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Rhino crisis averted + KAZA elephants + South Luangwa safari
WOW! In one masterstroke African Parks has solved one particular rhino crisis, silenced the solution-bereft peanut gallery and proven yet again what a fine organisation they are. Yes, there will be challenges, but my goodness what a move! If you are not sure what I mean, scroll down. On that note, our exciting upcoming joint tourism project with African Parks to increase responsible international tourism to their parks – Ukuri – has one more hurdle to clear before we go live. The launch delays – related to regulatory matters – have been unfathomably frustrating. Both teams are chomping at the bit to get the show on the road. Stand by for more information 😉
As you read this I will be on safari in Botswana’s Tuli Block with our 2023 Photographer of the Year winners. Tuli is one of the most under-rated safari destinations in Southern Africa. I was last there about ten years ago and look forward to meeting our talented winners and reacquainting with the Land of the Giants.
Meanwhile, in my hood the knobthorns are bedecked in golden canopies whose sweet perfume floats in and out of my day unannounced. Temperatures are rising and the bushveld is cork dry. The dry season will peak in a couple of months before the hoped-for short rains of October-November usher in the green season. Life is good!
Keep the passion
Simon Espley – CEO, Africa Geographic
From our Editor – Taryn van Jaarsveld
We celebrate every conservation victory that boosts the rhino population. In our first story below we mention that there are fewer than 13,000 southern white rhinos left. But did you know that Africa is also home to the world’s most endangered antelope – the hirola – whose population numbers pale in comparison to rhinos?
There are fewer than 400 hirolas left in the wild (and none in captivity) in the few areas they remain in Kenya, and possibly Somalia. Wiped out by rinderpest, civil war, and habitat loss, they have been dubbed a “refugee species” as they are restricted to less than 5% of their historical range. Those that remain owe their survival to a few local Kenyan communities who set up the Ishaqbini Hirola Conservancy, and to the Hirola Conservation Program. But predictions are there will be fewer than 20 hirolas left in the next 50 years. Food for thought.
Also check out our second story below, which delves into the state of elephants in the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation area – a population that represents more than half of the remaining African savannah elephants.
African Parks has purchased John Hume’s captive-rhino breeding operation, to rescue & rewild the rhino to protected areas
KAZA has released the 2022 KAZA Elephant Survey results, revealing that elephant populations within the region are stable
TRAVEL DESK UPDATES:
Fancy an affordable, privately guided safari that takes you to the birthplace of walking safaris – South Luangwa? Or a special offer, perfect for families, to an island in the Okavango Delta, Botswana? Get in touch now!
Affordable South Luangwa safari – 5 days – HIGH-SEASON SPECIAL OFFER – from US$2,650pps
The fantastic combo of walking and driving on this epic South Luangwa safari will appeal to experienced safari-goers and first-timers alike. Expect exceptional game viewing and tracking on foot, scrumptious bush breakfasts and unforgettable sundowners. Did we mention leopards?
Kids stay FREE at Delta Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana
Hidden in the forest of palm-studded Chief’s Island in the Okavango Delta, this camp is the perfect setting for a family safari. Book a family room for two adults, and two kids can stay free! Valid for bookings made up until the end of 2024. Now is your chance to introduce your kids to Africa!
South African safari: Cape Town & Timbavati
“Christian (AG safari expert) organised a spectacular trip for us to South Africa on very short notice at a busy time of year. He did an amazing job of figuring out the best options for us. When our flight from the US was cancelled, he rearranged our days and managed to fit in almost all of the activities we had originally planned while minimising our stress.
Christian found safari lodges for us that were just the perfect vibe for our group, with an extremely knowledgeable guide who found us some unbelievable wildlife moments. In one safari lodge, we spent an afternoon by ourselves in a treehouse where we were extremely lucky to observe more than 30 elephants coming to drink at the waterhole. We managed to see leopards and wild dogs and even hyenas fighting over a dead buffalo after dark – and a lion kill as well. An absolutely unforgettable experience. We will be back!”
Do you want to visit South Africa? Check out our South African safaris here
WATCH: Not for the faint hearted: A few months ago, video footage emerging from Mossel Bay, South Africa confirmed that orcas are capable of pursuing, capturing and incapacitating great white sharks – behaviour never before witnessed in such detail. This footage confirmed that the practice of orcas killing great white sharks was spreading – a trend that has far-ranging consequences for the sharks and the marine ecosystem. (3:08). Click here to watch
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