31 October 2012

New Tour In South Africa: Tigers & Leopards

Earlier this year I was on assignment for National Geographic Traveler in India to shoot for an article on tiger safaris. I was there for a week and visited both Bandhavgarh and Ranthambore, their most famous tiger parks. It turned out to be a very frustrating experience - only on our very last game drive did we see a tiger. One tiger. After sunset. On the road. Hardly the ideal conditions for a good photograph.

Tigers are indigenous to Asia and there are many companies that offer photo tours to India, where they visit the same two parks which are supposed to be the best. But chances of you actually seeing a tiger are small, and seeing one in good photography conditions are even smaller. Unfortunately, chances of seeing a tiger in the wild are diminishing further every year, as tiger conservation on the Asian continent does not seem to be very successful. Numbers are decreasing rapidly and necessary measures, like properly fencing the national parks, are not taken.

This has always been the main reason we have never organized a tiger photography tour before - you simply can't promise good tiger sightings in those parks if you only have limited time. Another reason is that the famous tiger parks are heavily overcrowded with tourists and vehicles, and that you have to be extremely lucky to be in a good position for photography when you arrive at a sighting. Been there, done that.

And the fact that I saw just one tiger during that whole week does make one wonder how many tigers are actually still left in the national parks. Once the tiger is lost to the parks, so is the tourist potential and so too is the vital income needed to save the tiger from poachers. It’s a downward spiral.

But even though my first tiger encounter was short and far from ideal, I was impressed with this incredibly pretty cat and I was determined to get better pictures.


Tigers in South Africa?

This year we met John Varty, also known as JV. A man who has been wild about big cats most of his life. He came up with a highly controversial plan to do something about tiger conservation. His idea was to create a free-ranging, self-sustaining tiger population outside Asia. In South Africa, to be precise.


This tour impression video was shot & edited by Daniëlla

Because of his vast knowledge of wildlife conservation and his success with leopards in Londolozi, JV was invited to visit India and he offered his advise on how to improve the living conditions of the tiger. When it became clear to JV that nothing was going to change in the way tiger conservation was handled in India, he decided to take matters into his own hands.

In 2000 JV came up with the idea to buy huge stretches of farmland in South Africa and start a new game reserve - one where tigers could roam in the wild, hunting on their own, living free while protected by a huge fence; to keep the tigers in and the poachers out.

In the beginning he was criticized by conservationists, who questioned the value of what he was doing, but he hung on and continued to work with his two original tigers that came from a zoo in the USA. Two additional captive bred tigers were added to the mix and were rehabilitated to the wild, and soon the first litters were born.

In December 2010 there were already 16 tigers in the sanctuary, and it is currently the most successful tiger conservation project in the world when it comes to rapidly increasing numbers of tigers.

Meanwhile, things are changing and the world has caught up a bit with JV’s wild thinking and his “Just do it” approach. Recent news that all the tigers have disappeared from Panna, one of India’s leading reserves, when just 2 years ago there was still a healthy population of 24, has somewhat vindicated Varty’s big idea. Maybe he was not so crazy after all.

We visited JV earlier this year, spent a few days with the tigers, and we were very impressed. The tiger sanctuary is huge, the tigers have loads of space, they can hunt for themselves, and they are well protected from the outside world by a state of the art fence. We had so many good photo opportunities with the tigers, that we were instantly convinced that this is the place to go if you want good tiger images. So we decided to organize a tour to this remarkable place.



The sanctuary offers us a unique view into the life of the tiger. As the tigers are used to vehicles, we will be able to see them up close in the African landscape, allowing us to make stunning pictures of these beautiful big cats. And there will be no other tourists, just our group.

You are virtually guaranteed to see tigers on every drive. There are lots of open areas and we are allowed to drive off-road (landscape permitting) to follow a tiger when we find one. The landscape is beautiful and very diverse. There are open plains, hills, rocks, reeds, small streams and ponds. This offers us the opportunity to photograph tigers in all kinds of surroundings and situations: walking, hunting, playing, relaxing, sun bathing, jumping and swimming.


The Leopards Of Sabi Sand

The Sabi Sand Game Reserve is a collection of private game reserves that share unfenced borders with each other and Kruger NP. This allows the free movement of wildlife over more than 2 million hectares of pristine bush.

We stay at Londolozi, one of the most exclusive lodges in the park. You will experience exceptional cuisine and the very best game viewing with some of Africa’s finest rangers and trackers.

