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HomeLatest NewsInvesting in a lion is the most profitable | Opinion of...

Investing in a lion is the most profitable | Opinion of Gonzalo Gimeno

Date: April 12, 2024 Time: 21:09:58

The photography safari industry has shown steady and talented growth, with business generation reaching $33 billion by 2022, experiencing growth rates of 5.5% annually. It is projected that by 2050 this figure will increase to $51 billion. The Spanish market is the fifth largest European source market in the photographic safari segment. But to truly understand the economic impact of this model, it’s worth exploring the numbers in detail.

A quick but revealing calculation shows us that a lion, in a conservation area, can generate more than 29 million dollars annually in tickets, overnight stays and various income, or 290 million during its life, from safari fees that can reach . up to 2,000 dollars per person per night. This compares to the $55,000 a lion can generate through trophy hunting, an income that ends the animal’s life and requires another to generate similar income.

In 1925, King Albert I of Belgium founded the Albert National Park in the former colony of the Belgian Congo to protect the mountain gorilla population (today it is called Virunga National Park spread between Uganda, Rwanda and the Congo). From there, now legendary parks were founded such as the Masai Mara, Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Tsavo, Kruger, Namib, Amboseli, etc… authentic commercial brands, recognizable throughout the world, later created largely by the diffusion of documentaries.

This new perception of African wildlife has been built over decades, evolving from the historical past of hunting and exhibiting animals in museums and circuses in Europe to the creation of national parks and wildlife conservation areas.

This transformation has been largely supported by the dissemination of documentaries that have shown a different side of Africa, where researchers and disseminators such as Martin and Osa Johnson, Sir David Attenborough, Dereck Joubert, Jonathan Scott, Dian Fossey, and a long etcetera, They began to teach us that those beasts, perhaps, were not so beasts, and that they did not embody the spirit of the adventurous hunter of the early 20th century.

This generated a demand to democratize previous trips only accessible to hunters, for a public that sought to live, get closer and feel the magic and beauty that they saw on television at the same time that countries became independent from European powers and saw in tourism . A source of recurring income.

Today, although the beauty of nature is still present, the situation has little to do with that bucolic image of documentaries. Africa’s population has skyrocketed from 220 million in the 1950s, when documentaries began to be filmed, to 1.5 billion today. The pressure on the use of land for farming, livestock, mining and infrastructure increases every year, creating a conflict in human activity, where wildlife is increasingly confined in protected areas that often look more like a large zoo. with rush hour traffic than anything else. The debate on land use is served. From Europe we would like to continue believing in the African Eden, and from Africa we must feed the population and create infrastructure, and that has a cost.

The solution seems to be found in developing protection and conservation policies that allow both the recovery of the ecosystem and the proliferation of wildlife, generating substantial income for the countries involved.

The traditional model based on ecotourism proposes creating large spaces by creating land reserves dedicated to photographic safari tourism, which would result in the recovery of the ecosystem and the growth of wildlife populations, generating interesting income for the state. The Masai Mara alone generated income for the Kenyan state of 17 million dollars annually before the pandemic. In South Africa today, there are 20 national parks covering two million hectares, the vast majority of which are fenced (a little less than the entire Valencian Community). This means that in times of elephant overpopulation, it is necessary to resort to the practice of “culling”, or selective hunting to adapt the animal population to the limit that the national park can accommodate without collapsing. Furthermore, in high season, there are already national parks with a notable traffic density.

On the other hand, the hunting industry argues that the income generated by “trophy hunting” is a financing model for the conservation of ecosystems and species. In this way, and like the exploitation of hunting farms in Spain, the income generated by hunting would be used to maintain the farm and its fauna population. This system of exploitation maintains that it does not generate gentrification of the ecosystem and keeps the areas in a more virgin state than a national park. It is estimated that in 2022 the size of the global “trophy hunting” market was $370 million with 18,500 international hunters in Africa, and is estimated to reach 1,775 million in 2030, although these figures vary significantly depending on the source. consulted. Each year, rates are published easily available online with per-head prices. The rates for this year range from $550 for an ostrich, $3,400 for a giraffe, $15,000 for a buffalo, and $55,000 for a male lion. A male elephant can generate income of more than $70,000 for the farm.

The history of safari in Africa is rich and complex, evolving from early hunting expeditions to contemporary efforts to promote conservation and sustainable tourism. Through conscious investment in the photography safari industry, we may be able to see a future where the exploitation of wildlife translates into their long-term protection and prosperity, generating significant economic benefits for local communities. and African countries.

The response to any conservation model first involves a viable, profitable business model that generates economic benefits for the country and the local community. Today, several companies already operate with this business model, with camps in several African countries such as Wilderness Safaris, andBeyond, Great Plains Conservation and Singita in the segment of luxury photography safaris protecting hundreds of miles of hectares dedicated to the conservation of enormous extensions throughout the continent, profitably preserving a large part of the wild fauna and forming a key part of the ecological-economic-social framework of the regions where they operate.

What is very clear, with data in hand, is that in every lion that lives, a safe and noble investment thrives for the future of the African continent that turns a liability into a very profitable asset. This is how the investment fund The Rise Fund saw it in 2018 with the purchase of 34% of Wilderness Safaris with partners such as the singer Bono, Richard Branson, Mellody Hobson vice president of Starbucks, Gorge Lucas, Laurene Powell widow of Steve Jobs, Paul Polman CEO of Unilever and a long list of influential investors.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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