Epic Covid Appeal 2020

To find out how Epic covid appeal has made a difference click here!

The Covid-19 pandemic has been especially harsh on those countries that have poor economies and struggling health systems. Many of the developing countries in which we operate (largely Africa and Nepal), moved immediately into extreme isolation, shutting down business and borders to protect vulnerable populations who don’t share the privileges of medical infrastructures that we do.

As you know, tourism is the heartbeat of the destinations Epic travellers visit.

To set the scene, Epic’s great supporter and TV personality here in Australia, Simon Reeve, has put together a short video.

Tourism builds local capacity and employment, empowering local communities to help provide food, shelter, educate children and overcome the constant threat of poverty.  Tragically with the global shut down of the tourism sector, many of the staff in the lodges and camps, their families and wider communities dependent on the tourism industry, are on minimal, if any, income. Safari operators are doing their utmost under dire circumstances, but with little clarity on the timeframe of recovery, this situation will become desperate in the months ahead. Unlike developed economies, where governments are providing a degree of financial assistance, employees in many developing countries have no such safety net.

In addition, the conservation of wilderness areas is heavily dependent upon the empowerment of local communities and ensuring the security and management of these habitats. The people, their culture and these unique natural environments are facing the gravest peril. As I write, rhino poaching incidents in Botswana and South Africa have increased in the last month, the bush meat trade is escalating and according to my old friend Map Ives, founder of the nonprofit organisation, Rhino Conservation Botswana … “It’s a bloody calamity. It’s an absolute crisis.” It has been reported that 35 rhino have been poached in recent times from the central region of the Okavango Delta in Botswana.

Now more than ever, we need to ensure ongoing conservation efforts. Having “eyes and ears” on the environment is crucial, but this comes at a cost. Dark forces are at play to take advantage of the Covid crisis.

With this in mind, Epic is seeking your help.

Many of you will be familiar with the places and operators we are supporting. Indeed, many of you have visited these areas and camps and hence have first-hand experience. This makes this appeal all the more personal.

This appeal focuses on two key outcomes:

To support conservation efforts in these wild areas through funding wildlife monitoring and anti-poaching efforts.
To assist the staff and families of our key suppliers. In developing countries, the impact of reduced income to one employee directly affects their extended family.

Every dollar donated will make a difference and as always we are very grateful for your support. Importantly all donations are guaranteed in full, to reach those in need.

Donation Pathways

Many of our partners have social and conservation programs already in place with the communities in the areas they operate. They’ve recently directed these programs to focus on the complex issues arising out of Covid 19. You will find a detailed description of how your donation can make a difference, including links to company websites, foundations and newsletters, at the bottom of the page, or click here to go directly there. 

Importantly, a number of these organisations have tax exemption status in United States (US registered 501c3 charity) and the United Kingdom.

If you would prefer Epic to manage your donation, you can deposit funds into our account and we will process it from there. Please reference your payment ‘Epic Covid’.

If you wish to donate in AUD $ please pay by electronic transfer to:

Account name: Epic Expeditions Pty Ltd Trust Account
Bank: Westpac Banking Corporation
Branch code: 034013 – 89-91 Boundary St, West End QLD 4101
Account No: 178719
Swift Code: WPACAU2SXXX

If you wish to donate in USD $ please pay by electronic transfer to:

Account name: Epic Expeditions Pty Ltd USD Account
Bank: Westpac Banking Corporation
Branch code: 034702 – 80 George Street, Parramatta NSW 2150 Australia
Account No: 411416
Swift Code: WPACAU2SXXX

Please let us know the details of your donation via email to Brad Horn (bhorn@epicprivatejourneys.com) so that we can ensure your donation goes to the initiative you wish to support.

Feel free to contact Brad direct by phone +61 415348697 or email if you have any questions regarding the appeal.

I want to say a very big thank you for your support.
As ever, I am very grateful.

