Having been extremely lucky to have visited and photographed wildlife in some amazing parts of the world I feel very privileged to be part of the Festival of Wildlife team. It is not because it offers me additional photographic opportunities, but rather for the stimulation of being among 40 or so people who are all absolutely passionate about wildlife and the environment.
The Festival brings out the best in people with everybody willing to share experiences, expertise and help. I can genuinely say that I get as much of a buzz about helping people (many of whom are much less able than myself) get into wildlife situations that they thought had passed them by. Notable examples of this occurred in both the Galapagos and Canada when the challenges of Zodiacs and alike were seen as near impossible barriers at the onset of the trips.
I also think that the Festival massively promotes the locations visited. The local experts very quickly realise that they are dealing with a group of people like no other they have met before. They become very proud of their wildlife and very quickly engage with everybody about other parts of the world and what their counterparts are doing. Exchange of information like this is invaluable to world conservation and I am delighted that Wildlife Worldwide is now actively promoting guide exchanging through its network of contacts.
The next steps…the success of the initiative needs to be built upon and I think that Wildlife Worldwide needs to make the next Festival in Tanzania’s Serengeti not only the biggest annual Festival of Wildlife but also the most sustainable.
David BackWildlife Photographer
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