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Africa Geographic Travel
We all need a leg-up at some stage! © Alan Nixon, 2020 Photographer of the Year entrant

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Amboseli’s speared lions + pangolins in need

Some artificial intelligence (AI) wisdom for you. I was discussing the state of wild rhinos in Africa with ChatbotGPT, which offered that “Botswana is also home to a significant population of endangered black and white rhinos, which can be found in certain protected areas.“ It also recommended Hwange NP in Zimbabwe as a good place to find rhinos. Not so much, on both counts.

Then, a HUGE thank you to those who responded to our appeal last week to save poached pangolins going through rehab before release back to the wild. You know who you are. Meanwhile, poaching victims continue to arrive. The pang with broken ribs and tail is recovering slowly and has started to forage under supervision – her journey will be a long one. A new male that was brought in this week is going to be in hospital for quite some time as his tail is full of abscesses. And a large male confiscated from poachers has been released back into the wild.

Finally, I leave you with two (related) slices of inspiration:

  • a warning from the management team of my home wildlife estate: “Dear residents, please be aware that we have increased leopard activity on the estate. Please keep this in mind when walking with your pets.“;
  • and a quote from the book Where The Crawdads Sing: “It has always been enough to be part of the natural sequence of things.“

Till next week

Keep the passion

Simon Espley – CEO, Africa Geographic


This week we feature a guided safari plus a lodge option perfectly suited for all you solo travellers out there. Start the conversation with our safari experts and lets start planning your ideal safari.

Sabi Sands big cat safari with Jamie Paterson – 6days/5 nights – from ZAR 69,285 pps
Join our scientific editor & NatGeo Wild guide Jamie Paterson on a limited-offer safari in the Sabi Sands. With a maximum of just 6 guests and exclusive use of Jaci’s Sabi House, this intimate trip is designed to make the most of this big cat paradise. Track down lions or spend hours getting to know an individual leopard as Jamie offers her insights into the wonders of her old stomping ground.

Stay at Mkulumadzi
Tucked away in a riverine forest at the confluence of the Shire and Mkulumadzi Rivers, Mkulumadzi Lodge is set within a private 7,000-ha concession in Malawi’s Big 5 Majete Wildlife Reserve. Expect epic river views & top-notch wildlife sightings. The perfect place for solo travellers, as there is NO single supplement.

From our Scientific Editor – Jamie Paterson

Two weeks ago in our newsletter, Simon wrote about the tragic spearing of six lions in Amboseli. They were killed inside the headquarters of Big Life Foundation – an non-governmental organisation dedicated to protecting the remaining wildlife of the Amboseli ecosystem. This week, Big Life CEO Benson Leyian offers his transparent comment on the incident in our first story below.

His account speaks to the devastating circumstances that led to the deaths of the lions but it also tells a tale of success against astonishing odds. Human-wildlife conflict is a veritable gauntlet where the stakes are quite literally life-and-death. It is one of the single greatest threats facing the planet’s remaining wildlife and is only going to get worse as climate change influences weather phenomena.

The grim journey towards balancing the needs of human beings and wildlife is set to be a long and painful one and not every step is going to be forward. What Big Life has managed to achieve in the last 20 years to mitigate this conflict in Amboseli should be lauded. I suggest reading Dr Leyian’s editorial below with a healthy dose of compassion for the trauma experienced by everyone involved.

And on a more cheerful note: are your eyes always drawn to the hills? Do mountains fill your soul with a sense of adventure? Well, Africa boasts some of the most spectacular and unique mountain kingdoms and we have selected some of favourites in our second story for the week. Feast your eyes on their panoramic views and otherworldly scenery.

Next week: brace yourself for the big reveal of our Photographer of the Year 2023 winners!

Story 1
Six lions were speared to death by local residents in Amboseli. Big Life CEO Dr Benson Leyian explains what occurred, offers his comment on the complexities of human-wildlife conflict in the area and reaffirms that mitigation strategies are having a positive effect

Story 2
Our list of Africa’s must-visit mountain kingdoms – discover their mystery, magnitude, and magnificence


Since the launch of this appeal, another poached pangolin has arrived at Provet, requiring intensive treatment and care. That is a total of five pangolins in under two weeks. Africa’s pangolins and dedicated veterinary staff need your support. Every little bit counts when it comes to raising the funds essential to saving the world’s most trafficked animal.

Note all pangolins are housed at offsite locations for security reasons

Click here to make your donation

WATCH: Wish you were here? (00:36). Click here to watch

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  • Travel with us. Travel in Africa is about knowing when and where to go, and with whom. A few weeks too early / late and a few kilometres off course and you could miss the greatest show on Earth. And wouldn’t that be a pity? Browse our ready-made packages or answer a few questions to start planning your dream safari.
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We're an eclectic pack of safari experts, storytellers, admin and tech nerds and digital natives whose sole mission is celebrating Africa and doing good. We do this by creating life-changing, responsible safaris just for you, publishing informative, factual articles about Africa's incredible natural wonders and raising donations for worthy causes. This MANIFESTO explains our approach to travel and conservation.

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