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Africa Geographic Travel

Massive Ivory Seizure – the biggest haul ever

A record-smashing 3,81 tonnes of illegal ivory was seized in Hong Kong on Saturday – the largest ever in China and the largest worldwide in two years. The sheer size of the haul confirms that the past 24 months have been among the deadliest for elephants in recent time. Hong Kong officials announced yesterday they […]

Bleak News For Rhino – Vietnam Fails to Sign

The Mail & Guardian has reported that Vietnam has FAILED to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with South Africa that would have addressed the rhino poaching crisis. According to Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) spokesperson, Roopa Singh, the MoU wasn’t signed because the relevant government minister from Vietnam was ‘unavailable’. Both countries are attending a CITES […]

24 Hours in Paradise: A Game Count in Zimbabwe

I’m tired but happy. I’ve counted 14 different species and there are literally hundreds of animals spread out before me, cropping the fresh emerald grass that is sprouting through the black ash left by a veld fire that tore through here a week ago. Zebras are braying everywhere and between the jostling herds are rare […]

52 artworks in 52 weeks: Interviewing Noel Ashton

Noel Ashton, the crazy artist behind Africa Geographic’s monthly column, 52 Artworks: A Year in Nature, has stuck to his guns, producing one nature-inspired piece a week for an entire year. All 52 pieces are now making up a powerfully moving exhibition at The Cape Gallery in the centre of Cape Town. Here follows a […]

The Cape Leopard Trust Auction

The Cape Leopard Trust is holding an exciting online auction with fabulous bush holidays up for bids. The Cape Leopard Trust calls on all of you with an interest in conservation to please consider bidding on one of three exceptional safari packages (showcased below), valued at R8,400, R56,000 and R122,000 respectively. If you successfully bid for an auction item presented here, […]

A close encounter for rhinos

At no point in my life have I been so intimately harnessed to another human being. But then again, at no point have I ever leapt from an aeroplane at 11 000 feet. But I did it. I was tucked and hooked and clipped in a surprisingly snug and reassuring fashion to Craig, who’d assured […]

My life as a photographer

I started taking photographs in 1982, my first camera was a little Bell and Howell half frame. It was my first love. I love cameras. Not only do I feel comfortable behind the lens but I feel safe too. I suppose I have become a bit of a camera snob…a bit like one of those oh-so-irritating […]

‘Ride the Spine of the Dragon’ Book Launch

Having discarded his backpack for a mountain bike about a decade ago, travel writer David Bristow dreamt up the idea of riding his bike from Beit Bridge to Cape Town, South Africa. In doing so he created one of the country’s premier mountain bike trails, ‘akin to the American Great Divide trail (only much better)’ […]

12 tips to travel sustainably and save energy

1. Fly smart Air travel is usually the most energy consuming aspect of travel and a growing contributor to climate change (according to an EU press release, in the EU alone greenhouse gas emissions from aviation increased by 87% between 1990 and 2006). Plan your trip so that you minimize air travel, use trains wherever possible […]

Meskel, Ethiopia’s most Mesmerising Festival

With the heady scent of incense burning, and priests parading  in their finest regalia, Meskel is Ethiopia’s most mesmerising orthodox Christian festival. Even for non-believers, Meskel offers an excuse to experience Ethiopia in celebration, with bonfires, feasting and parties lighting up the country as they have for over 1600 years. The focus of the celebration is […]

Riding for Rhinos in the Karoo Sanbona Wildlife Reserve

I’ll bear the scars for a few weeks – deep gashes in my leg from a stumble as I negotiated one of the many stream crossings on my mountain bike.  But the smile on my face will last far longer.  You see I had the pleasure of joining 149 other mountain bikers and trail runners […]

All National Parks in South Africa free for a week!

South African National Parks (SANParks) has announced free access to all national parks in SA from 10th to 14th September 2012. This will be applicable to all the national parks managed by SANParks, with the exception of Boulders Beach Penguin Colony in Table Mountain National Park and the Namaqua National Park. Table Mountain National Park […]

Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior in Africa

The third, brand-spanking-new Rainbow Warrior is currently sailing in the Indian Ocean on a two-month-long fisheries campaign. Greenpeace has a long and tumultuous history with campaigning at sea. The first Rainbow Warrior was bombed by French intelligence in 1985, and after 22 years of tireless ocean front-lining (helping to end nuclear testing in the Pacific, […]

Ryan Sandes Interview: South African trail runner Conquers Fish River Canyon

Ryan Sandes is a South African trail runner whose feet have taken him across China’s Gobi Desert, Chile’s Atacama and Egypt’s Sahara. Last month he tackled Namibia’s Fish river Canyon and smashed the record set in 2003, of 10 hours and 54 minutes, by just short of four hours. Ryan ran the second largest canyon in the world […]

Once in a Blue Moon. What does it mean?

