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Looking to the future

What will safari be like in years to come? Perhaps we will be moving around in driverless Land Cruisers with robots for guides, or setting off on a drone safari above the Great Migration? Aaron Gekoski lets his imagination run wild

In 1836, a young English artist, explorer and hunter by the name of William Cornwallis Harris led an expedition to Africa to record wildlife. Every morning, Harris and his team would follow a similar routine: they would wake for sunrise, spend their day walking and observing the animals, enjoy an afternoon nap somewhere shady, resume wildlife-watching late afternoon, and then share stories in the evening over a slap-up, alcoholand- tobacco-fuelled dinner.

Harris had embarked on what many regard as the world’s first safari; a formula high on romance that is now repeated across the continent millions of times a year. The world, however, has changed somewhat since Harris’s time for better, for worse. Technology has opened Africa up to the rest of the world, while a mind-boggling array of gadgets and gizmos help us map, observe, track, record and protect animals like never before. But what would happen if we were to teleport Harris on a safari 20 years from now, 200 years after his expedition? Well, let’s take him on a theoretical trip to one of Africa’s wildlife reserves.

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