Africa GeographicOpinion Editorial

Opinion: Farcical quotes from the lion farming colloquium in South Africa

An opinion post on the colloquium on lion farming in South Africa.

Botswana elephant poaching debate: Wildlife vet speaks his mind

Botswana elephant poaching debate: Wildlife vet speaks his mind.

Scientists question BBC reporting over elephant poaching crisis in Botswana

A group of prominent scientists have questioned the reporting by the BBC of the elephant poaching crisis in Botswana.

Elephants: Listen to the people of the Okavango – opinion

The elephant – an iconic species that is beloved around the world is not such a gentle giant to the people who actually live with Earth’s largest mammal. This is the story of over 16,000 people from 15 settlements in the eastern Okavango Delta panhandle who are trapped between a river and over 18,000 elephants.

Leopard hunting quota was issued despite official report showing significant population declines

The official report into leopard populations reveals significant population reductions, and yet the SA government has announced a resumption in trophy hunting. Does this make sense? A respected biologist suggests not.

Biologist questions science behind leopard trophy hunting quota

After only two years of no leopard hunting, we now have apparently accumulated enough population data to reinstate a hunting quota and lift the zero quota. I find this very hard to believe for such a cryptic species.

Leopard trophy hunting – let’s talk numbers

The South African Department of Environment and Wildlife (DEA) has brought back trophy hunting quotas for leopards despite announcing last year that “ trophy hunting posed a high risk to the survival of the species”.

Video: South African rhino doing circus tricks in Russia – what’s next for our wildlife industry?

South African rhino doing circus tricks in Russia

A two-ton white rhino, sold from a South African farm, is being forced to perform tricks at Russian circuses.

Elephant poaching in Botswana: Prime tourism concessions now being hit

Fresh results from an ongoing elephant survey in northern Botswana reveal that a significant number of fresh carcasses have been found in a prime tourism concession operated by a prominent eco-tourism company.

Bone trade: Are Africa’s leopards next?

leopard © Simon Espley

According to a report, China is issuing permits to trade in leopard bones for use in Chinese medicinal products, despite there not being enough leopards left in that country to supply the trade volumes on the permits. As Africa has the largest wild leopard population, should we be worried more than usual about the fate of these big cats?

Opinion: Poachers getting out on bail are not helping South Africa’s rhinos

An opinion piece about the current judicial system in South Africa and how poachers getting out on bail are not helping the country’s rhinos.

Skye the lion – the beginning of the end for trophy hunting in the Greater Kruger?

The highly controversial shooting of a male lion by a trophy hunter in the Umbabat section of the Greater Kruger could conceivably mark the beginning of the end for trophy hunting in this part of Africa.

Opinion: The (high) road to a Greater Kruger National Park

An alternative, constructive perspective to the Greater Kruger Protected Area is offered, in contrast to the more acrimonious narratives that are doing the rounds in response to the hunting of a lion in the area.

Kruger lion hunted – what we know

A large male lion was trophy hunted on Thursday morning last week in the Greater Kruger National Park.

Zambia’s hippo cull: Valid concerns and questions from those affected

© Umlilo Safaris

A showdown is looming between tourism operators in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park and trophy hunters, in the wake of the Zambian government’s decision to cull up to 2,000 hippos over a 5-year period in Luangwa Valley, across the river from the tourism lodges – and to award the culling contract to a South African trophy hunting outfit Umlilo Safaris (so much for the empowerment of local people and generation of revenue that stays in Zambia).

Opinion: Africa is not Disneyland

Some imagery that comes to our screens can be tough to stomach, and every now and then Africa really tests one’s emotional make-up.

Opinion: Saving Africa’s wilderness spaces – a new paradigm in conservation

An opinion piece that covers the foundational impact that habitat loss and habitat fragmentation is having on the future of Africa’s wildlife.

Opinion: Like the fossil fuel industry, trophy hunting is unsustainable

Trophy hunting is like the fossil fuel industry. They’re both messy, unsustainable, in need of an alternative approach and, ultimately, fail to deliver on their promises.

Opinion: Will I be attacked by a wild animal while on safari?

Will I be attacked by a wild animal while on safari? A number of recent news headlines in South Africa have probably contributed to an increase in this particular question (or some version of it), and two recent incidents appear to highlight again just how dangerous wild animals can be.

Opinion: Timbavati increases conservation levy to fund anti-poaching and other costs

An opinion piece that touches on finding ways to increase financial contribution to the conservation effort in the Greater Kruger.

Opinion: Tips for dealing with African border posts

Here are some thoughtful tips for getting into that essential ‘border state of mind’ when dealing with border post crossings in Africa.

