Funky fact: Hyena cubs ‘self-sacrifice’ by recklessly approaching lions if infected by a microscopic parasite. New research
Category Archives: Natural history
Chimps kill baby gorillas – observed for the first time
Chimps kill gorilla babies in two separate incidents in Loango National Park, Gabon – the first time the behaviour has ever been observed
Odzala-Kokoua National Park – biodiversity bonanza
Odzala-Kokoua NP in Congo is one of Africa’s hidden gems – a testament to the resilience of both the continent’s people and her ecosystems
Leopard conservation in South Africa
Leopard conservation in South Africa requires a metapopulation strategy and a sustained, transparent commitment from government – expert opinion
Why rural communities choose wildlife hunting over cattle
Rural communities choose wildlife over cattle if they see and enjoy long term benefits from trophy hunting – says Namibian community member
Trophy hunters kill another breeding Hwange lion – Mopane
Trophy hunters kill another breeding lion (named Mopane) from Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park – in a mirror of the Cecil tragedy
Forest elephant – endangered gardeners
Forest elephant numbers are believed to have plummeted 86% in just 31 years yet their role in maintaining forest ecosystems is critical.
Marvellous meerkats – mongooses of the desert
Marvellous Meerkats – socially complex and fascinating little mongooses found across the deserts of Southern Africa.
Namibia’s livestock guarding dogs are saving cheetahs
Guard dogs are saving cheetahs, says new research based on livestock guarding dogs – because livestock losses have reduced by 91%
A journey to see Africa’s threatened sea turtles
Five of the world’s seven magnificent sea turtles swim Africa’s oceans and nest on the beaches – all are threatened by human beings
Wildebeest sleep and the mysteries of slumber
Wildebeest sleep for just four and a half hours in a 24 hour period – most deeply in the dead of night – says new research
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area, with the famous crater at its heart, is a spectacular, year-round safari destination of abundance,breathtaking vistas and ancient history.
Do we have an elephant problem?
The ‘elephant problem’ – ecologists, landowners and tourists are grappling with the elephant problem. But what does this mean?
The science behind rebranding wild dogs
Rebranding wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) – new research suggests that “painted dog” triggers the most positive reaction from humans
Luangwa Valley – vast Zambian wilderness
The Luangwa Valley is a vast Zambian wilderness and playground for tourists seeking an authentic safari experience
Lake Malawi – freshwater beach & island paradise
Lake Malawi is one of Africa’s best-kept travel secrets – a freshwater lake surrounded by gorgeous beaches, islands and biodiversity with endless opportunities for fun and relaxation.
How the Kilimanjaro glaciers left truth in the cold
Kilimanjaro’s disappearing glaciers have been a symbol of climate change for more than than 15 years. Science says it is much more complicated.
Otters of Africa – four adorable mustelids
There are four species of otter in Africa – all of them intelligent, playful, fascinating predators.
Do tracking collars impact animals negatively?
New research indicates that animals fitted with tracking collars, experience no long-term, negative effects. Further research is needed however.
White-eared kob and tiang migration South Sudan
A recent survey in South Sudan by the NGO Space for Giants shows that the white-eared kob and tiang migration, continues, despite decades-long civil wars
The end of SA’s shameful lion breeding industry – what now happens to the lions?
Thousands of captive-bred lions in South Africa – what is to happen to them as breeding facilities are closed down
Lion farming and zoonotic diseases
The zoonotic diseases that lions carry and why lion farming is potentially harmful to human beings – new research
Rhino poaching in Botswana – why the smoke and mirrors?
Rhino poaching in Botswana – we try to make sense of the rumours and our CEO asks why the smoke and mirrors?
