Paying their own way Margrit and Russ Harris plan their second Wildlife Conservation trip for Nikela.
During their 2014 Wildlife Conservation tour Margrit and Russ will visit the experts and their projects where donations currently are distributed as well as other wildlife conservation sites. However, as raising awareness is every bit as important as funds, much of the time will be spent visiting with wildlife advocates, and ordinary people who care, to hear their stories, their opinions about preserving wildlife and why people living anywhere on the planet should care and help.
What will they discover? What will be the pervasive opinions? And most importantly how will it change things for Nikela… and you?
Starting in KwaZulu-Natal in mid-January 2014 with presentations, cottage meetings and bush excursions the founders of Nikela have a very specific objective for this 10 week Africa tour. To discover what ordinary wildlife advocates think it will take to save Africa’s endangered species, then return and invite Americans to get involved.
Although Margrit grew up in South Africa, after leaving for Europe and then the US in the early 70’s, she never looked back. That is until visiting her homeland again in 2009 on the heels of five years in the Philippines where everything that moves is either eaten or strung up on the roadside to sell, driving bird and wild animal populations to zero.
It happened at the African Bird of Prey Sanctuary outside of Pietermaritzburg in South Africa.
Shannon cringed as the boy boasted about a friend shooting a hawk. Then watching her mesmerize the crowd with her raptors. Chicken a Lanner Falcon, a Goshawk called Maverick, an old Barn Owl and a Yellow Billed Kite named YBK, each with their own distinct personality. Each with their own unique flying style perfect for pursuing their type of prey. How could hearts not be changed?
“When Russ and I finally pulled ourselves away from the Sanctuary I knew we had to do something to get more children and adults to visit so they too fell in love with these threatened beauties of the sky.
That was back in early 2009. Not being independently wealthy what could we do? Alone not much. Or at least so I thought,” Margrit said.
By April 2010 Margrit and Russ established Nikela, a public charity, for ‘helping people saving wildlife’ in South Africa so that anyone, anywhere who care to give, can. Nikela acting as the safe portal to qualified projects that either protect or educate. Directly protect wildlife, like the rhino from poachers or educate like Shannon.