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50 / 50 Episode 2, 18 June 2012

Shark drama Once or twice a year, reports of shark attacks hit the media, often graphically headlined with phrases such as “Blood everywhere” or “Killer shark strikes again!” But no-one celebrates the remaining 364 days, when these apex predators that swim off our coastlines contribute to the marine ecosystem – without affecting us negatively. On […]

From Cape Town to Conservation: living my dream in Zululand

I’ve just moved from the hustle and bustle of city living in Cape Town to a region called Zululand in Northern Natal. A few years after meeting the team from Wildlife ACT on a rhino poaching assignment for Getaway magazine, I’m now one of their permanent employees. In two weeks we’ve darted and collared 11 […]

Tracks of Giants

Following ancient elephant migration paths linking major wildlife parks, conservationists Ian MCallum and Ian Michler are undertaking a five month west-to east journey across eight southern African countries. They will travel by bicycle, on foot and by kayak (Zambezi River and Okavango Delta) with the purpose of raising awareness and exploring possible solutions to current […]

World Oceans Day 2012

On World Oceans Day people around the planet celebrate and honour the body of water which links us all, for what it provides humans and what it represents.  Every year  on June 8th communities around the globe celebrate World Oceans Day as an opportunity to learn more about our ocean and take action to help conserve it. World […]

Tracks of Giants: thank you and farewell Namibia

By Ian Michler It took us 27 days and 1,490 km to pass through Namibia. And as it so often happens on long journeys, individual days tend to merge the passage of time. As we left the Dobe border post for the Okavango wetlands in Botswana, recollections of those first steps as we ventured out […]

50/50 is back! New episode coming on 11 June 2012…

Take a look at this exciting lineup: Vodka Bears The practices of bear baiting and dancing bears were outlawed in Eastern Europe almost 12 years ago and we thought we’d seen the end of cruelty to bears… Not so. Deeper into Eastern Europe in the Ukraine, brown bears are living under harsh, cruel conditions. [quote]Bears […]

Elephant Ivory – the deadly new currency in China

The demand for elephant ivory in China is growing as wealthy Chinese citizens begin to see the ‘white gold’ as a private and business investment option. This coincides with a rise in poaching that is, arguably, as high as those in the 1980s, before ivory trade was banned. Grace Gabriel, Asia Regional Director for IFAW, […]

A brighter future: final day of a Children in the Wilderness camp

Its 3am! I have just awoken to a thud on the floorboards below me. Listening carefully, I tiptoe to the mosquito gauze and press my face against it. I see a bit of movement 2 metres away, then there’s another thud against the deck. The moonlight is just enough to catch a pair of horns, […]

Amazing rooms with a view!

In the current issue of Safari interactive magazine, we showcase the portfolio Rooms with a View – some of the most amazing views from lodges, camps and hotels across Africa. We couldn’t include every image that made us gasp of course (the final decisions were really tough!), so here are a few of the rooms that didn’t […]

Going to extremes for black eagle conservation

Africam.com, known for live streaming video of African wildlife on the internet, is launching a new camera that will broadcast the wild black eagles of Roodekrans from Johannesburg, South Africa. At the moment the female black eagle Emoyeni, which means ‘upon the wind’, is sitting on her two eggs which are expected to hatch sometime […]

The Ngamba chimpanzee sanctuary in Uganda

I’m a little nervous of chimps. Personally, I think it’s because their actions and personalities remind me far too much of us humans. This is also why I am absolutely fascinated by them. When I was in Kampala, Uganda, I took the opportunity to visit the orphaned chimpanzees at the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary. I […]

First leg of Tracks of Giants expedition completed

Three weeks into the epic, five month Tracks of Giants expedition, the team is getting accustomed to the physical demands of the course as well as the harsh Namibian environment. The Tracks of Giants expedition kicked off on the Atlantic coast of Southern Africa in Namibia on Tuesday, May 1, 2012 and will see the […]

A Brighter Future: day 4 of a Children in the Wilderness camp

There can be no better place to experience the morning than in the bush. The world outside cannot reach you; the hooting of traffic and the anxiety of the day are not welcome here. Here on the banks of the Luvuvhu River, the sun greets the resident buffalo who sneezes a golden dust cloud. Young […]

Biodiversity in Africa: a reason to celebrate!

