Since 1969 we have been introducing Australians to the magic of Africa. Over the years we have been able to fine tune our environmental and social policies affecting the countries that we visit.
BENCH POLICIES AFFECTING THE ENVIRONMENT, SOCIAL & LOCAL COMMUNITIES
- Support sustainable tourism, using local hotels and suppliers with local guides on all tours.
- Top class, educational guiding is of the utmost importance on every itinerary - giving clients an appreciation of nature in its wildest, truest form.
- Create awareness in Australia of issues faced in Africa through press articles and social media.
- Create links and support organisations devoted to the welfare of the African people, wildlife and environment.
- Ethical animal encounters: Only interact with African wildlife in a way that protects, conserves and enhances their existence.
- Constantly, and vigilantly review all of the above in regards to the product we offer; basing decisions on customer feedback and our own regular visits to Africa.
We have created a number of links and support organisations devoted to the welfare of the African people, wildlife and environment. These are:
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Kenya
Bench is a proud supporter of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya, the world's most successful orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation program. Founded in 1977 by Dame Daphne Sheldrick in memory of her late husband and renowned naturalist, the Wildlife Trust embraces all measures in aid of conservation, preservation and protection of wildlife. These include anti-poaching, safe guarding the natural environment, enhancing community awareness, addressing animal welfare issues, providing veterinary assistance, and rescuing and hand rearing elephant and rhino orphans to ultimately return to life in the wild. More information at www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org.
Bench is the proud foster parent of a female elephant called Kamok who was rescued when she was only a day old by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. This new addition is the third to be "adopted" by Bench and follows the long time fostering of Naipoki, a young female rescued from a well and flown to the Nairobi Nursery where she was successfully hand-raised and recently relocated to the Voi Rehabilitation Centre in Tsavo East National Park. Here her eventual release into the wild will take place by mixing with older orphans and their wild counterparts.
Rhino Ark, Kenya
Bench is a proud supporter of Rhino Ark in Kenya, a project which involves the construction of a fence to surround the whole of the Aberdare Mountain Range to preserve the wildlife and forest, and protect the surrounding farms from elephant raids and destruction of crops. The 400-kilometre long fence is the longest conservation fence in the world and is a major deterrent to poachers and loggers. Rhino Ark is also fencing Eburru Hills which contain the endangered Bongo antelope. More information at www.rhinoark.org.
New Hope Children’s Home, Kenya
Bench is proud to support the New Hope Children’s Home in Mombasa, which is currently home to 47 children aged between three and 16 years. Many of them are from homeless single parent families, whilst other children’s parents have died either from HIV or other diseases. Bench International, together with its parent company, Southern Cross Safaris, feeds all the children with three healthy meals a day. They will now have the chance to grow up healthy, educated and with Christian ethics that will help them integrate into society when they are old enough. More information at www.newhopechildren.org.
Satao Elerai Nursery School , Kenya
Bench is proud to support Satao Elerai Nursery School which educates 63 young Masai children who would not otherwise have a chance to receive an early childhood education. Bench International, together with its parent company, Southern Cross Safaris, are building a new classroom with new desks, chairs, books and sports equipment, as well as a kitchen to prepare a nutritious meal every day for each child. More information at www.communityandwildlife.org.
East African Wildlife Society
Bench is proud to be a member and donor to the East African Wildlife Society, the voice of conservation in East Africa. More information at www.eawildlife.org.
Recent winners of the United Nations ‘Champions of the Earth’ Award, the Black Mambas are made up of 26 young, courageous and very dedicated ladies. They come from previously disadvantaged communities and have undertaken rigorous paramilitary training to work in the Balule Nature Reserve, in South Africa. Their sole purpose? To protect South African wildlife. More information at www.blackmambas.org.