Best Regards,

Brad Horn
Managing Director

See below for an update on how the donations have made a difference. For further information on individual companies and how you can donate please scroll down to the bottom of the page.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

COVID APPEAL UPDATE

The impact of Covid has been profound – particularly on rural communities dependent on tourism and on wildlife conservation. Generous donations to Epic’s Covid Appeal have made a big difference in Africa and Nepal in the following ways:

  • Food hampers and other essentials such as blankets
  • Supporting anti-poaching teams – helicopter and vehicle surveillance
  • Mobilisation of extra de-snaring teams who also keep a critical presence in unpatrolled areas
  • Supporting small sustainable businesses – cooperative farms
  • Sanitation and water supplies – water storage tanks and boreholes
  • Assisting government and working with the local village leadership to deliver support
  • Development and distribution of education material to reduce the spread of Covid

Every single contribution, no matter how big or small, makes a significant difference. 

WILDERNESS SAFARIS

Food Hampers

Here is a video LINK for an update of the situation in Botswana and the impact of the food hampers to date.

Kim Nixon, Managing Director of Wilderness Safaris Botswana, describes ‘an increasing scale of hardship’ witnessed in his team’s ongoing outreach to villages surrounding the Okavango Delta, and Bushman families within the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR). All have been seriously impacted by the fallout associated with Covid-19.

‘The bottom line is that the works have literally changed a heap of lives and the food hampers do have a huge effect influencing food security in the positive.’

People in these rural, extremely remote villages are either unemployed, doing subsistence farming (livestock or food staples), or working in jobs related to tourism or government. With the onset of Covid-19 and lockdown, people are staying at home on reduced or no salaries. Supplies in many of these villages are extremely limited. Botswana’s government, through local village  leadership, began reaching out to Wilderness for assistance, to add to government’s already significant efforts. By the time December arrives, the people’s stored grains will be long gone and ploughing will only have just commenced. A further 6 month State of Emergency in the country which precludes international traveller arrivals means tourism remains on its’ knees. The plan is to reach and exceed over 2000 food hampers to the rural villages, to really ensure deep support to help see the families through the Christmas period.

Wilderness contributes directly to the communities, where they have long-term commitments, partnerships, and alliances, and many of their colleagues hail from. The hampers contain staples such as beans, maize, rice, sorghum; soap and washing powder; toothpaste and toothbrushes; corned beef; matches; sugar; tea; cooking oil, blankets, and a few other items – enough to feed a family of four to six for one month. Staff utilise Wilderness Safari’s vehicles to deliver the hampers to families under the guidance of local leadership. The goods are handed over in a ceremony to the chief (and/ or the District Commissioner/ representative) of each village and donors are acknowledged.  Getting the food to the neediest, has presented a host of challenges. ‘It took us 11 hours to drive 500 km to Seronga’, Kim says. ‘Tiring and testing roads, with potholes deep as a donkey standing’.

Since mid-April, the team has delivered:

  • 2757 food hampers to the most vulnerable families in the deep rural villages and settlements of Botswana.
  • 19 individual food runs, spanning Ngamiland and the Central district, deep in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. This included five Bushman settlements (all 83 families within the Central Kalahari Game Reserve), who also received two blankets per family to survive the plummeting night-time temperatures in the Kalahari.
  • All trucking is donated for the deliveries, including 10-12 Wilderness staff on for the food run with 3-4 cruisers to absolutely ensure all food is personally delivered and guaranteed to get to the vulnerable.

To date Wilderness has distributed around 85 tons of food aid. This represents a meaningful contribution to food security in a portion of the country almost entirely reliant upon tourism revenues, currently non-existent.

Water

The Village Development Committees and Social Workers, in conjunction with the village leadership (Dikgosi) highlighted the need for drinking water storage tanks and for food hampers. Wilderness Safaris responded by giving a 10,000 litre tank for the Sexaxa Community (where they had no running potable water) in addition to raising funds for food hampers. These were to donated to the community leaders to distribute to their most vulnerable people.

