Yes! The first donations for Transfrontier Africa are in! Thank you so much to everyone who donated! If you haven't, now is your chance to do so!
Today, Facebook reminded me that it has been 8 years since I first visited Africa. It was my first time seeing wild animals in their natural environment. Before I've only seen animals in zoos and the occasional deer in Europe. It's such a different world and it's amazing to see so many different species all living together. My ecology background told me that most species are specialised and therefore do not compete with other species. Others are generalist feeders and can even survive in the direst circumstances. And then the predators! I'm sure everyone experienced many different feelings at the same time when they first encountered their lion, leopard or hyena. They're beautiful, strong, but also a little scary. For me, the best word to describe everything was respect; these animals have survived (just as we have) and for that fact alone they should deserve our respect.
It's this attitude that I really admire from everyone at TA. They do not sensationalize animals or their behaviour but respect all animals and their environment. This means for us, humans, to sacrifice a few luxuries that we are so used to. But I think it's a good thing to take a step back and be grateful for things we have back at home, but also to realise that not everyone is as fortunate as most of us.
If you decide to travel to Africa (and I strongly recommend you do so at least once in your life), please do so in a respectable and responsible way. Unfortunately, there are still organisations hiding behind the banner of conservation. Luckily, there are many resources online that you can use to find the perfect place for you. I was also happy to see that Transfrontier Africa was rated very well! =D