In 2016, BSST founder, Carla Geyser, led South Africa’s first all-female expedition from SA to Kenya to help stem the tide of poaching. The Journeys with Purpose: Elephant Ignite Expedition brought together 13 women who embarked on a 100-day journey through 10 countries, raising funds and awareness among communities along the way. The team returned home triumphant, having covered more than 15 000km, visited 37 wildlife organisations, distributed 20 000 educational booklets to children, and raised nearly R300 000 for various conservation projects. Expedition members had the opportunity to connect with current conservation, political and tribal leaders in various countries and foster knowledge-sharing between generations and nationalities. We visited extraordinary people doing incredible research and anti-poaching work on the ground. By linking them together we expanded their support base and on-going funding through increased awareness. Connected by a common goal to make a difference to Africa’s elephants, the group embarked on a Journey with a Purpose.
Rise of the Matriarch
The second successful all-women South African-led conservation mission into Southern Africa. This time around, the expedition attracted 13 adventurous, eco-warriors from across the world. We clocked in at 11 235km in 50 days, trekking across South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia; met 16 phenomenal women who are doing incredible conservation work at a grassroots level; distributed 30 000 educational booklets; visited 13 on-the-ground conservation projects; and made lifelong memories. Our team set out in September, under the Blue Sky Society Trust banner, with four distinct goals: to raise global awareness about the contentious human-wildlife conflict issue, to educate the youth about conservation, to support local empowerment efforts targeting young women from localised, rural communities, and to raise funds for four wildlife conservation bodies, namely Elephants Alive (South Africa), Rare and Endangered Species Trust (Namibia), Eco-Exist Project (Botswana) and the Soft Foot Alliance Trust (Zimbabwe).