At the start of 2014, I was traveling in Dead Vlei, Namibia. When I was in the same location a year earlier, I didn't see any jackals bothering tourists (admittedly, that could have been random luck).
Shortly after sunrise, at Kieliekrankie Wilderness Camp in South Africa, as I settled into my balcony chair with my rusk and a coffee, I noticed a lone hyena on the horizon.
It was a cool and rainy morning for a game drive. The weather and lush green landscape, combined with the curves in the road, made it difficult to spot wildlife until we were within close proximity.
To hear Craig Sholley tell it, AWF never intended to build schools. Supporting capacity building and opportunities for conservation education, sure. But physically building a school?
To some African communities, the presence of wildlife is perceived as a threat to their livelihoods. Elephants are crop eating, water tank tipping nuisances. Lions are cattle attacking predators. Routine chores involve the added danger of stumbling upon a hippo or crocodile at the riverbank.
To others, where there is wildlife, they see opportunity. For many African nations, tourism is one of the fastest-growing economic sectors. In fact, Tanzania’s earnings topped 1.88 billion US Dollars in 2013, superseding gold as their number one foreign exchange earner.