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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, February 21, 2010

Soul Safari seeking women who want to make a difference

Advertiser Staff

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Bonnie Nelson makes friends with cheetah cubs at the Nairobi Animal Orphanage in Kenya.

Photo courtesy of Bonnie Nelson

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Don’t overstep your bounds; be respectful when taking photos while on vacation.


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Bonnie Nelson is looking for a few good women. The Maui author, businesswoman and philanthropist plans to take 12 women to Kenya in 2011 as part of her Soul Safari. It's an invitation, she said, "to awaken their souls to the power of positive change in the world."

Nelson traveled in 2008 to Kenya, where she met researcher Mary Wykstra of the Cheetah Conservation Fund, and felt a profound connection to Africa's magnificent big-cat species. To share her experience, Nelson is organizing several safaris between 2011 and 2016 with Cheetah Alliance member and sponsor African Travel Inc.

The 2011 itinerary includes visits to orphanages, wildlife encounters — including the famous flamingoes of Nakuru Park — a beekeeping project launched by Nelson in 2009, the Ewaso Lion Project, meetings with Daktari Kariuki of the Kenya Wildlife Service, visiting the famous Finch-Hatton preserve and other activities.

The final leg of the safari joins Wykstra at the Action for Cheetahs-Kenya camp in rural Salama, where Nelson hopes the group can join with the trackers to learn more about the cheetah migration patterns.

"My dream team will be women (of mixed ages) who are interested in animal conservation and working with children," said Nelson. "These will be women who want to make a difference in the world. For me, (visiting Africa) was life-changing."

The Soul Safari is April 30 to May 20, 2011. Cost is $12,500, which covers in-Africa travel (ground and air), lodgings, visits and meals. U.S. to Kenya airfare is not included. Learn about the Soul Safari at cheetahalliance.com (click on Groups), or 808-281-7792.

— Chris Oliver



Digital programs have opened the gates for creating wonderful vacation souvenir albums, but it all begins with your eye. Here are tips for taking great vacation shots.Proximity: Use your zoom lens with gusto, and move as close as possible to your subject. This way, the subject emerges as the dominant element in the picture. "Get in close. It really shows an intimacy with your subject," said Ellen Goldberg, a professional photographer and co-author of "Kashrut, Caste and Kabbalah," a book of photographs and text.

Cultural sensitivity: Proximity, however, does not override good manners. "Be respectful," said Goldberg, who has taken photos of India, Israel, Sri Lanka, Nepal and many U.S. cities. "You pack suntan lotion. You need to pack knowledge and sensitivity as well." Do your homework about local customs and culture.

Skip the color: Sepia tone or black-and-white shots add mystery and drama to dreary days. The effect adds a vintage feel and elegance to otherwise lackluster material.

Simplify: Unless you're going for a panoramic nature photograph, avoid wide shots filled with multiple elements. Select simple subjects such as signs, individuals, food or animals. There's beauty in simplicity.

Foreground: Bold details in the foreground add depth and interest to frame architecture. Rustic fencing provides atmosphere to pastoral animal shots, and barbed wire brings an edgy, intense element to urban shots.

Additional items: Tickets, menus and maps can add interest but keep them minimal.

— McClatchy-Tribune News Service