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Last epic photo entries + best spots to see leopard + the swallow songstress
The hairy rock fig tree is again dripping with delicious ripe figs, and our bushveld garden is the centre of attention for frugivores seeking that energy fix. Green pigeons, black-collared barbets, grey go-away-birds and other feathered beauties are jostling for the spoils during the day, and epauletted fruit bats and woodland dormice are amongst the nighttime partygoers. OK, this exciting news (for us) does not rock the world like Elon Musk buying Twitter or Depp suing Heard for US$50m – but it’s all relative. Right? Enjoy your own personal relativity – it’s free and all around you. Seriously.
In other local news, the onset of the dry winter months sees queleas begin to flock like locusts and the thinning out bushveld means that we now hear more roaring lions and whooping hyenas during the dark hours. The morning air has a chill to it, and that morning dose of pressed coffee goes down like a home-sick mole 🙂
This is also the start of the safari season – a busy time for teamAG (loving it) – and our clients are out there having fun, learning stuff and making a difference. Safari njema!
Keep the passion
Simon Espley – CEO, Africa Geographic
From our Editor – Taryn van Jaarsveld
I’m a bit giddy this week as the final entries for Photographer of the Year are now in. We had so many extraordinary pics in our last round of submissions that we’ve put together two jam-packed galleries for you.
Our entrants this week have scoured under-explored corners of the continent. I’m particularly taken with the photos of Sahara wanderers, Sebeïba ceremonies, and Algeria’s ancient Hoggar Mountains. Omar Dib’s images invoke echoes of spiritualism past and ethereal glimpses into the present. Also not to be missed is some otherworldly underwater photography. There’s plenty to satisfy the wildlife cravings too, including a black leopard photographed in the dead of night in Laikipia. Check out our two galleries below.
In our story, you’ll also spot a black leopard – and tips on where to find one – which will likely serve as a reference for your leopard-seeking adventures for years to come. We’ve compiled a list of our seven favourite leopard-viewing destinations for (almost) guaranteed sightings. So read on and let the adventures begin!
From our Scientific Editor – Jamie Paterson
Did you know that female songbirds sing? Goodness Jamie, I hear you exclaim, of course they do! That is patently obvious to anyone who has ever spent more than five minutes watching a member of the enormous Passeri (songbird) clade.
And yet, scientists only just recently confirmed that female barn swallows (one of the most researched bird species on the planet) like a good ditty as much as their male companions. How did this come to be? It comes down to research bias, and the authors of the resulting paper explain it best themselves. However, one of their conclusions is that “men [the predominant researchers] are significantly less likely than women to lead research projects studying female song”. Of course, the reverse is true in some cases. For instance, we are only just beginning to understand the role of bull elephants in herd memory, behaviour and demographics.
Biases aside, the female birdsong revelation also shows that sometimes a disconnect can develop between science and the bleedin’ obvious.
EPIC PHOTOS 1
One of two galleries featuring our Week 13 Photographer of the Year selection – our last round of entries – filled with award-worthy submissions celebrating Africa. Final judging will take place through the month of May
EPIC PHOTOS 2
The second gallery of our Week 13 selection – our last round of entries – chock-a-block with extraordinary Photographer of the Year entries. Winners will be announced at the end of May
Want to see leopards on your next safari? Here are the 7 top destinations for seeing this elusive member of the Big 5
TRAVEL DESK UPDATES:
We have a few places left on our 2023 photographer-guided safari to the wild Chitake Springs (Mana Pools, Zimbabwe). The safari sold out within hours of going live on our website, so we opened a second slot for those that missed out. We will not be adding further slots for 2023 because the authorities restrict volumes – for good reason. Last chance to reserve your place on this epic safari!
– Here is why you need to go on this safari
– Check out the details here
JUST DO IT
For the pursuit of culinary delights and Big 5 safari heaven, there is this: Bush & beach, Pinotage to predators – South Africa – 12 days. You know you want to
OR, DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL SAFARI and we will hand-craft it
WATCH: In the coming weeks, billions of newly spawned sardines will flank the coast of South Africa. The frenzy of pursuant predators will produce a spectacle followed by hundreds of marine enthusiasts. See what the Sardine Run fuss is all about (03:04). Click here to watch
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