“Living th African Dream” with Alison Mees. 3rd January, 2024

A great start to the society’s 2024 programme with a talk from Alison Mees titled “Living the African Dream”. Alison in a Brit who lived in East Africa for more than 16 years, working in various roles in tourism in Zambia, Tanzania and most recently Kenya’s North Mara Conservancy.

She qualified there as a safari driving guide before the covid pandemic led to her return to the UK where she now uses her wealth of experience to organise and lead small-group wildlife and photography trips back to Amboseli & Ol Pejeta.

As well as her own back-story of a life-long passion for Africa, even marrying in the bush, she was able to tell us some of the life stories behind many of the animals followed down the generations in her images – something only possible after spending time with them over many seasons and years rather than the few days allowed even to those of us lucky enough to visit on holiday.

Apart from her wonderful wildlife photographs, Alison described & showed some of what she has been able to put back, both into local Masai and other community projects and into conservation and research, even now contributing remotely, as a volunteer with the Cheetah Conservation Fund UK.

After the next regular meeting on 10th January, an open competition for members to be judged by Arjun Nambiar LRPS, we have a special event which will be of interest to many non-photographers at 7.30pm on Wednesday 17th January, held at the larger Crosthwaite Parish Rooms in Keswick. Amy Bateman is a local freelance photographer and author of the book “Forty Farms” which explores changes in the working landscape of Cumbria with evocative images capturing life in the land today. Her hugely successful large format exhibition of prints at Rheged last year is now on tour. Guests are welcome at this meeting at a charge of £5 on the door.

Simon Roberts