Explorer Levison Wood is pairing up with Belmond to run a session looking at the plight of elephants in Botswana and the wider conservation issues accelerated by the Covid-19 crisis.
Wood will be the latest invitee on the Belmond Invitations series, taking part in a live session on Instagram with Belmond Safaris’ head environmentalist, Victor Horatius.
Happening on 8 October, the Elephant Encounters: Botswana session draws on Wood’s time in Botswana for his Channel 4 documentary earlier this year, Walking with Elephants. Wood visited Belmond’s Safari camps during filming for the show, which was based on his month-long, 650-mile journey from the Zimbabwe border to follow the annual migration of Botswana’s elephants towards the Okavango Delta.
Horatius became head environmentalist for Belmond Safaris in February, with experience including a decade working in senior guiding roles in the Okavango Delta, as well as in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Rwanda, including private guiding on extended 14-day treks and mentoring junior guides.
As part of his role, Horatius supports conservation and community initiatives, develops and implements unique guest experiences, and oversees vital collaborative work with government authorities and NGOs on environmental issues.
The hope is that viewers will take the option to donate, with funds raised going to the World Rangers Fund in partnership with conservation charity Tusk, of which Wood is an ambassador.
The session will be from 6pm on Thursday on Belmond’s Instagram, with the pair exploring the current status of elephants in Botswana, the impact the pandemic has had on the population, and the role tourism and photography plays in spreading the message of preservation.
Belmond Invitations has been a series of online performances featuring the likes of musician Shekhu Kanneh-Mason, poet and actress Gala Gordon, royal florist Simon Lycett and chef patron of Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons Raymond Blanc – all with the aim to “enrich and entertain the mind, body, and soul”, Belmond said.