With Uma Thurman,
Town & Country and Wilderness Safaris
The adventure began when Klara called me in South Africa to discuss potential story ideas. She asked, ‘What is important in Africa now?’. I had just returned to the lodge from an adrenaline-filled day with an anti-poaching team of highly trained professionals and their tracking dogs whose mission is to stop the rampant rhino poaching in the area. I was ‘on fire’ at the seeming unstoppable rhino holocaust being perpetrated all around me. Over 1,000 rhinos were poached in South Africa last year alone, many from the area I was visiting. Multiple stories on rhino conservation had already been circulated in the press about the herculean efforts being implemented to stop the killing, but the full story of the intensity of this war on rhinos and the dramatic steps necessary to protect them from extinction, had not yet been told. We agreed that this was a story worth telling, from start to finish…and there was no one better to tell it than Klara.
A couple of days later, Klara secured the green light from Town & Country’s visionary editor-in-chief, Jay Fielden, and we started planning. First we discussed possible choices for a celebrity voice who had the strength and presence to tell the story. Clearly it had to be someone with a bit of “chutzpah,” someone with nerve, strength (both in personality and body), and beauty. I immediately thought of ‘tough girl’ Uma Thurman, who I knew from Tibet House projects. I contacted her and asked her to collaborate. After one quick call she said yes. Next I went to Keith Vincent, CEO of Wilderness Safaris, who without hesitating said YES! I then approached Africa’s conservation visionary, Honorable Minister TK Khama of Botswana, who also gave us the thumbs up and offered the full support of the Botswana Army. Liz Biden of South Africa’s Royal Malewane Lodge gave us logistical support and we used her elegant lodge as our base.
Botswana’s ‘man of the bush,’ Map Ives, knows the country like the back of his hand and serves as Botswana’s National Rhino Coordinator. He and Kai Collins came on board to help us plan the details with Wilderness Safaris and work with the governments. Elizabeth Rand, EXPLORE’s legendary safari logistics master who heads our US office, planned all the mind boggling details (over and over and over again, as the plans changed again and again…) My husband, Richard Wilson, helped with logistics on the Africa side and turned out to be the bravest of all the wranglers when push came to shove during the rhino capture (and believe me it DOES come to shove with a 4,000 pound rhino who doesn’t understand why they must move to Botswana!)
Read More About the Experience
“This project will one day be documented as one of the most ambitious conservation efforts in decades. It’s almost like a movie. There are good guys and bad guys. There is a sense of history and a frisson of danger. But what would life be without danger.”- Uma Thurman. Find out more about the experience in this amazing article written by Klara Glowczewska in Town & Country’s October 2015 issue.
EXPLORE founder Cherri Briggs has worked closely with top management at Wilderness Safaris over the past year in hand crafting a unique, Eight Adrenaline-Fueled Day Itinerary for passionate travelers with a deep interest in conservation, which will closely parallel Uma’s adventure. Contact Cherri or Elizabeth for further detail: 970-871-0065 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Go behind the scenes with Town & Country by watching this video.