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Lockdowns and Conservation

Covid-19 had arrived in Africa, restricting travel in and out of the continent. The restrictions spell trouble for Africa, both its people and its animals, the bread and butter of safari travel. Daniel Saperstein, owner of Hippo Creek Safari, said it was a “scramble” working to get the guest out on a flight before flights filled up. His team worked overnight facilitating the departure of the safari guest. Meanwhile, Laurie Newman was on safari with nascent operator Brave Africa. She ended up on a private safari with Tabona Wina, one of the company’s co-owners. Isolated in the Okavango Delta in Botswana, Newman extended her trip but made it out of the country — and Africa — and back to the United States before it would become impossible to do so. With countries on lockdown and stay-at-home orders in effect in much of Africa, official anti-poaching efforts have largely been abandoned. In some South African lodges, where safari guides live on-site, there’s a continued lookout for illegal activity.