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CEO note
‘Fly in the eye’ © Hannes Lochner – our 2021 Photographer of the Year

CEO NOTE: 02 July 2021

This is a copy of our weekly email newsletter. Subscribe here to receive the newsletter.

After the helter-skelter and deadlines of our Photographer of the Year season, it’s great to again focus on unearthing fascinating topics and digging deeper into important issues that plague us all.

Importantly, the African safari industry is still reeling from the impact of Covid – not only in terms of the third wave of infections but also financially. Many tourism-related businesses have gone under, and the unemployment rate has skyrocketed. Here in South Africa, the brief respite afforded to lodges by highly discounted offerings to local travellers was dealt a hefty blow when our government enforced a third-wave shut down of leisure travel in and out of Gauteng – our economic powerhouse. Lodges in the Greater Kruger area (and others) relied on Gauteng travellers to at least fund basic overheads such as some salaries – but for now that door has been slammed shut. Again. As a result, those lodge owners, staff members and suppliers that were not already DIGGING DEEP are most certainly now doing so.

That said, this is a resilient industry and we will bounce back. That’s the thing about industries driven by PASSION – the bottom line is only one metric that we apply to measure success.

Here at AG we were as badly affected as the rest – with a 100% revenue reduction at the time that Covid lockdown was enforced. We have seen a gradual recovery from ground zero, with our loyal safari clients now planning for 2022 and the more intrepid taking advantage of huge discounts to travel this year. Thanks to all of you for your support and for helping refloat the African safari industry.

We have taken this opportunity to reflect and reboot ourselves – expect THE BIG REVEAL in about a month. Till then, please enjoy our stories and consider planning your next safari with us. Safari njema!

Keep the passion

CEO note


Simon Espley – CEO, Africa Geographic

From our Editor-in-Chief

The wilderness is a great tonic to mind, body and spirit. If you are stuck at home, unable to travel because it’s too dangerous or you are stricken with this awful plague, then this week’s stories will draw you away to the profound healing of the wild.

In our first story below, we take a look at travelling in Africa during September, October and November. There’s heat, dust and action in the south, magic in the Horn of Africa and the Indian Ocean is gorgeously inviting.

In 2006, Al Gore made Kilimanjaro’s receding glaciers one of the rallying points for the climate crisis. Well-intentioned this may have been but science it was not as our second story below explains.

Otters are some of the most adored of all wild animals. Yes, they smell like rotting fish innards much of the time but they’re cute, affectionate and clever. In our third story below, we take a look at the four delightful otters that ply their trade in the waterways of Africa.



Story 1
When is the best safari season in Africa? Learn the best places to go on safari in Africa from September to November

Story 2
Kilimanjaro’s disappearing glaciers have been a symbol of climate change for more than than 15 years. Science says it’s much more complicated

Story 3
There are four species of otter in Africa – all of them intelligent, playful, fascinating predators


DID YOU KNOW: An elephant’s personality may play an important role in how well that elephant can solve novel problems

WATCH: Here are the images that we chose in our Photographer of the Year – the finalists, the highly commended, the runners up and the winner that captivated, inspired and connected us (1:24)


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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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