Wilderness – Antipoaching

Antipoaching activities include monitoring of concession areas via game drive vehicle to deter and check evidence of poaching activity in the Linyanti (Kings Pool Camp, Duma Tau Camp, Savuti Camp, Linyanti Tented Camp), Vumbura (Vumbura Plains Camp, Little Vumbura Camp) and Mombo areas (Mombo Camp, Little Mombo Camp). Vehicles cover on average between 73km and 130km per day.

Surveillance and mapping of the Linyanti area via helicopter has been undertaken to assess any damage caused by poachers that may have infiltrated beyond the areas patrolled by the Botswana Defence Force into the tourism concession areas. Surveillance covered most areas historically poaching targets and found no new poached carcasses of elephant in the Linyanti area.

NATURAL SELECTION – Covid-19 Village Support Programme.

The COVID-19 Village Support Program is transporting food parcels to remote villages in Botswana and Namibia to improve nourishment of communities in the face of this unprecedented viral threat. Additionally, the Feed-a-Child Program will continue regardless of school closings and the Elephant Express buses will be on the road in the northern Okavango Delta assisting people with access to clinics via dangerous elephant corridors and with school transport as and when schools reopen.

Donations have helped us provide monthly food to well over 3,500 people living alongside wildlife areas. The food parcels have had a huge positive impact on families and potentially on the prevention of bushmeat hunting in wildlife areas. Now that Botswana has extended its State of Emergency for another 6 months, we are grateful to have such donations that help us to continue to the end of 2020 and are busy preparing auctions to raise additional funds.  We are looking forward to hosting Nigel Amos (Botswana Olympic runner) who will be assisting with our next food delivery on 24 Oct 2020.

The fund also helped develop and distribute important health pamphlets in both the local language and English to educate families about reducing the spread of Coronavirus virus. Click here to view the pamphlet.

NOMAD EMPLOYEE FUND – TANZANIA

Through this fund Nomad have supported 145 staff with funds to help them address some of their most pressing needs:

  • 49 individuals to pay their house rent;
  • 43 received a contribution for their children’s school fees;
  • 27 supported their family and general home expenses; and
  • 70 staff to buy food for themselves and their dependants.

The situation Covid in Tanzania was further compounded by severe floods that destroyed a lot of people’s farms and crops, that they were relying on for food or income.

‘We are proud to have partners like yourselves who really rally support in times of need. Asante Sana from all of us.’

BUSHCAMP COMPANY – ZAMBIA

Commit to Clean Water Initiative

Bushcamp Company’s aim has always been to improve the lives of the local people in the Mfuwe area. In 2014 we embarked upon an ambitious project to provide safe, clean water to villages in the local community. Most of us take it very much for granted that, with the simple act of turning on a tap, clean, safe water will always be available. But we are the lucky ones, around half of the world’s population lacks this most basic of life’s necessities. In the Luangwa valley, local communities are growing rapidly in size, and most villagers still have no convenient access to safe, clean water.

Safe, clean water is available, but it is stored underground. To reach it, deep boreholes need to be drilled and central pumps provided. This is not a difficult task, but requires funding and organisation. The Bushcamp Company, in conjunction with generous donors, has already embarked on an ambitious project to provide several boreholes in various village locations. Each borehole costs around US$7000 to construct, including hand pump and drain. With continuing donor support, we plan to extend this project to other needy areas.

By the end of 2019 we had provided 115 new boreholes, with 20 more already planned for 2020. Each borehole benefits over 300 people per day by providing safe, convenient access to clean water.

This is a project that we consider to be vital to the wellbeing of our local communities, providing tangible benefits to thousands of people.

The Epic donations funded one of the bores. For more information on the commit to clean water initiative click here. 

SUMMITS AFRICA COOPERATIVE FARM TANZANIA

The Summits Africa Cooperative Farm has been set up to generate alternative income for the climbing and trekking guides and porters whose work has come to a standstill during Covid – 19. Summits Africa staff (camp attendants, guides, porters) are running the farm and preparing the land for planting. They are growing a range of produce: onions, tomatoes, chives, peppers, beans, and maize.  They have also built fishponds to grow tilapia and use the water to fertilise the crops from the fish waste. The long-term visionary plan is for the farm to provide fresh local produce to Summits Africa’s climbs and treks and other tourism businesses in the area. This diversification means they will have a means to support their families and the broader community.