But the main reason for choosing Londolozi for our leopard tour is because of the photographic opportunities it has to offer: if you want to get good images of leopards, it just does not get any better than this! We have 2 private vehicles for our group, where you will each have your own row of seats. This allows you to move freely from side to side in the car, with ample room for your gear, and without being bothered by someone sitting next to you, blocking your view.

With over 16,000 hectares of traversing wilderness, no two game drives are ever the same. Trackers sit up at the front of the Land Rover looking for fresh animal tracks, while rangers drive with great skill through ravines and thickets in pursuit of elusive animals. Although the focus of this trip is on leopards, we are a Big Five area, so you may expect to encounter lion, rhino, buffalo and elephant as well.

Breeding herds of elephant and buffalo roam throughout the Londolozi area, while white rhino and lion concentrations are amongst the highest recorded on the African continent. However, it is the truly remarkable relationship between wild free ranging leopards and ranger & trackers which has developed over three decades that has made Londolozi world famous.



There is no disputing that viewing the leopards of Londolozi is one of life’s truly treasured experiences. And it is exactly the reason that we chose this amazing camp to photograph leopards. It is simply the best!

The tour includes daily briefings, in the field instructions, image reviews, and post processing tips.

If you want to join us on this spectacular tour, don't wait too long because the trips are filling fast! We have several departure dates in June and July 2013, but there is limited space available per tour, as we travel in very small groups of just 6 guests.

Check out the Tigers & Leopards Photo Tour page for more information and a detailed PDF.

Hope to see you there!

Marsel

19 comments:

Bruno Ázera said...

Awesome work in creating this incredible tour.
Maybe someday I can afford joining one of these tours.
Thank you for sharing your incredible images to the world :)

Sumeet Moghe said...

You have great images, but I think as an Indian wildlife photographer I'll go ahead and correct a few points you've made:
1) Panna: You're absolutely right about the Panna fiasco. However, I think it's important to note that the relocation project for this reserve has been a grand success and the tigers have bred successfully to bring back the population to 20.
2) Bandhavgarh and Ranthambhore are hardly the best places to photograph tigers. If you really want to photograph tigers in peace, Tadoba and Bor are your best bets.
3) Fencing is the worst idea for tiger conservation unless you're trying to create a curated zoo. Tigers need corridors to establish territory, and by fencing out reserves, you create a perfect recipe for infighting and tiger deaths.
4) Despite 2012 being a really tough year for our tigers in India, our tiger population is on the upswing. Every reserve is bursting at the seams with cubs and the annual census is likely to show a nationwide increase in population.

Now to John Varty. The project has zero conservation value - the tigers are not even genetically pure. Plus they're captive bred and don't have wild tiger instincts. Left to their own devices in their natural habitat, these tigers wont be able to hunt and will most likely turn to preying on livestock and humans. We've learned this from several attempts to rewild captive big cats.

Read here - http://www.conservationindia.org/resources/opinion/bungle-in-the-jungle-the-dangerous-foolishness-of-captive-big-cat-reintroduction

Varty's doing this just for the money as he has in the past, driving captive big cats into harm's way by rewilding them beside their wild counterparts. So yes, you can get a lot of great photos at Karoo, but so can you in any fenced zoo. At the end of the day, tigers are a charismatic species that stand for an ecosystem. Tigers don't belong to Africa - so what ecosystem does Varty seek to conserve through his fenced park? OTOH, a growing population of tigers in India forces the public and the government to conserve large tracts of forest land.

It's unfortunate that you didn't have too many tiger sightings during your time in India. I do want to point a couple of things out here:
* That's the nature of the beast. If you have tigers that are unafraid of human beings then they're not true tigers - I'm sorry! The thrill of photographing a tiger in the true wilderness comes from knowing that a sighting is not guaranteed.
* A tiger forest suports a lot of life - birds, insects, a variety of mammals and reptiles. Good photo tours should help their patrons make a great cross section of these images and not just tiger images.
* As far as 1 tiger in a week is concerned, you were perhaps plain unlucky. I'll be happy to take you around when you're in India (preferably in summer). For a sense of perspective, this summer I spotted a 100+ big cats in the space of 6 weeks. I totally agree that lions in Africa are far easier to spot than tigers in India - but if spotting tigers was that easy then they wouldn't really be tigers right?

Please don't take this as criticism of your views. This is a perspective from someone who photographs a lot on the ground, in India.

