A wonderful, wild trek across the African Bush through the eyes of Marnus Roodbol: Dundas Street Gallery, Edinburgh
“Africa has it all; from grandiose waterfalls and mystifying rivers to white sandy beaches and rich African cultures – not to mention the prevalent attractions of them all, the wildlife.” Marnus Roodbol
“My Africa,” a pop up exhibition of photographs by Marnus Roodbol, is a personal vision of the natural world of Africa in the wild, to capture its unspoilt landscape, ancient spirit and timeless sense of place.
Having been brought up in Pretoria, Roodbol studied for a diploma in Game Ranch management and eco training to work in the bush as a guide, starting at the world-famous Sabi Sands Game Reserve in the Greater Kruger National Park. He gained valuable experience up close and personal caring for hand-raised lions on farms, and worked in Botswana, taking part in a lion & cheetah census in Masai Mara.
Concerned about animal welfare, in 2012 Roodbal was inspired to create the non-profit organisation, Walking for Lions, a campaign for wild lion protection and survival. It is estimated that during the last 40 years the lion population around Africa has seriously decreased due to thousands being killed by farmers, for sport, big game hunting and illegal poaching, down from an estimated 200,000 a century ago to about 20,000 today; the last of our wild lions could be wiped out by 2030.
When Cecil the lion was killed in June 2015 by American tourist Walter Palmer, outside Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, the news sparked an international campaign to restrict trophy hunting tourism. But tragically last summer, Cecil’s 6 year old cub, Xanda, was also killed by a a professional hunter near Hwange National Park
Through sponsored walking and cycling treks through Namibia, Botswana and other countries, WFL is involved in research projects and an annual census to estimate the number of lions in the wild, to assist communities to prevent human-wildlife conflict and create global awareness.
As a Safari guide and conservationist, Marnus is passionate about promoting the scenic natural beauty of Africa as a dream destination but also to highlight the importance of protecting endangered animals. This exhibition of stunning photographs capture these majestic animals, from tall elegant giraffes to a proud lioness, born free and roaming free in the bush; if “one picture is worth ten thousand words” as the Chinese proverb states, it’s the ideal way to use art to spread the message.
With his wife Lucy, they have launched their own specialist travel company, “Outbound in Africa”, which creates bespoke trips to southern Africa, including safari experiences to spot the Big Five (African lion, elephant, leopard, Cape buffalo and black rhino), gorilla trekking, photography safaris as well as luxury train journeys. Based on their professional knowledge working in game parks and lodges for many years, they are keen to share and show off the real African bush. Personalised, tailored tours are based around conservation policies to offer an eco friendly, authentic adventure, off the beaten track.
For a real taste of a sightseeing safari, visit the Dundas Street Gallery to observe and learn all about “My Africa” by Marnus Roodbol.
Dundas Street Gallery, 6a Dundas Street, Edinburgh EH3 6HZ
12 – 17 January 2018.
Exhibition in association with Walking for Lions and Outbound in Africa
Images courtesy of Marnus Roodbol. WFL and OiA.