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Jasper Ridge goes to Botswana: A Stanford Travel/Study adventure for the Jasper Ridge community

African lion in Botswana

As part of Jasper Ridge’s Out-of-the-Box-and-Into-the-Cloud and Anthropocene Biodiversity Initiatives, faculty director Liz Hadly and executive director Tony Barnosky have teamed up with Stanford Travel/Study and Walk Botswana Safaris to offer an exclusive trip to highlight how Jasper Ridge is connected to other natural areas around the world.  The 10-day trip will take place June 26 through July 7, 2020, and is designed acquaint Jasper Ridge travelers, through immersion in spectacular landscapes with abundant wildlife, with the conservation issues that bind natural areas throughout the world and that researchers and educators at Jasper Ridge are working to address.

Travelers will traverse Botwsana’s famed Okavango Delta, gaining appreciation for the dramatic landscape transitions and abundant wildlife that occur along the way, from Nxai Pan National Park, an area of dry lake beds with a few watering holes that concentrate wildlife, to Moremi Game Reserve, where waters originating in Angola emerge to form ever-shifting river channels that will be explored by Land Rover and boat.  As one of the world’s richest wildlife areas, the region is also a prime example of the tightrope that must be walked to ensure benefits for the people who make their living alongside the wildlife that find these unique ecosystems among their last refuges. 

As well as getting a full immersion into the African ecosystem through abundant game drives, some hikes, boat trips, and light aircraft, participants will engage in evening discussions around the campfire with the trip leaders to deeply explore both the scientific and philosophical aspects of nature conservation and Jasper Ridge’s role in it. Along with the Jasper Ridge directors, the local trip leader will be Gareth Flemix, one of Africa’s premier guides who brings a deep understanding of local issues and a passion for finding ways to keep naturally-functioning ecosystems healthy.

Because this trip is intended to be a mobile safari—meaning traveling to and staying at three different camps to experience different parts of the delta—and to be an intimate experience that bonds travelers around common interests, the group is limited to 12 travelers. Highlights will include secluded camps, enabled by the small group size, in Moremi Reserve and Nxai Pan, where the stars are breathtaking and the wildlife is literally right outside the tent door.   

If this trip sounds of interest, details about the itinerary, leaders, accommodations, and how to sign up can be found here.  We hope you will join us on what promises to be an amazing journey that highlights why what is happening at Jasper Ridge is so pertinent to what is happening elsewhere in the world, why the times we live in today are so special, and what we can learn from looking outside our own borders.

Until August 31, 2019, this trip is being offered only to members of the Jasper Ridge community.  We hope you sign up, and if you do, we look forward to traveling with you in Botswana!