Sumeet

Squiver | Marsel van Oosten and Daniëlla Sibbing said...

Dear Sumeet,

Thank you for your feedback. Allow me to respond.

1) Tigers may be back in Panna, but the problems that caused the tigers to disappear in the first place - poaching, killing, corruption - have not been solved.

2) Bandhavgarh and Ranthambhore are the most famous, the most popular en the most visited parks in India. I know that there are many other parks in India where you can look for tigers, but that's not my point.

3) The fencing argument does not hold. Eventually, in any park, there will be some sort of fence - be it steep cliffs, a village, unsuitable habitat, etc. Although I agree that in a perfect world tigers, and all other species, can move freely, this is simply unrealistic. The fact that a park is fenced does not make it a zoo - many of the game parks in South Africa are fenced, and they are not considered zoos by any means. Also, you underestimate the ability of animals to adapt to their surroundings - they have to do this all the time, mostly as a result of natural occurrences like drought, famine, habitat loss, over population, territorial pressure, inter species conflicts, etc. Brown bears for instance are territorial, yet I have photographed 46 males all at one place, fishing for salmon. Deaths as a result of infighting will never be as large of a problem as poaching is now. With the current population growth, poverty levels and corruption, eventually India will realize that fencing the parks is the only way.

4) The tiger numbers in India have always been like a roller coaster - up, down, up, down, but eventually down. I honestly hope that the numbers will go up again, but I seriously doubt they will on the long run. Population pressure, habitat loss, poaching for the still growing tiger parts industry, and corruption are serious problems that are not being dealt with efficiently. Those are the real threats to the survival of the tiger, not some fence.

5) You say that the tigers at the project don't have wild tiger instincts, yet you have not been there yourself. If you had, you'd know that the tigers have wiped out a herd of a few hundred wildebeest in a matter of months. They started hunting as soon as they saw prey animals - it's their instinct. The fact that rewilding attempt is unsuccessful in one place, doesn't mean it can not be successful in another, as is proved by many rewilding projects with other cats.

- continued -

Squiver | Marsel van Oosten and Daniëlla Sibbing said...

- continued -

6) I don't think you have never met John Varty nor spoken to him, therefore I think it is not correct to claim that you know his intentions. If you had met John Varty, then you'd know that he has invested everything he has into this project. And then you'd also know that John's work for the leopards in South Africa was so successful that the Indian government actually invited him for advice on how to create a similar situation with tigers. Please read John Varty's book Nine Lives to learn about his motivations first hand.

7) Even though tigers have never lived in Africa, tigers have lived on the Asian continent together with lions, leopards and cheetahs. It's really not that crazy. The tiger is highly endangered, and with the growing demand for tiger parts, population growth, habitat loss, poverty, and corruption, the future for the tiger is not looking good. We can all sit back and hope for the best, but that's what the rest of the world has been doing up to now - it hasn't worked. If you're serious about preventing a species from going extinct then you have to both consider the worst case scenario, and you have to be able to think outside the box.

8) I know all about photographing wildlife - I do it for a living. I appreciate the extra effort it takes to get good sightings of certain animals, it's all in the game. However, if you have only limited time then it can be very frustrating if you don't see the animal you were looking for. A tiger safari is no different than a leopard safari - both are hard to find. But the thrill of seeing a tiger or a leopard in the wild is not reduced the moment chances of seeing one are doubled or tripled. If that were the case, no one would go to the Masai Mara, because there it is really easy to spot animals and they are there in abundance. You say that if spotting tigers was as easy as spotting lions then they wouldn't really be tigers. I fail to understand your logic here. Let's say that tiger conservation in India is finally going to pay off and numbers rise to the levels of a hundred years ago - won't they be tigers anymore because they will be more numerous and therefore more easy to spot?

I know I was unlucky during my week in Bandhavgarh and Ranthambhore - that's nature. I've had many safari's in Africa that were unsuccessful, it's all in the game. But the fact remains that tigers in India are struggling and will continue to do so, and they need all the help they can get. I'm sure that there is a lot of pride involved in the criticism of ex situ tiger conservation projects, but if you're really serious about saving a species, you will have to get past that. Would you rather have the tiger to go extinct in India then to have it live on the African continent?

Marsel

Kenny en Jeanette said...

First of all I would like to excuse me for my English (it is not my native language).