ALEX WALKER SERIAN TANZANIA- MISSION POSSIBLE DE-SNARING TEAM

(images by Zanne Labuschagne)

‘Every snare they remove equals another animal saved… Thank you for helping us.’

Alex Walker’s Serian Company have built on a highly successful Serengeti National Park de-snaring programme the “Serengeti Mission Possible” Campaign originally developed by the Frankfurt Zoological Society. In coordination with the Tanzanian National Park Management staff, the Campaign utilises the now unemployed tourism workforce. Provision of employment to these individuals, can prevent a return to illegal activity. Donations have enabled mobilisation of extra de-snaring teams who also keep a critical law enforcement presence in areas that would be otherwise unpatrolled as tourism continues to lag and budget shortages hit.

Currently there are 4 teams operating in the local area, north and south of the Mara River. Historically wildebeest herds, numbering in the region of 1.6 million, traverse the 300 km migratory routes of the Serengeti Ngorongoro ecosystem.

The teams work on shifts of 6 weeks on 2 weeks off. Setting out at 6 pm for all night anti-poaching patrols, they use binoculars and other simple night vision optics to spot poacher’s torchlight, often apprehending individuals in the act of laying snares. After a short break they return to the field again to areas of suspected activity and conduct foot patrols in search of recently laid snares. It is a long day’s work (16 hours), for minimal salary in dangerous conditions.

The teams have removed 2,926 snares, arrested 36 meat poachers, and destroyed 18 poacher camps. Whilst they found 129 animals dead in the snares including 3 lions, they were able to release 40 animals. This included wildebeest, zebra and two elephants requiring sedation as snares were removed from their trunks.

The work is continual, on-going, and effective. Donations help to keep these teams active and engaged in the field by providing basic salaries, food, vehicle running costs and waterproof ranger’s coats.

For more info click here or to watch the video on the project click here. 

 SHANGRI –LA NEPAL TREK P. LTD

(SNT staff last season at Everest Base Camp and more recently at their Office in Kathmandu)

With no work available during the Covid pandemic, many of the trek and climb staff from Shangri-la Nepal Trek returned to their families in the rural villages of Nepal.  Jiban Ghimire, Managing Director of the Company has used the donated funds to pay wages to his staff both in Kathmandu and the villages. These funds will help the families to cover at least 6 months living expenses. There is hope that international borders will open in time for the April/May 2021 season and they can go back to work.

Image Gallery


Organisations and Donation Opportunities

Below are the Companies we are supporting and ways you can help them. Click on the plus sign beside the organisation to reveal the information.

  • Wilderness Safaris, Botswana
    Wilderness Safaris, Botswana

    As an employer of almost 3 000 people, the vast majority of whom come from rural African communities, we feel an immense sense of responsibility to protect their jobs by ensuring that our business emerges from this crisis. With as many as 10 people dependent on one salaried family member, job losses across our industry will have a profound effect on the livelihoods of thousands of impoverished communities. For those partners, guests and Africa enthusiasts who are able to assist us to continue making a difference during these unprecedented times, they can donate to the Wilderness Wildlife Trust, here

    In terms of specific items to support the community and conservation, the following activities have been suggested:

    Community Support

    Food Packages: 

    We are assisting the Okavango Community Trust (OCT) to provide much needed food packages to 3000 and 4000 families living in 5 villages. This will supplement the Government’s food aid that is currently stretched. ‘The reality is that there are many more mouths to feed that are not getting sufficient nutrition and this is only going to get worse.’ Any food donated will be delivered by Wilderness at no cost to the OCT, for equal division amongst the 5 villages.