Yesterday was World Biodiversity Day … so what’s the big deal? Africa has eight official biodiversity hotspots. A biodiversity hotspot is an area that is alive with a rich variety of unique species, many of which are found nowhere else on Earth. Have you been to any of these amazing regions…? Cape Floristic Kingdom, Coastal […]

Cheetah Outreach – moving into the future

The first week of June is going to be an exciting week for Cheetah Outreach. They’ll be relocating from their current site at Spier wine farm to their new home, Heartland’s Paardevlei site in Somerset West.  I caught up with Dawn Glover, Education Officer at Cheetah Outreach, to chat to her about the move. Why […]

Tracks of Giants – crossing the desert

I have been to the tiny dusty village of Puros in Namibia a number of times, but never had this collection of drab tin and pre-fab dwellings been such a welcome sight. Lying on the edge of the Hoarusib River that splits the true Namib Desert from the pre-Namib and Escarpment to the east, it […]

Mountain gorilla habitat under siege in DR Congo

The Gorilla Doctors fear for the health and safety of the critically endangered mountain gorillas of Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo as rebels clash with the Congolese army in the park’s gorilla sector. Virunga National Park is home to about 200 of the world’s remaining 783 mountain gorillas. On May 8, a reported 1,500 troops loyal […]

Video highlights: Cheetah cub birth

The Africam broadcast of this event, which took place on May 2nd, was a tribute to the work being done at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre in the name of cheetah conservation. The birth was the first installment in what is to be the story of Salome (the mother) and her three cubs. Watch the […]

A brighter future: day 2 of a Children in the Wilderness camp

Today camp followed the theme of the ‘Circle of Life’. Janet, the camp co-ordinator and head of CITW South Africa, offered the day’s first lesson on leadership values, and was followed by Pafuri guide Jeffrey, who detailed the circle of life, and the interdependence of the species on each other. Once the theory had been grasped, […]

Death in the Congo: The background to Garamba’s elephant tragedy!

I’ve never been to Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and I may never see the incredible reserve for myself. But I take great inspiration and motivation knowing that the park exists. There, wedged between the DRC, South Sudan and Uganda, amongst all the political and social problems of the area, rests […]

A brighter future: diary from a Children in the Wilderness camp

Day 1 The lions’ hassling snarls went through the night, with pesky hyenas filling the occasional silence; the latter probably making their way towards the kill site. At about 05.30am I woke up with the light streaming in from all angles, a result of my sleeping with the tent blinds wide open to allow for […]

Ian Player: man of the wilderness

Growing up brought with it a certain disappointment for me. Perhaps because, as a child, I always believed that the hero wins, that the good guy comes through in the end. And even if he dies it’s always for a greater good. After all, isn’t that how all great adventure stories end? Frodo destroys the […]

Ian Michler’s diary: the rhino crisis

The rhino crisis : Legalising horn trade is not a solution Almost 950 rhinos have been killed illegally in South Africa since January 2010. It’s an alarming statistic, and it points to a major crisis. At the World Economic Forum at Davos in January, German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke about Greece and its huge debt […]

Tracks of Giants expedition kicks off in Namibia

Two intrepid conservationists, together with a dedicated support team, have begun a 5000 kilometre, 20 week journey through six countries to help raise awareness of the importance of transfrontier conservation in Africa. The Tracks of Giants expedition kicked off on the Atlantic coast of Southern Africa in Namibia on Tuesday, May 1, 2012. The expedition […]

Tracking endangered black rhinos in Africa’s heartland

There is concern that despite fact that humans have reduced the critically endangered black rhino numbers by well over 90 percent in the last century, rhino’s may actually be suffering the effects of more recent population increases in some reserves. Indeed, the vital south-central black rhino (Diceros bicornis minor) population in the entirely fenced Hluhluwe-iMfolozi […]

Communications technology set to enhance Anti-Poaching-Units

The scourge in rhino poaching in South Africa has left the country needing to beef up security in its National Parks and private game reserves. Given that rhino-poaching gangs are invariably armed to the teeth, anti-poaching units need to be better prepared themselves. They require a higher level of training, better equipment and greater communications […]

Cape shark attack – the story and background!

If you haven’t heard the news already – a South African body boarder has been killed in a shark attack at Dappat se Gat – a surf spot between Gordon’s Bay and Kogel bay (also known as ‘Caves’), Cape Town, South Africa. The attack, it seems, has been blamed by some on the massive amount […]

Easter born ducklings in Madagascar signal hope for world’s rarest bird

The Madagascar pochard – arguably the world’s rarest bird – has bred successfully in captivity building hope that it can be saved from extinction. The pochard was believed to be extinct until its rediscovery in 2006 on a single small lake, Lake Matsaborimena (or Red Lake), in northern Madagascar. Two years ago an emergency expedition […]

Top 10 ways to protect Mountain Gorillas

By Molly Feltner The recent popular YouTube video showing a tourist being touched by wild mountain gorillas has captivated more than a million viewers and will likely inspire many travellers to book a trip to visit mountain gorillas themselves. For those of you looking to make a positive impact on mountain gorilla conservation, the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary […]

Earth Hour 2012

“If there was one hour that mattered, one name that counted, it would be yours”  From Times Square to the Sydney Opera House, Brunei to Lithuania, the tallest building on the planet to an Inuit igloo, the world will once again celebrate the largest voluntary action for the environment as the lights switch off for […]

