Two years ago, Sudan, the last male northern white rhino died, surrounded by the people who loved and protected him. If there is meaning in his passing, it’s that all hope is not lost. Planet Earth is the only home we have and without rhinos and elephants and other wildlife, we suffer much more than loss of ecosystem health. We suffer a loss of imagination, a loss of wonder, a loss of beautiful possibilities. Saving nature is really about saving ourselves.
Ol Pejeta needs our help now more than ever. At a time when unprecedented events have turned our world upside down, it is easy to turn inward and focus on the challenges that Covid 19 poses in our own lives and to our immediate communities. We each must do our part to protect those who are vulnerable and at the same time, we can ensure that the causes we care so deeply about have the support they desperately need.
We have launched a new campaign to help and you could win a trip to this incredible place! With a $10 donation, you will have a chance to win a trip to spend time with the last two northern white rhinos and learn about the incredible efforts to save the species from extinction. You will meet the committed keepers who spend their lives protecting these gentle, ancient creatures and I’ll give you a photography workshop.
While we social distance, let’s dream of a better future. The trip will be scheduled for when it’s safe to travel. Please share even if you can’t make a donation. Everything you can do is appreciated in these times.
Enter at omaze.com/safari
Thank you so much!
Ami Vitale is one of 20 honorees on Afar Magazine’s inaugural Women to Watch in 2020.
In celebration of Women’s History Month, and using the Society of Woman Geographers as inspiration, Afar Magazine has reinvented the all-female travel society for the year 2020.
“Singularly and together,” they say, “these travelers are our guides to exploring the world in a better way. They are pushing boundaries—be they physical, cultural, or mental—and they are women we would entrust to lead us around the world and show us how to experience it in new and different ways. They are women, as they say, who have done things.”
On Ami, Afar says, “Ami Vitale knew from a young age that a camera doesn’t distance you from the subject—it brings you closer. Her passion for human connection has carried her to more than 100 countries…Vitale recognizes that stories aren’t just about people—they’re about our relationship to the natural world.”
Read the whole article and learn about all the inspiring work on it in Afar Magazine.
In celebration of World Wildlife Day on March 3, The TreadRight Foundation named Ami Vitale its first ever Wildlife Ambassador.
TreadRight urges each and every traveler to take their pledge to make travel matter, for our planet, our people and wildlife by refusing single use plastics and, when not possible, to recycle them. To offset one’s carbon footprint. To promise to honor the people we meet, to respect their homes in the spirit of diversity and inclusion. To buy locally and pay fair prices. To experience wildlife only in nature, not riding animals that should not be ridden and not support any kind of animal cruelty. Together, we can tread right.
Said Ami, “We are at a crossroads right now and it is vital to think about the impact our actions will have on Earth.”
Ami is honored to be joining in this mission and hopes you will take this pledge along with her.
In one of her first works with the foundation, Ami will travel with the TreadRight team to document wildlife conservation work at Bushman’s Kloof Wilderness Reserve in South Africa and at the Nigeria Safari Lodge in the Okavando Delta in Botswana reports Travel Weekly.
The TreadRight Foundation is the non-profit arm of The Travel Corporation. Read the full announcement at Treadright.org
I was honored to introduce the moving documentary film Kifaru directed by David Hambridge about the last male northern white rhino, “Sudan” at the 7th Annual New York Wild Film Festival opening night. Joseph “JoJo” Wachira flew in from Ol Pejeta in Kenya for the festival where Nikon surprised him with a new Nikon Z 50 and two DX lenses, the NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR and NIKKOR Z DX 50-250mm f/4.5-6.3 VR presented by Steve Heiner, so he can continue to tell this important story!
I am so grateful to Nikon for this empowering gift. I also wish to extend a huge thank you to Kenya for donating his ticket and to all of you who came out for this powerful evening.
Currently, I am running a print drive to benefit the rhino keepers who selflessly have committed their lives to these creatures. You can own a signed photo of the moving final moment with JoJo and Sudan while also helping them personally. Details are available at amivitale.com/product/sudan. 100% of the profits will go directly to all the keepers.
