Africa is our closest representation of the “Pleistocene megafauna”, the massive land animals considered archetypical of the last ice age, the mammoths and mastodons, sabre-toothed cats, and giant sloths, horses, bears, tortoises, and much else that disappeared with the subsequent rise of humankind. To walk in Africa’s wild places is to listen to yourself and understand your place on this planet. It is in these last wild places on earth that can teach us a better way to live in an impossible future. If, in 10-15 years time, we do lose our last true wilderness area to development and consumption, it will be the end of all hope for us and the beginning of a new future without us. The wilderness will eventually come back and this blue planet will create new life that we have not yet imagined. Africa is the wildest continent left with an untamed quality to the landscapes, people and wildlife.
We are rediscovering that only through sharing more, using less and caring about our actions will we save this magnificent planet. Social media gives us the ability to share photographs, thoughts, ideas, and knowledge almost instantaneously with powerful effect. A great example of this is National Geographic’s “The Great Nature Project”. This is a worldwide celebration of our diverse planet through photographs submitted by people around the world. WE must all participate by tag all photograph uploads of plants and animals #GreatNature Become part of a Guinness World Record attempt to upload the largest-ever online photo album of nature photographs. The Great Nature Project is part of a new age of exploration by millions of people around the world with cameras and instruments gathering important data and research for a better world.
Guides, rangers, researchers, ecotourists, photographers, artists and conservationists around the world apply themselves everyday to sharing, studying, photographing, writing about and celebrating the “wild” with their guests, co-workers, colleagues, and local communities. These amazing photographs are a window into their world, a world where the lions, elephants, orangutans and leopards still reign supreme and we can dream of that perfect morning in the wilderness. These stunning photographs are selected from hundreds of submissions and are intended to bring the beauty, freedom and splendour of the wilderness to as many people as possible around the world.
Submit your best photographs from the wildest places to the Ranger Diaries website, and stand a chance of being featured in the “Top 25 Photographs from the Wilderness”!
“The continent is too large to describe. It is a veritable ocean, a separate planet, a varied, immensely rich cosmos. Only with the greatest simplification, for the sake of convenience, can we say ‘Africa’. In reality, except as a geographical appellation, Africa does not exist.” ― Ryszard Kapuściński
“It’s better to be a lion for a day than a sheep all your life.” – Elizabeth Kenny
“Although we followed that hyena for the best part of half an hour, we never caught up with it.” – Louis Leakey
“Nature’s great masterpiece, an elephant; the only harmless great thing.” – John Donne
“Guns have metamorphosed into cameras in this earnest comedy, the ecology safari, because nature has ceased to be what it always had been , what people needed protection from. Now nature tamed, endangered, mortal , needs to be protected from people.” – Susan Sontag
“Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living. ” – Miriam Beard
“Everything in Africa bites, but the safari bug is worst of all.” – Brian Jackman
“You know you are truly alive when you’re living among lions.” ― Karen Blixen
“Some people…find they need animals to look at and to learn from. They have discovered that men, not beasts, are uncivilized.” – Cynthia Nola
“Wilderness gave us knowledge. Wilderness made us human. We came from here. Perhaps that is why so many of us feel a strong bond to this land called Serengeti; it is the land of our youth.” ― Boyd Norton
“There is language going on out there- the language of the wild. Roars, snorts, trumpets, squeals, whoops, and chirps all have meaning derived over eons of expression… We have yet to become fluent in the language -and music- of the wild.” ― Boyd Norton
“You either get the point of Africa or you don’t. What draws me back year after year is that it’s like seeing the world with the lid off.” ― A.A. Gill
“Humanity was born in Africa. All people, ultimately, are African.” ― Unknown
“Africa is cruel…it takes your heart and grinds it into powdered stone – and no-one minds” – Elspeth Huxley
“The darkest thing about Africa has always been our ignorance of it ” – George Kimble
“In Africa you have space…there a profound sense of space here, space and sky” – Thabo Mbeki
“It’s really beautiful. It feels like God visits everywhere else but lives in Africa” – Will Smith
“When you leave Africa, as the plane lifts, you feel that more than leaving a continent you’re leaving a state of mind. Whatever awaits you at the other end of your journey will be of a different order of existence” – Fransesca Marciano
“Africa has a genious for extremes, for the beginning and the end. It seems simultaneously connected to some memory of Eden and to some foretaste of apocalypse. Nowhere is day more vivid or night darker. Nowhere are forests more luxuriant. Nowhere is there a continent more miserable” – Lance Morrow
“Africa has her mysteries, and even a wise man cannot understand them. But a wise man respects them.” – Miriam Makeba
“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered” – Nelson Mandela
“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling but in rising every time we fall” – Nelson Mandela
“Every morning an impala wakes up knowing that it must outrun the fastest lion if it wants to stay alive. Every morning a lion wakes up knowing that it must outrun the slowest impala or it will starve. It makes no difference if you are a lion or an impala, when the sun comes up in Africa you must wake up running” – Anonymous, Zambia
“Wild animals never kill for sport. Man is the only one to whom the torture and death of his fellow creatures is amusing in itself.” – James Anthony Froude
The mission of the Okavango Wilderness Project is to secure the Okavango Delta and its vast untouched catchment in perpetuity. The film Okavango is a rallying point for the global community of stakeholders, government officials, researchers, activists, tourism operators, community members, conservationists and guides that support the protection of the Angolan catchment. Readers can help build up to our 8-week expedition over 1,000 miles down the length of the Okavango River in 2015 by sharing this epic, once-in-a-lifetime research and conservation expedition down the full length of the Okavango River through an abandoned wilderness into the Delta. — Steve Boyes.
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