Beyond Tourism in Africa

How can local communities continue to benefit from wildlife if neither tourism nor trophy hunting are viable options? Over the past 30 years, tourism has funded conservation activities in many countries, especially in the wildlife rich countries in Africa. Photographic tourism and trophy hunting have provided significant benefits to rural communities who share their land with wildlife. 

However, all forms of tourism are extremely vulnerable to social, economic or political instability and changes in the international market. The shock to the tourism sector caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the vulnerability of a conservation model based primarily on tourism.  


To prepare for a future in which communities might no longer be able to derive benefits from tourism, the Luc Hoffmann Institute is working with partners to identify, incubate and promote innovative ways of providing communities with income from wildlife, while managing their natural resources sustainably and improving their collective wellbeing. 

Who we are working with

Related SDGs

Explore the impacts


© Unsplash / ian macharia (left) / Redcharlie (right)
March 2019

Melissa de Kock, Senior Advisor at WWF-Norway for Conservation, Climate and Communities, suggests that the Luc Hoffmann Institute incubate an idea based on her work supporting community conservation in southern Africa. With climate change impacting wildlife and shocks to the tourism industry caused by disease outbreaks, it is becoming more urgent to “look beyond tourism and hunting for community benefits” to retain communities’ commitment and tolerance for wildlife management.

May 2019

The Luc Hoffmann Institute and WWF-Norway commission a study by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Sustainable Use and Livelihoods (IUCN SULi) network to explore models for supporting wildlife conservation on community lands with a focus on southern and eastern Africa.


September 2019

The Luc Hoffmann Institute and WWF-Norway engage with and challenge innovators directly at the Business of Conservation Conference in Africa. Ideas and leads are gathered to include in an upcoming analysis publication.


10 September 2020

‘GOING BEYOND TOURISM IN AFRICA: Diversifying Community Livelihoods from Wildlife’ webinar is held, featuring an informational session about the innovation challenge and live Q&A, as well as short inspirational talks by Alice Ruhweza (Director, WWF Regional Office for Africa), Gautam Shah (Founder, Internet of Elephants) and Fred Swaniker (CEO and Founder of the African Leadership Group).

Watch the full webinar here

15 October 2020

More than 300 applications were submitted to the innovation challenge by individuals and teams from across the continent of Africa and around the world. There were 54 nationalities represented (a majority of them in Africa), and a vast age range from 16 to 87.


© GCShutter / Getty Images

Identify and encourage promising new ideas and approaches with the potential to transform the landscape of conservation.

Timeline ends here

Related resources

What is wildlife worth?
Travel Africa, Jan-Mar 2021 feature mentioning the innovation challenge.

In the face of a global pandemic, how can conservation efforts reduce the chance that poaching will spread disease?
Oct 2020 feature story in Ensia

Beyond tourism: A call for business ideas that protect African wildlife, ecosystems
September 2020 feature story in Mongabay.

Looking beyond hunting and tourism for community benefits  
A thought piece by Melissa de Kock, WWF-Norway Senior Advisor: Conservation, Climate and Communities.

Diversifying local livelihoods while sustaining wildlife 
A review of 130 business models that provide some form of income to rural communities from wildlife and other natural resources and its associated Inventory of incentives for community-based conservation