Look up at the sky tonight and you’ll witness a rare blue moon… A timely cosmic salute to the late Neil Armstrong, whose memorial service happens to be today and whose family have asked us to pay tribute by looking at the moon and giving the astronaut a wink. Photo © NASA. Earth’s moon, photographed […]

Focus on vultures: 1 September

Do you shudder at the thought of vultures? Well, the dawn of spring on Saturday 1 September is the perfect time to change your attitude and discover the awesome abilities of these fascinating birds of prey. That’s what International Vulture Awareness Day is all about: focusing our attention on the birds and their status in […]

6 Reasons to go to Kenya’s Rock-Rollicking Rift Valley Festival

Here’s why you should boogie-on-down with the bongos and birds, sounding-off on the shores of Lake Naivasha… 1. The festival takes place along the waters of Kenya’s Lake Naivasha, which means you can get foot loose and fancy free beside one of the valley’s few fresh water expanses. Fringed by thick papyrus, fertile farmland and […]

Kiteival: Mauritius’ Kite Surfing Carnival

Kite surf around the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius in this wet n’ wild week-long water sport event. Kiteival invites riders to kite around the fringe of the Mauritian island in an event staged across five days.  The festival brings together amateur and pro-surfers from across the world, and culminates in a weekend competition held […]

Team Africa Geographic Skydives for Rhinos

Between July and September, 448 ordinary South Africans will leap from 10 000 feet to raise funds for rhino anti-poaching work – and make a sky-high statement that South Africans want the decimation of one of our greatest national assets to stop. And I’m one of them! I’m Judy Beyer, an ordinary South African and […]

WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY TALK: Tips & advice from one of Africa’s leading photographers

Africa Geographic Travel, Pangolin Photo Safaris and Grant Atkinson invite wildlife photography enthusiasts to an evening of superb images and expert advice. Grant’s presentation, titled ‘Botswana through the seasons’ covers the ebb-and-flow of seasons and exciting wildlife events, with emphasis on his imagery and photographic techniques. Also, find out more about Africa Geographic’s upcoming exclusive […]

5 African Olympians tipped to topple the podium

With the Olympic torch currently flaming through the streets of London, and the 2012 Olympic ceremony set to light up the stadium tonight – the entire world is in anticipation of the day the games begin. We take a look at some of Africa’s top sporting stars, tipped to be in with a chance of […]

Graceland Reunion Tour brings back Paul Simon & Ladysmith Black Mambazo

My first memory of Graceland is at age six, dancing with my mother to ‘Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes’ in our garden in England. For me it represented the far-off, exotic land where she was born. I hadn’t yet been to South Africa, but she’d play me Graceland and tell me about her home in […]

Shoe Drop: Project Rhino KZN on the Put Foot Rally

Each year, the Put Foot Rally Foundation uses money raised by participating teams to impact on the lives of local communities.  This year the Senkobo Basic School, about 30km outside of Livingstone in Zambia, were the chosen benefactors. The school has around 405 children aged between 7 and 16, of which around a third are orphans… […]

Just a lick of paint? Multinationals mar Maputo

When in Maputo, you can’t help but notice that nearly every single house lining the busy road between the city centre and airport, has received a very generous lick of paint… [slickr-flickr tag=”cocacola” captions=”on”] And with each paint job comes the big, fat, greedy stamp of some giant global brand. According to a Maputo resident […]

Nguni Cattle of the Caprivi

Coming from Zululand you tend to appreciate the value of a good looking cow… The Caprivi strip in the far north-west corner of Namibia is home to some of the most beautiful cattle you will ever find on the African continent. One or two of the bulls could easily pay the lobola (dowry) for a […]

Checkpoint 1: Project Rhino KZN on the Put Foot Rally

North of Windhoek the bush starts to look at little more familiar as it opens up into a scrub-like savanna. We were about to reach our first checkpoint since leaving Cape Town…. The checkpoints are a place where rally participants get together for a big social bender and for the officials to get a chance […]

