Stories from our Nature Never Stops campaign

As Covid-19 sweeps across the globe bringing everything to a standstill, The Long Run has been hosting weekly Crisis Hang Out calls for members and partners. From New Zealand to Namibia, Argentina to Hawaii no member is left unscathed. Although implications and complications vary, our unique network, founded upon collaboration, remains united.

 

Some share their fears while others offer solutions, and we always make an effort to find some glimmers of hope. The most heartening thing of all is that the 4Cs – community, culture, conservation and commerce — remain central to each members’ response, shaping how they adapt, act and plan for a more resilient future.

 

One upshot of these calls is a recognition that nature never stops, and that this continuity provides comfort amid a sea of uncertainty. Borana Conservancy’s Marketing Manager, Eloise Best, mentioned the term when discussing how to continue vital conservation work in these unprecedented conditions. It resonated with everyone, and so we decided to establish a campaign around it.

 

For now, we must all stay at home, but for many people home is where we long to be. Rangers, conservationists, lodge managers, tour guides and other team members are left out in the field with no guests to entertain. Critical community and conservation projects are also left with dwindling funds and an increasingly uncertain future.

 

The Long Run’s Nature Never Stops campaign hopes to join the dots bringing nature’s soothing powers to the screens of those stuck indoors while providing hope and purpose for those on the frontline of the paused travel industry. At the heart of this campaign is a desire to stay connected, and remind everyone how and why travel is a force for good.

 

We’d love everyone (including non-members) to get involved; upload photos or videos from the field to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook tagging @thelongrunorg #NatureNeverStops #init4thelongrun. With the help of our partners GT Films & Media, Stevie Mann Photography and Senderos, we’ve created a quick Field Footage Tips Training Manual to help the less experienced get started.

 

We’ve enjoyed reading over 1000 #NatureNeverStops posts so far, and each week we update this blog with a few of our favourite (click on images for more):

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve Takes Inspiration from its Floral Kingdom

  

“Did you know? A King protea is not just one flower but rather an inflorescence, hundreds of flowers clustered into one. This reminds us of ‘Ubuntu’, meaning humanity. Often translated as “I am because we are, without each other we can not exist, just like the national flower of South Africa, many individual flowers create one spectacular protea!”

The Safari Collection Finds Delight in the Little Things 

 

Even butterflies feasting on dung.

Condor Valley Spots a Young Ocelot, Argentina

  

“Young ocelot caught on trap camera near Condor Falls. Ocelots are one of 5 species of cats on CV: Puma, Geoffroy’s Cat, Jaguarundi, Pampas Cat & Ocelot. Very rare in world to find 5 species on one property even when 100 sq miles and ranging from 1000 to 3350 meters of altitude. Visit recent blog on our website.”

Pristine Seychelles Shares the Concerns of Local Organisations

 

“Today we have Dr Frauke Fleischer-Dogley, the Chief Executive Officer at Seychelles Islands Foundation:

“A new and unexpected silence has fallen on the most visited natural treasure in Seychelles, the UNESCO World Heritage site Vallée de Mai – a top tourist attraction. Some people may think finally nature can return into a state with no human disturbance and re-bounce. Contrary to this I believe separating us and our daily life from nature is exactly what has led to overconsumption and threats our ecosystems are no longer resilient to. Only if we understand ourselves as integral part of nature and change our lifestyle the beacons of hope like our World Heritage Sites will survive. If this new and unexpected silence stays it will reverse the major progress we have made in addressing one of the biggest threats to Seychelles’ World Heritage sites, invasive species. As an example the yellow crazy ant is one of the most invasive species in the world, and active conservation management and huge financial resources are required to control their numbers in the Vallée de Mai and prevent their arrival on Aldabra. However, the SIF team is ready to accelerate and rethink our allocation of resources as soon as the Covid-19 pandemic is under a certain degree of control.””⁣

Huilo Huilo reminds us we will return to a place of calm and swallows 

 

“This is our paradise. A place of calm and swallows. A landscape that invites you to lose yourself between the stillness of the water and the depth of the sky.

We are free in the pleasure of the southern landscapes, in the freshness of clean air, in the simplicity of the gentle waves.

You rush forward to your next trip. Yes, you will return to the forest, I promise you.”

Borana’s Mobile Clinic takes top priority 

 

“Meet Pauline, a nurse working for the Borana Mobile Clinic.⁠

One of our key priorities at this time is to keep this mobile clinic going. The clinic on average treats 690 patients per month and travels over 1000km’s. The focus of the Borana Mobile Clinic is to provide basic health care, health lectures, HIV Aids awareness, antenatal advice, child immunisation programmes and family planning to all members of the local community. The clinic team consists of two nurses and a driver, together they visit 10 communities on a two-week rotation. ⁠

Given the current crisis we are facing and the lack of basic health care in remote communities we are doing all we can to keep this small but impactful health project running, this is our top priority for the moment.”⁠

An endangered Rothchild’s giraffe newborn takes first steps at Giraffe Manor 

 

“A highly endangered new born Rothschild’s giraffe takes its very first steps in a new world. Something we can all relate too in these difficult times. Conservation continues.”

