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New umbrella company Nawiri Group brings together some of the safari industry’s pioneering brands

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Nawiri Group share overlapping investors and support services but will continue to operate as distinct brands in their own target markets.

NAIROBI, KENYA - The strategic investors and partners behind pioneering brands in the safari industry announced the formation of a new umbrella company, called Nawiri Group. The group’s aim is to consolidate their investments in responsible travel and connected impact initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa.

Nawiri Group holds majority interests in Asilia Africa, Go2Africa and technology developer Bazaruto. Jointly employing over 1,000 employees across 4 African countries, the travel organizations within Nawiri Group share overlapping investors and support services but will continue to operate as distinct brands in their own target markets. Nawiri Group works closely with a range of long-term focused non-profit partners and expert organizations in East Africa, including among others Ahueni, Basecamp Explorer Foundation, Carbon Tanzania, Honeyguide Foundation, Kamitei Foundation, Kenya Wildlife Trust, Maa Trust and Six Rivers Africa.

The formation of Nawiri Group follows earlier steps by these investors and companies during the COVID crisis to take a more integrated, partnership-based approach towards business and creating positive impact. This includes itinerary booking technology and processes, service models and close coordination with expert partners on an integrated long-term, positive impact agenda. In essence, the group aims to bring together responsible tourism, local communities and conservation initiatives in a mutually supportive way.

Nawiri Group has an established presence and long-term commitments in some of Africa’s most vital natural ecosystems. This includes the Serengeti/Mara ecosystem and the greater Ruaha/Rungwa ecosystem, among others. These ecosystems hold some of the greatest biodiversity left on the planet, meaning they are globally valuable, but are also under serious threat. Our partner communities in these wilderness areas are directly dependent on these natural ecosystems for their livelihoods and are therefore especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Recognizing this urgency, the long-term goal of Nawiri Group, its investors and partners, is simple yet ambitious: to create a thriving and sustainable future for these vital ecosystems and the local communities who depend on them.

Jane Karuku, Chair of the Board of Nawiri Group comments: "This is a historic moment for truly providing impact at scale. This combination of investment, vision and experience will guarantee genuine, sustainable impact".

Jane Karuku is joined by Helen Gichohi (PhD), as a non-executive director and Chair of the group’s impact and sustainability supervision committee. "I joined Nawiri Group because this organization is committed to driving a holistic development model, understanding that nothing exists in isolation and that to succeed we need to invest in natural ecosystems, communities, and technology."

Key long-term investors in Nawiri Group, in addition to the co-Founders, include the institutional investors Norfund and LGT, as well as private impact investors Christian Sinding (CEO of EQT) and Reynir Indahl (CEO of Summa Equity). Christian Sinding said: “We are proud and excited to be part of the formation of Nawiri Group. Together with our fellow impact investors, I have seen how important active collaboration is to address key challenges experienced in these natural wilderness areas. The opening of the Wildlife Tourism College (WTC) of Maasai Mara in the Pardamat Conservation Area this month is the latest example of how responsible tourism operators, local communities and NGOs successfully work together on a future in which natural ecosystems and the people living in these areas both thrive.”

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