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Awesome photos + talking elephants + Africa’s jackals
The great continent is well and truly open for travel, with restrictions easing up around borders every week. I’m bursting with bliss to see our AG community buzzing with trip plans – plotting voyages to the shores of Lake Kariba, prepping for mountain gorilla treks in Uganda and lacing up boots for walking safaris in Greater Kruger. Our forum is alive with requests for travel and tipping advice, and teamAG’s safari experts are aglow with ideas and inspiration.
Our first story below is a handy guide on the rare and tasty craft beers our travellers can order on their African journeys. We’ve skipped the mass-produced regulars in favour of the special flavours you’ll find nowhere else in the world. I’m sure many of you will soon be toasting your safaris along the Okavango River or watching the sun go down over the Namib Desert with a cold one in hand.
We’re also celebrating the continent’s most underestimated carnivores – daring and endearing jackals. Read our second story to see why they are a favourite for us.
There is only one month left to get your entries in for Photographer of the Year. The extraordinary pics keep rolling in: see our third story to see which images made the cut this week.
Happy indulging in Africa to you all!
Taryn van Jaarsveld — Editor
From our Scientific Editor – Jamie Paterson
Once a year, on April Fool’s Day, a popular social media site shares a crudely manipulated image of wildlife doing something crazy. A few years ago, their chosen joke was a picture of an elephant carrying a lion cub. The caption explained that the mother lioness was tired, and the elephant, in the spirit of peace and love, opted to help her out. The picture went viral, with thousands of comments about how we could learn a thing or two from animals—a perfect example of how people are at their most gullible when they want to believe. And people want to believe that wildlife behaves like children’s stories.
On that, here’s an extraordinary fact that sounds a lot like a hoax (but isn’t). Did you know that there is an elephant in captivity in Korea believed to be capable of mimicking human speech? Koshik can “say” five words in Korean: “hello”, “sit”, “lie down”, “no” and “good”. We are still a long way from knowing everything about elephants’ capabilities. (But we do know they don’t go around helping lion cubs across the road…)
Our guide to the 6 best locally brewed beers from top-class breweries to enjoy on your African safari
Jackals are expert opportunists and the ultimate survivors of the African bushveld
Our selection of Photographer of the Year 2022 entries for Week 8 is out now
TRAVEL DESK UPDATES:
6 ways to enjoy the magnificent MAASAI MARA & SERENGETI
- Migration season – river crossings – Maasai Mara and Serengeti
- Migration season – babies and predators
- Green season – avoid the crowds
- Take the family – activities for kids
- Special offer – Maasai Mara & Samburu for 7 days
- Photographers – expert guides + modified vehicle + offroad permits
WATCH: Anatomy of a bribe. A riveting exposé by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit into corruption in the Namibian fishing industry. This is a story of how foreign companies plunder Africa’s natural resources. (51:11). Click here to watch
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