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Anita last won the day on February 14 2014

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  1. And @amybatt not eating meat is not conservation. So no since you asked politely, my polite reply is that no, that is not good enough. In my “opinion” that is neither here nor there. It seems it is perfectly okay to say anything about people you have an opinion on but one should not ask you for accountability? I have had nothing against you and my reply was only to your content which was a personal remark on a person, completely not related to the original post that started the thread. To me it seems you have far more against Harry than I ever have two minutes to think I have against you?
  2. Cheers. No comments to you. Calling names on this forum seemed to have gained momentum. My comments are just sticking to the content so maybe you might not find it useful given your focus in Africa is limited to Mana? It’s not necessary to have an opinion on everything.
  3. @Dave Williams The hen Harrier incident was over 10 years ago and it wasn’t proven ever that Harry had shot them or indeed anyone had. For the rest of the ladies getting emotive on being pointed out that your opinions are dogma and baseless, usually emotions and indignation follow when you are called out. I was to the point and did not use words like vile nor compared you to characters like Trump. Take it or leave it. I have every right to call out beliefs unless you back up your arguments with facts. His hunting wild boar in Germany has no connection to African Parks conservation in the African continent. Infact i I haven’t been personal. A personal remark would have been asking you to keep your opinions to Mara Cheetahs and CCF and let people who could discuss more difficult topics do so. Your anti hunting comments and personal opinions have completely deteriorated a thread where one could have actually learnt or asked questions on his conservation background, experience, his role etc and even what does it mean and entail to be President of AP and if he will have deliverables towards APs 2020 strategic goals and all that would have evolved this into a very informative thread. Instead you come into this topic firmly intact with your bias ( ranging from this being a pure PR exercise to his hunting linkages) and so am not sure why you are so horrified on being called out on that bias.
  4. @amybatt you are definitely entitled to your opinion-however wrong it might be- ofcourse social media platforms are all about airing ill-informed opinions. This topic on views expressed by anti-hunting and/or animal rights people with an opinion has been discussed elsewhere so no point getting into it but what Paolo has expressed is not opinion but facts- you might learn something by saying less and listening more about perspectives from all sides. This is the article that you have referred to. It is a fact that it has no bearing to Harry's position as a leading conservationist. Instead you might have impressed someone and not disappointed as you have done, by raising questions on Harry's conservation experience. The fact that he went on this hunting party to you means he is vile- to me it means wow he knows these 60 more people he can fund raise from, that he can use his status to help AP talk with more governments- more parks, more money, more habitat preserved. But nopes, what's all that worth in front of an opinion- mass is always right, right? Nope. And this is what I meant when I said that each individual cannot be given the same seat on a discussion table. Intellect and knowledge and open mindedness and actual contribution need to be valued more than dogma and baseless beliefs. What always amuses me about this site, is, barring a few individuals like Soukous, Douglaswise, Bugs, Inyathi, and a few others who admit they know far less to comment, most people are rich in comments but very poor in conservation steps. Here is news for you - The world is not black and white. There is grey everywhere. The goodwill and efforts done by Prince Harry alone for conservation are many many times all of this site's participants put together. You are not completely white. The travel agent/operator milking sympathy by shouting hoarse about specific lions is not completely white and hunters are not completely black. . Comparing Harry and AP's decision to Trump shows the big hole of ignorance that exists amongst many animal rights, anti hunting people here. I am surprised that your comment comparing Harry to Trump is allowed to remain here- maybe you should ask yourself instead, what will be your positive contribution to conservation for 2018 and air that here instead. If you have an opinion and are asking someone for accountability, then you must expose yourself to the same questioning on your own accountability to conservation- else you might want to opine less and learn more.
