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来这个地方,可以看到真正的非洲荒野

Lindsey Tramuta 2019年04月29日

说到莫博,人们就会联想到饱览地球上最为壮观的野生动物。这个位于博茨瓦纳奥卡万戈三角洲的偏僻营地树立了奢华住宿的标杆。

说到莫博,人们就会联想到饱览地球上最为壮观的野生动物。这个位于博茨瓦纳奥卡万戈三角洲的偏僻营地树立了奢华住宿的标杆,当时,行业生态旅游用品先驱Wilderness Safari于1999年接管了这里。公司大胆抛弃了三角洲地区以前粗狂的标准,将营地转化为了一个高档目的地酒店,并提供5星级酒店的舒适体验,但公司并未因此而放松对低印迹设计和运营的关注。

在经历了19年的历程和四次翻新之后,所有的高级装饰仍然经过了一番精心考虑。新近翻修后的莫博拥有私密的遮阴阳台,以及私人泳池和俯瞰泛滥平原的舒适坐卧长椅、室内室外淋浴、塞满了各类饮品的酒吧车,甚至还有内部康体中心,所有这些全部由太阳能供电。

这种舒适体验是意料之中的事情,因为酒店每人每晚起价1990美元。但高密织物和纯铜浴缸只不过是该酒店其中的一个卖点。1993年加入公司的首席执行官凯斯·文森特说:“我们的竞争对手是地球上的所有旅游胜地,并非只是非洲。尽管营地的景色异常壮观,人们也不会再奢求其他的事情,但我们不能仅靠这一点来吸引人。”

这也是为什么公司称自己的使命在于保护和恢复非洲荒野:没有动物,也就没有旅游狩猎酒店。酒店通过多种方式来履行这一使命。仅接受少数富有的游客不仅意味着畅通无阻的游览体验,同时还能减少对动物和其栖息环境的影响。公司会在偏僻、人迹罕至、有着多元化生物种群的地点设立站点,并借此恢复那里的土地,协助大型物种的回归。酒店旗下的非营利性机构Wilderness Wildlife Trust在过去10年中已经为100多个保护项目提供了自助。

信托基金的一个显著成功之处在于其犀牛再引入项目。如今,如果旅行者在驱车游览整个莫博营地的过程中有幸看到白犀牛和黑犀牛,这是源于Wilderness酒店、博茨瓦纳野生动物部以及博茨瓦纳政府之间合作的成果。他们在迁移和打击非法狩猎方面的联合行动将犀牛从本土灭绝的边缘挽救了回来。

但是保护也得靠人。野生动物生物学家、狩猎旅行社Wild Source创始人比尔·基温称,Wilderness对社区赋权的关注是他向客户推荐这家酒店的主要原因。基温提到了Children in the Wilderness这个为居住在周边村落的儿童提供生活技能和环保教育的项目。他说:“借此,孩子们将有机会去体验该地区野生动物宝贵资源,并树立正确的心态。这在当地十分罕见,因为当地人唯一的野外生活体验就是与动物之间的冲突。”除了为当地人带来工作(基温将这一点作为其项目运行的先决条件)之外,该项目还致力于培养未来的环保领袖。

在这个越发崇尚“绿色清洗”的行业,Wilderness更多地被人们看作是一个由旅游业支撑的野生动物保护公司,而不是传统的狩猎旅行运营商。这一点对于众多旅行者来说十分重要。旅行网站Skift 2016年的调查发现,60%的美国人称,他们对于其休闲旅行的可持续性感到担忧。

Wilderness并没有因此而感到满足,而是为自己设定了远大的目标。“我们正在考虑那些因长期战乱而遭到破坏的地区,这些地区有可能在20年之内成为10万头大象的家园。这个数字可是着实不小。”文森特兴奋地说道。(财富中文网)

本文的一个版本出现在《财富》杂志2019年5月刊,标题为《带有目的的探险活动》。

译者:冯丰

审校:夏林

Mombo. It’s a name synonymous with watching the world’s most majestic wildlife. The remote camp in Botswana’s Okavango Delta set the benchmark in luxury lodging when Wilderness Safaris, the industry’s pioneering ecotourism outfitter, took the reins in 1999. By boldly deviating from the once-rustic standards in the delta, the company transformed the camp into an upscale destination with five-star comforts—all while maintaining an uncompromising focus on low-footprint design and operations.

Nineteen years and a fourth renovation later, all the premium trappings are still dutifully considered. Mombo’s ¬latest iteration has private, shaded verandas with individual plunge pools and plush daybeds overlooking the floodplains, indoor and outdoor showers, generously stocked bar carts, and even an on-site wellness center—all of which is 100% solar powered.

With rates starting at $1,990 a night per person, such comforts are certainly expected. But high thread counts and copper bathtubs are only part of the Wilderness appeal. “Our competition is any tourism destination on the planet, not just Africa,” says CEO Keith Vincent, who joined the company in 1993. “While the camp is spectacular, and you don’t want for anything, it could never be the only draw.”

That’s why the company’s stated mission is to conserve and restore Africa’s wilderness: no animals, no safari. This is achieved in several ways. Hosting a small number of well-paying visitors means not only unobstructed game viewing but also mitigating disruption to the animals and their habitat. The company sets up in remote, under-visited, and biodiverse locales where it can rehabilitate the land and facilitate the return of large animal species. Its nonprofit arm, the Wilderness Wildlife Trust, has funded more than 100 conservation projects in the past decade.

A notable success of the Trust is its rhino reintroduction program. If travelers have the privilege of observing white and black rhinos during their game drives throughout the Mombo concession today, it’s because of the partnership between Wilderness, Botswana’s Department of Wildlife, and the Botswana government. Their collaborative operations in translocation and anti-poaching brought black rhinos back from localized extinction.

But conservation is about people too. Bill Given, a wildlife biologist and founder of the Wild Source, a safari agency, says Wilderness’s attention to community empowerment is a major reason he recommends the outfitter to clients. Given mentions Children in the Wilderness, a program built around life skills and environmental education for children residing in neighboring villages. “It’s a brilliant opportunity for children to experience the treasure of wildlife in their region and have that be positive,” he says. “This can be rare in areas where the only wildlife experiences for locals are in conflict with animals.” More than creating jobs for locals—which Given points out is a prerequisite for operating—the program’s goal is developing the environmental leaders of tomorrow.

In an industry in which “greenwashing” is prevalent, Wilderness has earned a reputation as more of a conservation company funded by tourism than a traditional ¬safari ¬operator. That’s important for many travelers. Sixty percent of Americans said they were concerned with the sustainability of their leisure travels, according to a 2016 survey by travel website Skift.

Far from resting on that reputation, Wilderness has bold ambitions. “We’re looking into areas that have been devastated from years of war—areas that could potentially hold another 100,000 elephants in 20 years’ time,” says Vincent excitedly. “Isn’t that tremendous?”

A version of this article appears in the May 2019 issue of Fortune with the headline “An Adventure With Purpose.”

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