The Observers

The environmental impact of Iranian desert safaris

Desert “safaris”, where people entertain themselves by riding around in all-terrain vehicles in the desert, have become increasingly popular in Iran.
Desert “safaris”, where people entertain themselves by riding around in all-terrain vehicles in the desert, have become increasingly popular in Iran. © Observers

Desert “safaris,” where people entertain themselves by riding around in all-terrain vehicles in the desert, have become increasingly popular in Iran. However, these safaris have significant impacts on the environment, according to our Observer, Alireza Shahdari, an environmental activist. 

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People across Iran were shocked and horrified by a video posted on October 28 showing four young people in an SUV chasing down a wild goat, which eventually collapsed and died of exhaustion. The safari organisers were indicted and, according to Iranian media outlets, the driver responsible for the animal’s death was handed a 25 million toman fine (794 euros). However, Iranian environmental activists say that these fragile ecosystems are being damaged daily and the perpetrators are rarely punished.