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CEO NOTE: 16 July 2021

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So the Aspinall Foundation plans to spend a fortune of donor money to rehome captive-bred elephants from their zoo in Kent, England to a wildlife reserve in Kenya. This, while wild-caught baby elephants are being taken from their mothers and sold by the Namibian and Zimbabwean authorities to zoos in China and elsewhere. Am I alone in believing that the donor money could be better spent?

GREAT NEWS is that the attempt to STRIP MINE Selati Game Reserve near the Kruger NP has been CALLED OFF. I confirmed this with the reserve general manager Bryan Havemann. Well done to Bryan, his team and everyone who helped publicise this attack on wildlife land.

Thanks to all who provided feedback on the new citrus farm on the Greater Kruger border. My team and I are glad to see that most people value objective journalism and the need for accurate facts to best assess this unfortunate situation. But thanks also to the gent who criticised me for being too ‘balanced’ and for his ‘outrage’ that I was not more radical in my reporting. His right to express an opinion aside, feedback like this reminds us of the vast chasm between reality and ideology. Another person was less subtle in her rant and personal attacks on me and on brand AG – for reporting the facts! We soldier on …

Keep the passion

CEO note


Simon Espley – CEO, Africa Geographic

From our Editor-in-Chief

As I watched the carnage unfolding in South Africa this week, reported on by international news agencies, I, like most people, was filled with a deep sense of depression. This is not the place to discuss the travesty and its social causes. It is, however, the place to lament the damage it could do to our already fragile tourism industry, much of which depends on international travel.

To those of you thinking about coming to South Africa for your safari, please take heed not of the thugs but rather of the volunteers, mostly poor and often unemployed, who emerged to clean up their streets and communities. These selfless, beautiful, determined, stoic and resilient people are the South Africans that will demonstrate the spirit of our country to you when you arrive here to marvel at our natural wonders.

As our first story below refers, ReconAfrica, the hideous Canadian company that think it would be a great idea to drill for oil in the Kavango basin, have been exposed as a pack of penny-stock pedlars.

If you’re after the wildest kind of safari in one of the most untouched and vast wilderness areas in Africa, then look no further than the Luangwa Valley in Zambia, showcased in our second story below. It is the perfect place to escape the madness humanity has created for ourselves.

Lastly, in our third story below, we discuss the rather fascinating science behind rebranding Lycaon pictus. It would seem that ‘painted dog’ evokes the most positive response.



Story 1
Okavango oil exploration by ReconAfrica called a scam by independent financial research organisation Viceroy Research – new report

Story 2
The Luangwa Valley is a vast Zambian wilderness and playground for tourists seeking an authentic safari experience

Story 3
Rebranding wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) – new research suggests that “painted dog” triggers the most positive reaction from humans


DID YOU KNOW: 71,000-year-old projectile weapons found in South Africa indicate early humans could construct complicated, multipart tools that require a lot of planning and foresight to make

WATCH: Africa’s oldest national park under threat from fossil fuel explorers – the youth are stepping in to say no! (10:07)


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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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