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CEO note
Mokoro magic. Okavango Delta, Botswana © Oddballs’ Camp

CEO NOTE: 30 July 2021

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A few weeks back I quietly observed two young ladies take selfies after composing themselves suitably – duck lips pout, come-hither eyes – you know how it goes. And then, once their faces had resumed the usual format, they did what seems to be de rigueur these days. They spent minutes editing the images on their phones to resemble a fictitious person. I know what they were doing because there was a running commentary of the physical ‘shortcomings’ that were being removed and replaced with suitable alternatives. Then, once happy with the alterations, they shared their selfies on social media.

I mention this because that process (of replacing physical reality with preferred but ultimately fake versions) is how some people approach conservation. What they want to see in Africa is preferred over the reality on the ground, and some go to extraordinary lengths to keep the dream alive – despite clear and present evidence that Africa requires a different approach.

Watch out for your newsletter next week – expect exciting news 😉

Keep the passion

CEO note


Simon Espley – CEO, Africa Geographic

From our Editor-in-Chief

Our first story below was supposed to be a short lament on the killing of another huge-tusked elephant by a wealthy trophy hunter. Instead, it forced me to take a painfully honest look at my own perceptions. It will continue to do so. I had a productive and illuminating discussion with the Botswana government and the Botswana Wildlife Producer’s Association. To be clear, I continue to abhor trophy hunting. I seriously doubt anything I argue will influence what either party thinks, but I am grateful for their unusual and refreshing openness.

In our second story below, we take a look at the dozy looking wildebeest…except it turns out he ain’t nearly so snoozy as he looks. Wildebeest function on far less sleep than the average human nightclubber.

Finally, our third story below is a voyage down the east coast of Africa in search of endangered turtles and their nests. It’s a perfect virtual escape to warm, tropical islands in these troubled times. If you want an actual escape for cocktails, white sands, azure oceans and adorable turtles, give our travel team a call.



Story 1
Another giant elephant shot in Botswana. We ask what are the consequences for elephants, local communities, and hunting operations?

Story 2
Wildebeest sleep for just four and a half hours in a 24 hour period – most deeply in the dead of night – says new research

Story 3
Five of the world’s seven magnificent sea turtles swim Africa’s oceans and nest on the beaches – all are threatened by human beings


DID YOU KNOW: Bees are more efficient and motivated after a dose of caffeine!

WATCH: Two subadult leopards successfully released on Nkomazi Game Reserve (2:36)


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I am a proud African and honoured to be CEO of Africa Geographic. My travels in Africa are in search of wilderness, elusive birds and real people with interesting stories. I live in Hoedspruit, next to the Kruger National Park, with my wife Lizz and 2 Jack Russells. When not travelling or working I am usually on my mountain bike somewhere out there. I qualified as a chartered accountant but found my calling sharing Africa's incredibleness with you. My motto is "Live for now, have fun, be good, tread lightly and respect others. And embrace change". Connect with me on LinkedIn

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