Monday, May 18, 2009

Game drive

This past weekend we took some down time to travel to South Africa’s oldest game park, Hluhluwe/Imfolozi Game Reserve.

Every once in a while it’s great to have some down time to see the country and the animals.

Our first spot of the day was a hyena bright and early right when the gates to the park opened at 6 a.m.

Last year I didn’t see any lions so I was pleased when we saw a pride lying about 40 metres away from us. I was able to get some amazing photographs, which you can see in the vlog.

Few people understand that the majority of African wildlife is actually fenced in to game reserves. Although this provides ample opportunity to research and observe animals, it creates some problems that revolve around the overpopulation of animals like the elephant.

Our guide was an excellent resource and gave us an unbelievable amount of information about the wildlife and ecosystems of the area.

It never ceases to amaze me how close the animals get to the car without being scared. Going to the zoo seems so useless now (although I do love the Toronto Zoo!).

But when you think about it, the animals are fenced in here, just not to the extent that they are in zoos around the world. We push animals into unnatural habitat, cut their migratory patterns and there are even auctions to buy animals like kudu and bucks to be put on private game reserves for commercial hunting.

Which brings us to the “problem” of hunting. We’ve had many discussions about the culling of elephants in particular. There are many sides to the elephant culling story, including the fact that while consuming their 500 pounds of food every day, they are destroying about the same amount; this is depleting other animals’ food supply. Entire national parks have been demolished by an overpopulation of elephants.

There’s no way I could really give you every side to the story of South African hunting, or elephant culling. But I do suggest that you research it and make sure you make an educated decision about hunting regulations before you jump to conclusions about people that partake in the planned controlling of African animals that have been penned in by humans.

Until next time


"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. "
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

1 comment:

  1. Alanna your stories and your videos are so inspiring -- I think you are definitely accomplishing your goals of showing us what it is like and giving us as much perspective as you can when we are not actually living there ourselves. Thank you so much for keeping your blog updated