COMMUNITY PROJECTS

Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre has opened its doors to the local communities surrounding Plettenberg Bay in an effort to educate and raise awareness about wild animals and what is causing their decline. Many cultural practices in South Africa which are no longer appropriate, are causing the unsustainable depletion of our wildlife populations whilst at the same time, the insidious creep of urban sprawl is replacing their habitat. This double-edged sword is leading to a significant decline in our free-roaming wildlife outside National Parks and private Game Reserves.

Much of our focus is working on the value systems of our children. If you plant the seed of empathy in a child’s heart, it will grow;  until as an adult, alternative methods to extermination will be explored.  This may be too late to save some species, but education is the long term solution.  Tenikwa’s conservation philosophy of  Rehabilitation – Awareness – Promoting Biodiversity led to the purchase of a 4300ha private reserve in 2011, set aside to ensure that wild animals will always have a future.

Tenikwa is cautious to ensure that all the community projects that we support, in some way encourage the integration of environmentally-friendly practices into every-day life and encourage change of behaviour towards a healthier environment where wild spaces and the role of wild animals in our eco-system are respected.

RESPONSIBLE TOURISM

Tenikwa offers a free wildlife rehabilitation service to the community and nature authorities. We accept approximately 230 animals each year. Whilst we do accept public donations for the rehabilitation centre, the bulk of the expense of running the hospital is funded through our public-facing tourist facility. Visitors to the centre take part in the various programs that we have on offer at our Awareness Centre and in this way, tourism directly contributes to conservation.

Our staff are role-models in their community and take the message of conservation home to their families.  Staff at Tenikwa are full-time employees, and Tenikwa contributes significantly to the employment of the local community sourcing its staff locally.

Tenikwa’s purchasing policy principles promote the purchase of local and environmentally-responsible products.

Our community projects initially focused around developing empathy towards animals and wildlife, however in recent years, our focus has shifted to getting involved in community projects which elicit change of behaviour towards more environmentally-friendly practices as well as those projects which support biodiversity.

We have always believed that education, uplifting living conditions and poverty elimination is paramount in addressing the conservation issues facing our country and all the projects that we support impact conservation in some way or another.