If you’re wondering why my posts have dried up in the past couple of weeks it’s because it was that time of the year when I down tools (a.k.a. my laptop) and try to replenish my sanity on a two week vacation. For those of you similarly engaged in the corporate rat race, and therefore familiar with the endless monotony of sitting behind a laptop screen for 10 hours a day, you’ll recognize that this two week annual sojourn represents the one chance to recharge one’s batteries and avoid screaming angrily at clients, colleagues, or indeed strangers in the street, in a fit of stress-induced frustration.
It may therefore be somewhat surprising to learn that this year we ignored the pursuit of relaxation and instead decided to down technological tools and pick up a set of more antiquated ones: shovels, pick-axes and machetes. This year, we opted to join the increasing number of “ecotourists” and “voluntourists” seeking to make a difference through environmental conservation, community and education vacation projects.
What resulted was one of the most memorable and, quite frankly, life-affirming vacations I’ve ever been on. Three African countries, two weeks, enough wildlife to fill Noah’s Ark and a group of twenty or so people that solidified into a close-knit, classically dysfunctional family unit.
This was all thanks to the Nakavango Conservation Program.
Located on the Stanley & Livingstone Private Game Reserve in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, the Nakavango Program is based in an intensive protection zone for the endangered black rhino and sits a mere 15 minutes from one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
Over the course of the next few weeks I’ll be writing a number of posts on Nakavango, the Stanley & Livingstone Reserve, Victoria Falls and our experience more generally (including revisiting Chobe National Park in Botswana for the day). But for now I’ll start with some of my favorite photos from the trip – as always my first focus seems to have been wildlife, but I promise there will be evidence of actual conservation work to follow!
If you’re itching to learn more right this second then make sure to visit the Nakavango website. Otherwise, stay tuned!