When wild animals attack tourists

Leopard in camp site

An opinion piece in response to the leopard attack that recently occurred.

Mr President: Selling wild-caught baby elephants to China is just plain evil

Elephant kicked during capture in Zimbabwe

An open letter to the president of Zimbabwe regarding the recent exportation of wild-caught baby elephants from Zimbabwe to China.

Opinion: Hunting’s threat to conservation

Photo for illustrative purposes only

An opinion piece in response to Peter Flack’s recent article that offered a hunter’s perceived threats to conservation in South Africa.

Opinion: Elephants damage only 1% of Hwange’s vegetation

One of the main motivations for killing elephants in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe is the argument that they destroy the plants and this is accepted by many as a problem. Let’s discuss whether this argument is not just an excuse for proponents of culling to get more ivory for the ivory trade, or to justify higher quotas for nearby hunting areas.

Opinion: Worth more alive

An opinion piece on the questionable role of trophy hunting in conservation.

Opinion: Hunting is sustainable (ab)use

None of the existing role players in conservation understand what is required to save Africa’s vanishing wilderness. The issue is just too broad and deep – and politically charged.

Opinion: The voice missing from the elephant trophy debate? Africans

People are likely to live with wildlife only when they have some realistic incentives to bear the costs of doing so. If wildlife doesn’t in one way or another form part of the livelihoods of people, it will inevitably make way for activities that do. For elephants, these incentives mean tourism and, yes, even trophy hunting.

Land issues: The story of beauty and violence

Land, an emotive subject, a limited resource that builds nations or breaks them. Use it well and you thrive, use it unwisely and you will sink to the bottomless pit of chaos and poverty.

Opinion: The trouble with trophy hunting

Frank Pope, CEO of Save the Elephants, shares his insight into the latest news around the import of elephant trophies from Zimbabwe to America.

Opinion: Too many lions in Kunene

Whether tourism operators and armchair lion-lovers like it or not, there are now too many lions in some parts of the Kunene region. Trying to save the lions that are killing livestock, or harassing the farmers who kill them, including impounding their firearms, will not serve the interests of conservation in the region.

Problem lions announcement: Conservationist challenges Namibian minister

desert-adapted lions © Ingrid Mandt

Conservationist challenges Namibian minister in open letter regarding decision to relocate or kill problem lions in the Kunene region.

Kruger should cull 88% of its elephants, says hunter Ron Thomson

Herd of elephants with sight targets

Celebrated hunter Ron Thomson believes that 88% of Kruger National Park’s elephants should be culled.

Rhino horn: Recipes for disaster

In the middle of the sixth mass extinction, when 50% of the living species are at risk of extinction due to the ever growing, destructive human hands, the six rhinoceros species are at the tip of the pyramid, among the most endangered species on Earth.

Kruger: Is this the technological future?

leopard peering into the camera with technology icon overlay

Presently, we are able to instantly globally share everything we see and hear in Kruger and just about every other destination on earth. Animal sightings and locations are given in real time and we are able to send photos and videos across a host of social media platforms.

Opinion: Are Maasai cattle to blame for overgrazing in Tanzania?

Maasai cattle grazing © Stephanie Fuchs

Living with the Maasai has taught me that conservation is not only about animals but is just as much about us humans; that to preserve any one place we have to be mindful of the local communities that live within it and try to understand the way they view the world to be able to work alongside them to protect mother nature.

Kruger: Impact of social media and mobile phones – good or bad?

Vehicles joust for a good view of a leopard in Kruger National Park, South Africa

Technology and social media have shaped the Kruger experience into something radically different from what it was ten years ago.

Dear John, our response to your rhino horn auction

Black Rhino Conservation with WWF - John Hume Rhino Horn Auction Arguments

Rhino farmer, John Hume, will be auctioning 500kgs of rhino horn online today (23 August 2017). He presents arguments for his rhino horn auction, which Dr Simon Morgan – co-founder of Wildlife ACT, debunks.

The rhino in the room: South Africa’s domestic trade in rhino horn

On the surface, the upcoming legal auction of rhino horn set to begin on August 21 might appear to be a harmless propaganda exercise, but it may in fact signal a deepening of the rhino crisis.

The BIG LIE about lion trophy hunting

The trophy hunting of Africa’s wild, free roaming lions is not sustainable and has to stop.

Why not auction Namibian desert lions that are to be trophy hunted?

Kebbel (XPL 81) ©Inki Mandt

An interesting idea has emerged about the way in which desert-adapted Namibian lions could potentially be saved from trophy hunting: put them up for auction.

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