CEO NOTE: 20 November 2020
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Let’s kick off by scrolling down to our spectacular video for today – of a huge and very special elephant named Kilimanjaro and his close encounter with a group of researchers from Elephants Alive. Note: there was no vehicle involved – they were on foot.
To set the scene, this research team collectively has more than 50 years of EXPERIENCE with wild elephants, including many encounters with the collared Kilimanjaro. On this occasion, they were guided by Alan McSmith, a man who understands the soul of an elephant. I enjoyed a similarly close elephant encounter while on foot with Alan – albeit not with a giant like this. Our group encounter (I was with our Photographer of the Year winners of a few years ago) was in the fading evening light, and the gentle giant loomed over us just meters away for a good look at this seated circle of humans (humans without legs!) before silently continuing his journey.
So, you can safely assume that this research team know what they are doing. Of course, this should not be attempted by anybody lacking the experience and permissions. Do I really need to say that? Yes, sadly, because we all have carte blanche as instant experts to attempt (or criticize) anything that we see online.
Be sure to read the text underneath the video “We were seated, rooted, grounded and trusting of this bull we had come to know. He fed closer and closer in a deliberate straight line towards us…”
Our first story below is a deep dive into those special lemurs of Madagascar. Disneyland depictions have nothing on these fascinating creatures. Our second story is important because their industry colleagues are telling the rotten South African captive-bred lion killing machine that what they do is not acceptable. I do not doubt that the EVIL ONES involved will redefine terms such as ‘captive’ and so shift the conversation.
Speaking of Madagascar, our third story below is yet another example of nature saying ‘there, see, you have no clue what you have, let alone what you have lost’. GREAT stuff!
And finally, tourism brochures will tell you that the ONLY time to go on safari is during the dry season when wildlife sightings are at their most dramatic (they are) as if that is all there is to a safari. Those of us that live in the bushveld know otherwise. Read our fourth story below to get a feel for your December safari for 2021 and beyond.
EVOLUTIONARY ODDITIES: The lemurs of Madagascar are a fascinating family of primates of all shapes & sizes that have evolved to fill every niche on the island
NO KIDDING!: Captive-bred lion hunting “not responsible, sustainable, fair chase … damaging the reputation of hunters” – joint statement by 2 hunting bodies
LOST & FOUND: ‘Celebrate! A ‘lost’ species – Voeltzkow’s chameleon – has been found in a hotel garden in Madagascar after being assumed to be extinct
DECEMBER SAFARI: A December safari in Africa means long hot days, the odd thunderstorm, dense green vegetation and young animals and birds everywhere!
Simon Espley – CEO, Africa Geographic
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