Media highlights for African Parks in January 2016 included:
- Lonely Planet’s Hottest New Travel Experiences for 2016 | Lonely Planet, Jan 11, 2016.Akagera was listed by Lonely Planet as the third best new travel experience for 2016 due to the arrival of lions last year. It was picked up widely by The Guardian, Daily Mail, Hello Magazine and others.
- Congo Giraffes Near to Extinction | The Times UK, Jan 16, 2016. Jerome Starkey reported on the endangered Congo giraffe and conservation work underway in Garamba.
- Zakouma National Park: A Conservation Success Story | Travel Africa Magazine, Jan 18th, 2016 features the story of Zakouma and a Q and A with African Parks’ Rian Labuschagne, Park Manager for Zakouma.
- A Lords Resistance Army Commander Goes on Trial but Joseph Kony Still Eludes Justice |Time Magazine, Jan 21, 2016. Evidence to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs by the Enough Project in September last year suggested his fighters are poaching elephants in the DRC’s Garamba National Park to buy weapons and uniforms for its soldiers.
- Killing of Pilot Highlights Tanzania’s Struggle with Poachers | New York Times, Feb 1, 2016. Lowry and Gettlemen reported on the tragic death of Captain Roger Gower who was shot down and killed by poachers in Tanzania on January 29th while on patrol. The October incident in Garamba is mentioned in regards to poachers and rangers turning to military tactics. The story was picked up widely.
In regards to the last article in the media section, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that several of us at African Parks had the pleasure of flying with Roger Gower back in August, when our African Board met in Buffalo Springs and Shaba Hills in Kenya. Roger flew us over two days so we could get an aerial view of the conservancies. He explained he had been an accountant in the UK, but wanted to do something meaningful with his life, and moved to Africa where he worked as a pilot turned conservationist. He shared that he loved his work; he was just 37 years old.
Having the largest counter-poaching force across all of Africa, at African Parks we know the losses all too well and that these aren’t just faces, they are people with passion, dreams, and commitments made to conserving wildlife. We honor his commitment, and those made each and every day by every ranger and person on the front line; and thank you for your support along the way.