08 Aug Michelle Campell
Sapmok supports powerful women behind the scenes who dedicate their lives to sustainable change. We have chosen these Goddesses Of Today to celebrate Women’s Day and all our goddess’ magnificent achievements. Michelle Campell is our fourth Goddess from this series. She is the founder of Wild Wild Wonderful World and a guide. You will learn a little more about her by reading her answers below.
1. What inspired you to start Wild Wonderful World?
I wanted to find a way to make a more impactful contribution to the conservation of wildlife, as well as help others do the same. Wild Wonderful World brings conservation and tourism together – raising funds for projects that save wildlife and wild spaces, as well as give people from around the world the opportunity to experience the beauty of Africa, learn about the challenges and contribute personally to protecting wildlife for future generations.
2. What do you always keep tucked away in your backpack when you go on an adventure?
Binoculars, snacks and my Leatherman!
3. Who is the most interesting person you’ve ever met at Wild Wonderful World?
We have met some incredible humans on all our adventures & wildlife experiences. Michelle Henley & Dr Lucy King (Elephants Alive & Save the Elephants) are true heroines and do incredible, selfless work to save elephants. Hearing all about their research and how it is impacting the way we conserve elephants in the future is awesome, for example the connection between elephants and bees and using that information to create natural bee-hive fences to help reduce human – elephant conflict.
4. What is the most enlightening thing Wild Wonderful World has taught you?
That resilience and passion underpins the success of conservation – we’ve been so inspired by the people we have met who continually fight to save wildlife, despite the odds. They taught us that if everyone fights a corner, supports just one project that protects one area, then we stand a chance.
5. Have you ever gotten lost on one of your day trips?
Getting lost is part of the adventure! I prefer to use the term “exploring”. My best was in Kenya whilst we were volunteering for an elephant conservation NGO. We were trying to track a collared bull with GPS and having fully “explored” the many back roads of the Masai Mara, we couldn’t find our way back to HQ. We finally gave in and resorted to picking up a local Masaai man (in full tribal dress!) to direct us back to his village and in turn the main road! We couldn’t speak Masaai and he couldn’t speak English, so there was much grunting and gesturing – he was very inquisitive of all the things in our packed landy, opening books and picking things up. The funniest moment was when he sprayed my sunscreen and started ranting his disgust at the smell!
6. What would you say to other woman to inspire them to go into conservation?
Don’t be afraid to get started – the big picture of wildlife conservation is terrifying and makes you feel like there’s nothing you can do as one person that will change anything. But you CAN make a difference, even if saving just one animal – if every person on our planet did just one positive thing for wildlife in their lives we would be living in a very different world.
6. What is your honest opinion about your Sapmoks?
I won’t ever leave home for an adventure without them! I’ve worn my sapmok’s for every expedition, safari, trek, wildlife operation & adventure since day 1 and they have been epic every time.
If you enjoyed this interview, stay tuned for the other Goddesses Of Today posts!
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Written and interviewed by Annabelle Cloete