We find ourselves in uncharted territory, in a world rapidly changing, with the rhythm of life being determined by circumstances beyond our control. Who could have foreseen this just a few short weeks ago? Just a few short weeks ago we had no concerns. We were watching thirsty elephants drink in the shallows of the Ewaso Nyiro River, we were exploring the remote Mathews Range in northern Kenya, and fending off the attentions of Black Rhinos at Ol Pejeta. We were traveling the breadth of the country without thoughts of confinement, or worries about health. How our idyllic world has changed since then, in such a short time. Social distancing, travel suspension, and lockdown had not even appeared on our horizon. Well, it’s here now. What a change in just a couple of weeks. But for how long? And what will the new norm be like when we get through this crisis? Those are questions that only the future can answer. COVID-19 has rocked our social interaction, the travel industry worldwide, and will have a great effect on the Safari industry here in Kenya.
But life in Africa is often a challenge, and we are no strangers to such challenges. We have weathered many storms before, and we shall get through this storm. The natural world continues to revolve around us, there is no social distancing for the elephant herds in Tsavo, no travel suspension for the Zebras in the Serengeti, and no lockdown for the Lions in the Mara. Many of the local communities are living alongside these wildlife areas, and derive benefits from the wildlife. Their lives continue as before, their co-existence does not end.
The collapse in tourism will undoubtedly have enormous consequences to the conservation world and nearby communities that are, in large part, reliant on income from it. Being in the tourism industry, I understand that conservation and support for these communities is fundamental to my business and future. It cannot – and should not – simply stop. We will continue to protect the wild places, and create opportunities for the individuals and communities that have come to rely on us. We will get through this together. The fabulous wildlife, spectacular birdlife, and wonderful people will all be still be here once this crisis passes.
Many of you might be dreaming wonderful memories of recent and past adventures, others have your dreams of future adventures ahead of you. Fear not, my mission is to keep those dreams alive, it will all still be here. Nature never stops. Keep dreaming and keep planning.
Keep the Dream Alive
Stay safe, stay healthy and stay away from the crowds.
Wishing everyone the very best.
Anthony, Fiona, Zoe, Oscar & Ella