An African safari needs no hype nor hyperbole; it's easily one of the most incredible experiences of a traveler's life.
What if there were lions in America? No, I'm not joking, and neither was Josh Kling when he asked, "What If We Could Bring Back Extant Species" at the last What If...? Conference.
The United States is the world's largest importer of lion parts. Between 1999 and 2008, the United States imported 13,484 lion parts equal to at least 4,000 lions.
I spent 12 magical days in Botswana exploring four camps -- Chitabe, Vumbura Plains, Abu and Mombo -- in various regions of the Okavango Delta. Each had its own personality and exciting wildlife adventure. I started my trip at Chitabe Camp, and now... Vumbura Plains
Botswana is a magical land of lush plains, staggeringly beautiful sunsets and wildlife that will blow your mind. Over 12 days I explored four camps, in various regions of the Okavango Delta, each with their own personality: Chitabe, Vumbura Plains, Abu and Mombo.
The poor young woman recently killed by a lion in northern California got me thinking about big cat deaths in general.
Needless killing of endangered species for trophies is inherently unsustainable, economically short-sighted, ecologically unsound, and morally wrong. The sooner it ends for lions and other imperiled animals, the better.
Savannahs are especially prevalent in Africa, covering much of the non-Saharan and what we think of as Africa's tropical forests (the non-wet ones) -- in all about 5.2 million square miles or almost 50 percent of the total continent. Good for the lions, right? Not exactly.
We began another beautiful morning at Mala Mala searching for lions that had been calling at dawn across the river from the Main Camp. Soon we got a radio call that Keith (the Main Camp Manager) had just sighted a leopard and cub from the camp's deck. We turned and headed to the edge of the river.
Time is running out for Africa's iconic animal -- along with other big cats of the world like snow leopards, tigers, cheetahs and jaguars.
The lion cubs were so cute, I didn't even notice that they were also crusted with bits of gore.
If you have been tempted to go on a safari, but you don't want to leave America, here's the solution! Leave your passport at home and take a wildlife adventure tour at a bed and breakfast in this country.
The lion encounter industry does nothing to conserve wild lions. For my money, I'd stick with the real thing: no matter what the glossy brochures and gushy advertising claim, it won't ever involve tame lions.