Humility; check. Patience; check. But most importantly; that pre-conceptions are almost always wrong.
Nervously we crossed the Zambezi River, stopping at regular police checkpoints and avoiding potholes that could swallow a small family car.
The wheels spun furiously, splattering mud liberally up the doors and windows. Slowly and steadily we slid and churned our way forward along the muddy track.
On the beach a dozen men were hauling at a great rope, their feet sinking into the sand. Encrusted with salt it disappeared hundreds of meters out into the water.
When I think of forest conservation, what often springs to mind is tray upon tray of neatly propagated seedlings and the laborious work of planting them out. But this kind of conservation is only a fraction of the WeForest vision here in Zambia.
If you've ever wondered what a couple of decent cameras and a small drone can do for conservation, then perhaps this is a good start.
I’m writing this from the shade of an enormous baobab tree in Botswana’s Tuli block. Towering like a monolith, the ancient bark is grey and wrinkled like elephant skin, and its girth must be seven or eight meters, much like an elephant too.
“You pay to come here as a tourist, to see these animals” said Lucky with the glow of the campfire illuminating his face. “That money pays for rangers like me, which means I can support my family and the community outside the park”.
It’s easy to become disheartened. In the past four decades we’ve lost more than half of the world’s wildlife, global deforestation continues unabated and the scale of poaching reaches dizzying new heights...