Dear reader, we at the NHFU would like to take this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas and an even happier New Year. We’ve had a lot to be grateful for, and we hope you have too. If you’d like to see a little of what we’ve been up to, then do read on….
While the majority of the work that we do is bound up in red tape and NDAs, we were hugely excited to announce the release of Netflix’s hottest new series – ANIMAL – for which the NHFU was lucky enough to contribute the lion, wild dog, and leopard sequences. Narrated by Rebel Wilson, Pedro Pascal, Rashida Jones, and Bryan Cranston, this star-studded series followed the lives of some of our planet's most iconic animals as they navigate life in the wild. Filmed at the peak of the Corona-chaos, Bristol-based Plimsoll Productions put their faith in local production companies around the world – like ours – to get the goods. If you haven’t seen it yet, then you can check it out on Netflix today and, if you’d like to learn more, check out our other blog – "ANIMAL: meet the cast'. As for what you're up to next, you'll just have to be patient!
Behind the scenes on ANIMAL with the deadly roaming males.
We’ve had another exciting year growing our wonderful team. At the start of 2021, the NHFU took on Tristen Woodward, throwing him right in the deep end as Brad’s right-hand man, and Greg Hartman, our ever-dedicated environmental protection manager. We also welcomed back the fabulous camera operator Steven Dover who couldn’t have been more delighted to get back into the field, and Sam Davies, who works alongside Spence in the media department to make sure that the epic fruits of the camera operator’s labours are backed up securely. Sadly, we wished goodbye to Tyler and wish him and his wonderful girlfriend, Amy, the best of luck on their international travels – we will miss you! Over this Christmas break, we have a skeleton crew cycling in and out of the field (nature doesn’t stop for Christmas festivities after all!) while everyone enjoys a well-deserved break.
Banyana, the NHFU's assistant office manager, and key player at the NHFU.
It’s been another tough end of the year for Southern Africa with Coronavirus rearing its ugly head just when we thought things were calming down on that front. The new Omicron variant has spread rapidly around the world, red-listing southern African countries in the height of their desperately-needed tourism season. Here at the NHFU, we have the great privilege of working in the Okavango Delta, one of the most pristine ecosystems left on our planet. It is not, however, pristine by accident.
For thousands of years, people have lived in its proximity, harvesting its products and living sustainably along its shores. Since the advent of international travel, while many similar places so rich in life and material would have been spoilt, the Okavango was immediately recognised for its intrinsic raw value. Today, tourism supports countless jobs and livelihoods in Botswana that justify the protection of the Delta and keep it safe from exploitation. As you might not be surprised to learn, tourism has been battered, once again, by this latest announcement. To end on a positive note, the best thing you could do for African conservation is to book a holiday there! Not such a hardship is it?
Being an eco-warrior doesn't have to be exhausting!
Thank you for reading and, once again, have a wonderful New Year’s Day. May this year be even better than the last.
Blog and images by Hannah Gormley.