The response to Big Cat Month continues to grow and overwhelm us, an indication of the pent up desire to travel on safari once again. This, in combination with a steady rollback of restrictions on travel, making it easier and easier to come on safari is creating the perfect storm.
On the press tour for the Big Cat Month, we were recently asked why these animals fascinate us all so much. And they do, don’t they?
It might be that animalistic speed or Tennyson’s poem “Nature red in claw and tooth” that reminds us. Or is it that the large cats are the ones that actually hold Africa’s large landscapes together churning them up as they chase hoofed animals, keeping herds moving, healthy and fit?
When I was born, there were 450,000 lions in Africa and today there may be 20,000. Leopards have dropped from 700,000 to 50,000 and cheetahs are below 7,000, so it may be the threat of extinction that holds us spellbound.
But possibly our fascination with big cats stems from the fact that when we stare into their eyes we feel humbled, and that for an instant we are no longer the top predator and in total control. At that moment of humility, we find our authenticity.
At Great Plains we strive to deliver authentic moments on one hand and on the other, will do whatever we can to make sure that the light in those eyes doesn’t fade away. (Next month we will announce the rollout of our Big Cat plan for you).
A safari is an opportunity to be authentic and to help save these inspiring animals.