  5. @Ratdcoops those are at the front and centre of the debate. And my reasoning for still being against any legal trade 1.) vested interest in the economics will far outweigh the trickle down to conservation 2.) lack of law and order and very high levels of corruption will ensure protection is only given to private rhinos which will increasingly fall into fewer hands as there will be consolidation of the “industry” based on economic might and corrupt linkages. 3.)everyone in the middle to demand end of the chain will still remain incentivised enough to kill wild rhinos because of Item 2.) having the opportunity and item 1.) keeping high profitability and lastly 4.) the demand will far outweigh the supply as legalising rhino and ivory will actually bring in not just hundreds of millions of Chinese, Vietnamese, Filipinos, Kuwaitis, Koreans, Japanese - all traditional well documented users of these but also every tourist from the west and east looking for a trinket to an intricately carved piece of ivory. Remove the stigma associated with buying illegal ivory and horn and the effect is unprecedented. It it is one thing to have a localised hunting quota that is pushed to its limits and works better than not in some places and not in others. It is absolutely a different ball game to talk of trade at a global unprecedented level in an era when habitat and species are both racing against each other for annihilation. I am not a scientist but I spend a lot of time working and thinking on human motivations and scientific models like algos fail for many reasons one of which is that humans are designed to take short cuts to gains. What does that that mean for culling? Whether I like it or not, culling delinked with trade can have more scientific reasoning as can trophy hunting and can be more successful because it’s far more localised than a global trade. Consumptive wildlife management, culling they all have a place- maybe not the first prize but definitely a place. A global lifting of trade in rhino horn and even worse so in ivory am quite sure needs far more reasoning and no solution can actually work if it doesn’t actually target demand reduction. Take for example that in the HK LegCo banning ivory in HK has been debated heatedly. A top ranger and official who was caught in the line of fire in Garamba gave a deposition as well. Now what happens to these and many other years of efforts of reducing demand if the ban is lifted? What happens to the historical high levels of ivory being sold in these shops that are against the ban? They get a steady communique between source and demand, perfectly legalised, a communique which they can control on the flow or speed of delivery. Also what happens to a place like Garamba that takes almost USD 10 million and 10s of life each year to barely protect? Would the elephants there thrive because of more money being able to protect them or would Garamba as a biome and it’s elephants as the local population fall given the hot spot it is located in and is a soft target to feed the legal trade?
  6. You are absolutely right @douglaswise . I should have said animal rights. Though I have often wondered if one has pets, but talks about animal rights, is that really animal rights. Jokes aside, there are blurred lines in usage (not in definition) which actually makes the whole job of separating signal and noise even harder. @optig with due respect I do not think you have had the conversation with anyone who wants to say anything other than what you want to hear. (Yes a very sweeping presumptuous statement on my part but I have a.) read your posts too for almost 4-5 years and b.) I guess I am entitled to politely make the same presumptions about your point of view as you would make of Calvin or someone else.) Calvin is a classic example of someone who intellectually shared, at great effort, his thoughts on managing wildlife and habitat in a country which needs more thought leaders. That he does not post here anymore is a testimony of the frustrations of reading the same animal rights anti-hunting spiel again and again (FYI I know this first hand about websites in general and I am sure Calvin will not mind me sharing that). If from everything he contributed and has written here (which I might ageee or not agree with but I do know came from great thought, intellect and understanding of Kenya’s problems), all you summarised was that he supports big game hunting in Kenya, then you have just once again proved the point I was trying to make. My point remains that does democracy mean an equal seat at the table of all participants who have a point of view on African wildlife. Because if it does, the results are fairly frightening.
  7. Medication is irrelevant for this topic unless you take it early enough to ensure you are not a virus carrier. Herbal remedy is actually probably the worst idea of the lot since they disguise symptoms till the illness naturally burns off and will still keep you as a potent virus carrier. HRV is spread by air and contact of human liquids (eyes nose mouth stuff) . So the best and only advice is to not go if you are sick or still a carrier and always mask your self and stay adequately far. No one wants to experiment which all viruses could have what effect. It’s not just about HRV C. All this is usually achieved by common sense and strict rule enforceability as some have pointed out.
  8. @optig and @COSMIC RHINO While both of you might mean well, there is a large amount of disservice and noise that is created due to "animal welfare" and statements like "all life is sacred", "to kill an animal is murder" etc etc......Let me explain why. Most of the whites and blacks ( and everyone in between), who rightfully call themselves African due to either origin or generations of having settled there do not share this view. Their arguments at the most macro level where this is debated is on pros and cons of consumptive hunting to people, wildlife numbers, habitat, demand, supply, human-wildlife conflict, agriculture, diamonds, mining, power, infrastructure, customs etc. Their thoughts range from - "is their enough protein for my children", "where do I get my next meal from", "I have 1000 Rhinos I need to see them make money", " I oversee 7 million hectares of park, and I am constantly thinking what is the right thing to do", "how do I cash in on this window of opportunity", " how do I make sure my grandchildren would still be able to see this", "Do we preserve biomes or single species or both", "what will make the locals stop converting reserve areas near national parks into plantations and farms", "dictatorship", "bureaucracy", "corrupt democracy", "broke park management", "illegal hunting, fishing, poaching", ... all these and its impact on wildlife. The Africans, by and large, do not care about animal welfare as a concept, neither is it relevant to the Africa of today or the Africa of tomorrow. This is a thought process itself imported from the west and east into Africa. There are enough wise people who would like to talk about actual cons of consumptive wildlife management and they get along very well with people who support consumptive wildlife management - and their debates are rich, and tries to find a solution. And therein comes the noise from animal welfarists- you do a disservice to those people who could actually argue proper points about what is wrong or right- Because in the noise and din the animal welfare group makes, the voice of reason is drowned. And therein lies the frustration of someone who time and again has to hear things that are fairly illogical with noone controlling that quality. And which is why the more reasoned voices, slowly die out from any argument. This is a fact. @optig Before you make a statement like "Calvin Cottar and 2 Kenyans support consumptive wildlife management", please check your facts and either prove them here that its exactly a count of 3, and that you have actually spent time with Calvin on discussing the conflict and loss of habitat that he faces and addresses on a daily basis - wih no incentive or reason to other than his own sense of right or wrong when it comes to conservation.
