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SO. The rhino horn trade debate. If you are bored of the topic, perhaps this reality-check will help to recalibrate your context?
The world’s largest wild rhino population not far from where I live is being hammered by poachers; every day, helicopters clatter overhead as teams of rangers and vets scramble to and fro. The authorities at senior level have their HEADS IN THE SAND – those not involved in the poaching syndicates – while their ground crew put their lives on the line. Every day.
Our first story below sheds light on when poaching spiked and provides possible reasons. Some experienced conservationists quoted believe that we have no option but to permit trade in rhino horn. Others say no. Have your say – what is your view? For club members only.
Our second story below celebrates one of the best athletes in Africa, and our third provides a window into the most incredible place on earth for weird and ENDEMIC creatures that time forgot.
Lastly, the great RICHARD LEAKEY passed away this week. I first met this fossil-hunter turned politician and conservationist over a private dinner, more years ago than I care to remember. He spoke his mind, and in the process, made enemies – some of whom tried to kill him. He lost both legs in a plane crash where sabotage was suspected, yet he soldiered on. There are not many leaders of sound mind left who have not been tamed by keyboard warriors and cancel culture.
Keep the passion
Simon Espley – CEO, Africa Geographic
From our Scientific Editor
I am sitting writing this from the heart of the Kruger National Park. And it is glorious: midsummer and lush, the rains have been good and the bushveld is positively pulsing with life. Sure, the wildlife spotting is a little tricky, but the wonder of the Kruger lies in the anticipation, the vast space and the majesty of the scenery.
Though we failed in our mission (for now) to see one of only three wild white lions in the world, I was perfectly content to while away the time watching a herd of elephants. The cows were standing sentinel as the calves slept through the blistering heat of the day, determined to ignore the recalcitrant youngest member of the herd. Clearly bored with nap time, he scrambled all over his prone herd mates, trying desperately to provoke a game with little succe
ss. It was such a familiar scene for anyone that has spent time with human children. For me, at least, spending time in the bushveld and with animals is less about racing from sighting to sighting and more about absorbing the magic of what is unfolding in front of me. While I recognise that time is limited for many on safari, I can say that this approach has meant that I have never, ever been on a boring game drive. Africa always delivers; we just have to learn to let her do so in her own way.
CAN OF WORMS
Why has rhino poaching flared up again, and what about rhino horn trade – yes or no? Tony Carnie reopens this can of worms
Thomson’s gazelle – under-appreciated athlete of the Mara-Serengeti
Western Madagascar – fossa, lemurs galore, upside-down trees & rocks with teeth!
TRAVEL DESK UPDATES:
With Covid travel restrictions dropping away, it’s time to consider your next safari 🙂
• Our Okavango Delta special offer is still available for a few more months – regrettably for African citizens and residents only
• Our Kenya special offer to the Maasai Mara and Samburu is a unique chance to savour Kenya’s top two safari destinations
• For other safaris ideas check out our travel club lodges to find your ideal getaway and send us an enquiry – it’s a simple process. Prices in the club are lower than you will find elsewhere. Join the club here
DID YOU KNOW: The largest living turtle ever discovered? A leatherback that weighed 650kg – roughly the mass of a female buffalo
WATCH: The Tanzanian president takes us on an exclusive royal tour of her country – the trailer of a coming series (2:57)
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