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New 50|50 Episode, 8 October 2012

Bearded vultures Lammergeier, lammervanger or bearded vulture – this majestic bird that might have slipped under the survival radar had Sonja Kruger and her task team not been keeping a close eye on them. While bearded vultures are not threatened globally, in South Africa there are fewer than 300 individuals left in the wild. The […]

Pedalling for orphaned elephants

Numerous young elephants are orphaned every year due to poaching and human elephant conflict. Without help, the chances of their survival in the wild are perilous. The Elephant Orphanage Project does sterling service to rehabilitate the youngsters, but support is needed to quell the poaching crisis. Nestled deep within Zambia’s Kafue National Park (KNP) is […]

The Flying Lion Saga

Flying pigs we have come across in our imaginations, but flying lions? While both of these images are counter-intuitive, one imaginary flying mammal has recently taken to the skies in a very real way. And it ain’t the pigs. Malawi’s Majete Game Reserve hasn’t always been a Big Five destination, but thanks to a number […]

Rhino horn use in traditional Chinese Medicine

The following article has been prepared by Susan Barrett, following an interview conducted with a retired Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner, on the basis that his name would not be published. Thus the article has been prepared from his responses. The TCM doctor we interviewed is a man of +-70 years old. He has many years […]

Mine rejected: A Victory for Lower Zambezi National Park

It seems that a bright semblance of sanity has appeared over the once-murky Zambian horizon. A few weeks ago, I wrote a charged story about the absurdity of a proposed open cast copper mine in the Lower Zambezi National Park. Few of the due processes were being followed, the Australian mining company (Zambezi Resources) was […]

Rare Pangolin Sighting

Known for their secretive, solitary behaviour, photographer Karen Swanpoel had a chance encounter with this little man last week in Limpopo, South Africa.  [quote]We were walking through the bush when we came across him, it’s the first time I’ve ever seen a pangolin, let alone a wild one within its natural habitat![/quote] Due to the […]

A Sunburnt Scientist

Lauren De Vos abandoned the land-locked Highveld to pursue a career exploring South Africa’s seas. It’s proving to be quite a journey. She shares its surfaces and depths. It’s quite a distance from the dusty Highveld of my childhood to the emergence of a research career in the stormy seas that make the Cape coast […]

New 50/50 Episode: 24 September 2012

Marine Protected Areas Surfing, building sand castles and splashing around in the waves are some of the many uses we have for the ocean. This huge mass of water covers 71% of the earth’s surface and yet a mere 1% of it is protected. While game reserves on land protect wildlife from human disturbance, the […]

New 50/50 Episode: 17 September 2012

Rhino Reality In August 2012, a dynamic team of adventurers completed an expedition through the heartland of black and white rhino territory in South Africa, to raise awareness for the need to end the demand for rhino horn in Asia.  The Rhino Reality Expedition was a journey through the heartland of rhino territory in Kwa-Zulu […]

End of the road marks the beginning of environmental change…

Tracks of Giants, the epic conservation trek over 5000 kilometres through six southern African countries has come to an end. But the impact of the expedition will have a lasting effect for years to come. Starting on the Namibian coastline on May 01, 2012, the journey saw a team of conservationists travel across southern Africa […]

Waterkloof, biodynamics and Black Jack

Waterkloof Wine Estate, a keen proponent of organic viticulture, has welcomed the coolest new ‘green machine’ in its stable, a thoroughbred Percheron gelding. Named Black Jack, he completes the estate’s ‘magnificent Percheron seven’ and will be put to work to prepare and cultivate the soil, add to the soil quality and structure and help reduce the farm’s […]

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, […]

New 50/50 Episode: 10 September 2012

Chapman’s peak A luxury office block on a World Heritage Site … in the Table Mountain National Park! Since the planning of this construction, everyone from environmentalists to fishermen to the local communities have been opposed to it.Never mind the unsightly concrete block placed on the beautiful land, the toll plaza will mean that commuters […]

Kangaluwi: The Lower Zambezi National Park battle begins!

