For my third and final week in Tanzania, I had the privilege of spending time at the Manyara Ranch Conservancy. Previously owned by the Tanzanian government, the ranch was established by AWF in 2001 to address the threats of degradation and habitant fragmentation.
Where do I even begin? I feel like I lived a lifetime is just a matter of days. I’m so incredibly blessed and humbled to embark on amazing opportunity thanks to Nat Geo WILD and the African Wildlife Foundation.
Well, the past two weeks have flown by, and Angel and I have been very busy completing the community surveys across the two sectors. It’s a large area so we have tried to ensure that we have covered as many people as possible, including trekking to communities on the Volcanoes National Park boundary and into outlying villages.
Tall trees, year-round warmth, friendly faces…and bonobos as far as the eye can see. This could be the front cover of a flyer pitching a world-class holiday destination. Behind the large, stylishly designed text in Times New Roman or Verdana sits a unique photograph: an upward camera shot of a clear, blue sky beyond a dense canopy, with streams of sunlight reaching through the thickness.
As we climbed out of Kigali on to one of the ridges leading north-west to the Volcanoes National Park area I was surprised to see the lush, green landscape spreading out across the ridges and valleys way into the distance. This landscape contrasted dramatically with northern Botswana where I have just spent three weeks—where it is dry, dusty and sandy with sparse vegetation except along the rivers.