  9. I have travelled with Doug 3 times in Mana and he has never driven off-road for game viewing, access or short cuts. As Id1 says if the road is impassable, that particular patch is ignored for a small veneer off track or loop never lasting more then 5 sec to 60 sec in my view and that is equally allowed to anyone. Like others I have witnessed Doug taking others to task for deliberate off-road. I still remember his exact response to this topic being “in this country we don’t really do that” and he and all guides I know in Zim abide by that. Now sneaking into the very border fringes of Ruckomechi for a couple of hours with a dog crazy guest - that’s a very different thing. 😁 But even for Chikwenya access he asked permission from the owners. Next year the Tinga game drives in Zakouma will be fully monitored and controlled by control room and Paolo will be there in Camp Nomade at the same time with a CN accredited guide so will let you know if there was any rules breaking but I am estimating not 😁 Assume the question was public service? 😎😎😎
  10. The 1st 1 or 2 safaris I wasn't sure either and tipped but now know for sure based on discussions with a number of private guides that if you are paying for a private guide separately where the money goes to him directly or his own company, then we don't tip. Depending on your friendship with the guide, you can have things like gifts, a thank you token etc, but cash in this question we don't do. On the contrary if I have a private freelance guide and a camp guide, I make sure the camp guide is tipped as per his hard work, drive, skills etc and doesn't feel 'left' out- classic example Zakouma. @shinson20c to be clear, the camp in question never used the word "tip" for the USD 250 per day guiding fees and that is totally your own assumption of what this charge is? The way I see it you have two choices: - Pay for the private vehicle (USD 395) and put in the request for Promise on a best effort basis and you will have to pay nothing more and you will get a guide -it might or might not be Promise. - Insist you want Promise as a confirmed guide and pay USD 395 for the vehicle + USD 250 for the private guide. In either case the camp can be generous and waive off the vehicle charges for off-season. I see they have done that. So if all you are paying is for a private guide you know who it will be, it aint anything different than taking Doug or Moses on safari. Private guide fees range from USD 200-USD 2800 per day in Africa. More than 50% charge for guiding fees and vehicle separately and significantly more in the less than USD1500 per day bracket. Costs in Zim will be generally less than Kenya which might be a touch less or at par to Tz which will be less than Botswana and some pan African guides. Fact. One can argue where the right price needs to be. We passed over a guide because he increased his fees to USD 500 per day which we didn't think he was batting at that level, but have paid that or more for some other guides who in our mind deserve it- this is totally a personal choice. Non-native, resident or freelance Guides charging guiding fees and vehicle charges separately has been common for years ( in camp or part of mobile camping). But even increasingly native Tz guides charge for private guiding and its common sense that the price for PV with best efforts guide you want cannot be the same as private vehicle plus a specific guide promised and committed to you. In other words if you thought this guide was worth tipping USD150 per day , he probably should anyway be batting in the league of private guides where he gets his own guiding fees ( and then you can stop tipping). Maybe this camp has 2-3 senior guides who work on these terms for confirmed requests for guiding. Few other example: - Take Paul Oliver to Nomad or Asilia for migration high season as your private guide you will have to pay for the camp's PV charges + Paul's guiding fees to him separately ( which will be significantly higher than USD 250/-) - Take Richard Knocker on a private mobile guiding trip- you will have to pay for RK's guiding fees + the mobile camp charges which will include the vehicle as its all private. Having a 1st year trainee guide or Richard Knocker will make a big difference in the overall cost of such a private mobile trip. -Take Paul Oliver to Chada camp in January- you will still have to pay his guiding fees, Chada might waive off vehicle charges as its off season. - If you go to Pamushana as a group of 4 people with a freelance guide from outside ( say Ant Kaschula or Craig Van Zyl both of whom guide there a lot), Pamushana will insist you pay the PV charges of USD 750 or so. If you go without a freelance guide as a group of 4, you might get the vehicle to yourself anyways. Its another thing that the freelance guide can help negotiate some of those costs -If you do a private mobile camping with Sean Dundas ( The Original Ker and Downey Safaris)- which incidentally is the toppest of top ways of seeing Kenya - they work everything into the overall costing of the daily rate of the camp and then it gets divided by the number of people. - If you get Ralph Bousfield in a private mobile camping with Unchartered Africa, you dont have to pay for PV but Ralph's guiding fees are more in the top of the range mentioned!
