India Meets the Tiger Man of Africa

South African wildlife documentary filmmaker and maverick conservationist John Varty has become famous, not only for his  film-making career and work with African Big Cats and Asian tigers, but also for his highly adventurous life. He has survived a helicopter crash and a tiger mauling, and has written a page-turning memoir appropriately titled “Nine Lives”. In 2003, the Discovery Channel made a documentary about him, called “Living with Tigers”, and in 2011, National Geographic produced another, called “Tiger Man of Africa”.

Photo of John Varty, downloaded from the internet.

John Varty (Photo credit unknown)

I’ve travelled more than twenty-four hours to reach Johannesburg. Tomorrow I will continue my journey to the Free State and “Tiger Canyons”, where I’ll spend three days photographing tigers with John Varty. This will be my second visit and I’m thrilled to be returning.

John Varty doesn’t just talk the talk. He has been walking the walk of tiger conservation since the year 2000, when he first transported a pair of young Bengal tigers from a Canadian zoo to South Africa, where they were released to freedom at Tiger Canyons, a large and rugged area of land where tigers now roam freely and hunt African prey for their food (the borders of the land are fenced). Tigers are not native to Africa, but John Varty has tenaciously persevered with his controversial project whereby he hopes to raise a self-sustaining wild tiger population outside its native Asia. The ultimate goal is that these tigers may someday be reintroduced into the wild if Asian governments commit themselves to providing safe habitat for this highly endangered animal. In the meantime, John Varty encourages photographers to visit, publish their photos, and hopefully, make the public care about the plight of the tiger.

Since I first read about Tiger Canyons in 2010, I’ve been fascinated by the place and the concept behind it. Tigers in Africa! Tigers are highly adaptable to their environment and have been doing well at Tiger Canyons, successfully hunting and breeding — so, with the right security, raising tigers in Africa seems like a great idea. It’s also potentially a very dangerous idea — the tiger is an apex predator. Should they ever be deliberately or accidentally released into Africa, the outcome would likely be disastrous.

Here are two of my photos from last year’s visit. I’ll be sharing new ones with you at the end of my safari and will hopefully have a tiger story or two to share as well…

India

4 Comments on “India Meets the Tiger Man of Africa

  1. So exciting. Can’t wait to see your upcoming photos. And can’t wait to be there myself (well Kenya, not South Africa).

  2. The African landscape is much easier to spot the animal in than in India, India. Must look into this one.

    • Yes, Art. You’d like this — and there are no other vehicles. Only the one you’re in. The tigers are habituated so you can photograph them eating, mating, doing whatever they normally do, unlike those rear-end shots you often get in India or Nepal.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Caro the Expat

Ang pamamasyal ng bagong salta - the wanderings of a newcomer

POSITIVE GURU. . . Join The Movement

Live, Learn, Express, Positivity

getsetandgo

Travel Blog of a Budget Traveler on a look out for Vegetarian Food

An Indian Summer™

From maple leaves to mango trees. I'm a Canadian woman living on a tropical island in the Philippines. Welcome to my world...

Kathleen Ford's Travel and Adventure Blog

From maple leaves to mango trees. I'm a Canadian woman living on a tropical island in the Philippines. Welcome to my world...

Rose with Thorns

Hope of recovery for all

Naked Ideation

Dive the Mind

The Displaced Nation

A home for international creatives

the dingo was here

Howling on the Internet

The girl with the broken wing and a mermaid tail

a crazy girls thoughts, dreams, inspirations, rantings and her nonsense blah's

Silver Lining

The blog dedicated to finding positivity, optimism and gratitude in our daily lives.

Dustin N Salzano

dustin salzano, salzano dustin, dustin n salzano

A Note From Abroad

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sailaway from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain

Gathering Stones Strung on Threads

POEMS by Peter Notehelfer

Optimistic Kid

Be Somebody

itsallintheviewwithestee

This Blog site is about "the view" according to Estee...

capturaviaje

Fotografía y viajes

%d bloggers like this: