Mozambique plan to construct a 3-4*24 bed eco- tented lodge within adesignated Tourism Development Area (TDA) in the western region of the Park. The 28,000 hectareconcession lies between the Barue Plateau and the shore of Lake Urema, providing access to a widevariety of habitats and therefore the opportunity for our guest view the widest possible variety ofwildlife. The area is equally well suited to game drives, boat tours, canoe excursions and guided walks,making it an excellent safari destination where guests can experience the African bush in many differentways.
  8. 8. 8Uniquely the our development will be a fully Inclusive Tourism destination, providing accommodationand activities that are equally accessible for disabled as well as able-bodied tourists.Accommodation and OperationsThe lodge will be built in an attractive, yet ecologically sustainable Mozambique style utilisingsustainably harvested wood and grass thatch. The lodge will comprise of a 270m2 communal guestdining and lounge area, adjacent to extensive decked areas for bird watching and relaxing, a swimmingpool, curio shop and guest toilets. Eight standard guest units, of 70m2, will comprise of a large open planbedroom area and en-suite bathroom facilities, whilst two larger family units, will comprise of twobedroom areas with shared en-suite bathroom facilities. In keeping with the Inclusive Tourism theme allareas will be designed for both ease of use by able-bodied and disabled guests as well as aestheticappeal. The communal guest areas will be large and on one level to ensure easy access for wheelchairusers and the visually impaired. The guest rooms will be large and open plan, utilising moveable hoiststo assist mobility impaired guests. Such a design will allow hoists to be temporarily installed inpredetermined locations within the guest units when needed by disabled guests, but removed when notneeded, ensuring that rooms are equally appealing to all types of guests.We believe Responsible Tourism is key to all tourism operations within Africa and our development willstrive to achieve a lodge that is ecology sensitive and socially responsible. To maximise the lodge’s eco-credentials, it will utilize the most up-to-date solar energy technology to both generate power and heatwater, minimizing the use of fuel hungry generators. Power will be generated through a new Sanyo HITtechnology, a combination of crystalline and thin film technology. Solar photovoltaic panels will be usedto charge 2Volt deep cycle batteries, enabling the system to cope for up to three days without solarinput. In the event of sustained overcast weather the system would switch to a super silent back-upgenerator. All hot water will be generated using evacuated tube solar geysers. Sewage and wastewater will be fully treated on site in an above ground sewage treatment plant that processes black liquiewaste to better than WHO drinking stanadars, ensuring there the output from the lodge does notnegatively affect groundwater quality and the surrounding environment. All aspects of lodge operationswill be assessed through an environmental management plan, allowing any potential negative impactsto be identified and minimized.All our employment and staff management will be base on socially responsible principles. We will work closely with the local community to maximise employment and training opportunities. Our ability to include disabled members of community within the staff contingent will ensure that this typically discriminated sector of community is not excluded from this capacity building.
  9. 9. 9ActivitiesThe diverse nature of the Gorongosa ecosystem allows a wide variety of guest activities. Day and nightgame drives, within especially adapted vehicles, will allow guests to observe the wide variety of wildlifefound within the Park. The vehicles, fitted with hydraulic lifts and removable chairs, make them suitablefor all guests including those with impaired mobility. Please see the attached information about how weadapt our vehicles.Lake Urema and its tributaries make the area ideal for water activities, including motor boats andcanoes, and these will be offered as daily activities at the lodge. Both are easily adapted for disabledaccess, with non-slip ramps and removable chairs.Other optional activities will include canoeing and guided game walks.
  10. 10. 10AccessThe park is easily accessible by both land and air.Beira’s International Airport is only three and a half hours drive from the Park, all on well maintained tarroads. This receives daily flights from Johannesburg in South Africa (journey time 2hours), a major international hub, as well as flights from other regions of Mozambique. As part of the development we will build a light-aircraft landing strip within our concession, dramatically decreases transfer times to and from the lodge. Guests would also be able to use the Chitengo airstrip within the southern regions of the Park. Alternatively guests could be driven in from Beira airport or further afield.Future Expansion by Endeavour Safaris MozambiqueOnce we have established our Gorongosa eco-lodge we plan to further develop the Inclusive Tourismmarket in Mozambique by providing abeach destination which tourists may visitbefore or after visiting their safariexperience. Safari/beach combinationholidays are very popular within theindustry. As this would be the first suchitinerary to be fully Inclusive for disabledtourists we believe it would be wellreceived and very popular.
  11. 11. 11Original employment opportunitiesOne of the most exciting aspects of this project is the opportunity to provide employment for disabledmember of the local Gorongosa community, a commonly discriminated against sector of society.In keeping with the accessible design of the lodge’s front of house, back of house will also be designedwith disabled accessibility in mind. Examples include lowered work tables in the kitchen, a spaciousrestaurant with large gaps between tables to allow easy waiting, modified tray tables to assistwheelchair bound waiters, standardized room layouts to allow visually impaired people to work inhousekeeping and the laundry, strobe light alarms for the hearing impaired and adapted transport.Once the lodge has been developed and is fully operational we aim to develop an associated trainingarea to train disabled people in the hospitality trade. A training classroom, kitchen and workshop willallow us to train disabled individuals in safari guiding, lodge cooking, waiting, bar-work, housekeeping,laundry and maintenance. We hope that through this training provision we will be able to increase theemployment of disabled people within the hospitality industry across the whole of southern Africa. Intime we plan to establish a charity to support these activities, allowing interested guests to donate timeor knowledge to this vital project.Marketing StrategyThe lodge will be marketed as a pioneering Inclusive Tourism eco-lodge through our head office in CapeTown. The company directors and marketing team will also make use International travel fairs,specialized disabled tourism trade shows and road shows to maximise exposure.The lodge will be marketed separately to its two markets, the traditional able-bodied safari market andthe disabled tourism market. Separate marketing literature will be drawn up for both markets ensuingmaximal exposure and highlighting the number of facilities available to both able-bodied and disabledguests.We plan to utilize other established safari companies within the region to maximise uptake by thetraditional safari market and to date have received positive feedback regarding the inclusion of thelodge as part of a major companies lodge portfolio. Such inclusion would ensure maximal exposure ofthe lodge in the lucrative American and European eco-tourism market, ensuring higher occupancy ratesfrom opening.Our marketing strategy will target variety of disabled people, as well as their families and carers,through specialized marketing channels. These will include those with:• Mobility Impairments (Paraplegics, quadriplegics, other related physical movement)• Hearing Impairments. Deaf or impaired hearing
  12. 12. 12• Visual Impairments. Blind or low vision• Kidney Dialysis.• Oxygen users• Senior travelersThrough our Inclusive Tourism operations over the last 10 years we have established close relationshipswith the specialized agencies promoting disabled travel for individuals, families and larger groups.Approximately 70% of our agent bookings come from specialist disabled travel companies from bothEurope and the USA. We also benefit from an extensive past client database, many of whom havealready been on more than one of our trips. We will also use the internet to advertise the lodge; thisavenue presently accounts for 40% of our safari bookings. Utilising our image as a company able tooffer unique, high quality, yet personal holidays we believe successfully market the lodge as the primaryInclusive Tourism eco-lodge destination within southern Africa.Management SummaryWithin camp we will have a staff of 44, with 5 guides and four managers. Due to a lack of qualified localpeople we will employ experienced hospitality employees from surrounding countries to establish campprocedures and train local staff. All junior staff will be employed from local communities around theGorongosa region, where possible people with disabilities will be employed. With good training it ishoped that over time people from the local communities will up to management structure, maximizinglocal capacity building and economic empowerment.We will establish a head office in Maputo to deal with: • Reservations • Local marketing • Accounts • Ordering and arranging delivery of camp consumables • Handling of medical emergencies
  13. 13. 13Company Summary – Endeavour SafarisEndeavour Safaris was borne out of the vision of making Southern Africa accessible to all! With thevision of making Africa accessible for all, regardless of age or disability, we have adapted vehicles anduse specialized en-suite tents making our trips accessible to those with a wide variety of disabilities,including those with impaired mobility, visual and hearing impairments and oxygen users. Uniquely ourfacilities are just as comfortable for able-bodied guests, making our safari experiences truly Inclusiveregardless of ability.Utilizing this equipment we guide tours across South Africa, Botswana and Namibia, exploring a widevariety of the regions most spectacular areas, including the Okavango Delta, Chobe, Etosha NationalPark, the Kalahari Desert and Kruger National Park. With both set-date departures for our most popularitineraries and private fully personalized itineraries for families and groups, we offer a world-class, high-end safari experience suitable for all.Since its establishment in 2001, we have experienced rapid growth during the last 10 years and enjoyexcellent client loyalty, both at individual and travel agency levels. Many of our clients are repeat guest,and some have travelled with us over four times, whilst 20% of our new bookings come through word-of-mouth. Of the remaining 80%, half come through agents and half through internet bookings. Webelieve we are in an excellent position to increase our safari destination portfolio by adding ourGorongosa eco-lodge to our already popular portfolio or safari destinations.Please see the additional document for additional information and CVs.Ownership of Endeavour Safaris MozambiqueLaurindo Saraiva – Mozambique CitizenLaurindo Saraiva completed his PhD in political science and economics at the University of Milan andLSE, and is a fully trained and certified lawyer. He moved to Italy and was employed by the MozambiqueMinistry of Tourism to promote tourism and investment within Mozambique. He is extremelyexperienced in both international marketing, fund management and company processes inMozambique.Michael Hill – South African Citizen.Mike has worked in the safari industry since leaving school, working his way up from safari guide tosenior management before setting up Endeavour Safaris in 2001. Through his passion for the Africanbush and his belief that it should be accessible for all, regardless of disability, he has establishedEndeavour Safaris as the market leader of Inclusive Tourism safaris within southern Africa. As well asbeing a highly experienced guide, he has extensive experience in safari logistics, camp management,mechanics and business management.
  14. 14. 14Potential concernsHigh cost of the holiday due to expensive international and national flights. • Whilst these will increase holiday costs they are not likely to differ substantially from costs associated with visiting Botswana, where tourism is very successful.Malaria and Tsetse flies. • However, these are found in most safari destinations and with suitable prophylactics and insect repellant may not cause a problem.Current Wildlife experience when compared with neighboring countries such as Botswana and SouthAfrica. • Whilst wildlife concentrations are presently lower than parks in neighboring countries, they are expected to rise steadily though the Carr Foundation Gorongosa restoration project. Historically this park had some of highest mammal densities in Africa and with support and investment is will undoubtedly return to its former state as a premier wildlife viewing destination. • Development opportunities within this region are highly limited. By taking advantage of the opportunity of developing an attractive eco-lodge during the early stages of the restoration project we are ensuring that we are in place and ready for the market surge that should occur once wildlife populations are returned to their former levels. Additionally, once all concessions are allocated new development opportunities within the National Park will not be available for at least 40years.Human Rights TreatyThe Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol were adopted by theUnited Nations General Assembly on 13 December 2006, and opened for signature on 30 March 2007.On 30 March, 81 Member States and the European Community signed the Convention, the highestnumber of signatures of any human rights convention on its opening day. 44 Member States signed theOptional Protocol, and 1 Member State ratified the Convention. The Convention was negotiated duringeight sessions of an Ad Hoc Committee of the General Assembly from 2002 to 2006, making it thefastest negotiated human rights treaty. The Convention aims to ensure that persons with disabilitiesenjoy human rights on an equal basis with others.