Assessment of Community Participation in Ecotourism and Conservation at Hhuhuwe-Umfolozi Park, South Africa

Bola Olusola Adeleke, Thandi Nzama


Community involvement emerges as a key element of both sustainable tourism and ecotourism and is generally agreed to include public participation in decision-making and residents’ receipt of benefits from tourism. HUP communities have suffered a great neglect economically in the past and it’s the most impoverished region in KZN.  This study aimed at evaluating the participation of community residents in ecotourism and conservation activities at HUP; review benefits received by residents from park and determine the existence of conflicts between residents and park management. A multi-stage sampling procedure was used for the selection of respondents. Structured questionnaire containing a 5-point likert scale were used to measure issues relating to the objectives of the study. Many respondents indicated that active participation between community residents and park management. Ecotourism and conservation projects are largely determined by the park system as residents are yet to be fully integrated into the planning process. Major cause of conflict is restriction of residents from access to wildlife resources in the park. The park system needs to improve her relationship with communities.

Keywords: Ecotourism, Conservation, Participation, Community residents, Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park, Benefits


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ISSN (Paper)2224-3216 ISSN (Online)2225-0948

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