Hands Off Our Elephants

Help Keep Hands Off Our Elephants

Ever since coming home from our adventure, it’s been hard to motivate myself to write much about travel on the blog. To be sure, I’m working on compiling our experiences into a travel memoir, but writing about travel here is a whole other thing.

Motivation has been lacking, but when a fellow Simbian asked me to write a post about the plight of elephants on the African continent, I figured it was time to revive my travel section. Hands Off Our Elephants is a worthy Kenyan campaign that needs to be discussed more. So here we are. I love these beautiful animals, and I want them to live on forever. Fortunately, despite the dangers they face, there are things we can do to ensure their survival.

 

Hands Off Our Elephants! Ethical Elephant Tourism in Kenya, www.marianamcdougall.com

Gentle Giants

Elephants are beautiful, intelligent and gentle giants who are still, unfortunately, hunted for their tusks. Although elephant hunting and the ivory trade has been banned in Kenya since 1973, the illegal trade continues—and is thriving. Hands Off our Elephants, however, has helped to significantly decrease this illegal activity, educate the public, and build community around protecting Kenya’s gorgeous wildlife. Hands Off Our Elephants is one of many campaigns by Wildlife Direct, a Kenyan charitable organization that’s focused on protecting Kenyan’s wildlife species—especially vulnerable ones.

Other worthy organizations help elephants too. There are great rehabilitation centers that take in orphaned elephants and nurse them back to health, then re-introduce them to the wild when they’re ready. Such centers often welcome tourists, but in a way that’s easier on the elephants than most other elephant tourism.

Choose Your Elephant Tourism Wisely

Elephant tourism is huge, and seeing these giants is appealing to many travellers. Unfortunately, elephant tourism is often detrimental to the animals. If you know anything about elephants, you probably already know that riding them is a terrible idea… but did you know that safaris aren’t always the best idea either? Large groups of tourists intruding in herds’ spaces can change elephants’ behaviours and make them more aggressive toward other members of the herd. So if you can’t ride an elephant and you can’t go on safari, how can you enjoy the elephants?

If you want to observe these beautiful animals while also helping the efforts to keep “hands off our elephants,” a good option is visiting a rehabilitation center, where orphaned elephants are cared for with great love and where your cash goes towards helping—not hurting—these beautiful creatures. In some rehabilitation centers, in addition to seeing baby elephants up close, you could also adopt an elephant, which helps with costs associated with caring for these large animals. The best part? If a trip to Kenya isn’t in your budget yet, you can still adopt one of these beautiful animals from the comfort of your armchair by sending a donation electronically, and still make a difference.

Help Spread the Word to Keep Hands Off Our Elephants

Unfortunately, there are many people who don’t know the plight of elephants, and you probably know someone who dreams of riding one or seeing one up close in the wild. If you hear these conversations, help spread the word that the best way to preserve these animals is to leave them alone, and donate to the organizations who work tirelessly to stop poaching and to give orphaned animals the best start in life. Don’t be afraid to speak up, and please feel free to share this post far and wide to help spread the word about keeping elephants safe.

 

 

Almost “home” in Kingston, ON

Thinking of “home”—Kingston, ON

Even though we’re not travelling anymore, we aren’t really home, either. In a way, our trip isn’t exactly over, as we haven’t returned to our regular residence. We are stationary in London, ON for the time being, until our apartment lease here is over, the tenant is out of our house in Kingston, and Dan takes his permanent post at the Kingston branch of the company that hired him in May.

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RVing Families You Should Follow

When we’re not going on bicycle adventures or travelling long-term in an RV with our kiddos, we like to be inspired to go on other trips. Travel is a way of life for us, not just something we do on vacation days.

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Preparing for Cycle Touring with Kids

Cycle Touring with Kids is a blast. It’s fun, it’s challenging, and it changes your perspective on family travel.

If you’ve been following this blog a while, you know we’ve recently come back from a 9-month RV adventure with our three kids, now ages 9, 7, and 5.  But this wasn’t our first family adventure. When the kids were 6, 4, and 2, we took off for a 567-kilometer cycle adventure from Kingston, Ontario, to London, Ontario, where my parents and brother & family live.

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10 Essentials for Travelling with Children

If you’ve been following this blog a while, you know that our family loves to travel. Whether it’s hopping on a bicycle for an adventure, or travelling all over Canada and the US in an RV, I know I’m happiest when I’m discovering the world with my husband and children.

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Part-Time RVing: Need to Know

We recently went from full-time RVers to part-time ones. This transition didn’t come easily, especially to me. I’m a nomad at heart, and being on the road makes me extremely happy. The transition was made all the harder because we didn’t move back home—we’re temporarily living in a different city, stationary at an apartment that isn’t our sticks-and-bricks home and isn’t our home on the road, either.

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Must-have Resources for Full-Time RV Living

Full-Time RV Living: Know Your Resources

It’s been roughly a month since our full-time RV adventure came to an end. During our trip, we had access to some awesome resources that made things a little easier. With these, we were able to check out places to boondock, dump our tanks, and more. There’s not a lot here, but what there is, is incredibly helpful.

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Free Overnight RV Parking: Do’s and Don’ts

Boondocking is one of the many ways to save during your RV adventure.

Unfortunately, some people abuse the system, and ruin it for other RVers. While free overnight stays in your RV are super awesome, it’s important to remember some basic etiquette. Here are the basic “rules” we follow when overnighting at free spots.

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Why You Should Visit a Library During Your RV Trip

Visiting Libraries During Your RV Adventure

If you’ve been following this blog or my Instagram account for a while, you probably already know that my family and I are library lovers. There are so many awesome reasons to visit a library… to read of course, but there’s more. Here are some of the reasons we loved visiting libraries during our RV adventure:

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Free Overnight Parking for RVs across Canada and the USA

Free overnight parking for RVS

A lot of people ask us how we could possibly afford a year on the road. Not having debt and saving up helps, but so does being resourceful when it comes to life on the road. Not staying at campgrounds every single night certainly helps to keep the budget low.

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