Some people looking at my picture from Ngorongoro would probably think I must be very brave or almost crazy for going around in a place where the Big 5 + Hyenas (which is anyway a great predator) and others are rovering freely. Other people with more experience in safari and photography would probably understand that I’m just one of the many tourists spotting and taking picture of very dangerous beasts while comfortably sitting in a jeep, having almost the same risk of dying as those watching lions in a documentary on Discovery channel..
Luckily those animals are not tamed or fake, are just more sleepy during the day, and probably used to tourists, specially in the Ngorongoro natural “encloure”. But I would like to go on a walking safari to really feel the fear, and how real they are. To feel that they are not there just to be showed, just for the sake of rich wazungu watching them as they were in an exhibition or on tv, checking out the list of “MUST be seen”, shoting pictures all the time, mostly knowing nothing about what they are looking at. I’m happy that I was looking at the lion just through my eyes when it opened his. I did not take the picture, I have it in my mind, and my heart. There is nothing bad in being a common tourist rather than a wildlife biologist as me..but, I see a risk in the way things are going..the risk that these incredible natural areas are considered just as leisure parks, enjoyment for people, museums of “how was the savannah before”..
Museums or mausoleums of something already dead.. Something you pay very much to be in , an exclusive party organised for you.. an important income source for the country … or even a study case..
while instead those places are just there for themself.. the lions are still there when we switch off the tv…they are something we should not only protect in enclosures, no matter how big they are or whether they are fenced or not… we should just be respectful and accept that something else than us exists. we are modern human beings living virtual lives, and do we still believe that the world was created for us???
“Luckily” sometimes beasts do their job..and we remember that we are not watching DC from the couch..but entering the natural world.. the one we are part of.
No matter what level of technology, we still need air, water, ground, forests.. and also the lions..