My husband and I have visited India in 2011 and again in 2012. In 2011 we focussed on spotting the Leopard and visited several sanctuaries in the South, Kerala and Karnataka. We were fortunate to photoraph a Leopard at BRT Wildlife sanctuary and later in Kabini on every Safari we went.

In 2012 we visited Ranthambore and Bandhavgarh National park and again we were lucky enough to spot the impressive Bengal tiger on two occastions. One big male resting on some rocks and a also a female taking a bath in a pond. This gave us the oppurtunity to photograph this beautifull big cat in a very natural surrounding. Having said this, we have to admit that the amount of canterbusses and jeeps in the park and around the cats was disturbing to say the least.

We have not yet made up our mind if breeding asian (not-pure) tigers in Africa is the solution but maybe it is better to have "wild tigers" in Africa then no tigers at all...

India has been struggeling for years now and because of poverty, bad organization and corruption it looks like the Bengal Tiger is losing the battle at the end. We agree that a fenced sanctuary does not make it a zoo but we think that 50 jeeps and 10 busses in a non fenced sanctuary actually does make it a zoo. Yes indeed, tourism can definitely help preserve the tiger and it habitat but only if it is well organized and managed.

Kenny and Jeanette Stam
The Netherlands

Vic Stapel said...

Over 15 years ago I spend 5 days on Elephant back in India to see the Tiger. I saw the head of one for 5 seconds in a pond. The excitement of everyone made him rum and rush away and having gotting somewhat I shot pics of everything else that moved. Just that moment I needed the camera most I only had one pic left on my 36 pic film:-) Talk about frustration. But I got that ONE shot of his face in the water.
I lived in RSA 10 years till 07. Miss it everyday! Thank you for your video! Stunning! just wanted to ask. How do the African Leopard and Tiger get along? Do they share well with the Tiger? Looking forward to visit this sanctuary in the future rather then attempting India again. Although it offered many other glorious views.
Actually would warmly recommend riding the African Elephant in Zimbabwe. A great experience! But don't wear new sneakers. Elephant skin will work off any pattern like a wood rasp ;-). Cool souvenir! Since then I see they have added a lodge with rooms and the fashionable SPA option that seems to define everything Safari and Camp in Southern Africa Good for them. Do the Elephants give the massages? :-) http://visualsenses.smugmug.com/Travel-Tourism-Countries/Zimbabwe-Botswana/Victoria-Falls-Day-2/7183850_TpVBs7#!i=461510097&k=PnHRTjR

south africa news online said...

These leopards are looking very cute and beautiful to me. I will never want that anything bad happen with them. Instead of that I will try to do something for their welfare.

South Africa News Online said...

Tigers and leopards are the worth watching creatures. They have extreme energy and running speed. Killing of these animals for their skin and bones are really a crime.

James Chadwick said...

I like the leopards so much and have visited many countries for their live view and photography. South African Tigers and Leopards are also worth seeing and second to none. Now I want to go there to lively see them.

latest news south africa , south africa online news

Nilanjan said...

Marsel,

I am a great admirer of your photos. Had to jump in to share a contrary point of view regarding tigers in India:

Tiger population is on the rise in India. One needs to track local wildlife/ nature photography forums to understand which parks are giving the best sightings in a particular year. Best time to shoot tigers is during Apr - June - if you can stand the 45 degree C heat :-)

I suggest you make a trip to Tadoba National Park sometime. This park has been giving the best tiger shooting opportunities in India in the last couple of years.

I went last year beginning of June, had great sightings - saw 14 tigers. This year I went in October, a wrong season - came out with a couple of decent sightings.

Some of my tiger photos from Tadoba are here: http://500px.com/nilanjanray.

I shot with a consumer D90 + 70-300mm last year, and upgraded to a D7100 this year. Been waiting for the mythical D400! I keep shooting and learning, getting inspired by photogs such as you.

Cheers,

Nilanjan

Chinon said...