    USD 40.00 dollars can provide a food/hygiene package consisting of:
    12.5kg maize (corn meal);10kg sorghum; 2kg Rice; 5kg bread flour; 2.5kg Sugar; 2L cooking oil; 1 packet of Cremora (powdered milk); Five roses tea; 8 packets of soup (minestrone and Chakalaka); 2kg washing powder; 4 bars of soap; 2 bags of Sugar beans; 1 kg of Meat (a goat or two bought from each village, or a cow in Seronga)

    Conservation

    Concession monitoring:

    Linyanti Concession including Kings Pool Camp, Duma Tau Camp, Savuti Camp, Linyanti Tented Camp

    • 4 vehicles covering 130km per day: USD 4,700 per month
    • 1 helicopter, 6 hours per month: USD 5,400 per month

    Vumbura Concession including Vumbura Plains Camp, Little Vumbura Camp

    • 3 vehicles covering 73km per day: USD 3,250 per month

    Mombo Concession including Mombo Camp, Little Mombo Camp

    • 3 vehicles covering 73km per day: USD 3,250 per month

     

    Anti-poaching aerial surveillance:

    Provide support and assistance to the Botswana Government’s efforts in ensuring security of their wildlife resources. In particular, assisting the Government’s essential work with rhino conservation through the rhino dehorning program of the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Botswana.

    Helicopter Horizons, a Maun based tourism company, have a helicopter available to undertake surveillance of rhino and elephant in the Linyanti. This would assist the Government’s rhino dehorning operation by establishing the animal’s location. The evidence of poaching will also be reported. In addition, the helicopter can also take supplies into the concession area for the community and move supply and/or people out on the way home. Estimated cost for 5 hrs surveillance: USD 3,000.00.

    In terms of donations channels, there are the following options:

    • For US clients can donate to the Wilderness Wildlife Trust via Empowers Africa Click Here. and donate via the option General Programs- Anti-Poaching and Management. Please let Epic know if you have a preference for which initiative you wish to donate to. This is a 501c3 charity. Alternatively you can donate directly via Epic.
    • For non-US clients can donate directly to the wilderness wildlife trust click here. Alternatively you can donate directly via Epic. Again please let Epic know which initiative you wish to donate to.
  • Natural Selection, Botswana
    Natural Selection, Botswana

    In Botswana and Namibia, 8.9% and 15.7% of the population respectively are employed by the tourism sector. One employed person typically supports between five and seven other people. As a result, the COVID-19 pandemic has the potential for far reaching impacts on communities. This is particularly the case in households where women steer the house and also single income households, of which there are many in the Natural Selection family. In addition, the virus itself could have a devastating impact on these communities where there are already high rates of HIV.

    The Natural Selection Foundation has a number of existing programs  recently tailored to meet current needs:

    The COVID-19 Village Support Program will be transporting food parcels to remote villages in Botswana and Namibia to improve nourishment of communities in the face of this unprecedented viral threat.

    The Feed-a-Child Program will continue regardless of school closings:

    • USD 75 will feed a family of 6 for one month
    • USD 300 will feed a classroom of children for one month

    The Elephant Express buses will be on the road in the northern Okavango Delta assisting people with access to clinics via dangerous elephant corridors and with school transport as and when schools reopen.

    • USD $1400 funds one Elephant Express bus for one month

    The Natural Selection Foundation is a US registered 501c3 charity.

  • Bushcamp Company, Zambia
    Bushcamp Company, Zambia

    Our properties are currently closed.  Like everyone, we are concerned about the impact that this situation will have on communities and wildlife, and the potential of increased poaching activities as the tourism industry faces tough times and the local economy suffers.  All staff will remain employed, and we are continuing our community and conservation efforts, through the Meal-a-Day Programme and ongoing support of Conservation South Luangwa, (cslzambia.org).

    While you are missing out on travel in this time, you may also feel the loss of being able to contribute to something positive. If you would like to get involved in some way that has an immediate and hugely beneficial impact, you can donate directly to our Zambian charity: Charity Begins at Home or to our US-based charitable organisation, a registered 501(c)(3): Friends of Charity Begins at Home. We guarantee that 100% of any donation is spent on conservation and community.

    As a company, we are committed to these projects more than ever and are currently focused on:

    • Anti-poaching patrols in the park.
    • Providing meals for schoolchildren.
    • Continuing ‘Commit to Clean Water’ project.

