Life on Safari takes you into the wilds of Africa. We talk with safari guides and conservationists about their 'Life on Safari'. They share the hilarious moments, the tragedies and the dramas of living in a remote place close to wild animals.
Ep. 5 - Ian Michler on Canned Hunting and Making "Blood Lions", Part 2
This is the second part of a conversation with Ian Michler. We talk about predator breeding, canned breeding, and the making of the movie, “Blood Lions”. Ian takes us behind the scenes of the making of the film. He shares some of the very hairy moments during the making of the movie. He also talks about the experience of Rick Swayze, the American hunter who features in the movie. If you’ve see the film you’ll know that Rick and the film crew go under cover on a lion hunting farm in South Africa. They are behind locked gates and very high fences with some extremely angry human beings, plenty of guns and ammunition, and lots of lions, when it all starts going very awry. Meanwhile, Ian and producer Pippa Hankinson are just outside the farm waiting for news. It’s a story that will definitely get the pulse racing.
We then finish up by talking about how Blood Lions is changing the landscape of canned hunting and what might happen to all the lions that are currently in captivity if canned hunting is banned.
Ep. 4 - Ian Michler on Canned Hunting & making 'Blood Lions'
Ian Michler is an ardent conservationist, widely renowned for his investigative journalism over the last 18 years that has helped expose the 'Canned' lion hunting industry in South Africa. He has also been heavily involved in the making of the movie 'Blood Lions' which was released in July 2015. This is a special double episode, where Ian talks in detail about predator breeding and canned hunting, and his own personal experiences in working to uncover the truth of this sordid industry. It has meant many battles, and often putting himself into the 'lions den' - behind electrified fences and locked gates, where there are guns, lions and people who deal in brutality. It is an amazing conversation - I hope you enjoy it.
Episode 3. Kane Motswana, Okavango Bushman and Safari Guide
Kane Motswana is a Bushman from the Okavango Delta in northern Botswana. His family were nomadic hunter gatherers, and he was born under a tree. He is now one of the finest safari guides in Africa, with a completely unique perspective and approach.
In this conversation we start by chatting to Kane about his early days. he shares stories of hunting reedbuck and warthogs with his friends, and running 26kms through the bush to get to school - and how strange life was when he first made it to a big town. It is a life that resembles the movie 'The God's Must be Crazy'!
We then move into his life working in the ecotourism industry. And this is where the conversation really goes to a whole new level. Kane talks about the importance of his spiritual connection to his ancestors and how they assist in guiding him through the wilderness and creating remarkable experiences for people. He talks about how his ancestors communicate to him - sometimes through a small bird called a cardinal woodpecker, and sometimes in his dreams. On one occasion his ancestors forced him to get his guests out of bed early, and they found a pride of lions about to kill a buffalo.
Please note that at times it can be hard to understand some of the place names that Kane is talking about. My suggestion is not to worry about that, and just keep up with the gist of the conversation. Detailed information on the different places that Kane talks about is available in the show notes at africanfamilysafaris.com/podcast
Episode 2 - Grant Reed, Botswana - Safari guide, snake wrangler & hippo magnet
Grant Reed is something of a legend in northern Botswana. He and his brother Brent have established Letaka Safaris as one of Botswana’s premier mobile safari operations. They are also great with snakes. In this interview Grant shares his love of snakes, including the good times, and the times when they’ve made him squeal like a small girl. He also shares a couple of unusual encounters he has had with hippos – let’s just say he hasn’t been nicknamed ‘The Hippo Whisperer’. But he is an excellent guide, and incredibly passionate about Africa’s wild places and wild animals. He lives live to the full, which can occasionally get him into trouble. It makes for a remarkable conversation. I hope you enjoy it!
Image © Letaka Safaris
Episode 1 - Map Ives, National Rhino Coordinator of Botswana
Map Ives is one of Africa's legendary safari characters. He is also the man in the hot seat when it comes to rhino conservation in Botswana. Throughout Africa rhinos are being shot and killed at an average of 3.5 a day, so the situation is beyond serious. Botswana's role in global rhino conservation is growing by the day. Black and white rhinos from throughout southern Africa are being relocated to Botswana, effectively for safe keeping. Botswana also has the largest elephant population on the planet, so it seems inevitable that the criminal poaching syndicates will soon focus their attention on Botswana. How will this small country cope?
In the interview Map paints a very stark, real picture. He talks in detail about the structure and nature of the poaching syndicates, but also the co-ordinated multi-national approach in place which is working hard to protect the rhinos. He explains why Botswana is viewed as a safe haven, but why the country will need much greater international assistance in the coming years. He also lets you know how YOU can help.
It's a fascinating interview, which certainly gives hope for Africa's rhino population. But as Map rightly points out, if we are to turn the situation around it will require all of us to be ambassadors for rhinos.
I hope you enjoy the interview, but even more I hope it moves you to become add your voice to rhino conservation.
Image © Wilderness Safaris
Very enjoyable podcast. Hope to see many more episodes in the future. Keep up the good work. -JP, New Orleans, LA
The guests on this show have such different stories than we typically hear on podcasts. If you want to be taken away on an adventure, this is a great show!
Richard's and Map Ives' discussion about protecting rhinos is very informative. Anyone who has a passion for Africa (like me) and cares about protecting wildlife in their natural habitat should listen to this Podcast. All tourists to Botswana as well as politicians / those who can influence sustainable change should be required to listen and become more aware of the need for immediate and continued protection of not only rhinos but all wildlife that is threatened.