I am honored that my photograph of Joseph Wachira saying goodbye to Sudan was chosen as the National Geographic best photo of the decade by the people of Instagram. I will never forget what it felt like to witness what I believed to be the end of a species. Yet, in a beautiful twist of fate, this image – an image documenting extinction – is the beginning of something powerful, something hopeful.
The coming decades will not be easy, but I believe we are making a real difference. You are my hope for a future that includes rhinos and other endangered species.
This image is currently available for sale. I am donating 100% of the profits directly to the keepers, like Joseph, at Ol Pejeta so that they can continue on their mission of protecting and fighting for some of the world’s most vulnerable creatures.
Purchase the signed print here.
I am excited to release a new, behind the scenes film on my work in Kenya with Reteti Elephant Sanctuary for World Elephant Day. I hope it gives a glimpse into the powerful story of a community coming together to protect and save these magnificent creatures. I am grateful to Katy at Sprout Films for her sensitivity and commitment and Nikon for their endless support. Hurry, there is just one day left to buy a print or enter and win a Nikon D5600 camera and 2 lenses, Think Tank Photo camera bag and a print of one of the adorable elephants at at Reteti at amivitale.com/elephants
Film by Ami Vitale & Sprout Films with Dane Henry, Brett Lowell and Novus Select
Watch the companion film, Reteti Elephant Sanctuary: Community United for Elephants, here.
On Mar. 16, 2019 Ami delivered the talk “Falling in Love With a Unicorn” to a sold out crowd at TEDxBergamo. In it, she discusses the foundations of her work and how falling in love with a rhino named Sudan changed the course of her life and the lives of many others. Watch the whole inspiring talk at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00bunXTIKJw
I am thrilled to be offering The Amazon Rainforest Workshop, a trip and workshop of a lifetime with my two great friends and fellow Nikon Ambassadors, Joe McNally and Tamara Lackey. As your photographic leaders, we will be guiding you through the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest and the cultural historical capital of Quito.
Ecuador has the highest level of biodiversity per square kilometer of any place in the world. On this workshop, you’ll be immersed in it. You will float by the banks and tributaries of the Amazon River and spot a wide variety of wildlife all while surrounded by the sights and sounds of the jungle. In Quito, you’ll be overwhelmed by the color and the culture. You’ll see panoramic vistas, historic cathedrals and meet the loveliest people you’ve ever know. And, you’ll be able to capture it all, guided by some of the world’s top photographers.
The workshop will be a complete immersion in photography, storytelling and exploration and will focus on landscape, portrait and travel photography. It will include lectures from myself, Joe and Tamara and daily post-processing lab time as well as a number of optional add-ons.
For the majority of the trip, you’ll be staying in the breezy cabanas of La Selva Ecolodge & Spa, a 5-star luxury eco-resort in the heart of Ecuador’s Amazonian Rainforest. The resort is located inside the Yasuni Bioshere Reserve, home to millions of species of plants, birds, rare animals and stunning scenery. The rainforest will soothe you to sleep and birds will awaken you each morning.
As an all inclusive workshop, all freshly-made, deliciously cooked and table-served meals will be included.
A photographic trip of a lifetime awaits. Hurry and book your spot. This one will fill up fast. Learn more and sign up here.
I am thrilled to announce that I’m launching a chance to WIN a guided trip with me to Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Conservancy. You’ll have the opportunity to meet Fatu and Najin, the last two northern white rhinos in the world, and the incredible people who care for them. You will also get a brand new Nikon Z 6 and 24-70mm f/4 S lens to capture every unforgettable moment. A trailblazer for conservation, Ol Pejeta also houses the largest black rhino population in East Africa, and is home to elephants, lions, giraffe, zebra and much more. For a contribution of just $10, you can help support the work that will preserve these animals for generations to come and hopefully win the trip of a lifetime for yourself and a friend. Can’t wait to see you here! Enter today at omaze.com/rhinos.
The National Geographic Storytellers Summit is a multi-day celebration of story, featuring the photographers, filmmakers, journalists, and data visualizers who witness the major events of our time, illuminate critical issues, and inspire action.
Photographer and National Geographic Explorer Ami Vitale delivered the talk, “How to Photograph Hope.” Ami has covered conflict, violence, and heartbreak—like photographing the last Northern white rhino during his dying moments—but she’s also made it her mission to find and capture stories of hope.