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CEO note
Common dolphins frolicking in the waves on a cold winter’s morning. Near Knysna, South Africa. 2021 Photographer of the Year entrant ©Andrew Aveley

CEO NOTE: 05 March 2021

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Here’s something for us all to think about: One is made of compressed carbon and the other of compressed keratin. And yet, both are highly valued as status symbols because manipulative marketing campaigns have duped humans into believing the fairytale. Both are extracted at massive ecological cost amidst a plague of bloodshed and criminal activity where a few individuals scoop the financial windfall, and others pay the price. Think about that next time you check out that diamond or criticise someone who does the same with rhino horn—mea culpa.

The on-off journey continues! Distressing news is that the green light has now been given for large-scale open-pit mining in Zambia’s Lower Zambezi National Park. This saga has so many twists and turns it’s tough to keep up! Don’t get me started.

Keep the passion

CEO note



Simon Espley – CEO, Africa Geographic

From our Editor-in-Chief

The saga of the Namibian elephant auction continues. The auction is complete but it is unclear who has bought the elephants, how many were sold or where they will go. There has been widespread anger and criticism from various armchairs, keyboards, conservation NGOs and journalists. The Namibian Ministry of Environment Foresty and Tourism, meanwhile, has taken exception to the auction being portrayed as a corruption-driven scam and painted many objections as the hysterical rantings of people utterly bereft of on-the-ground realities. In our first story below, Gail Thomson, an independent Namibian environmentalist, reviews the reasons for the sale.

After that rather heavy yet necessary read, our second story below will have you daydreaming of being suspended in the verdant forest canopy of the Albertine Rift; the ancient cacophony of screeching primates and avian choirs lulling you to peace. Nyungwe National Park in Rwanda is home to bird megaticks, breathtaking vistas, waterfalls, trails and rare primates. There are options for all budgets so sit back and immerse yourself in the mystical magic of the forest.

Finally, the eighth week of celebrating the beauty of Africa through our Photographer of the Year, which carries a prize of 10 000 USD and a six-day safari to Khwai in Botswana. Enter here. Remember you don’t need a boat-load of obscenely expensive kit to take a good pic. You might even be lucky with your phone! Your image needs to tell a story and evoke an emotion.



Story 1
Namibian elephant auction: The background, context, and reasons provided for the controversial sale by auction of 170 wild-caught elephants

Story 2
Nyungwe National Park is one of Rwanda’s best-kept secrets – a magical tract of montane forest bursting with extraordinary biodiversity

Story 3
Week eight of our 2021 Photographer of the Year


DID YOU KNOW: Springhares are biofluorescent under UV light – the first documented case of biofluorescence in an Old-World placental mammal.

WATCH: Baby elephants rescued from the mud in Mana Pools, Zimbabwe at the height of an extended and recently-ended drought. (2:45)



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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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