    For more information about our projects please click here to read the newsletter.

    We are currently funding 10-day anti-poaching patrols and 1-day anti-snaring patrols, in conjunction with Conservation South Luangwa, and plan on expanding these patrols.

    • USD 100 – a de-snaring patrol by Conservation South Luangwa for 6 officers.
    • USD 300 – 10-day patrol for 6 officers (excluding salaries).
    • USD 1 – Protective mask.
    • USD 75 feeds one child for a school year.
    • USD 7000 pays for a borehole (safe drinking water for 300 people per day).

    For a list of current needs, please contact projects@bushcampcompany.com

    If you would like to help the people and wildlife of the South Luangwa you can transfer donations to The Bushcamp Company’s Conservation & Community Fund at the following account:

    Charity begins at Home

    US Dollar Account No: 1598090500192
    Swift Code: ZNCOZMLU
    Bank: Zambia National Commercial Bank
    Branch: Mfuwe
    Bank Address: Mfuwe International Airport, P.O.Box 87, Mfuwe, Zambia

  • Chiawa, Zambia
    Chiawa, Zambia

    While we are waiting to reopen Chiawa Camp and Old Mondoro, we’re making the most of this time to fine tune the camps and our fleet of custom safari vehicles – lockdown has its benefits. We would like to thank you for your responses to our previous newsletter and most especially for those generous donations some of you have already made to Conservation Lower Zambezi (CLZ) during what is a very difficult time. We really do appreciate your support. All donations are welcome, no matter how large or small, and if some of you are still thinking of supporting CLZ then please do consider contributing towards vital anti-poaching activity, the below gives you an indication of what can be done with your hard-earned money.

    • USD 1,550/week – 10-man Rapid Response Unit (reacts to specific intelligence leads and acts of poaching)
    • USD 1,550/week – 5-man K9 Unit
    • USD 910 – 5-man x 10 day anti-poaching proactive patrol (community scouts where Conservation Lower Zambezi pay salaries) conservationlowerzambezi.org
    • USD 405 – 5-man x 10 day anti-poaching proactive patrol (Government scouts, Dept National Parks Wildlife)

    For UK tax deductible donations click here
    For USA tax deductible donations
    CLZ Crowdfunding

    Contributions so far:
    On 3rd May 2020, Lower Zambezi Tourism Association donated finds raised from its members of almost USD 2,000 in antibiotics and other medications, and infrared thermometers to Chiawa Health Clinic. These were kindly procured through the expertise and contacts of medical specialists in our private-public COVID task force.

    Last month Chichele Safaris (the new owners of Puku Ridge & Chichele who we are working with to put these two incredible camps back on the map) donated about USD 2500 worth of hand sanitiser, liquid soap, hand-washing buckets and drinking water to the Mambwe community just outside the South Luangwa NP.

    Chichele Safaris also donated fuels, oils and new blades for the National Park’s grader – a simple but effective solution to making the game viewing tracks that much more comfortable and accessible so that they are ready for visitors to the new Puku Ridge.

    Meanwhile we hope you will enjoy this short video, a message from the Lower Zambezi and South Luangwa, as we start to see glimmers of hope in the beginning of the lifting of some lock-down measures.

  • Alex Walker's Serian, Tanzania
    Alex Walker's Serian, Tanzania

    Across much of Tanzania, a considerable portion of camp staff we employ are locally sourced from the rural communities in the areas where Serian operate, primarily for their intimate bush skills, their tremendous work ethic and their ability to live happily in these remote environments. In discussions with Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) and the Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS)- a major partner of TANAPA’s working in Tanzania, Serian have agreed to build on a pilot and highly successful Serengeti National Park de-snaring programme by deploying these wonderful folk, under TANAPA management, to further supplement the de-snaring teams already in place and thereby provide a critical presence while undertaking anti-poaching and de-snaring work. For more information click here to refer to Serian’s newsletter

