Wildlife Watching vs. Pokémon Go

Although I’m not a player, I’m the opposite of a Pokémon Go hater. I think it’s a wonderful game that uses novel features of modern tech to get people of all ages out and about, exercising, and meeting other people who aren’t filled with spite about the modern world.

But it just occurred to me that going to the Kruger Park is a rather similar exercise in real life. The park does not make seeing animals easy. Rather, you drive about the beautiful landscape at low speeds, on a constant lookout for animals. Often you see the common ones, like impala or warthogs. But you’re especially delighted when you see a rare one like a leopard or, dream of dreams, a pangolin or aardvark. And tech can’t pinpoint them. At best, it offers rumours.

A fig tree in late light on the Sabie River

But before dissing Pokémon Go players for choosing that over the Kruger, Kruger is, despite being a public park, extremely expensive to visit, and a great luxury for South Africans. I’m extraordinarily privileged to have been able to ‘play’ there so many times.

A battle-scarred Kruger Leopard

Author: singemonkey

A South African interested in public health, travel, making music, and photography

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