Why not use satellites instead of an airship?
Africa ASAP will use satellites to prepare for missions, communicate our data, and guide the airship, but when it comes to understanding what is happening on the ground in real time, airships are far superior to satellites.
Low earth orbiting satellites (LEOS) either give you a big picture or a small picture. Zooming in is like looking through a straw—if you know where to look you can read the license plate on a car, but that is all you can see. In terms of the big picture, imagine Google Earth. If you zoom out you can see the whole State of Virginia, but you are not going to be able to see people, cars, or houses unless you can zero in on exact coordinates.
Satellites are constantly circling the earth and they can only give periodic snapshots that are therefore quickly obsolete. Unlike satellites, our airship will provide real-time persistent monitoring of a situation by silently hovering over an activity for days. In addition, satellites cannot easily reposition to scan a location on-demand without expending a huge amount of propellant. Our airship can quickly reposition and provide rangers with information to keep them safe and elephants alive.
There is also a cost consideration: unless you are the military, getting any kind of information you can act on before an event takes place is expensive and very difficult to obtain.
Most importantly, the physical presence of a visible airship will act as a powerful deterrent to prevent crimes before they happen.