Alright, just a quick note before we start. I would hate for you to get half way through this post, throw up your hands in disgust and say: ‘Not another seedy mining project. People are horrible, I’ve had enough, what’s the point?’. I mention this because these were some of the thoughts that came into […]

New 50/50 Episode: 3 September 2012

Tuna Global tuna stocks are down by 90% or so they have been saying for a while now, but we still see shelves and shelves of tinned tuna in our shopping centres. Internationally, sushi is readily available with tuna in it. So what is the problem? The blue-fin tuna, one of the ocean’s top predators […]

More battles for the Presidential Elephants of Zimbabwe

We featured Sharon Pincott’s conservation work with the Presidential Elephants of Zimbabwe in our March 2011 magazine. Sharon recently released a second book about her ongoing work, titled Battle for the President’s Elephants. Her courageous battles are ongoing. She is currently wrestling against mining proposals within the key home-range of the Presidential Elephants. Add to […]

Amazing encounter with a cheetah in the Masai Mara

By Zac Mills I Just returned from an amazing two and a half week trip to Kenya and Tanzania. Our first stop was the Masai Mara National Reserve, which is the annual host to the northern migration of some two million wildebeests from the southern plains of the Serengeti. We bush-camped in the park and […]

New 50/50 Episode: 20 August 2012

Caves (part 2) This week Bonne takes a look at another underground wonder in Namibia. Bonne’s guides are local experts Nico Scholtz (adventure caver and geologist) and entomologist, John Irish. Not many of the Namibian caves are open to the public for exploration and in the case of Pofadder, years of stalactite and stalagmite development […]

WAR: Park rangers under fire in Virunga National Park

This is how you can help a gorilla ranger. I recently wrote an article for Safari magazine, “Into the Volcano”, extolling the awesomeness of hiking Mt. Nyiragongo in Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo. Mt. Nyiragongo is among the most active volcanos in Africa, and its crater holds one of only five molten lave […]

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 […]

New 50/50 Episode: 13 August 2012

Caves Namibia is just a hop over the border away and has more to offer than beautiful views of the Namib and great wildlife: It also has over 120 caves. Most of the caves are not open to tourists – for safety reasons and for the protection of the cave itself. But with the help […]

The Majesty of the Makgadikgadi

I have on many occasions accompanied guests, friends or family through the Makgadikgadi Pans of northern Botswana. Without fail the feedback has always been one of only two responses: a few have questioned my sanity for bringing them to such a dry and barren world, but most have simply been blown away by the stark […]

Trash for dinner anyone?

Have a look at this fascinating infographic about how we are eating our own trash, and what a bunch of masters students are doing about it. Created by: MastersDegree.net

Meeting face to face in Niassa

Ella was doing her home-schooling work the other day,  a lesson on the five senses. “What is a smell you like?”. “Flowers”, she says. “Ok, well what is a smell you dislike?” With no hesitation, “Dead elephants!”. She’s five and says it like it is and she’s right, I hate it too and the air […]

New 50/50 Episode: 6 August 2012

Lavender Hill The poverty, drugs and gangsters that pervades life in Lavender Hill on the sandy Cape Flats has always been at odds with the suburb’s name. A new vision to populate Lavender Hill with lavender hopes to create a social artwork and an urban farm for the production of lavender. Most importantly, the fields […]

Through Hwange and back to Botswana

The plight of Zimbabwe has dominated African headlines over the last decade and more. Sadly, these have mostly been about the ways of despotic politicians and how their political expediency tore a country’s political, social and economic fabric apart. The ruling party, ZANU PF, had every right to deal with long-simmering land issues that had […]

5 Amazing African Trees

When my mum and dad first began dating, my dad was stationed in the Kruger National Park, where he was working on vegetation maps for the army. My mum, desperate to impress her new wilderness man, decided to study the names of trees. It worked! And now, years later, she still surprises us by sprouting […]

Myths about manta rays

Africa Geographic’s scientific editor, Tim Jackson, catches up with Andrea Marshall, director of the Marine Megafauna Association in Mozambique, and asks her about the top five myths that loads of people seem to believe about mantas. Myth 1: When giving birth, mantas eject their babies like popcorn. There is a famous communication from 1916, in the days […]

600 poachers arrested… 20,000 snares lifted… hundreds of animals saved… but more scouts needed by valiant VFAPU

The dream-like clichés  are well-known – Victoria Falls as a destination is a “Wonder of the World”; a “must-see-in-your-lifetime; the unchallenged Adventure Capital of Africa and one of the planet’s most astounding tourist resorts. Not mere platitudes, but also stunning reality to international guests who experience such a magic elixir. Yet, simmering beneath the surface […]

New 50/50 Episode: 30th July 2012

TURTLES OF BANGLADESH During Kali Puja, an annual festival in Bangladesh, sacrifices are made to Kali, goddess of power. It’s a time of celebration and feasting and on the top of the menu is turtle. Many thousands of turtles are slaughtered indiscriminately each year of which several species are threatened species. At a market in Dhaka, where most […]

Earless black rhino – are they stone deaf?

