Norman Carr’s Wilderness Trails

Norman Carr’s Wilderness Trails

Norman Joseph Carr, MBE (19 July 1912 – 1 April 1997) was a British conservationist working in Central and Southern Africa. He was influential in setting up National Parks in Malawi (Nyasaland), Zambia and Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) in the 1950s and 1960s. Carr was a man ahead of his time; during the era when safari was a track-and-hunt tradition, Norman Carr broke the mould and created conservation-based tourism.

In Zambia, his vision of Conservation through Tourism led him to set up the country’s first safari company, Norman Carr Safaris, with a focus on local employment and empowerment. He is widely regarded as the pioneer of walking safaris as part of non-consumptive tourism (photography safaris) in Africa.

In 1950 he petitioned Senior Chief Nsefu – Paramount Chief of the Kunda people in the Luangwa Valley – to set aside a portion of tribal land as a Game Reserve and built the first game viewing camp open to the public in Northern Rhodesia. Proceeds from this went back to the community and eco-tourism in Africa was born. His dream was to secure the future of this unique wilderness by ensuring that the local population would benefit through conservation of the wildlife and habitat of the Luangwa Valley. This led to the birth of Norman Carr Safaris, which operates 5 camps in the South Luangwa Valley. Carr’s legacy continues throughout Zambia as he inspired the next generation of conservationists, including Chris Liebenberg who founded Chongwe Safaris.

Carr helped establish the Rhino Trust in the 1970’s (now under the WWF), helped return two lion cubs (Big Boy & Little Boy) to the wild, and provided wildlife education to local children in the South Luangwa Valley through the Kapani School Project, which has been running since 1986.