Photo of the Day
|Happy World Environment Day!|
5 x rhinos
1 x breeding herd of buffalo - Argyle, Straight Rd
1 x breeding herd of elephants - Peru, Klipgat Crossing
While this blog is usually focused on the animals around us, today we have shifted that focus slightly to celebrate the environment; and not only the environment around us at Motswari, but also across the world.
We live on a one of a kind planet. It is the only place that we can ever call home. There is simply no where else for us to go if we destroy this precious, blue little planet of ours. As the world’s population slowly climbs away from the 7-billion mark towards 8-billion, environmental issues are going to become more and more prominent in our daily lives, as it is the environment that provides everything we need to survive, and if we fail to look after it correctly, we will be the ones that suffer at the end of the day.
|Preparing for the start of a new day in the bush|
So, in honour of this, every year on the 5th of June, the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP)celebrates World Environment Day to help raise global awareness for the need to take positive environmental actions. According to UNEP, World Environment Day seeks to:
“...personalize environmental issues and enable everyone to realize not only their responsibility, but also their power to become agents for change in support of sustainable and equitable development. World Environment Day is also a day for people from all walks of life to come together to ensure a cleaner, greener and brighter outlook for themselves and future generations...”
The first World Environment Day was held in 1973, and since then, it has been every year by a different city with a different theme and is commemorated with an international exposition in the week of 5 June. This year’s theme is entitled “The Green Economy: Does it Include You?” To find out more about WED and the Green Economy, go visit the UNEP Website.
As Motswari is a member of organisations such as Green Globe and Heritage, part of our duty and responsibility is to celebrate these environmental days, not only to make our staff and our guests aware of the impacts that we have on the environment everyday, but to also look at ways that we can further improve on our environmental performance; not just today, but everyday that we are out there! Already Motswari has established its own “Green Team” that look to manage and improve the activities of the lodge to ensure that all we do is as environmentally friendly as possible.
With this in mind, on World Environment Day, we paid extra special attention to our actions and activities, and did some special environmentally friendly activities.
The guides and trackers team headed out into the bush to remove a specific form of exotic plant that has found its way into the reserve; namely the prickly pear. Using picks and spades, they managed to load a couple of pick-up loads full of this plant that they found in the bush on our property. They did also note that there were still many more of them out there, so this will no doubt become and ongoing project for the Green Team.
|Shadrack and Tiyani removing the invasive prickly pears from the bush (Thanks Pete for the photos)|
All the staff also participated in a “chicken parade”. This is an activity where all the staff gather around and go walking through an area picking up any pieces of little or foreign objects, no matter how big or small. As we strive to ensure that the public guest areas are always free of litter, today we focussed on ensuring that the areas surrounding the staff houses and workshop were kept as clean.
|Jacky and Grace helping with the Chicken Parade|
|Daphney, Kensane, Happy and Lucy|
|A whole team effort!|
|Jacky and Difference (no body point out that Difference is picking up imaginary litter!)|
|Dave and Pete practicing Synchronised Litter Collecting - they have perfected the technique it seems|
|Shadrack with a piece of "found art" - Marion will be pleased!|
In the evening, we also had our own “Earth Hour” of sorts, and turned off all of the electricity in the lodge during dinner, choosing instead to romantically illuminate the dining area with candles and paraffin lanterns as the full moon shone over the bush.
|Dinner by candlelight|
Even on game drives, we tried to minimize the distances travelled and the amount of off-road driving – this was perfect as Herold (needing to find rhinos this morning, remember?), being Herold, found his rhinos!
The crash of five was located, but due to the windy conditions, they were more nervous today, so rather than chasing them around in a vehicle through the bush, he walked his four guests on foot into the sighting to enjoy a magical sighting of these prehistoric looking animals.
In the afternoon, Shadrack had a nice chilled start to his guests stay, and got to see a breeding herd of buffalo near Argyle Dam, as well as a nice breeding herd of elephants along the Nhlaralmi river.