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At sunrise, a Malawian ranger takes in all that he helps to protect. Thuma Forest Reserve, Malawi. Photographer of the Year 2020 entrant. © Marcus Westberg

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Untamed Nkhotakota + intelligent giraffes + iconic Kenyan safaris

Every safari client has some form of experience in mind – be it a species, event or activity. Some will request a specific place like a national park – but usually because of the hoped-for experience. Of course an exceptional safari also includes those little golden moments we remember forever – like delicious pressed coffee in Kigali on the way to trek for gorillas and those heavenly snacks served with handcrafted gin slings during yet another stunning Botswana sunset. Crafting epic safaris is about knowing when and where to go, and with whom. A few weeks too early / late or a few kilometres off course and you could miss the greatest show on Earth. And wouldn’t that be a pity? We seldom receive requests to visit a specific lodge, for example, unless that lodge offers some unique experience. And so every hand-crafted package starts with an experience, and we add accommodation based on budget and luxury preference.

This brings me to answer the question I am often asked by long-standing safari clients. If there was one safari you would suggest RIGHT NOW, what would it be? My reply is this: Big 5, chimps and gorillas in one countryHere’s where and how!

Keep the passion

Simon Espley – CEO, Africa Geographic

From our Editor – Taryn van Jaarsveld

Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve in Malawi is a captivating land of miombo forests and rivers, teeming with elephants and thriving wildlife. Thanks to efforts by African Parks to revitalise this protected area, Nkhotakota is now an ideal destination for experiencing untamed Africa, away from traditional safari destinations. Read our first story below to help you plan your own adventure to Nkhotakota!

Giraffe are a source of fascination for naturalists and scientists, and a highlight on any African safari. In remarkable new research, scientists have uncovered the surprising fact that giraffes employ statistical reasoning, making strategic choices based on probability. Read our second story below to delve into the magnificent minds of these mesmerising mammals.

Finally, if you’re planning your next African adventure, Kenya is likely high on your list of possible destinations. Kenya is home to iconic favourites such as the Maasai Mara, Tsavo, Samburu and Lamu, and captures the essence of the traditional safari. Read our last post to discover all there is to know about your Kenyan safari.

Story 1
Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve is Malawi’s land of miombo forests, vast river networks, ample elephants and revitalised wildlife

Story 2
Giraffe are an endless source of fascination for scientists. A new study reveals that giraffes are capable of statistical inference

Story 3
Kenya embodies the essence of traditional safari, with ‘Out of Africa‘ nostalgia and a wide variety of things to see and do


Immerse yourself in Malawi’s best national parks or start your true African experience with a stay on a private concession in Hwange. Chat to our safari experts to craft your authentic tailored safari.

Best of Malawi’s Safari Parks – 10 days / 9 nights – from US$4,115pps
The best-of-Malawi safari takes you to the Big Five havens of Majete Wildlife ReserveLiwonde National Park and the rugged wilderness of Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve. Come and find out for yourself and make a real difference where it counts.

Stay at Bomani Tented Lodge, Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
Bomani Tented Lodge is located on the vast and wildlife-rich Ngamo Plains in Hwange National Park. Book a four night stay & receive a free, one way, experiential transfer on the elephant express trainGet in touch for more info.

From our Scientific Editor – Jamie Paterson

Did you know that an almost pure white puppy has been born to a pack of wild dogs in the Kwando region of the Okavango Delta in Botswana? All baby animals are cute (to varying degrees), but this little creature is particularly enthralling. Keep scrolling to see the video of this unusual natural oddity tumbling about with its tiny siblings.

Its pale colouring can probably be attributed to a genetic quirk called “leucism”. The definition for this particular descriptor is fairly broad and encompasses several conditions that cause decreased pigment production in certain areas of the body. It is distinct from albinism, which affects only melanin production and results in white colouring with pale pink/red eyes. (You can read more about leucism, albinism and melanism here.)

The “leucism genes” in the wild dogs of the Okavango Delta have been floating around for generations, though generally somewhat diluted and manifesting as more “golden” individuals. A puppy as white as snow, so to speak, is a rare find indeed.

Supporting rangers

On our forum: This week saw people around the globe paying tribute to rangers on World Ranger Day, 31 July. Rangers play a critical role in conservation. They are custodians of our planet, and their work is crucial in ensuring that we make progress towards achieving global biodiversity targets. On our forum this week, Andrew Campbell from Game Rangers Association of Africa has penned a tribute to the world’s rangers:

“On World Ranger Day, we honour the memory of our fallen ranger colleagues around the globe, acknowledging their unwavering dedication. Our heartfelt tribute goes out to these brave rangers and their families, who have made immense sacrifices in safeguarding our natural world.”

Read more on the forum.

WATCH: A white African wild dog puppy has been born in Kwando, Botswana. Local researchers confirm this is extremely rare and virtually unheard of in Botswana in the past 30 years or so. Check out this cute little pup in action (0:33). 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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