THE SELFIE vs CONSERVATION-IT’S A REAL THING

Greetings from Ecotourism Kenya,

Social Media and digital media a s a whole have proven to be a very quick and effective tool in aiding conservation efforts. Whether it is trending hashtags from online campaigns, petitions with millions of signatures or even the one-minute video shedding light on conservation issues, you can’t deny the power of the internet. However, in this digital craze, a minute looking evil seems to have cropped up. The selfie craze especially among millennials demands for rare, scarier and more daring photographs. Unfortunately, humanity has responded in kind. Endangered hammerhead sharks being pulled from sea shores and suffer suffocations for the quick selfie with a shark. Hundreds of tourists preventing turtles from nesting so that a few quick snaps can be taken. Surfers on the Gold Coast surfing on a green turtle’s back while on land. Do you uphold the wildlife selfie code while taking photos? This is a must know for any lover of wildlife in 2018.

Photo courtesy of: Xavier Rossi & Apopo

HERORATS

In this ‘rat race’ to save and conserve the world’s wildlife species, innovation and unconventional methods must be in play. The Pangolin is the world’s most trafficked animal with over 2.7 million Pangolins being harvested out of Central Africa annually. All eight global species are trafficked for their scales and meat, which is considered a delicacy in parts of China and Vietnam. Unfortunately, wildlife contraband is often smuggled out of Africa through major ports such as Mombasa in Kenya and Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania. Apopo is an organization that is based in Tanzania and trains African Giant Pouched Rats to sniff out tuberculosis, land mines and hopefully soon Pangolins. Despite their poor eye sight, the rodents have a heightened sense of smell. They are also cheaper and easier to train than dogs as they do not form a bond with their trainers thus can be trained by any trainer at any time.

HOME AWAY FROM HOME

In a recent Knight Frank survey, a large number of wealthy tourists choose Kenya as a second home. Kenya is globally re-known as one of the best African safari destinations. Last year alone 1.4 million tourists visited the destination. However, the intrigue of the destination has return visitors settling for good. Kenya boasts of a 40-week typhoon free tourist season with favourite destinations being Diani, Malindi and Watamu. A buzzing Nairobi not only provides a great culture for business but an easy going comfortable living with the National Museum and Nairobi National Park all within the county’s borders. Kenya’s 19 game reserves and 16 game parks are a treat for the safari lover. The British are the most interested, with 16% of wealthy South Africans coming at a close second. Spain, America and Mauritius tie at third with 11%. Economically, expats travel a lot in their new countries as all the endemic features of the destination are new to them. They also increase the amount of income from Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) at a destination. The improve a destination’s global visibility by demystifying key issues such as Safety and Security. Lastly, they invest in local businesses especially around where they decide to settle and in major industries within the destination. Increased expat immigration to Kenya, a good or bad thing?

 

 

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