Solar Panels on Safari

By Tara O'Carroll

Imagine living in a country such as Tanzania, which is bigger than the size of Ireland and 85% of the population still lives off-grid and relies on expensive and dangerous kerosene for light.

In Ireland it is fair to say that we are quite removed from some of these issues but here in Tanzania it is a reality and it shapes and has a profound impact on how people conduct their lives on a daily basis.

We got to experience this first hand over the weekend where we visited the majestic National Mikumi park for a safari. Without even planning, we  literally ‘switched off ‘ as there was limited access to electricity and we became attuned with our surroundings. During the day the solar panels would soak up the sunshine rays and electrify the area for a short period during the evening. You would see people eagerly fueling the batteries on their mobiles during the ‘electricity switched on period’ in preparation for the next day.

Zebra Crossing

Zebra Crossing

From previous posts we discussed our project that we are working on with our client ‘RISE’. RISE installs solar home systems in rural areas. We were pleasantly surprised that the area we were staying in, was powered by one of their systems. It was tremendous to see the value that it adds to these communities by acting as an eco-friendly alternative to Kerosene candles.

Apart from immersing ourselves in the rural lifestyle, we were lucky to say as part of this safari trip we encountered lions, elephants, and impala. It was a truly enriching experience to see them in their natural habit. The pictures below will help you envision the precarious wildlife that can be seen in an African safari.

We will keep you posted with our workshops progress and next adventures!