    All funds go to the Frankfurt Zoological Society’s “Serengeti Mission Possible”, a time limited funding campaign launched during Easter 2020. The campaign’s focus is to utilise the now unemployed tourism workforce to mobilise extra de-snaring teams and to keep a law enforcement presence in areas in the Serengeti National Park that will be otherwise empty as budget shortages hit.  This campaign offers a quick and practical response to the risk of increased poaching that is now taking place. Click Here

    If you would like to contribute specifically to the following activities associated with Serian Camp:

    • US $ 2,400/month – antipoaching field patrol team
    • US $ 880 – set of truck tyres/month
    • US $ 350 – one month’s salary
    • US $ 50 – food for one person for a month

    please send Brad a copy of your donation to FZS and what activity you would like to support or donate directly through Epic Private Journeys, details below. Please reference your payment ‘Epic Covid’.

    If you wish to donate in AUD $ please pay by electronic transfer to:
    Account name:  Epic Expeditions Pty Ltd Trust Account
    Bank: Westpac Banking Corporation
    Branch code: 034013 – 89-91 Boundary St, West End QLD 4101
    Account No: 178719
    Swift Code: WPACAU2SXXX

    If you wish to donate in USD $ please pay by electronic transfer to:
    Account name: Epic Expeditions Pty Ltd USD Account
    Bank: Westpac Banking Corporation
    Branch code: 034702 – 80 George Street, Parramatta NSW 2150 Australia
    Account No: 411416
    Swift Code: WPACAU2SXXX

    Please let us know the details of your donation via email to Brad Horn (bhorn@epicprivatejourneys.com) so that we can ensure your donation goes to the initiative you wish to support. We will endeavour to keep you posted on the progress of the projects you have donated to.

  • Nomad, Tanzania
    Nomad, Tanzania

    With the global spread of the Covid 19 virus, we face our biggest challenge yet, the like of which our world has never seen. It’s clear that difficult times lie ahead. As a Company we moved fast to moth ball our camps and get our last clients home whilst international travel was still possible. We’ve since been mapping out a plan to nurse the Company through an extended period of zero revenue.

    So far, with everyone’s support, we have managed to retain some element of long term salary for the vast majority of our staff, secure everyone’s family health insurance, support those staff with personal loan commitments to commercial banks and keep our core teams together wherever possible.

    Most of these plans have only been made possible by the incredibly humbling individual responses to the call for voluntary salary reductions and unpaid leave rotations within teams.

    In addition, so many of you have gone on to ask if there is anything further you can do to help that we’ve set up this internal support platform to make funds available to those most in need as the pressure on our families increases. A small team of senior staff members is being formed to help manage this fund and respond to individual calls for extra assistance. Details of this will emerge through April / May. We’ve also set up a separate fund to support our conservation partners and communities through this time, please do check that out and share it with friends and family.

    We’re in the midst of uncertain times and individually may not be able to afford much, but if we combine together and donate what we can each month, we’ll soon be able to provide additional support which can really make a difference. With heartfelt thanks to you all. We’re in this together.

    Core Conservation Costs:

    • USD 100 will pay for a pair of Lion Defenders to continuously monitor and protect 100km2 for one week in Ruaha
    • USD 150 buys a spare tyre for a patrol car
    • USD 250 covers two Conflict Officers to collect data on depredations, respond to and mitigate human wildlife conflict in Ruaha for one month
    • USD 300 covers the salary of one of the Serengeti De-snaring rangers
    • USD 4000 covers one De-snaring team’s operational costs for a month

    Employee Fund: USD 125 will feed a family of four for one month.

    Link to our Nomad staff relief fund which has just launched. (UK Pounds)

    Click here to donate to the employee relief fund

    Click here to donate to the conservation partners and communities fund

  • Summits Africa, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
    Summits Africa, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

    Facing the very daunting prospect of literally no business and no income for the coming climbing season, founder Ake Lindstrom has been meeting with his porters and crew to kick start a local farming initiative through  SACCOS,  a registered Savings and Credit Cooperative Society.  They are democratic, unique, member driven, self-help cooperatives, owned, governed and managed by the members who have the same common bond. They are governed by the SACCOS by laws.  A SACCOS aggregates the savings from its members and lends them out to its members at attractive interest rates or they invest as agreed by members. Read the Summits blog

    Summits is looking for donations to seed fund this initiative specifically for:

    • Rental of 2 acres of local land,
    • Formally register a SACCOS group with the Tanzanian Government – (registration cost: Tsh 5 million, approximately USD 2,160.00),
    • Farming expertise to assess land and advise what to grow, where and when, and
    • Farming equipment and fertilisers etc..

