Ever wonder what it's like to go on safari? Here's a great glimpse from BoingBoing co-editor Xeni Jardin, who tipped us off to the short video she shot in Benin recently while visiting the Pendjari Biosphere Reserve with her dad. She writes:
Today's episode of our daily online tv show, BBtv WORLD, is a first-person report I filed from the Pendjari Biosphere, a large nature preserve in the remote northwest of Benin, near the border of Burkina Faso. Lots of wildlife in this episode! Pendjari is home to elephants, lions, monkeys, cheetah, and around 300 species of birds. We traveled here during the dry season, when animal spotting is easiest. Here is what we saw at dawn (the time of day when critters all come out to the watering holes and rivers).
I shot this video on a small hand-held digital camcorder. This episode of our daily show is a little experiment in trying to convey what this place feels like, first-person, without too many words.
Poaching is still a big problem in this area, and organized trophy hunting for foreign tourists is still legal and in demand here (mostly visitors from France; Benin is a former French colony and French is the official language). Lion hunts are a lucrative trade in this extremely poor region, where most people are subsistence farmers.
But eco-tourism and less-invasive safari experiences are becoming more important to the local economy here, and offer a more sustainable future.