Monday, 31 August 2015

East Africa - The postscript

Homeward bound

I have not been able to upload photographs to my blog because there has not been any wifi or decent band width but will add my photographs to my blog post as soon as I can.

Today was our travel day home.  We caught an overnight flight from Nairobi to Brussels and then a connecting flight from Brussels to Bristol.  We live really close to the airport and I it was a short taxi ride home.

It was good at least to the afternoon in Bristol, getting a few things for school tomorrow.  I start year 9, so will need to step up the work I do for school.

I just wanted to reflect on my summer.  It was interesting to visit each of the three countries, Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya.  They were all different, with how people looked, behaved and thought.  Kenya had the most developed tourism industry and services.  Things like wifi were widely available, whilst rarely available in Uganda and Rwanda.

The tour companies we used were Avian Watch Uganda (speak to Alfred) and Moses Kandie of Birdwatching Express Tours.  The guides were excellent, with good vehicles (with seat belts), good accommodation and everything organised well and went smoothly.  We made some lifelong friends who I know I will keep in touch with.

The big difference between conservation in South America and Africa and Asia is that there are a lot of privately owned reserves in South America whilst most are government owned in Africa and Asia.  This means that there is scope for corruption or at least revenue not reaching the local people.  With revenue from Eco tourism, local people have no stake in the habitat or it’s animals or birds.

This meant habitat gets chopped down, like the wetland swamp that we visited which was almost gone in the two years since Robert had last been.

It also means that hunting can have a big impact.  Uganda has only one endemic bird, Foxes Weaver.  We didn't see them and it was unclear when they were last seen.  What was clear was that weavers and their nests were being collected for food.  Nature Uganda was doing some work there, but there was no one based there and it was unclear what had been achieved.  This is something that I will be trying to find out about and highlight.  I will also get involved with African Bird Club, as I’d like to work with them.

It turned out, when I got home, that tomorrow is actually a training day at school, so that’s good news.  The other bit of good news is that my friends is having a picnic party 
In the afternoon, so I can catch up with my friends before school.  I doubt any of them will be too interested in my trip though ;-)

About the Writer

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig on ScillyPhotograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig

Mya-Rose Craig is a 13 year old young birder, conservationist, writer and speaker. She is based near Bristol and writes the successful Birdgirl Blog, with posts about birding and conservation from around the world. She is loved going Mountain Gorilla Trekking in East Africa and is looking forward to watching Penguins in Antarctica in December 2015, which will be her 7th continent. She has recently been listed with the singer songwriter George Ezra and actress Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones as one of Bristol's most influential young people. Please like her Birdgirl Facebook Page and follow her on Birdgirl Twitter

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