I’m sat writing this blog entry sat on the Verandah of my tent, looking out onto the wilderness that is Africa. The only line of defence between me and the predators of the African Plains is 2 fairly low strands of electrified wire, which has already been breached by 3 of the local young antelope. OMG a giraffe has just appeared before me :O
Following a short interlude of trying to photograph said giraffe, as the sun goes down, and tourists start shouting at each other, grabbing cameras and spooking said giraffe, I will return to my digital memoirs, especially as the daily rain shower starts.
This opportunity to visit Kenya came through a 2 week work trip, we have taken the opportunity to take an overnight break at Sweetwater Tented Camp, sort of Glamping in Kenya. the tents have ensuite bathroom, electric lighting and a verandah were you can sit and watch the tooing and froing of the local wildlife.
We have spent the day touring around the Ol Petja Conservancy I have had dust thrown at me by a chimpanzee as I tried to photograph him, fed a black rhino and seen 4 of the 8 only surviving northern white rhino’s in the world, as well as impala, onyx, elephant, giraffe, zebra, warthog, buffalo and a lot more besides.
What this experience really brings home is that it is not wildlife that is the cause of conflict with humans, but that it is humans lack of tolerance and greed that leads to the decline of some of the most awesome creatures on this planet. More needs to be done to stop the poaching of rhino’s, tigers, elephants and the like. I once went to an Andy Rouse talk and he said that we have to make these animals worth more alive to the local population, than dead and the only way to do that is to visit these places and see these animals up close and personal. I recently criticised people on Twitter who complained about Planet Earth Live not being live or the presenters, well I can tell them it is not the easiest of jobs to film or photograph wildlife, the natural world doesn’t work to a script. It doesn’t matter who presents it, as long as the message gets across that we need to protect these creatures, they all have a place on Planet Earth.
As for me the buffalo and antelope are 20m’s away, drinking at the water hole, it is now dark and the night soundtrack closes what has been one of the best days of my life, second only to the day I get married (Disclaimer – I had to add that to keep the wife happy )