  11. In lieu of LWC ( which I dont prefer at all at this point of time ( their Meru mobile is a great option though), I would not add the dates to Mara reserve but Lewa - and plenty of wide open feeling there. So Mara conservancy-Meru-Lewa . Whichever order makes sense would be my 1st preference.
  12. Look at Lewa or Ol Pejeta in lieu of LWC. I would not add more time in the Mara if your intention is to avoid anything non-wild. Mara has still the best concentration of big cats and action to offer but the invasion of cows and shoats and the tourist crowding just gets worse. Its getting pressure from all sides ( we flew all over the Loitas in a heli and its a sad sight even if those hills still retain fair amount of magnificence ). That said you will find great game in conservancies and the reserve still has that big cat experience. Unfortunately Masai with more and more domestic dogs is happening all over the place (we saw this in Lentorre too - things would need to stabilize and require human intervention before wild dogs would bounce back -its never happened in Serengeti without human intervention in recent history and then too marginally). Even places like conservancies around Amboseli and all have immense cattle pressure showing -starting to effect even elephant behavior ( apart from behavior of smaller cats like cheetahs). Meru-Lewa-Mara will be a great combination. Kenya, even with all these problems, beautifully captures the heart.
  13. I think you have done a wise thing to mention that one should do their own due diligence and feedback from a camp owner or travel agent is just one data point - I would definitely agree with you and question it. There are number of experts mentioned in the article: - Dedan Ngatia - in the Mpala Research centre - Jaymie Gaymer- conservation manager to the Ol Jogi conservancy whose conservancy is definitely not as dependant on a one trick pony and so maybe might have less bias - key is an open mind Just to add further perspective- Jaymie does say " apart from a few individual dogs," so not sure what is all the song and dance on the article not being on the money- it seems it totally is and is definitely not saying each dog is dead but that all packs have been obliterated which is frankly a very very serious thing ( yes lets put it in the right perspective).... - the article specifically talking of 7 packs. maybe there are 2 dogs left over 7 packs, maybe there are 4-5. Maybe there has been 1 sighting since July when this happened over just a week. I agree with ice that words like "some" etc are intangible. There are no pics, not updates on any dogs sightings in Lemboro or Mpala for ages. Yes lets keep it in perspective but the perspective is lets not hide our heads in the sand. When the Laikipia violence barely started many many months ago and some of us actually expressed concern because we had better knowhow , a similar casual statement was made by LWC on things not being as bad. The situation is that things are very very bad in Laikipia and acceptance is the first step towards giving the right support to this wonderful place, not any support but the right one if there is one. I also agree with ice, the place is fairly overpriced for what it offers- its beautiful with wide scenic views and a feeling of wilderness inspite of numerous cows and camels, but I also remember that there are some far more wonderful places in Laikipia at that price point with better wild life ( or there used to be before all of them got dumped). Am not sure that things will not keep deteriorating in Laikipia- lets keep it in perspective, the cattle invasion, the politics are fairly unprecedented in recent history and only growing so not fair to draw a comparison from 2008- what if those masai dogs are here to stay
  14. @wilddog thanks for your comments :-) that's kind and generous. Very humbly, and just personally I don't think individuals like us or forums are influential beyond the point of providing some knowledge ( at times complete and somewhat accurate and at many other times not so) to a very small and limited section of safari goers. However the goal is not to be influential so it does not matter. We do this because we love it and that is enough ( at least I speak for myself) Anyways that's a personal view , but I did want to comment more on the quote above- that is actually quite incorrect that tourism will keep these parks alive. Tourism is nothing compared to the expenses and without skillful management even those expenses wont be enough. Law and order and the pyramid 6 layer kind of strategy that AP has along with benign dictators is what will keep it alive. A park that is open 5 months of the year but needs year round protection, wont be kept alive by tourism. Tourism is a nice fringe benefit and hopefully can help sustain most of the future expenses at some time- though looks unlikely will happen in a hurry in this park. FYI- Garamba costs USD 10 Million + a number of lives to keep it alive year after year. Tourism will not even make a dent here and I doubt if @Paolo and I are ready to grasp the nettle there! Time will tell ;-)
  15. Yes one could argue benign dictatorship is often better than this brand of democracy when it comes to management of protected areas.

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