Tourism in Africa, How Harmful Can It Be?
"We have forgotten how to be good guests, how to walk lightly on the earth as its other creatures do." (Ward). This quote by Barbra Ward exemplifies the blatant disregard that man has for the environment and it is beginning to take its toll. We kill creatures without mercy or purpose and we infiltrate and destroy their homes without any regard for the consequences. Now the results are becoming even more evident and I directly experienced this on my trip to Africa this past summer. I went to Tanzania where there exists a plethora of species that can not be found anywhere else on the planet. These fascinating creatures live in wildlife parks in which tourists can stay. What I noticed on my travels was that many of these animals were in short supply and that most of them were unafraid of human interaction. These aspects bothered me and through this paper one will note how unfortunate that these trends are for the survival of our environmental treasures.
All animals and their environments should be cherished and study by humans—not bothered or killed. This first image features one of the most dangerous animals of the African adventure—the rhinoceros. Rhinos are usually not aggressive, but if they feel threatened, they will attack an on-comer with unwavering force and mercy. With all of these points taken into consideration, it is ridiculous that I was able to stand next to and touch the animal without it attacking me. Rhinos are endangered so it is rare to see one, but seeing one this up close kind of takes away from that special feeling that one gets when they see a wild creature. As the creature stood there, I realized that this was a once in a life time opportunity, but it was as if the rhinoceros was just being kept in a zoo. This example demonstrates how humans’ have molded an animal’s behavior for their own enjoyment. The keepers of this creature held back its ability to be considered “wild” and it showed in the animals demeanor and dejected attitude.
Most African nations are third-world countries and do not have the funds to protect their animals, but this does not give them the right to affect the creatures’ lives in order to promote tourism. In this second picture, we see two cheetahs that escape the midday heat by lying in the shadow of a bush. These two animals are brother and sister and what cannot be fathomed through the image is how close our safari vehicle is. We drove up within five feet of the cheetahs and they hardly even flinched. As we approached, they just stared lazily back at us because they were so used to being harassed by human tourists. This completely took away from the whole experience. Cheetahs are an endangered species because they are hunted by poachers for their skins and the African government has not cracked down on the problem enough. This has caused a drop in their population so there are almost no truly wild cheetahs left.
Part of traveling...