Everything Sumeet Moghe said is actually true (except for the tigers losing instict part).
1) JV has been accused of misusing funds and having making money his sole motivation by his financial backers.
2) Scientists have established that the tigers are not genetically pure, meaning the project has no conservation value (which brings us back to his sole motivation: making money).
3) The Karoo is not a suitable habitat for tigers; as Sumeet said, they have so many big cat counterparts in Africa. They were put in Asia for a reason, why not keep them there.
4) Enclosing any animal is captivity, therefore the tigers are not "in the wild" so to speak. It doesn't matter how big the enclosure is, it is still captivity.
JV has actually shot one of his pregnant tigers in the paw - how is this a good environment for them? Also, " I don't think you have never met John Varty nor spoken to him, therefore I think it is not correct to claim that you know his intentions." You meeting him in person means nothing. He could have just been telling you what he tells everyone else; he could have been telling you what you wanted to hear.
As for the population, animal populations are constantly going up and down. There are so many conservation efforts in Asia, so saying the people of Asia "sit back and hope for the best" is false. There are also conservation efforts all over the world, so the tiger isn't going to just "go extinct," it has a a little bit of time left before that happens.
I would have no problem with anything JV's doing if it weren't for him telling lies and saying he's "conserving" the tiger when his tigers aren't even genetically pure, and if he wasn't trying to release tigers in Africa.
I hope you never support this scheme again.

Chinon

Squiver | Marsel van Oosten and Daniëlla Sibbing said...

Hi Nilanjan,

Thank you for your feedback, and I apologize for the late reply - we’ve been traveling extensively the past months.

The tiger population may be on the rise again, but you should not forget that only three years ago it was at an all time low. I’m happy the numbers are slowly increasing for now, but history shows us that it usually doesn’t last long - especially not if the demand for tiger parts has not decreased. Hopefully in a few years time the wild tiger population is still growing - then we may have good reason to be optimistic.

Congrats on your tiger shots - well done!

Best regards,
Marsel

Squiver | Marsel van Oosten and Daniëlla Sibbing said...

Dear Chinon,

Thank you for your feedback on this apparently touchy subject.

>> 1) JV has been accused of misusing funds and having making money his sole motivation by his financial backers.

You know absolutely nothing about the real story behind these false accusations, and hearsay is a really poor argument.

>> 2) Scientists have established that the tigers are not genetically pure, meaning the project has no conservation value (which brings us back to his sole motivation: making money).

What the conservation value of a genetically impure species is, is an academic one. I’m not a biologist, but I’d prefer genetically impure tigers over no tigers anytime.

>> 3) The Karoo is not a suitable habitat for tigers; as Sumeet said, they have so many big cat counterparts in Africa. They were put in Asia for a reason, why not keep them there.

The Karoo is perfect for tigers - if it wasn’t, the project would not be such a huge success.

Also, the tigers were not ‘put’ in Asia. What most people don’t know, is that tigers, lions, leopards, and cheetahs once ALL shared the Asian continent. Tigers have lived in India with the ‘African’ big cats for millennia - there is no scientific evidence that suggests they could not do the same thing in Africa.

>> 4) Enclosing any animal is captivity, therefore the tigers are not "in the wild" so to speak. It doesn't matter how big the enclosure is, it is still captivity.

This is not a rational argument by any means. Many large parks in Africa are already fenced, and not a single biologist would call the animals that live in those parks captive. Kenya Wildlife Service has fenced some of their major national parks: Lake Nakuru NP, Aberdare NP, Mt Kenya NP, etc. Recently the government of Uganda has also decided to fence their national parks, starting with internationally renowned Queen Elizabeth National Park, for all the same reasons. Without fences, human-wildlife conflicts will continue to rise, especially in densely populated areas. India has its fair share of those.

Good fences cost a lot of money, and this is were most of JV’s money goes to. That, and buying new property to expand the reserve.

>> JV has actually shot one of his pregnant tigers in the paw - how is this a good environment for them?

A much better question would be: how many tigers have been killed by villagers or by poachers in Tiger Canyons?

>> Also, "I don't think you have never met John Varty nor spoken to him, therefore I think it is not correct to claim that you know his intentions." You meeting him in person means nothing. He could have just been telling you what he tells everyone else; he could have been telling you what you wanted to hear.

I simply prefer first hand information. You should ask yourself who has written the Wikipedia pages you are quoting and what their motives are.

>> As for the population, animal populations are constantly going up and down. There are so many conservation efforts in Asia, so saying the people of Asia "sit back and hope for the best" is false.

True, but it’s the tiger numbers in particular that have consistently been going down, with the 2010 numbers at an all time low.

>> There are also conservation efforts all over the world, so the tiger isn't going to just "go extinct," it has a a little bit of time left before that happens.

Tiger conservation efforts have been made for decades, but all those efforts have not been able to prevent the numbers from spiraling down. Just over two years ago tiger numbers were at an all time low, despite all those conservation efforts. That should tell you something.

