Journeys by Design

Be an Activist

The future of transformational travel

Be an Activist

‘As far as we are aware, there is currently no service that offers this level of differentiated benefits, which are designed specifically for activist travellers dedicated to affecting social and environmental change.’ – Paul Herbertson, CEO Africa House 

All travellers are potential activists. As a vehicle for activism on behalf of nature, travel provides enormous scope for affecting long-term change. In this respect, for those conscientious adventure travellers looking to create positive social and environmental impact through their safari, we have our Activist programme. A unique donor-travel offering, it uses an initial US$20,000 pledge to our non-profit partner Wild Philanthropy to drive capital into at risk ecosystems and vulnerable communities.

In return, we open up a range of services to our Activists to help them support Africa through their travel and philanthropy. These include a host of special travel, consultancy, and fund management opportunities, and are supported by the wider skillset and knowhow of the Africa House Group, to which Journeys by Design, Wild Philanthropy, and our local eco-business development vehicle Tekula Capital all belong. As far as we are aware, there is currently no service that offers this level of differentiated benefits, which are designed specifically for travellers dedicated to affecting social and environmental change.

Special Access Opportunities

A cornerstone benefit to joining the Activist programme is complementary access to our full portfolio of RARE special access travel opportunities, to our philanthropic advisory services, and to our conservation fund management services.

The RARE adventure

Activist travel opportunities are not available through standard channels. Authentic and original travel experiences, they’re largely off-google, far away from the madding crowd, and are extremely difficult to replicate. Compiled over years of searching, our portfolio of over 50 RARE experiences is carefully guarded. By their nature either broadly or completely off-google, we do not publish them on our site or elsewhere in order to preserve the uniqueness and value of the knowledge and the experience. As a taster, however, examples of that travel could include:

The rock art of Ennedi
For those interested in the origins of man’s capacity for imagining our place in the world, a trip in search of undiscovered rock art in the Ennedi Desert of northern Chad is hosted by Trust for African Rock Art’s David Coulson, and includes time with the African Parks team in Zakouma National Park.

Miles off with the Mursi
The anthropologist Will Hurd hosts walking safaris in Ethiopia’s Mursi Mountains, where travellers explore community conservation opportunities with  the Ethiopian Investment Bureau, and go in search of the last giraffe on Tama Plains Reserve.

Gorillas in the west
For those especially interested in primate conservation, journeying into Central Africa’s Dzangha-Sangha and Nouabale-Ndoki National Parks with hosts the Congo Conservation Company represents rare access to work done with and for the western lowland gorilla.

For an example of a RARE itinerary, please see Off the Map, which sees Will Jones guide the Financial Times’s Catherine Fairweather and photographer Don McCullin to stay with the nomadic Rashaida on Eritrea’s Red Sea Coast.

Private Guiding

To complement the journey, should you wish, we offer the option of private guiding for some or all of your trip from our founder Will Jones (FRGS), our CEO Paul Herbertson (FZSL), or one of our Associate Guides  – which include some of the most sought after guides in Africa. As part of the journey, we also arrange specialists and experts to join you around the camp fire.

Philanthropic advisory services

As an Activist, you are also able to access philanthropic and impact investment advice from Wild Philanthropy. This could be on a personal level, where you are able to pick up the phone and ask for advice for your philanthropic giving related to Africa. Alternatively, you might prefer this being offered to your family office or foundation, helping them develop strategies to effectively achieve your philanthropic objectives in Africa.

Conservation fund management

We can also manage an internal fund, held at Wild Philanthropy on your behalf. It would have its own set of conservation objectives. We would manage grants made to conservation and community development work and provide individual impact reporting for you. Our service is bespoke, so you are welcome to ask for any other advice or support and we will do our best to fulfil that. If we are unable to help, the chances are we will know someone who can.

Becoming an Activist

By becoming an Activist you will be joining a small group of conscientious adventure travellers who want their travel to be more than sustainable. They want to create a net positive impact on the places visited.

The Africa House portfolio

You will also be underpinning the broader portfolio of work delivered by the Africa House Group. The Africa House Group was founded by Journeys by Design to help transform the way tourism benefits Africa. Journeys by Design’s role as part of the group is the facilitating of travel to at-risk ecosystems. Wild Philanthropy helps support these ecosystems through philanthropic donations and projects. Tekula Capital provides the means with which to invest in and develop eco-businesses in these ecosystems. Together, they help extend your impact to a range of trusted conservation and community partners that we support.

Enabling greater giving

Journeys by Design’s Activist programme provides Wild Philanthropy with the core financial support we need to fulfil its mission. Please note that funds qualify as unrestricted. The Activist’s pledge underwrites all running costs of the charity, which allows 100% of all other donations to reach projects on the ground. Our aim is to use these funds to leverage much greater giving. In 2020, for every dollar donated, we distributed $3 to our key at-risk ecosystems. By 2025, we expect the ratio to be 1:10. In other words, your $20,000 would see $200,000 going to Africa, a fine return by any standards.

If you are interested in becoming an Activist or would like to learn more, please do get in touch with either Paul Herbertson or Will Jones. If you would like to meet members of the programme please see Fellow Activists.

All of the above benefits have no financial value. Wild Philanthropy Inc is a registered 501(c)(3) public non-profit, offering US tax payers tax deductibility to the full extent of the law. We can also claim Gift Aid from UK taxpayers through our UK fund. Please note that the Activist pledge can be renewed annually, and is made as a donation direct to Wild Philanthropy. As such, the programme adapts and replaces our Friends of Wild Philanthropy programme. The travel services provided are delivered by Journeys by Design, and provided under RARE rates, terms and conditions.