Face to Face with West Africa’s Wildlife

The Penjari Biosphere is a wildlife preserve in a remote corner of the West African nation of Benin. Like many such wildlife areas, it struggles with poachers and environmental problems, but tourism, in the form of photo safaris like the one in the video, is an important source of income for the area.

Even the most jaded tourist, wary of tourist traps and non-authentic experiences, would find a safari like the one in the video exciting. The fact that getting up-close and personal with wild animals is an attractive proposition is nothing new to the African tourism industry, but fully capitalizing on the tourist potential while protecting the wildlife for future tourism is the challenge. But, there are now economic reasons for creating a sustainable tourist model. The more interest in wildlife tourism grows, the more demand there will be for sustainability.

This video was taken in early morning, when the Penjari’s animals all head for the nearest watering hole. Check out the menacing elephant about a minute-and-a-half in.
Video courtesy of Boing Boing