Four giraffe species, seven subspecies: new research
Giraffe – four species and seven subspecies the correct division – says new research
Banks must help fight illegal wildlife trade
Banks can help fight illegal wildlife trade but their failure to identify the financial footprints of poaching syndicates results in lost opportunities to disrupt trade – new research
With its long limbs, spotted coat and characteristic spring-loaded pounce, the serval is one of the most striking cat species in Africa
Botswana’s Tuli is a place where the wind carries stories of the past, whispering over rocks, around baobabs and across the vast wilderness
New pack of African painted dogs released
Endangered African painted dogs – a new pack has been released into the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Reserve in another conservation milestone for the species
Recreational hunting: 50 years of scientific research
Trophy hunting: Massive meta-analysis on recreational hunting fails to find answers to the crucial questions of the polarising hunting debate
Chobe River lions face an uncertain future
Lions in the Chobe River area face an uncertain future – pressured by human farmers to the north and a lack of new blood from the south
Elephant range is just a fraction of its potential
Africa’s elephants occupy just 17% of their possible range, their historical areas fragmented by human activity. There is potential for expansion – new research
The restoration of Gorongosa National Park
Gorongosa: A long-lost doctoral thesis by an ecologist far ahead of his time helps unleash the massive potential of Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique
African grey parrots in traditional medicine
African grey parrots are targeted for medicinal and spiritual practices in West Africa. The trade is a significant threat to grey parrots – new research
Giraffes vs lions
Lions vs a mother giraffe and her baby. This exceptional photo gallery by Kenyan guide James Nampaso showcases real wild Africa
PROTECTING PARADISE – Mauritius
Mauritius – an island beach paradise that also offers volcanic mountains, ancient forest & incredible biodiversity – the perfect green safari
It’s true – elephants are thriving in Namibia
Counting elephants is not easy. It itakes experience, skill and funding. The good news: elephants are thriving in Namibia.
Forest elephants – vanishing ghosts
Forest elephants have finally been granted species status (something scientists have known for decades). With this has come the appalling IUCN classification of ‘critically endangered’
Mandrill – a colourful character
The mandrill is a colourful, tool-using, socially complex monkey that lives in groups called hordes in the forests of western Central Africa.
Elephant hunting – Botswana grants 287 licenses
Botswana elephant hunting: The Botswanan government has granted 287 licenses after the previous season was disrupted by Covid
Translocating lions does not reduce conflict – research
New research from Botswana shows that translocating lions in conflict with livestock owners is expensive and results in high lion mortality, repeat offences and very little reduction in human-lion conflict.
African canids – 11 fascinating species
Today, 11 African canids, from excitable African painted wolves and shrewd jackals to the tiny fox species, hunt the continent’s desert, alpine grassland, savanna and woodland.
Kasanka Bat Migration – an astonishing natural wonder
The Kasanka bat migration in Zambia is the largest mammal migration on planet earth. It’s a spectacular must-see for nature lovers
Fairy circles – ghostly footprints of dead Euphorbias
Fairy circles – Euphorbia toxins are responsible for the bizarre fairy circles that have baffled and fascinated scientists – new research
Laikipia – land of staggering natural beauty
Laikipia in Kenya – a land of staggering beauty & biodiversity – a mosaic of wildlife conservancies, ranchlands & commercial farms
SEEK and ye shall find – elephant identification
Elephant identification is a difficult task – but a new system based on ear patterns is making the task easier – research by Elephants Alive
Rhino poaching in Botswana – is pride hampering prevention?
Is political pride hurting efforts to stop rhino poaching in Botswana? Reports from the field suggest that rhino poaching in Botswana has reached crisis point while the government denies this is the case.
The rhino Cryovault – frozen in time
If all the money, time, blood and sweat fails to save our wild rhinos, Hemmersbach has a solution. The rhino Cryovault holds repositories of rhino DNA, gametes, and tissues preserved indefinitely.
