By Hunter O’Malley
During the safari a moral question came to me: is it responsible to play into U.S. American preconceptions about Africa rather than showing what Senegal is actually like?
In the 1500 hectares enclosure, nonnative animal were kept in an environment where they do not naturally belong. To me it had an artificial feel. The guide explained to the group that some of the animals were not native to Senegal and were brought over by plane to the sanctuary.
Many people want to go to Africa to see the animals they see on TV and leave. Sanctuaries attract most of the tourists and leave real wildlife alone. It is tough to see many of these animals in the wild. Someone might just see a gazelle and thats it. But when they go to a sanctuary they pay to see everything.
I personally have experienced both the Wild and the sanctuary. The latter was so disappointing to me. You see everything on your list but you get the sense that it was a zoo with no gates. When I was on safari in Tanzania I would see one animal and it made me feel more accomplished and excited because I saw the real animal in its real environment. I saw what Americans perceive Africa as with all of its animals, but I also saw the animals in their real environment and it was stunning.