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How your Wildlife Safari with Prestige can support wildlife conser...
Posted 29th Apr 2018
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Posted 5th Apr 2018
Posted 1st Jun 2017
On past Prestige safaris it hasn’t been unusual to encounter all the Big 5 (elephants, lions, leopards, rhinos and buffalo) on one morning! We would like to keep it that way. At Prestige, we are passionate about conservation. We’d like to introduce you to the big 5 and give you an insight into some of the threats they are facing and how we are doing our bit to protect them.
The illegal trade in ivory has expanded over the last 10 years despite the ban on international sales. Poaching is still prevalent. Mothers are killed for their tusks leaving behind orphaned calves unable to survive on their own in the wild. Our Celebration of Wildlife safari to the Masai Mara includes a visit to David Sheldrick’s Elephant Orphanage (click here) and the release site in Tsavo called Ithumba.
One of the people to have done much to bring the plight of the decline in elephants to the world’s attention is David’s widow Daphne Sheldrick, who sadly passed away recently after a lifetime of conservation work. Our managing director, Clive Thomas was privileged to meet this irascible lady on a couple of occasions and was impressed with her determination not to take “no” for an answer on any conservation issue – from Park Warden to Government level!
She always found a way to make things work – back in the 1960’s Daphne was the first person to perfect a suitable milk formula to hand rear orphaned calves. Since then, the orphanage has hand raised hundreds of baby elephants and reintroduced them into the wild herds of Tsavo. These elephants have gone on to have healthy wild-born calves. Daphne’s book – An African Love Story is a good read and is still in print.
(Click here for details) of this October’s hosted Celebration of Wildlife trip to the orphanage, Ithumba and the Masai Mara, with Prestige
It is a similar story with rhinos. Illegal trade in rhino horn has resulted in an alarming decline in population. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is also actively supporting conservation of the black rhino with its Orphan project. Learn more about it here. David and Daphne’s daughter Angela is now carrying on the family tradition in her own charming but equally determined way. We wish her continued success and will continue to support her.
Lions and leopards
Lions and leopards face a decline in their prey base as they lose more of their habitat to human expansion. This means they are more likely to prey on livestock and are killed by farmers as a result. Leopards are also poached for their beautiful fur and their body parts, which are used in traditional Asian medicine.
One of our safari hosts is Giles Clark, conservationist and BBC wildlife presenter. He is the Director of The Big Cat Sanctuary in Kent. Giles is on a mission to transform the Big Cat Sanctuary into a centre of global excellence for conservation.
He has appeared in BBC TV documentaries, Tigers about the House, Ingenious Animals and just last month the three part documentary Big Cats about the House. Learn more about the sanctuary and the charity, The Wildlife Heritage foundation, (here)
Buffalo also risk being killed by farmers. Their habitats are often fragmented by human expansion when they are fenced off or bisected by roads.
Little Governor’s Camp, where we stay, is committed to supporting local communities to protect this unique and wild area of Africa. They run projects to ensure that the community and farmers neighbouring the National Reserve see the benefits of tourism and are encouraged to participate in conservation. These projects include support for local schools, a renewable energy project which provides free energy to the Masai community, a local tree planting project, a zero waste and recycling project, a free eye clinic, and a project where they offer apprenticeship programs at their camps to former street children
Little Governors introduced us to the amazing Richard Long who runs The Mara Rianda Trust (Click here) and through the Trust, we, with the generosity of our clients, are supporting three schools, Aitong, Mara Rianda Primary and Enkereri Primary. We have sponsored many needy children through school, have brought a fresh water supply to two schools, have provided school uniforms to a whole primary school, built and equipped a kitchen at a school where previously the children didn’t receive any food or water.
There are many reasons to go on a Safari to Africa. The shared experience of seeing animals in their natural habitat of the vast open plains and savannah is a unique and awe-inspiring experience, and you can also be helping to ensure that these magnificent animals can be enjoyed by your grandchildren and generations to come in more than just photographs.
Discover more about safaris with Prestige here