|Retired Lawyer Turned Wildlife Photographer||Retired High Tech Executive Turned Sherpa|
"Seeing a leopard in a tree, an elephant matriarch leading her herd, wild dogs feeding their pups, or lions enjoying family time gives us a glimpse of what the Garden of Eden was like."
Bob and Shirley booked their first custom safari - a group trip up the Great Rift Valley in a DC-3 - after talking with David Tett about Africa at a UC Berkeley Alumni travel reception in 1999. Thirteen safaris later, they say they intend to keep going on African luxury safaris forever!
The Sandersons have traveled on several Bushtracks cultural trips to Africa and India, including North Africa and the Great Sahara and Casablanca to the Cape. We've taken them to Timbuktu three times and arranged a sunrise photo shoot of the pyramids at Meroe, Sudan. Several countries on these trips can no longer be visited, so we're glad to have been a part of their "go while we can" travel strategy.
"We have been incredibly lucky to witness lion research being done in Zambia and Kenya. Most people don't realize that the numbers of lions have dropped an alarming 80% in the past 30 years in Africa. These research projects are designed to help reverse that trend.
In 2011, we were staying at Shumba Camp in Kafue National Park, Zambia, when we learned that Neil Midlane, the principal researcher for the Kafue Lion Project, would be collaring a lioness as part of his investigation on Kafueís lion population. Neil graciously allowed us to watch the darting, collaring, and taking of measurements on the subject lioness.
We were then thrilled to be able to help with the darting by allowing veterinarian Harvey Kamboyi of the Zambia Wildlife Authority shoot a dart at the lioness from the top row of our completely open safari vehicle, which gave him a much better angle. After protecting the lionessís eyes with a cloth wrap, the radio collar was fitted to her neck. The team checked her teeth, measuring the canines, and blood was drawn for testing. They then measured her height, body length, and tail length. Finally, the team administered an antidote to reverse the effects of the anesthetic. They stayed with the lioness until she was fully able to walk and defend herself.