Day 3: Project Rhino KZN on the Put Foot Rally

Our campsite for our first night in Namibia was the Canon Roadhouse near Fish River Canyon. We arrived very late after spending most of the afternoon photographing the sun setting against  beautiful quiver trees. Driving the long dusty roads at night, with no traffic and only a flicker of light from distant farm houses, you […]

Day 2: Project Rhino KZN on the Put Foot Rally

After covering a mammoth 900km on the first day, we finally reached the Namibian border where we were greeted by the symbol of the south… It was my turn behind the steering wheel and it was late in the afternoon, in the west clouds were forming and colours developing that had my fellow three travellers […]

Day 1: Project Rhino KZN on the PutFoot Rally

With the crack of a cockerel crowing at 5 o’clock in the morning, we set off on an epic adventure – 6 countries, 6 checkpoints, and 7,000km in 17 days. Our mission? To raise awareness about the rhino-poaching crisis in Southern Africa, and to generate much needed funds for Project Rhino KwaZulu-Natal. As you travel up […]

Put Foot Rally leaves Cape Town with Project Rhino KZN in tow

6 countries, 6 checkpoints and 7,000-odd kilometres in 17 days… The Put Foot is dubbed Southern Africa’s first “social rally” – 60 crews/240 people will motor out of Cape Town tomorrow (Wednesday 20th June 2012) for an epic Africa adventure, overlanding across South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique. Armed with passports stamped in visas; tow […]

Afrika Burn: Through the Lens

Strapped up, weighed down, covered in animal fur and steam-punk goggles. I met photographer Stuart Shapiro at Afrika Burn, a festival devoted entirely to radical self expression in the middle of the Karoo desert. There he was walking the sands, this crazy, Mad-Max, half man, half machine, completely and utterly dedicated to the lens. His […]

Zimbabwe: Harare International Festival of the Arts 2012

‘The Harare International Festival of the Arts is probably the best organized festival in the sub-continent and one of the most manageably diverse’ – Robert Grieg writing in the South Africa Sunday Independent This week Tuesday sees the start of Zimbabwe’s flagship 6-day annual festival. Founded by Zimbabwean concert pianist Manuel Bagorro, and his actress […]

Swaziland’s Bushfire Festival – Richard E Grant to attend

Internationally renowned actor, Richard E Grant will attend this year’s annual Bushfire Arts & Music Festival, which takes place in his home country of Swaziland 25 – 27 May 2012. Grant, known world wide as the star of films such as Withnail and I and Gosford Park, was born and raised in Swaziland. He wrote […]

Burning Man meets the Karoo at Afrika Burn

Imagine a temporary town of thousands of people, with dance floors, themed camps and mutant vehicles. Only this town is in the middle of the desert, with no money and a community of people devoted entirely to radical self expression. Friends of mine have returned from Afrika Burn utterly speechless – ‘mind-blowing’, ‘life-changing’, ‘self-altering’ – […]

Maasai Warriors take to the pitch in Cape Town

The Maasai are famous the world over for their regal physiques, tall spears, shields, and colourful clothing. Garbed in traditional gear, last Easter weekend a group of warriors battled it out in a surprising contest…cricket.  The Last Man Stands World Champs, took place in Cape Town, South Africa, finishing up on 7 April 2012. It’s […]

Cape Minstrel Carnival

Cape Town celebrates New Year with a banjo-picking musical parade. Thousands of minstrel groups garbed in garishly bright costumes perform across the city bowl. Known locally as the Kaapse Klopse, the carnival has its origin in the days of slavery when citizens of District Six were allowed their one day off a year. The white […]

Diwali in Mauritius

Today marks the celebration of the Festival of Light for Hindus world wide. I am a hopeless romantic when it comes to anything even vaguely reminiscent of the Orient, and Diwali holds a special place in my memory from time spent living in India during this colourful and chaotic holy day. Diwali celebrates the homecoming […]

Gravity Adventure Festival

Every year, daring people from all over South Africa congregate round the Palmiet River in Kleinmond for the Gravity Adventure Festival, ready to compete in some of the most spectacular and grueling outdoor events the country has to offer. One of the most demanding of these is a full-day 100km adventure run through the surrounding […]