Spirit of Big Five

About the Foundation

About Spirit of Big Five

In 1973 in Nairobi, Kenya, Mahen Sanghrajka founded Big Five Tours & Expeditions on the basic principle of providing travelers with distinctive and rewarding travel adventures while at the same time contributing positively to both the wildlife and the people of Africa.  Since then, the company has relocated its corporate headquarters to Stuart, Florida, and expanded its offerings to more than 50 destinations in Africa, Central & South America, Asia, the Orient, and the Polar Regions.      

As Big Five has grown, so too has its sense of community.  The company is a sustaining member of "Tourism Cares for Tomorrow," a nonprofit organization formed to preserve, conserve and promote the responsible use of the world's natural, cultural and historic treasures, as well as to support education initiatives and research. 

The launch of Spirit of Big Five Foundation in 2007 was the next step in our desire to grow and expand our commitment to supporting the people and places that we visit.  As part of this initiative, we sought out the assistance of Costas Christ, an internationally recognized expert on sustainable tourism, to serve as our "Ambassador at Large" for the Spirit of Big Five Foundation.  A well-known international speaker and writer on responsible tourism, Costas has been recognized for his work as the lead author of "Tourism and Biodiversity: Mapping Tourism's Global Footprint" and as a contributing author in "Wilderness: Earth's Last Wild Places." Costas assists the foundation in identifying projects consistent with the core principles of sustainable tourism that are at the heart of Big Five’s philosophy of travel.  

Among other accolades in the media for its commitment to sustainable tourism, Spirit of Big Five Foundation was presented with a William D. Littleford Award for Corporate Community Service by the American Business Media.  The award recognizes companies, organizations, and individuals involved in active community service programs aimed at alleviating critical social problems. 

Foundation funding for projects operates in two ways - it makes direct donations to charitable organizations, including humanitarian assistance during natural disaster, such as the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and it also disperses small project grants to grassroots non-profit organizations that meet its funding criteria. 

Goals of the Foundation

Primary goals of the Spirit of Big Five Foundation are:

  • Conservation and protection of biodiversity, wildlife and natural habitat consistent with sustainable tourism practices.
  • Support for poverty alleviation and community development, including capacity building, education, and healthcare in tourism destinations.
  • Support for cultural heritage, archeological and historical preservation in and around tourism destinations.
  • Promotion of sustainable tourism principles and best practices.



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