    The aim is to make the farming a long-term project to provide future security. Organic produce grown will be sold to the community, providing funds to ensure the continuation of the farming and pay members for their work. The intention is for Summits Company to purchase the organic vegetables to supply Safari operations.

    The group will eventually have their own bank account after they have been formally established. In the interim funds can be donated through Epic Private Journeys. Please reference your payment ‘Epic Covid’.

    If you wish to donate in AUD $ please pay by electronic transfer to:
    Account name:  Epic Expeditions Pty Ltd Trust Account
    Bank: Westpac Banking Corporation
    Branch code: 034013 – 89-91 Boundary St, West End QLD 4101
    Account No: 178719
    Swift Code: WPACAU2SXXX

    If you wish to donate in USD $ please pay by electronic transfer to:
    Account name: Epic Expeditions Pty Ltd USD Account
    Bank: Westpac Banking Corporation
    Branch code: 034702 – 80 George Street, Parramatta NSW 2150 Australia
    Account No: 411416
    Swift Code: WPACAU2SXXX

    Please let us know the details of your donation via email to Brad Horn (bhorn@epicprivatejourneys.com) so that we can ensure your donation goes to the initiative you wish to support. We will endeavour to keep you posted on the progress of the projects you have donated to.

  • Shangri-La, Nepal
    Shangri-La, Nepal

    Shangri-la Nepal Trek (SNT), a pioneer in adventure, outdoor and mountain outfitting in Nepal, have been supporting the dreams of trekkers, climbers and filming groups wishing to travel Nepal and in the Himalaya for 26 years. The company’s clients and guides together have over 300 successful summits of high Himalayan peaks including Mount Everest. Notably, the company has also outfitted thousands of trekkers to popular and exotic locations including Everest Base Camp. To provide this support, SNT employs around 30 trekking staff including guides, porters and camps staff as well as a number of operational staff in Kathmandu.

    Nepal is a very poor country, where the government is unable to offer support to its people during the current Covid crisis. The Central Bank has postponed bank loan instalments and interest for 6 months, but there is no talk about any fund for the people or workers.

    Jiban Ghimire, the Managing Director of Shangri-La Nepal Trek (SNT), has been able to provide some funds to his employees who have either returned home to their villages to do farming work or who live in Kathmandu and will come back to the office after the lockdown opens. Jiban has a plan to pay each staff member to cover at least 6 months living expenses:

    Support/Office Staff expenses – USD 1000/ staff member/6 month expenses.

    Trekking/Climbing Staff – USD 1500/ trekking staff /6 month expenses.

    To support the staff of SNT please provide a donation through Epic  Private Journeys. Please reference your payment ‘Epic Covid’.

    If you wish to donate in AUD $ please pay by electronic transfer to:
    Account name:  Epic Expeditions Pty Ltd Trust Account
    Bank: Westpac Banking Corporation
    Branch code: 034013 – 89-91 Boundary St, West End QLD 4101
    Account No: 178719
    Swift Code: WPACAU2SXXX

    If you wish to donate in USD $ please pay by electronic transfer to:
    Account name: Epic Expeditions Pty Ltd USD Account
    Bank: Westpac Banking Corporation
    Branch code: 034702 – 80 George Street, Parramatta NSW 2150 Australia
    Account No: 411416
    Swift Code: WPACAU2SXXX

    Please let us know the details of your donation via email to Brad Horn (bhorn@epicprivatejourneys.com) so that we can ensure your donation goes to the initiative you wish to support. We will endeavour to keep you posted on the progress of the projects you have donated to.