'What's that in the water?' asks Kathleen, pointing ahead of the boat. We're standing on the deck of the Glen Tarsan, a former fishing vessel now converted to take wildlife and other cruises off the west coast of Scotland. We've left Skye behind and are sailing in wonderful sunshine towards the little island of Canna (population: 12).
The range of adventure in Uganda is wide and hair-raising. Activities include game viewing, fishing trips, water fall cruises, silverback gorilla safari treks, white water rafting, African rainforest camping, chimp trekking and swamp walking. So having two days off to enjoy the country, of course I, chose the sedate activity of cruising down the Nile.
Madagascar has many different faces. There's the wealth of biodiversity and endemic species such as the famous lemurs, but then there is also the extreme poverty and political instability. Before I arrived on my volunteering placement, I didn't really know what to expect; I'd never been out of Europe before so everything was a new experience.
Africa's wildlife is what sets the continent apart from the rest of the world. It is their best resource. With many areas tormented by political dispute, poverty and an on-going battle with the demon that is HIV, it seems that the people of Africa need to realise the significance of what remains. So why is it then that they can so easily be seen as passive in its destruction?
The people behind these stories all have one thing in common (apart from an enthusiasm for guns) - an arrogant belief that the lives of other animals cannot possibly be worth as much as their own pleasure. The animals whose lives are in question also have something in common - they have all been persecuted to the edge of extinction in the UK.
Though the illicit wildlife trade is nowhere near as large and lucrative as drugs or arms, it is there: The fact that people don't feel the need to resort as much to the Dark Web to sell ivory suggests that too many loopholes in the law around wildlife trade are allowing people to disguise illegal products as though they are perfectly legal.
A diverse ecosystem means a productive ecosystem, as each small part that makes up the larger whole plays a vital and important part in keeping the machine functioning. With millions of species in the world, biodiversity is one of our biggest economic resources for medicine, food and natural materials.