chapter  13
Governing Nature Tourism in Eastern and Southern Africa
Pages 13

Conservation in sub-Saharan Africa has undergone significant changes. In recent decades, against the background of shifting global discourses on conservation and international development, conservation organisations, international development organisations, tourism businesses, state agencies and local communities in Africa have increasingly attempted to synthesize their diverging objectives to find new solutions for the protection of nature and wildlife outside state protected areas, often by developing nature tourism to generate livelihood opportunities. Whereas communities have long been excluded from such conservation work, they have become actively involved in conservation especially since the 1970s and 1980s (see also Hulme & Murphree, 2001; Suich, Child & Spencely, 2009). Moreover, conservation is increasingly underpinned by market logic. This chapter provides an overview of this transition in the governance of nature tourism by first describing the main logics in the conservation discourse over time. We next discuss four institutional arrangements for nature tourism in Africa – conservancies in Namibia, private game reserves (PGR) in South Africa, tourism conservation enterprises (TCE) in Kenya and Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs) – to illustrate how communal and private landowners have come to play a pivotal role in conservation on the one hand and how conservation increasingly is undergirded by neoliberal principles on the other (see also Van der Duim, Lamers & Van Wijk, 2015). After comparing these arrangements and highlighting the main internal and external challenges associated with these governance arrangements, we finalize with a conclusion.