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The adventurous amongst you will already know this. The latest update to our club app for computers and mobile phones is that you can now search for the best lodges and prices on both a list and map view. The map view is our latest update – you all know how I love maps! AND you can now select from a range of currencies, and voila, all lodge prices update to your currency of choice! Stand by for more in the months to come – as we build THE platform for the best-priced safaris that make a difference. Thanks for the enquiries already flowing through from the club – this is the fuel that drives our mission. And please keep the donations coming – we hand those over unblemished to the beneficiary projects.
As you read this I will be loving the first day of a 3-day mountain bike stage race that spans the mountainous vineyards and coastline near Cape Town – the ‘Wines2Whales’. And then I will be out of action for two weeks, hiding out on a farm in the gorgeous Garden Route – my first break since Covid descended on us all. I leave you in the capable hands of my STELLAR team. See you in a few weeks.
Keep the passion
Simon Espley – CEO, Africa Geographic
From our Scientific Editor
While most of South Africa has been up in arms over Stage 4 load shedding (rolling blackouts resulting in over six hours a day without electricity), I’ve been celebrating the return of power to my flat after a five-day outage.
The long hours in the dark (without phone signal, as there is none here) gave me plenty of time to think about how desperately reliant on electricity and technology I am. Most of us like-minded souls love to escape to the wild somewhere to detox from the modern world, but, truth be told, we also like to come home to our modern conveniences. More than that – we need electricity to prosper.
As the 2021 Climate Change Conference draws to a close, the disparity between the “First World” and developing nations could not be more apparent. The average person in Ghana or Tanzania consumes less electricity than a US family’s fridge. Studies show that Africa has contributed the least to the current climate crisis but is likely to bear a disproportionate burden as climates shift. With the fastest growing population in the world, Africa needs the same opportunities to grow and develop infrastructure – which will take power and contribute to emissions. So, where is the balance, and who gets to judge?
From our Editor-in-Chief
COP 26 draws to a close today. It is difficult not to look at the expositions of concern and commitments from the great and the good without eye-rolling cynicism. My prediction? We will make almost no progress towards changing our inexorable march to self-annihilation, and the annihilation of countless other species, if we rely on politicians or the CEOs of multinational industries. In the first, we have (and yes, this is a generalisation) a breed of a human being (or vacuous parasite) whose raison d’etre is predicated on staying in power and, therefore, on pleasing whichever lobby will keep them there. In the second, we have a smooth-talking operator with strong opinions that say nothing, beholden to an invisible blob of unaccountability known as ‘shareholders’.
Very few of our so-called leaders demonstrate a deep-seated calling to navigate us away from our self-inflicted climate catastrophe with compassion, openness and honesty. So what to do? Well, it really is up to each and every one of us who care. Be more aware of your effect on our fragile planet – use less, give more, learn more, act more. Put the needs of our species above the needs of self or country. Hold the politicians and CEOs to account – they work for you, not the other way around.
After that, you might feel the need for a positive human tale. Our first story below will rekindle some faith in the human spirit to overcome against the odds. It is a story of one of the most profound 24 hours in South African history set in the majestic gorges and mountains of KwaZulu.
In our second story below, Dr Hayley Clemments describes an inspirational mission to quantify and enhance Africa’s biodiversity with local knowledge. (Club members only)
Lastly, we take a look at the least-known and most enigmatic of the four hyena species – the marvellous striped hyena.
GHOSTS IN THE GORGES
Fugitives’ Drift is a rejuvenating getaway for heart and soul, where the hills breathe history and ghosts whisper in the moonlit gorges.
COUNTING AFRICA’S NATURAL WEALTH
African biodiversity experts mobilise to produce a continental map of ‘biodiversity intactness’ for African decision-makers. Club members only
Striped hyenas lurk in the shadows, shy and elusive. They are poorly understood but may answer questions on hyena evolution
TRAVEL DESK UPDATES:
• Wanna see the ‘elusive 5’ species of the Kalahari? This wonderful video by Tswalu Kalahari provides a brief peek into the lives of a few highly sought-after safari species. Did you know that club members get the best available prices at Tswalu Kalahari and other superb camps and lodges?
• The Government of Zambia has announced a 50% reduction in tourist visa fees from January 2022 in a move that is expected to boost the number of tourist arrivals and help boost the recovery of the tourism sector.
• Namibia has adopted the Trusted Travel System – an online digital platform for the verification and authentication of COVID-19 test results from a network of participating COVID-19 testing laboratories, port health authorities and transport industries.
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HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF AFRICA GEOGRAPHIC:
- 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 famous packages for experience-based safaris, search for our current special offers and check out our camps & lodges for the best prices.
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