The names practically sing out: the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Zanzibar, Masai Mara, the Congo; and there are the iconic spots of legend: Victoria Falls, the Great Rift Valley, the Okavango Delta, Lake Kivu, the White Nile and Murchison Falls.
Of course, there’s the wildlife, from mountain gorillas in the cloud forests of central Africa, to the alpha predators like the lions, cheetahs and leopards in the Serengeti. To see any of these creatures in the wild, in their native habitat, is a thrill unlike any other. For me, seeing these creatures is also a reminder that, a great chapter in the history of life on planet earth is winding down. Habitat loss, poaching, climate change—these things are squeezing these magnificent creatures from every direction.
As humans, we can set aside habitat but we can’t re-write the fundamentals of nature. Nor can we stop poaching without ending the demand for the things that drive it in the first place. And the long-term effects of climate change will undoubtedly impact the continent in ways yet unknown. (more…)