The story behind the Namibian elephant auction
Namibian elephant auction: We look at the background, reasons and context of the controversial sale by auction of 170 wild-caught elephants
Compensation for damage-causing animals near Kruger NP
Compensation given for damage causing animals on the western boundary of the greater Kruger National Park – a contested and emotive issue
African wildcats are one of Africa’s “Secret 7” – tough little cats are just as untamed and fierce as their iconic big cat cousins
Does the farming and legal trade of wildlife do more harm than good? New study
Farming and legal trade of wildlife could increase demand for wildlife products and so be negative from a conservation perspective – research
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park offers one of the most intimate immersions in nature imaginable – free from the trappings of modern life
Meet the world’s smallest chameleon
This dwarf chameleon is officially the world’s smallest chameleon, measuring just 22mm. Found only in Madagascar, this is Brookesia nana
The aardwolf is one of the most specialised carnivores on the planet – eating termites – and the undeniable black sheep of the hyena family
Did fences cause the elephant deaths in Botswana?
New study examines whether fences could have impacted the elephant deaths in the Seronga region of Botswana in mid-2020.
Unravelling the elaborate sex lives of spotted hyenas
High-ranked male spotted hyenas are more reproductively successful than their low-ranked rivals – hormone and behaviour analysis reveals why.
Kruger rhino populations plummet – latest official stats
Rhino populations in the Kruger National Park have plummeted to an estimated 3,529 white and 268 black rhinos – due to poaching & drought
Between two rivers and three countries, Makuleke Contractual Park in northern Kruger is a spectacular biodiversity and historical hotspot
Of ivory, elephants, shipwrecks and slaughter
Ivory recovered from 500-year-old shipwreck reveals details of the ivory trade and how it has devastated forest elephant populations.
This is Africa’s rarest parrot. The Cape parrot is found only in small fragmented patches of the remaining mistbelt forests in South Africa
Spotting elephants from space
Artificial intelligence and satellite images can help conservationists count elephants from space, says new research.
Madikwe Game Reserve
Madikwe Game Reserve is a malaria-free safari haven and conservation success story that benefits people, wildlife and the ecosystem
Dwarf giraffe seen in Namibia and Uganda
Researchers have recently published a paper describing two dwarf giraffe in separate populations in Namibia and Uganda
Stories in the night sky
For centuries, African myths and legends have been recorded in the positions of the celestial bodies in the night sky. Starry starry night
Cheetahs return to Bangweulu, Zambia
Three cheetahs have been successfully translocated from South Africa to Bangweulu in Zambia – the first cheetahs there in nearly a century
Operation Twiga V
15 ‘Critically Endangered’ Nubian giraffes translocated from Murchison Falls to Pian Upe in Uganda – part of ongoing giraffe range expansion
The extinction business – South Africa’s cold-blooded reptile trade
South Africa’s amphibian & reptile trade is a growing industry that is unregulated, unsustainable, and unethical – says report
Arch-enemies? New research on lions vs hyenas
Lions vs hyenas is the ultimate African drama. New research has shed light on the dynamics between these two apex predators
Africa’s 2 rhino species are the most numerous of the world’s 5 species. Here is everything you need to know about black and white rhinos
Female banded mongooses incite violence for better mating opportunities
Female banded mongooses lead their groups into deliberate conflict with rival groups to increase their chances of mating – research
The Edge of Existence and human-wildlife conflict – we interview James Suter
The Edge of Existence tells the story of human-wildlife conflict on the western boundary of Tanzania’s Serengeti. We interview the filmmaker
Zimbabwe’s oldest and largest national park, Hwange is a safari paradise that hosts large populations of elephants, lions and wild dogs
Confiscated parrots fly free again over DR Congo forests
39 poached & confiscated African grey parrots released in eastern DR Congo after being rehabilitated at Lwiro Primate Rehabilitation Centre
Forest elephants going hungry as climate change stops trees from fruiting
