Through the launch of her own consultancy business, one woman is changing the way travelers view an entire continent.
When Amy Millican graduated from Georgetown University’s Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership Executive Management Certificate Program, she became interested and passionate about the role sustainable tourism plays in responsible international development. Combined with her human rights and justice background, along with having worked extensively with Sudanese refugees in the United States, she was hired in 2011 by the Wildlife Conservation Society to work with their Wildlife Conservation Program in South Sudan.
“In wildlife conservation, there is a confluence of issues and challenges facing local communities and one of the key ways to fight poaching and enable wildlife conservation is through sustainable tourism,” explains Millican. “I am also keenly aware that for some Africa may seem like one of the most daunting places to travel.”
In 2014, Millican combined her knowledge of sustainability with her passion for Africa, as well as years of living within African borders, to launch Flyga Twiga™, a personal safari service and consultancy with offices in North America and Asia.
“Africa offers intense challenges and immense rewards for the traveler,” says Millican. “My business fulfills my belief that by bringing passionate travelers into the vast National Parks and Reserves, local communities will flourish. Wildlife conservation is only possible when the value of these magnificent creatures is understood as part of sustainable tourism and international development.”
Through Flyga Twiga™, Millian is able to fulfill her dreams one client at a time by coordinating bespoke safari trips itineraries for couples or families wishing to travel to Africa.
“For every person who goes on a wildlife safari, there is a moment whereby being with the animals in wild, in their natural environment, shifts the traveler’s perspective forever. This happened to me in 2008 on Madikwe Game Reserve,” says Millican.
“Situated in South Africa, on the Botswana border close to the Kalahari Desert, Madikwe is home to the ‘Big 5’ as well as several packs of the highly endangered African Wild Dogs. Upon entering the Reserve, I was privileged to encounter these beautiful, endangered creatures. At that moment I knew in my heart that I had to do whatever it took to help prevent these and other endangered animals from going extinct in my lifetime.”
Millican credits her unique background in human rights, policing, and justice to being able to craft safari experiences for travelers thirsting to make wildlife conservation and international development part of their journeys and travels.
“It is imperative for those looking to go on safari to Africa to filter through their preconceived notions, or childhood fantasies, before planning a safari,” explains Millian. “While I love watching wildlife documentaries about Africa, I also remind my clients, often five minutes of animal footage can be days of filming. Similarly, no two safaris are the same, nor should they be. [Clients should] make each safari a unique, magical experience – like Africa itself!”
For more information on Flyga Twiga™, visit www.flygatwiga.com. ■