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Africa Geographic Travel
A leopard tortoise with a swarm of brown-veined butterflies looking for moisture in Mabuasehube Game Reserve, Botswana © Hubert Janiszewski. Photographer of the Year 2019 entry

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Elephants vs trees + Expedition Matusadona

On my drive home yesterday I saw a leopard tortoise on the side of the road, his head submerged in a puddle of water from recent early summer rains. Not the tortoise in the epic image above. I parked the car and walked up to him (or her; I didn’t check), thinking he had drowned. On closer inspection I saw that he was sucking water in, eyes closed in ecstasy beneath the surface – his skinny pulsing neck the only sign of life. After about a minute his eyes popped open underwater. He jerked his head out of the water, stared at me myopically and trundled off. I sat for a few minutes reliving the moment, absorbing the energy of what that small temporary puddle of water meant to him.

I need another safari. Chat to you next week, from some very remote spot in Africa. In the meantime, maybe its also time for your next safari – ready-made or crafted just for you. Enjoy the planning process – it’s part of the journey!

Keep the passion

Simon Espley – CEO, Africa Geographic

From our Editor – Taryn van Jaarsveld

Did you know that an obscure species of rain frog, only ever seen once before, has just been found live and kicking on the north-west coast of South Africa? Branch’s rain frog was first described from a single specimen found in the Northern Cape in 2008, and has not been seen since. Until last week, that is – when the Endangered Wildlife Trust and other researchers rediscovered the frog while surveying priority habitats on the coast. After spotting tiny footprints in the sand dunes, the team tracked these and found not one, but two of the elusive frogs – a major success for future conservation work in the area!

This week we’re showcasing the second in a series of stories from Kingsley Holgate’s Afrika Odyssey expedition – this time on the renaissance of Matusadona National Park. And in some good news, Elephants Alive have found that wire netting can help save Africa’s tree from elephants. Read more in our second story.

Story 1
Kingsley Holgate & his Afrika Odyssey expedition team are connecting parks managed by African Parks. Read about their trip to Matusadona

Story 2
New research shows that wire-netting can be used to increase tree survival by reducing elephant impact on large trees


Journey to an island paradise in Malawi, or into the heart of the African bushveld in Zimbabwe. Both idyllic settings offer an irresistible chance to unwind and relax. Enquire today and let your African adventures begin!

Mumbo Island escape – Lake Malawi – 6 days/5 nights – from US$1,470pps
Escape to an uninhabited island paradise in Lake Malawi to switch off and detox. For the active, there is kayaking, snorkelling, swimming, scuba diving and walks in the stunning island forest. Or flop into a shady hammock and chill. You decide! This island escape is ideal for couples, families and even groups of friends.

Emerald season special – $450pppn – Somalisa Camp, Hwange NP, Zimbabwe
Nestled in the heart of Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, this intimate tented bush camp provides the perfect setting for a relaxing safari experience with your loved ones. Book a minimum two-night stay and take advantage of this irresistible discount. Valid 1 November–21 December 2023 & 05 January–31 March 2024

Client report-back – Zambia & Vic Falls

Ulrich Schmauke recently returned from his trip to Kafue National Park, Lower Zambezi National Park, South Luangwa National Park and Victoria Falls with AG:

Our trip to Zambia was unforgettable. I’ve never seen so much game as we did in just nine days. Sausage Tree Camp and Lion Camp were superb. Lunch in the Zambezi River, and in the bushveld, were unforgettable. Victoria Falls Hotel remains one of my favourite hotels in the world. Christian, as usual, organised the trip (he has organised a few for us before) and all worked out excellently.

Want to go on a safari like this? Browse our ready-made safaris and chat to our safari experts to plan your ultimate safari!

WATCH: Moving an elephant family to safety. Watch as the Sheldrick Trust translocates a family of elephants – two moms and two calves – off community land and back to the safety of Kenya’s Tsavo East National Park (5:01). Click here to watch

For more videos celebrating Africa, check out our videos here

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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.

Africa Geographic Travel
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