World’s First Dedicated Rhino Orphanage Founded

Press Release: South Africa is to be home to the first specialist, dedicated, non-commercial care-centre for baby rhinos orphaned by the shocking trade in poached rhino horns. The Wildlife & Cultural Centre at Legend Golf & Safari Resort in Limpopo Province is to be the site for the centre, which will take in baby rhinos […]

Green Renaissance: The Journey

Green Renaissance is a South African production company focusing on green content creation and encouraging companies to be responsible and express an environmentally conscious vision to the world. This video is a celebration of their last year, showcasing some of their work in helping nature fight back in Africa. httpv://vimeo.com/33964260 The Journey – Green Renaissance […]

Cause an Uproar!

In support of Lion conservation, the National Geographic Society has agreed to donate 10 cents to lion conservation in Botswana every time this YouTube video is viewed. Share it with your friends and Cause an Uproar! httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZ7SvK7w1xA&feature=player_embedded Also make sure to join in the Cause an Uproar Facebook group, where regular updates are posted about […]

Water for elephants – Abu Camp in the Okavango Delta

  httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDChPkELatw&feature=player_embedded   I watched a baby elephant being born! This is a very rare sighting and as guests in Abu Camp witnessed, Shireni gave birth to her third calf and the herd gained a bouncy baby girl called Warona, a Setswana name meaning  ‘For us’. Enjoy this fabulous video (courtesy of AfriScreen) of Warona […]

The Smell of Smouldering Fires – the future of Madagascar’s Spiny Forest

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NS_dD9vNVOE&feature=player_embedded My very first impression of Madagascar was the smell of smouldering fires. I was more than ten miles out to sea in a 35ft catamaran, having just caught a ride across the Mozambique Channel with two fellow South Africans, when a musty aroma like wet ash permeated the fresh sea air. It was the […]

Mapungubwe belongs to all of us

httpv://vimeo.com/28444283 Mapungubwe Belongs to all of Us from Green Renaissance. Abraham Ramonwana, head guide at Tuli Safari Lodge says: “if a mine develops in South Africa, it’s also going to affect Botswana and Zimbabwe”. The authorisation given to an Australian company called Coal of Africa Limited (CoAL) to construct an open-cast coal mine, called the […]

Africa’s Painted Dogs need your help

One of South Africa’s lesser known and rarely seen endangered species is our enigmatic African Painted Dog (Wild Dog). Few South African’s have had the honour of witnessing these elusive but magnificent creatures, and at present rates few ever will. The latest figures show there to be less than 450 Painted Dogs left in the […]

Punch snake love!

I am a light sleeper. Which is why, in the early hours of the morning, I wake up with a jolt upon hearing a cautious but firm “Ah-ha” from the person lying next to me. “What is it, Callum? What’s wrong?” I mutter, rolling over and trying not to shed entirely the comfortable blanket of […]

Kenya in a Little Red Suzuki

For me, entering the world of the gainfully employed meant making the transition from freelance writer and professional beach bum, to Nairobi urbanite. It was a good move. I am now the associate editor of Destination Magazine. An occupation that allows me to combine a few of my favourite things – East African lifestyle, travel, and […]

Beach bum ellie

A lone elephant has been spotted surfing the beach breaks in Nuarro bay, just off the coast of northern Mozambique. We received news of this incredibly rare sighting from Nuarro eco-lodge manager Trienke Lodewijk. The bay of Nuarro is situated on the Baixo do Pinda Peninsula in the Memba District of Nampula Province. According to […]

Our Christmas in the Bush

This year, I woke up on Christmas morning to the sound of a baboon unceremoniously peeing on my roof. In the Linyanti (Botswana), it is an unmistakeable sound, and mildly concerning when your roof is made of old canvas: it is usually advisable to brace yourself under the covers in case your head cover gives […]

THE MARA – MUCH MORE THAN JUST WILDEBEEST

In September last year I had a week in the Masai Mara at the height of the migration. To be constantly in the midst of hundreds of thousands of wildebeest was an experience beyond adequate description. At one point we were parked on a slight rise to get the lie of the land and I […]

Cheetah Outreach

‘It took 4 million years for the cheetah to evolve and just 100 years for man to place it on the endangered list.’ Annie Beckhelling founded Cheetah Outreach back in the late nineties on just a hectare of land in the rural Cape winelands. Her aim was to educate people about the plight of the […]

Our life in the bush

On paper, it shouldn’t have worked out. A Joburg-born, St. John’s boy on a path to do a B-Comm at Wits, with a secret love of the bush that would eventually lead him away from the city before his degree was done… and a British geek with happy memories of a childhood spent in Botswana, […]