In 2016 and 2017, Kenya is waiving visa fees for children. What a great time to introduce your kids or grandkids to the joys of exploration! The country offers a range of fun safari activities for kids of all ages, a few of which include:
- Feeding endangered Rothschild giraffes by hand at the Giraffe Centre in Karen
- Petting baby elephants at the Daphne Sheldrick Animal Orphanage and David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
- Visiting chimpanzees at the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Ol Pejeta Conservancy. This sanctuary offers a safe haven for abused and orphaned chimpanzees from West and Central Africa. (Chimpanzees are not native to Kenya.) After being nursed back to health, chimpanzees spend their days exploring, climbing, socializing, and learning to be chimpanzees all over again. This is an amazing project supported by the Jane Goodall Institute.
While sad stories about poaching often dominate the conversation about African wildlife, there’s been wonderful news coming lately from Tanzania and Mozambique.
Tanzania’s authorities recently arrested crime boss Boniface Matthew Mariango, who allegedly manages 15 poaching and ivory-trafficking syndicates. They also arrested a large-scale ivory smuggler based in Dar Es Salaam. Catching such high-level criminals is much more effective than arresting individual poachers at the local level, helping to staunch the demand for ivory and other poached products.
For more good news, you can read or watch this CNN segment on Tanzanians who transformed a gold mine into a biodiversity hotspot. Amani Nature Reserve opened in 1997 as the country’s first nature reserve. It’s a lesser-known safari destination with relatively few visitors. It rewards those who go off the beaten path with a chance to see many rare butterflies, birds, reptiles, flora and fauna that haven’t been found elsewhere in the world.
Mozambique has a similar success story.
Selous Game Reserve is one of the largest faunal reserves of the world and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982 due to the diversity of its wildlife and undisturbed nature. Within this vast wilderness, Azura Selous offers an authentic African safari that is stylish, personal and filled with lots of wow factor.