Spark Talks, brought to us by Leadership for Conservation in Africa, are in essence TED Talks that concentrate on nature and conservation in the African context. Struik Nature invited us to a day of Spark Talks recently as part of a book launch project and we had a fabulous time…

Spark Talks We Listened To…

The theme of the day’s talks was water. After Cape Town’s recent water crisis we are all a lot more aware of water sustainability, and water conservation than we were a year or two ago. It has become somewhat of a fascination to us, as Capetonians, to pay attention when people talk about water. The fact is that the world, though not everyone is aware of it, is facing a water crisis. Ways to conserve and protect our water need to brought to our attention, and here is a platform for innovative water conservation ideas to be presented.

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My kids were really hoping to hear Kiara Nirghin speak, she is a South African school girl, and an award winning inventor, who developed a method to increase food security in drought stricken areas that won the 2016 Google Science Fair. Unfortunately she couldn’t make it, but the other speakers were fantastic and we spent the day intrigued…

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Click on the links to see the actual talks:

  • Dr Andrew Deacon spoke about the health of a river, using the Mini Sass. We have blogged about the Mini-SASS test before and how to take a closer look at the health of our rivers and waterways.
  • Thomas Matina, via video chat, and winner of the Rosa Parks Award, managed to design a tap nozzle that can save millions of gallons of water, from running down the drain, every day.
  • Councelor Xanthea Limberg from the City of Cape Town, took us on a guided talk/tour through Cape Town’s Water Crisis. How they as a city implemented changes to drastically reduce consumption with campaigns, punitive drought pricing, leak repairs and aggressive campaigns… resulting in a water sensitive city and a world leader in water security.
  • Ken Surat did a video presentation on his project: Water is Life. He works in Kenya, where women and children gather water daily… 1/5 children will die before the age of five due to water quality problems. He was shocked into action and his life changing project when he kept meeting children who were not old enough for a name. Kids need safe water to thrive. Water filtering straws provide a window into a region, but better solutions are needed for survival.
  • You can see all the latests SparkTalks at this link…

And Otherwise


Of course there were delicious eats…
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And snacks…
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And Nude Foods, the Zero Waste Store that we blogged about here. And Waddle on Socks were there, sharing their wares with S.A.N.C.C.O.B.
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And The Book of the Day

The Last Elephants compiled by Don Pinnock and Colin Bell, with a forward by HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. This book is a compilation of writings from people who work closely with elephants all over Africa: conservationists, scientists, rangers, journalists… it is a beautiful large format book filled with stories written from the heart and photographs from the best wildlife photographers. The title is intentionally shocking, are we living in the age of the last elephants?

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The purpose of the book is not only to rejoice at the magnificence of these incredible creatures, but also to raise awareness of their plight. It is horrific to think that an elephant dies every 15 minutes… don’t be lured by false media that claims that elephants are fine and their numbers increasing. Elephants find themselves in a critical situation, where until “people in general” can work out that they are worth more to us alive, than the price of their ivory. Elephants are a cornerstone to the tourism industry, particularly in South Africa, where one in seven families depends on the tourism industry for their income.

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Meanwhile, this book is a tribute really not only to the elephants, but to those folk who work with them, who have devoted their lives tirelessly. If you are interested in discovering the heart and soul behind our elephant friends, if you want to learn from folk who work with them directly, if you want to be consumed by a passion to take take a stand… then this book, is the book for you. The Last Elephants… is really an elephant inspiration… the story of their dire need for our help for their survival… their need for protection and understanding.

More About Spark Talks

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You can find out more about Spark Talks on their website, here. You can also follow their latest adventure on Instagram, follow LCASParkTalks… where they are travelling West Africa overland, by bike, from Morocco to Cape Town, 16000km… and the adventure of a lifetime.

More Books About Elephants:



Understanding Elephants: Essential Reading if you are planning to visit a park with elephants in it.


Elephant Dawn: The story of a life dedicated to a troop of elephants in Zimbabwe. This was an excellent read and the story has stayed with me, for years since I read the book.


Thanks to Struik Nature for the invitation to the event, what a lovely way to share a book launch. This is not a sponsored post and opinions expressed are entirely our own.

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