Cempedak uses the pause to further help the local community

 

“We’ve taken this time to pause and see what we can do to help the local community. Together with Yayasan Ecology and members of the Air Gelubi village we started a reforestation project in the area. All whilst observing social distancing practices. Thank you to everyone that helped and looking forward to seeing the land thrive again.”

Billy Norris Safaris reminds us that rangers continue work 

 

At this time we all need to stand together and stay strong — these are the unsung hero’s of conservation, combatting the African poaching crisis, one step at a time.

The rangers are still out in the field everyday protecting our wildlife, they are dedicated to their role in conservations so that when you come to Africa both you and the wildlife are safe.

Ibitipoca encourages us to embrace the still and nature with a beautiful animated film

 

“The world is quieter and soon we can already hear nature bringing its melody back to humanity. Have you ever stopped to hear the sounds of nature around you today? Have you ever stopped to reflect that the time we were forced to stop is the result of all the hustle and bustle of everyday life? Our wish is that the world does not return to “normality”, but that it leaves this time rethinking its actions and its way of taking care of the planet.”

Misool brings a splash of colour and hope from Indonesia

 

It’s a sweetlips party! Misool is one of the only places in the world where biodiversity is increasing. Throughout these tough times, we try to remember how great the reefs will be when we get back in the water again.

House in the Wild reminds us that this storm will pass from Tanzania

 

Fellow Member House in the Wild has made a beautiful film to reminds us that we are in this together. The effects and threats are very real as ecotourism battles to fund essential community and conservation projects. The impact of guests not travelling is far-reaching, but we will get through this together.

Rhino conservation goes on at Borana, Kenya

 

Rhino ear notching continues at the Lewa-Borana Conservancy, one of East Africa’s most successful rhino habitats. James Lewin has been sharing his dramatic images.

Culsans Gap Travel start a fundraiser to help the Ingwesi community near to Borana, Kenya  

 

“Our friends at @culsansgaptravel have started a fundraiser to help our neighbours, the @lngwesi community, by selling one of a kind beaded bracelets. Il Ngwesi group ranch depends largely on tourism as one of the prime economic drivers. During these tough times, where international travel has all but dried up, it is wonderful to see such initiatives supporting and encouraging self-sufficiency in such remote parts of the world.”

Patrol rangers continue work on Chumbe Island, Tanzania

 

“Even though Chumbe Island Coral Park is currently closed for visitors, our patrol rangers, like Saidi, are out day and night to protect our 55-hectare private marine park from illegal fishers and poachers, safeguarding the pristine ecosystem that has developed here as a result of 25 years of protection. Remember #natureneverstops and neither do the Chumbe #rangers!”

Caiman Ecological Refuge in Brazil introduces us to guide Diogo Lucatelli

 

“Here at Caiman, the work continues. Nature is life and life cannot stop. We continue to take care of our greatest wealth with love, care and responsibility! Follow Diogo Lucatelli and Caiman’s guides showing how the behind the scenes work to take care of our wildlife.”

Cottar’s Safaris in Kenya takes time to watch gentle giants

 

“The team at the camp has been seeing this lovely big family of elephants around a lot lately which has been really helping with the isolation #NatureNeverStops We’re in full lockdown, and all our properties are now closed, with most of our team home with their families. Our focus now is to ensure that our team is looked after and that we can continue to support our Olderkesi Conservancy and all the wonderful work being done for conservation.”

Segera’s team tells the world to stay home, for now

We love these messages from Segera’s much-loved team telling guests to stay at home, but that they’ll be waiting when it’s safe to travel again.

Ecocamp shares its last sunrise of the season from Patagonia

 

Photographer Timothy Halleine comments, “The day Chile closed its National Parks. Next day the country would finally close its borders. While it is sad to leave that special place (for a while), we all know this pandemic is a war that requires lots of battles and the commitment of all humans on this planet. What a season ending. May Planet Earth rest well. After all of this, I believe a great change is coming so we all reconsider the place we occupy on this amazing planet. In the meantime, stay safe.”

The Safari Collection promises to bring Africa to wherever we are

 

“So what comes next? Well, if you can’t come to Africa, we’ll bring Africa to YOU. Who says our minds can’t keep exploring, even if our feet must be patient a little longer? To keep spirits high and feed your wanderlust, we’ll be sending travel inspiration, quizzes, virtual safaris and much more your way. We’ve been taking comfort from the reassuring continuity of nature and appreciating the wonders of the natural world during these unusual times, because #NatureNeverStops. So stay tuned and join us in exploring our planet’s wild kingdom and indulge in some daydreaming of the intrepid sort.”

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