Featured Friday Photo is a segment, where each Friday, I pick one of the photos that I have for sale or license on my photography website (LaGringaPhotos.com), and I put the photo on an amazing sale for 1 week. You can buy prints as low as $10 each, and you can download the photo for only $3.
This gorgeous green-eyed leopard lays still, watching us, on the Great Plains Conservancy – part of the protected land on the Maasai Mara. Conservancies help increase protection for the animals and are an extension of the national parks and national reserves in Kenya.
This land is also rented from the local Maasai, not bought, so conservancies also help the local community by giving people monthly income which they can then use to buy food, send their children to school, and increase their standard of living. Conservancies also give the local Maasai incentive to report suspicious activity (like possible poachers), and help protect the animals. Because the animals are the reason people come on safari. Without tourists there is no reason for conservancies. Without conservancies the Maasai lose their monthly income. Without monthly income, the Maasai can’t afford to send their children to school and their standard of living goes down.
It is one of the most innovative and working forms of conservation, and in some areas in Kenya there are more Maasai wanting to become part of a conservancy than there are investors to create one. There are many more benefits to conservancies which I will write about soon, but they help protect animals, the environment, the local culture, bring education and medical treatment to the area, make jobs, and help increase eco-tourism and eco-tourism education globally through tourists.
It is an amazing, amazing venture and is the reason why I was able to capture this beautiful image of a magnificent leopard.
About Dani Blanchette
I am a freelance travel and music photographer and creator of GoingNomadic.com.
I love music, food, and exploring cities without guidebooks. I’ve flown a helicopter, hitchhiked down the east coast USA, and once snuck into the back of a zoo (in Serbia) and pet a lion.
I am always up for an adventure, and sometimes I videotape them.