Discover how Sharjah Safari was born and how has become a unique natural destination in UAE.
The principles guiding the development of project were that it must involve sustainable land use, be respectful of the environment, have an African feel, and be linked to the proposed zoological theme via the umbrella thorn (Vachellia tortilis).
Fortunately, not only do the Arabian Peninsula and Africa share a high degree of similarity in fauna and flora but landscapes and scenery as well and areas of Sharjah, especially where wild Vachellia tortilis still grow, closely resemble regions in East and Southern Africa. At the request of His Highness the Environment & Protected Areas Authority (EPAA) proposed that Sharjah Safari be developed in the greater Elbridi Protected Area.
This 1,824 ha protected area, established in 2012, is located southeast of Al Dhaid in Central Sharjah. The EPAA was concerned with preserving the ecological values of Elbridi, most notably its mature acacia woodland. After evaluating the ecological significance of the area, it was decided to divide the area in two, maintaining 1,034 ha to the north as a nature reserve, while utilizing the degraded land to the south for Sharjah Safari.
Working with local and international specialists the EPAA then set about designing and developing the safari in the most ecologically friendly way, utilizing the natural features of the landscape in the design, and preserving the natural eco-system as much as possible.
His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah and Member of the Federal Supreme Council, has always been extremely passionate about biodiversity conservation and conserving the environment for future generations. For more than two decades His Highness has been committed to establishing protected areas and conservation centres for the indigenous fauna and flora of the Arabia Peninsula in Sharjah.
But recognising that the threats to biodiversity conservation extend across national and regional boundaries in 2016 His Highness instructed that work begin on the largest safari outside Africa, expanding his commitment to conservation to include African fauna and flora.
His vision was to provide citizens of the UAE and tourists with an opportunity to discover the amazing diversity of fauna and flora found throughout Africa, by providing guests with an authentic safari experience so that they could appreciate the animals in natural surroundings.
Knowing that public participation and environmental education are essential to achieving long-term conservation goals and the success of the project, His Highness also instructed that the safari not only provide a unique experience but a strong conservation message with a high degree of community engagement as well.
To provide authentic safari tours that immerse our visitors in the sights and sounds of Africa as they journey through the vast natural habitats and carefully curated villages. All the while reminding us of the important role we play in protecting the environment and conserving biodiversity, so that we can create a generation who not only understand and appreciate the natural world but actively participate in preserving it. Indeed to share results of conservation and research projects supporting species conservation and their natural habitats.
The Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA) strives to protect terrestrial and marine environments, and fauna and flora through education, management and research.
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