This year has been careening along, and it’s hard to believe we’re in the final quarter of 2016. We concluded a very successful management meeting in September, where all of our Park Managers and other senior staff came together for five days, this time in the inspirational confines of Akagera in Rwanda where we discussed our objectives and strategies for the next five years, and shared knowledge and lessons learned from across the parks. As CEO of African Parks, I am acutely aware that our work is only as good as our people that we have on our team and who make up the fabric of African Parks. It is this collective that is responsible for our accomplishments, and our aspirations. These annual meetings are important, where each manager is held accountable for their respective contributions, where we share where we’ve been, and where we’re headed, and they serve as a critical reminder to all, that they are part of a bigger team.
It was fitting hosting this meeting in the beautiful Karenge Bush Camp, nestled in the northern part of Akagera, where we had an incredible vista of this burgeoning park which will soon be home to rhinos once again. On our last evening, several of us saw Shema, one of the reintroduced lionesses from just 12 months ago which marked the return of lions back to Rwanda after a 20-year absence. She sat relaxed in an acacia, flanked by her three five-month old cubs, as if she’d been there her whole life. We watched her until she disappeared into the night, cubs in tow, leaving behind the stark and beautiful reminder of possibility.
With best wishes,