With everything that has happened this year we thought it would be a good time to have a post where we get to reflect on what has happened, and how far we’ve come, in the past year.
I’m going to start by saying thank you. Thanks to everyone who has supported us and our efforts this year, thank you to everyone on twitter and the ever-growing following on Facebook. Thank you to friends, co-workers and fans for your incredible support for our calendar project and thank you to everyone who is helping and supporting us with the transition into a Non-Profit Organisation.
AfriShots started at the back end of 2011, yet it wasn’t until January 2012 when we conducted our first review.
Since then the way in which we rate lodges has changed completely. We started off by making a blog post, right here, on our trip and sending a link to the lodge. Now, we have a full on report system that gets emailed directly to the lodges. We’ve been very lucky in that over the whole year, we’ve only had one bad lodge experience.
A few months back we noticed that two people liked our Facebook page and they were both from the same reserve in Parys (not too far from Johannesburg). One day when we were in the area we decided to stop by, unannounced, and see what the reserve was like. It was an incredible feeling to pull up at the gate and have them known exactly who we were and why we were there. We very much look forward to spending a few nights on the reserve.
In 2012 we also made the decision to award a Lodge of the Year certificate to the lodge that impressed us. This year that went to Thakadu River Camp in Madikwe Game Reserve. Thank you to all the staff of the lodge for not only welcoming us back for our second visit the way they did, but for giving us an experience that made is want to return again and again. At the same time we awarded an ad hoc certificate to Tshepiso for Field Guide of the Year for the incredible drives he took us on.
We’ve had some incredible experiences in the bush this year, and some hair-raising ones too. There is never a dull moment when travelling in the African bush and we are super excited to do it all again in 2013.
Along with the growing urge to make a difference we decided to launch a competition to decide on pictures to use and compile a calendar, the proceeds of which are to be donated to a sanctuary, charity or organisation directly involved in rhino conservation.
The winners of the competition, who will be receiving a calendar each are:
- Joanne O’Callaghan
- Pierre Lombard
- Ferlicia Ward
NPO & 2013
The idea of the calendars sparked some very interesting debates and they resulted in the decision to formulate an NPO under the AfriShots name. This is a slow process as we want it done right, however we have not only got the Board of Directors together but this week finalised the constitution and application and will be sending that off very soon.
In the coming year we are looking forward to taking AfriShots to new heights and locations. We will start accepting members soon and hosting a number of awareness events where both members, and the general public, can get involved not only in what we do as AfriShots, but get some hands-on experience in the conservation industry. Our very first event will be a social one in the first quarter of 2013 to celebrate our NPO registration and give everyone the chance to see who is behind AfriShots.
We love hearing from you and want to encourage you to keep posting to Facebook, Twitter and here on the website. Share your pictures, stories and interesting locations you’ve been to. If you know of anyone involved in conservation please let us know, we’d love to speak to them and promote their activities.
If you’d like to give more, we’re always looking out for people who can help us grow, from web designers to article writers so please get in touch with us.
If you’re traveling this holiday season, please stay safe on the roads and at your destinations.
We wish you all a very happy holiday season. May 2013 be bigger and better than this year for all of you. Please stay safe.