Travel Quote Tuesday | James Stevenson-Hamilton

James Stevenson-Hamilton served as the first warden of South Africa’s Sabi Nature Reserve, a conservation project championed by Paul Kruger, the President of the South African Republic. Born in Dublin, Ireland in 1867 Stevenson-Hamilton first travelled to South Africa as a soldier, and after serving in that capacity for a number of years, was appointed into the newly formed (and rather unusual) role as warden of the new reserve. In what was a revolutionary move for the time, he immediately announced a ban on all animal shooting within the boundaries, understanding “that if there were no shooting, if animals were left to live in the veld as they had lived before man came on the scene, they would lose their fear of human beings and flock to an area that had once been described as ‘red with impala’”. To enforce the new rules, he recruited and trained a body of rangers to patrol the reserve and it was not too long before hunters understood that shooting would not be tolerated. One of his biggest achievements was to petition companies and individuals in Johannesburg, Pretoria and the local area to buy and donate additional land within the Transvaal, allowing him to vastly expand the reserve. He also called for the transformation of the privately owned reserve into a national park, leading to the creation of Kruger National Park in 1926.

Pete and I have long loved our safari holidays – seeing animals in the wild, in their natural habitats, and behaving as nature and evolution dictates – is utterly thrilling and an enormous privilege.

These days, shooting with a camera is far more prevalent than shooting with a gun – though trophy hunting still goes on in some locations. But in the early 20th century, it was a revolutionary idea to ban such hunting and Stevenson-Hamilton no doubt faced stiff opposition from those who gloried in the so-called sport.

(c) Kavita Favelle - James Stephenson-Hamilton - South Africa

I believe this image was taken in South Africa’s Addo Elephant National Park, which we toured as self-drive visitors back in 2004.

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21 Comments to "Travel Quote Tuesday | James Stevenson-Hamilton"

  1. Sandy Cadiz-Smith

    Love this and have loved the safaris I’ve been on. It’s a truly uplifting experience observing magnificent animals in their natural environment, and even a bit scary at times!

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Yes, a very uplifting experience. And those moments of fear remind us that the animals we are seeing are truly wild, and magnificent!

    Reply
  2. Margot

    I have never been to real safari… except for safari on Barbados where we could spot some monkeys and iguanas 😉
    It is such a shame humans are destroying everything instead of protecting the nature…

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Yes, it’s a sad sad situation. There are some very good conservation charities out there working hard to protect both the wildlife and their natural habitats but it’s a constant battle.

    Reply
  3. kaveyeats

    It’s really wonderful. There’s something very nourishing to one’s soul about watching animals and birds in their natural habitats. Reminds you of the wonders of our world. And sometimes some exciting moments too!

    Reply
  4. Mamta Gupta

    Nothing can beat watching wild life in the wild. It beats beach holidays and city tours by a mile, though they too have their place :). We go as and when we can, it is wonderful to watch them all.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Beach holidays are not for me, I don’t like the heat and I get bored on the beach after an hour or two!

    Reply
  5. kaveyeats

    Is that at the Sheldrick orphanage? I think you can organise to visit your particular orphan in advance if you do go. A wonderful place to visit, such great work they do.

    Reply
  6. kaveyeats

    The South Africa winelands are wonderful but if you can combine them with a safari, it’s the ultimate perfect trip, in my opinion!

    Reply
  7. kaveyeats

    Thanks Elizabeth, it’s one of my favourites of all the photos I’ve ever taken on safari!

    Reply
  8. Abi

    It is indeed a privilege seeing animals in the wild, in their natural habitats, and behaving as nature and evolution dictates!

    Reply

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