It’s Day 2 in Geography Awareness Week, and today’s topic is the wildlife of Africa.
When we think of Africa, we think of elephants, zebras, lions, huge roaming herds of wildebeest and elephants. But we also know many of Africa’s people live in poverty, and wildlife are endangered by loss of habitat, logging, and poaching. One answer to that problem is ecotourism.
By creating jobs for local people and providing buyers for local goods and produce, ecotourism can be a real alternative to hunting and logging and other destructive uses of the forest.
Encounters with wildlife can be one of the most memorable parts of your travels. I remember the bugling of anxious elks searching for a mate in Rocky Mountain National Park, the cries of howler monkeys in the trees of Costa Rica, the peeping of invisible frogs in the night trees of Antigua, the splash of a breaching whale in the North Atlantic. Once on a hike in northern Norway, we suddenly came upon two caribou in the woods, we held our breath and watched them from just a few feet away. In those moments the rest of the world seems to come to a stop, and you can feel what it means to be a human on earth, apart from all the noise and clutter that engulfs us.