When an animal is threatened with extinction, you should think outside the box. If the tiger can be saved on the Asian continent, that would be great. But if the tiger conservation efforts are as unsuccessful as they've been over the last decades, it's comforting to know that there is still hope - in Africa.

Squiver | Marsel van Oosten and Daniëlla Sibbing said...

One of JV's newsletters has some very interesting points, particularly about the non-issue of genetical impurity: http://www.jvbigcats.co.za/newsletters45.htm

Camillilj Camilli said...

Great controversy here. What is the most important priority here? Surely its saving our wildlife future in whatever way we can? Yes, the Varty lot are looking to make money out of all the pies they have their fingers in but what are YOU doing to save our big cats?

Phuong Le said...

Wow! As long as you're able to snap some pics of tigers, all is good when really, those tigers are inbred and not in their natural habitat. Visiting a zoo would have been much more easier

Squiver | Marsel van Oosten and Daniëlla Sibbing said...

Phuong Le - the tigers are not inbred. In fact, I have witnessed two vasectomies earlier this year to prevent inbreeding, and recently two orphaned tigers were added to the project to widen the gene pool.

The natural habitat argument is weak, as the list of animals that have been introduced in other countries and continents over the past centuries, both knowingly and unknowingly, is endless. It is only because the tiger is such a charismatic animal that people suddenly seem to mind. Also, the habitat of the Karoo in South Africa has been selected specifically for this project because it offers everything a tiger needs. That might also explain why the tigers are thriving in South Africa.

To say that people may as well visit a zoo is completely missing the point. Tigers in zoos have no space whatsoever, they can't roam freely, they can't hunt for themselves, they can't create territories, they can't be proper tigers.

Ex situ conservation projects sometimes seem to trigger emotional responses from people, and with tigers this is especially the case. Surprisingly, most of those people have never been to the project.

Tigers, lions, leopards and cheetah all once lived on the Asian continent - to say that this could not be possible on the African continent is therefore irrational. Especially since tiger conservation in Asia is doing so poorly, primarily because of the increasing demand for tiger parts from China.

The tiger is threatened with extinction and the numbers are still dropping. This project is a successful effort to create a free-roaming and self-sustaining tiger population outside of Asia, away from the threats of overpopulation and poaching. Hoping for the Indian government to do something about it seems pointless, as they have done a terrible job so far.

If you have any sincere questions about this project, don't hesitate to ask.

Marsel

Anonymous said...

Wow, as a person who loves the idea of conservation and photography, I really feel the need to weigh in on this discussion.
(I hope nobody takes this personally, I'm extremely cynical by nature)

There's only so much that people can do in today's global society when it comes to conservation, because (from my experience) there are always more people who are content to look as opposed to people who are willing to do, and for every person talking about how the planet is slowly dying, there's at least 5 more not listening, for example:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joanna-zelman/the-day-a-dozen-parents-a_b_5687775.html
On the other hand, we have someone like Roheet Karoo who's pretty much sorted out Tadoba, and is doing well as he's working with tigers in India, not outside.

I've heard too many points of merit and damnation for people like Mr. Varty and actual hunters alike, and nobody seems to agree on topics. Some hunters claim to be helping conservation by only eradicating "problem animals", but I'm not sure of whether they look at why the specimen has become one (sometimes it's purely defensive due to encroachment of their territory, something that fencing prevents).
I think that Mr. van Oosten has thwacked the nail on the head by stating that he would prefer genetically impure tigers over no tigers, but I also hope to see the final aim of Mr. Varty's project, which is (from what I've read) to create free ranging self-sustaining populations of tigers outside Asia to become a reality. The problem here is that this mission is in the hands of investors, and really, in today's world, money talks and business (which needs constant attention) does not mix with nature (which takes care of itself, given space and time).
We'd all love it if there was no issues with this project, but that's just not how stuff works.
I'm sure nobody will say anything a decade down the line if this project is a success.
Till then, here's hoping for the best.
-Sid

Squiver | Marsel van Oosten and Daniëlla Sibbing said...

Thank you for your feedback Sid.

I don't agree with your statement that business does not mix well with nature though. If you look at the Sabi Sand game reserve in South Africa for instance, you see that tourism brings in a lot of money. All the game lodges there contribute to the local economy, and it is these businesses that have now put a lot of money and effort into fighting the rhino poaching. It is in their best interest to save the rhino, and they have the money to do it.

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