Lapalala’s sustainability commitment extends beyond environmental conservation. The reserve’s biodiversity efforts centre on building awareness of the interdependence between mankind and nature to deliver lasting benefits for communities, the environment and the country as a whole. It’s a bold vision, and one that requires courage, commitment and no small amount of funding to achieve.
To give effect to this vision, Duncan Parker, son of Lapalala founder, Dale Parker, has teamed up with Gianni Ravazzotti, Lapalala neighbour and a highly respected South African business leader, and Peter Anderson of Anderson Wildlife Properties. Together, these three like-minded individuals have developed an ambitious plan that is designed to safeguard the legacy and build the future of the Lapalala Wilderness reserve. The plan comprises three main commercial components, namely:
- A special species breeding project – already underway with Roan Antelope, White and Black Rhinoceros, and Cape Buffalo, the project will be expanded to include other species. It will deliver vital revenue for Lapalala while also increasing the natural breeding capacity of species in the reserve to help grow its wildlife population.
- Tourism enhancement – a new 24-bed safari lodge is planned for development in a prime location. This will provide public access to parts of the reserve, generating revenue and raising conservation awareness.
- Custodianship – open to individuals or companies that share the conservation ideals of Lapalala, this is a unique opportunity to invest and participate in the future of the reserve.
Combined, these three activities have the real potential to ensure the sustainability of Lapalala Wilderness, while at the same time protecting and creating employment opportunities and expanding the reserve’s effectiveness as a conservation education hub. These activities will be overseen on the ground by Clive Walker’s son Anton and Mike Gregor, long time associate of Dale Parker.
A significant component of the plan is also to reintroduce all the species that historically occurred naturally within the Lapalala region, including lion and elephant. However the breeding of rhino will remain a key focus as part of Lapalala’s commitment to addressing the poaching crisis facing these animals in southern Africa primarily by providing the means to restock the other conservation parks and reserves where rhino have been poached to virtual extinction.