CEO NOTE: 12 March 2021
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Our safari industry is in tatters as extended travel bans and doubt about fundamental issues continue to plague our core markets. The past few months have seen businesses hit the dirt, and there will be many more casualties as this stalled industry sheds weight and reboots. But this is a passion-led space, and it will rise again, FOR THE BETTER. Of that, I have no doubt. The arrival of the ‘new normal’ will be an exciting time for those of us that are fortunate enough to remain – and for you, the passionate safari-goers. The future is being crafted right now – it will be what we make of it. You can help the safari industry by booking your next safari – even if it is in a year or two from now.
I have recently hinted about new AG plans – and we are deep under the hood with this exciting development that will somewhat shake things up and empower you to play a larger role in Africa. It’s coming …
Now here is an INSPIRING project. One of southern Africa’s most respected birding and walking guides plans to do a world-record 30,000 burpees in 10 days to raise funds for anti-poaching efforts. What an amazing initiative – PLEASE support him – see the video link below.
Keep the passion
Simon Espley – CEO, Africa Geographic
From our Editor-in-Chief
Our first story below is a scientific marvel born of potential catastrophe. What a sad state of affairs that it has come to this. Thank goodness for forward-thinking philanthropists prepared to throw money and action at a problem rather than conferences and committees. Hemmersbach Rhino Force has created a cryo-lab (basically an uber fancy freezer and Tupperware combo) for the harvesting of and storage of rhino gametes (swimmers and eggs) for the eventuality that these ancient pachyderms do not survive the poaching onslaught. The Cryovault is a remarkable, commendable and inspiring commitment.
Our second story below, from a wildlife veterinarian with decades of field experience provides strong evidence that fences were highly unlikely to have contributed to the Botswana elephant die-off in 2020 (as reported here). More than this perhaps, the story and its design point out the value of ground-truthing, common-sense and experience. It cautions that not even the peer-review process is infallible.
Finally, the ninth week of African celebration through your images takes us on a journey through southern Africa, into the world’s oldest desert flying up through central Africa and, unusually, into west Africa. Our Photographer of the Year carries a prize of 10 000 USD and a six-day safari to Khwai in Botswana. Here’s how to enter. We look forward to your evocative, pictorial stories.
JUST IN CASE
Just in case: The rhino Cryovault holds repositories of rhino DNA, gametes, and tissues preserved indefinitely – in case we fail to save our rhino
FENCES & ELEPHANTS
Dr Erik Verreynne disputes the claim that fences stop elephant migration in Seronga, Botswana or contributed to the 2020 die-off
Week nine of our 2021 Photographer of the Year
DID YOU KNOW: Naked mole rats have their own dialect unique to each colony – this dialect is at least partially related to the queen and changes if she is replaced.
WATCH: Supporting anti-poaching through burpees. You can get involved with this amazing, if exhausting, conservation initiative! (2:46)
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