International Women’s Day: Celebrating Inspirational Women in Wildlife Conservation
The theme for this year’s Women’s Day, falling on 8th March, is “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030”. Although we are in no way there yet, we have seen considerable progress for women in the workplace partly due to globalisation and the opportunities created by the digital and technological revolutions. More women are taking up senior roles in predominantly male industries, including the field of travel and conservation. And so, with Women’s Day next week and International Environment Day in June, we want to honour just a few of the many women making strides in both of these incredibly important arenas.
Hanli Prinsloo is a South African free diver (able to hold her breath for an unbelievable six minutes) and ocean conservationist. Hanli spends most of her time underwater with dolphins, sperm whales and tiger sharks and has recently founded I Am Water, a trust dedicated to conserving and protecting the world’s oceans by nominating ‘ocean ambassadors’. She runs hugely popular tours in South Africa, including Kalk Bay, a fishing village on the coast of False Bay. She also teaches the basics of free-diving off the Mozambican coast and runs yoga classes amidst the tropical surroundings.
Lee Durrell MBE is a naturalist, zookeeper, author and television presenter. After her father’s death she became honorary director of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and now runs tours and expeditions, often in India. As part of just one of her excursions, the India Wildlife Group Tour, Lee imparts her vast knowledge the Pygmy Hog Conservation Programme that she runs, operates a safari in Kaziranga National Park and takes to the rivers to find the endangered Gangetic Dolphins.
Defying the predominantly white, middle-aged male culture at the BBC, Saba Douglas-Hamilton is best known for her presentation of Big Cat Diary and Secret Life of Elephants. She grew up travelling around East Africa with her parents, who were battling to save elephants from the illegal ivory trade. After graduating from university she began her work with Save the Rhino and is now leading community conservation in the aim of raising awareness globally for Save the Elephant as well as working closely with the team that monitor a population of 900 elephants. She also works with Scenic Air Safaris, the leading air safari operator in Kenya, on their luxury trips covering Nairobi and Mombasa.
The importance of ecological and conservational travel has become increasingly significant in recent years, with clients ever more aware of their impact on the world. Travel agencies such as Scenic Air Safaris and Steppes Travel recognise the important role that conservationists have in their business and are keen to partner with them to generate luxurious, enlightening and guilt-free travel.Despite the enduring pay gap and the dearth of females in CEO positions, this Women’s Day we can celebrate the steps being made by women themselves, in a bid to improve the world around us not for man but for
Despite the enduring pay gap and the dearth of females in CEO positions, this Women’s Day we can celebrate the steps being made by women themselves, in a bid to improve the world around us not for man but for beast too.