Forest elephants are losing body condition – most probably due to climate impacts on forest tree fruit production – say researchers
The baboon is one of the largest monkeys in the world, with human-like cunning and 4cm canines that rival those of leopards
Riff Raff the ‘problem-causing’ elephant shot and killed
The ‘problem-causing’ elephant known as Riff Raff has been shot and killed by provincial authorities in South Africa
Captive-bred lion hunting not acceptable – say Dallas Safari Club & CIC
Captive-bred lion hunting “not representative of responsible, sustainable, fair chase hunting … damaging the reputation of hunters” …
Lemurs of Madagascar
The lemurs of Madagascar are a fascinating family of primates of all shapes & sizes that have evolved to fill every niche on the island
“Lost” species of chameleon found in hotel gardens
A ‘lost’ species of chameleoln – Voeltzkow’s chameleon – has been found in a hotel garden in Madagascar after it had been assumed extinct
COVID-19 ‘perfect storm’ threatens conservation in Africa
A new report examines just how bad COVID-19 is for Africa’s wildlife and protected areas and what needs to be done to save our wild spaces
Africa’s Wild Dogs – A Survival Story
Africa’s Wild Dogs – A Survival Story is a photographic book celebrating these charismatic predators and telling their story
Saving rodents, losing primates – we need tailored strategies to manage bushmeat trade
Viewing all bushmeat trade through one lens over-simplifies the complex situation and could lead to accelerated disappearance of some species
Strawberry leopard – a first for Gauteng
Photos: The ‘strawberry leopard’ is a genetic rarity that seldom occurs, and is almost never seen. Well, one has now been seen in South Africa
HERE BE DRAGONS – The Nile crocodile
The Nile crocodile has evolved over millennia to be a cunning, patient and ferocious predator that is capable of taking down large prey
Cycads: Are you living next door to a poacher?
The most endangered living organisms in the world today are not rhinos, elephants, or even pangolins – they are plants called cycads
Trophy hunting – how do African people feel?
Trophy hunting: How do African people perceive and react to trophy hunting compared to those from the Western public – research
The Power of Unity – Cheetah coalition in Maasai Mara
This is the story of a cheetah coalition of five males – the Tano Bora coalition, meaning ‘The Magnificent Five’ – in Kenya’s Maasai Mara
POACHERS – the people behind the statistics – a reality check
POACHERS – who are they and what motivates them? TRAFFIC investigates the driving factors of poaching activities and suggests solutions
On the south-western tip of Africa, a bee conservation group has spent the last seven years discovering the wisdom of our wild honeybees
Tembe elephant bull relocated to community-owned reserve
A large young elephant bull has been relocated from Teme Elephant Park to Somkhanda Community Game Reserve in KwaZulu Natal
Lion farming – Lord Ashcroft submission to South African High Level Panel
Lion farming presentation by Lord Ashcroft to the High-Level Panel looking at the management of lions and other species in South Africa
Kruger waterhole problems
Kruger waterhole problems are being reported, and it is not clear which waterholes are closed as per the Kruger ecosystem management plan
Human-lion conflict in a key lion population area
Human-lion conflict is a major issue for the conservation of wild lions – we look at the successful Kwando Carnivore Project in KAZA
How much water should lodges be using?
How much water should safari lodges be using? The lowering of groundwater levels could compromise the ecosystem and wildlife.
Selous be dam(n)ed
Selous is facing changes – from increased conservation status to a huge hydro-electric dam being built on the pristine Rufiji River
Africa’s Wild Dogs – A Survival Story
Africa’s Wild Dogs – A Survival Story is a photographic book celebrating these charismatic predators and telling their story
Elephants & cattle – restoring soil nutrient levels
Research shows that elephants can assist farmers by restoring soil nutrient levels when cattle have depleted those nutrients
Donkey smugglers profit off wildlife trafficking routes
Cross-border donkey smugglers in Zimbabwe and Botswana are operating pipelines used for ivory, pangolins and Covid-19 contraband
Cyanobacteria to blame for elephant deaths – Botswana officials
Elephant deaths: The sudden deaths of over 300 elephants in Botswana were caused by cyanotoxins produced by blue-green algae, say officials