If ever an animal required full use of its ears, it would be the rhino. Rhino may be large, but as far as visual acuity goes they are analogous with the diminutive bat. Nevertheless, these short sighted behemoths have carved a niche for millions of years on the predator-dense African savannah. It makes sense, therefore, […]

Visiting Save the Elephants in Kenya

The gunshot makes no sound. I’m only sure it’s been fired when the matriarch’s knees buckle under the weight of her one and a half-ton elephant mass. “In this kind of operation every minute matters,” the vet tells us. “No matter how many times we’ve done this, things can go wrong,” explains Iain Douglas- Hamilton, […]

Gorilla Doctors hold out hope for injured baby boy in Volcanoes National Park

Being wildlife veterinarians, the Gorilla Doctors are often challenged to determine the seriousness of an illness or injury in a gorilla by visual observation alone. Clinically, it’s ideal to perform tests and physical examinations on ailing patients to make definitive diagnoses. However, as conservationists of wild gorillas, the Gorilla Doctors must take care to disrupt […]

New Fifty Fifty episode – London’s Green Olympics

The countdown has begun with mere days until the London Olympics 2012! (27 July) Athletes around the world have been training to get the gold but London Olympics have gone green. The Ancient Olympic Games were a series of competitions held between representatives of several city-states and kingdoms from Ancient Greece, which featured mainly athletic but also combat […]

Young mountain gorillas destroy poachers’ snares

Today in Rwanda, field staff of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund observed several young gorillas from Kuryama’s group destroying snares set by poachers! “We knew that gorillas do this but all of the reported cases in the past were carried out by adult gorillas, mostly silverbacks,” said Veronica Vecellio, gorilla program coordinator at the Karisoke Research Center. [quote]“Today, two […]

Shark finning in Mozambique

Mozambiquan dive instructor and documentary film maker Carlos Macuacua is on a mission to raise awareness about the plight of precious marine species.  Carlos understands the importance of educating local communities in Mozambique about marine conservation and ecosystems: [quote] In remote fishing communities people have no idea of the value of our sharks, mantas and other […]

Tracks of Giants – kayaking the mighty Zambezi to the half-way mark!

Yesterday afternoon, after an exciting day of kayaking down the mighty Zambezi River, we reached the Waterfront on the edge of Livingstone, Zambia. It brought to an end another incredible leg on the TRACKS expedition – 232kms down one of Africa’s greatest rivers. And during the day, we passed the 2 500km and half-way mark – […]

Caracals count too: mesopredator research in the Cederberg

On a recent trip to the Cederberg with my 9-year-old son, I arranged to meet a young researcher working for the Cape Leopard Trust. I was keen to chat to her about the work of the CLT in the area, and to try and expose my son to the blood, sweat, mud and tears side […]

Gorilla trekking in gumboots

Crossing into the Congo wasn’t the most comfortable experience we’ve ever had but it was an awe-inspiring adventure to go and meet the majestic mountain gorillas, making a childhood dream come true for Marcus. Bouncing around in the back of a safari truck, we wound our way through fertile farmland and villages with grass-thatched huts […]

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 […]

50/50 Episode 4, 2 July 2012

Rhino Drama Continues… In a conservancy near the Kruger National Park, the number of rhinos that have lost their lives to rhino poachers has been high. Now Atile and her new calf, Bina, are in danger of losing their lives. However, the reserve managers are determined not to let this happen and are pinning their […]

Tracks of Giants journey reaches one-third milestone

Tracks of Giants is a five-month,  field-based nature conservation expedition following in the tracks of ancient elephant migration routes through six countries across southern Africa. The Tracks of Giants team passed the 1 700-kilometre milestone on 1 June 2012 at Guma Lagoon in Botswana, which marked one-third of the journey that had been completed successfully. […]

A must-do encounter with chimpanzees

Nani, one of the lowest-ranking chimps at Uganda’s Ngamba Island Sanctuary, waddles towards me with her arms stretched to the sky in a child’s ‘pick-me-up’ gesture. She climbs me as if I were a tree, securing her short muscular legs around my waist and her long arms around my neck. I stroke her coarse black […]

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 […]