Whether it's a safari in South Africa or a motorhome trip through Canada: When we Germans want to experience nature and wilderness, we're usually drawn to other countries. But wild nature is also right on our doorstep. Sometimes we just have to look for it.
My name is Stephan, I'm 27 years old, I live in Berlin and I go on this search almost every day. It's not as hopeless as you might think, because despite its dense population, Germany is considered the most biodiverse country in Europe.
We may not have the deserted areas here that other continents still have to offer. But if we are honest... where is it still deserted today? I'm sure you know someone who has brought back pictures from safaris in Africa at some point. The images themselves seem pristine and natural, but is that how they were created?
Why wander off into the distance?
Is it really the nature experience par excellence when there are 30 other safari jeeps next to you, all packed with tourists who all have the same image as you? It's a matter of taste, of course, but I define a real nature experience differently.
It is the direct confrontation that excites me. To observe a wild animal in its natural environment, as well as without human influence, while listening to the sounds of nature. The 1:1 between man and animal is the most exciting thing you can experience in the wild. Often surprising encounters arise. With animals that should actually flee, but for some reason accept you in their vicinity.
In Germany, we certainly don't have a huge number of spectacular animal species, but do they always have to be? And what do we actually know about our native animals that we sometimes regard our nature as comparatively unspectacular?
Because it is not at all, if we occupy ourselves with it longer. The amazing return of our predators alone is a huge benefit for the local fauna. Wolves and lynx roam the country, white-tailed eagles and ospreys fly over the waters, and even the otter is back.
Understanding change as an opportunity
In times of flight from the country to the big city, there is a growing danger that large parts of the population will lose their connection to nature. If we understand "wildlife" to mean only Africa, India or Brazil, then this does not do justice to the approximately 48,000 animal species in our country.
But it is precisely such changes that can grant our nature a new place in an increasingly modern world. There are now a number of organizations working for more wilderness in Germany. For example, disused military training areas or mines offer great potential for such wilderness.
I love our local nature and would like to help CareElite achieve that many more people think the same way. That's what I try to achieve with my photographs, all of which are taken in Germany's wild nature. I usually travel to national parks and nature reserves. Brandenburg with its countless lakes and rivers is my favorite destination.
I encountered over 140 species of animals in 2017. Herewith I would like to show you my best shots from exactly these encounters. In the future I will share the CareElite Wildlife Blog and keep you up to date with my recordings.
I hope that I will succeed in convincing you even more of the beauty of our nature. If you are not already convinced.
PS.: Here you come to my personal Nature film websitewhere you can learn even more about me.