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It’s back! + fab photos & gregarious giraffes
It’s Friday the 13th! If you’re quaking at the thought, you probably believe that rhino horn cures cancer or that gifting a diamond will bring you love forever. Either way, hakuna matata 😉
Tigers in South Africa’s Great Karoo grassland biome – is this conservation? The 6,100 ha reserve known as Tiger Canyon in the Free State claims to be a conservation program for endangered wild tigers, with ‘various separate territories for the wild tigers and cheetahs to thrive in and survive’, where your game drive vehicle is ‘enclosed to protect you from … the tigers’.
Regarding the cheetahs, the Tiger Canyon website says, ‘walking with them is often possible … this allows photographers to get eye level and low-level shots more easily’. Tiger Canyon has historically provided cheetahs for the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s ongoing efforts to repopulate other reserves in Southern Africa.
Back to my question. Ignoring, if you can, the relatively small size of the reserve and dodgy cheetah monetisation, is breeding tigers outside of their natural range helpful to conservation? Email me here. No haters, please; I am interested in genuine discussion and learning.
Keep the passion
Simon Espley – CEO, Africa Geographic
TRAVEL DESK UPDATES:
Adventure awaits on these two safaris, which will take you to the heart of the bushveld action. Our travel experts are just waiting to plan your next safari.
Greater Kruger Big 5 photographic safari – 5 days – From $1,865pps
Join award-winning photographer Ernest Porter on a private photographic safari at Pungwe Safari Camp in Manyeleti Game Reserve, Greater Kruger. Ernest will help you capture great photos and learn about every animal and bird spotted. Close encounters, approached to ensure the best shooting angles and lighting, will guarantee your ratio of “keepers”. This safari is limited to 8 guests, ensuring personal attention.
Botswana classic: mobile tented safari – 11 days – From $5,300pps
Head out on a once-in-a-lifetime safari to explore Botswana’s best protected game-viewing areas. Led by experienced guides, you will track lions, leopards, hyenas, cheetahs and wild dogs across dry savannah. Glide silently down meandering waterways in search of glittering birds and spend time with large herds of elephants cavorting in the wide Chobe River. Your hosts will move your mobile tented camp between destinations while you get the most out of your safari.
From our Editor – Taryn van Jaarsveld
Our 2022 Photographer of the Year, Alex Brackx, clinched his title with an image of a zebra’s last seconds of life, capturing a desperate battle for survival – an aspect of life central to our fascination with the wildlife of Africa. We invited the seasoned photographer to share some of his favourite images with the AG tribe. Alex’s portrayals of life on the African savannah will have you reaching for your cameras and longing for time out in the bushveld. See Alex’s gallery in our first story below.
As the tallest animal on Earth, the giraffe does not exactly keep a low profile. Yet, despite a worldwide enchantment with these wonders of evolution, our understanding of their social structures is lacking. But research reveals that giraffes have complex social structures not dissimilar to those of elephants. Read more about the behaviours uncovered in our second story below.
2022 Photographer of the Year Alex Brackx shares a selection of his favourite images & the stories behind them
Did you know giraffe social structure is as complex as elephants’? Read more on their kinships & communication behaviours
From our Scientific Editor – Jamie Paterson
Did you know that the glass frogs in the Americas can make themselves more translucent by sequestering red blood cells in their livers? This removes most of the red colour from the blood, enhancing the effect of the translucent abdominal skin and hiding the muscles and organs. As a result, the frog becomes next to invisible on the leaves of tropical forests, the ultimate camouflage to protect it from predators while it’s sleeping.
The real mystery is how they selectively pool nearly 90% of the red blood cells in one place without triggering a clotting cascade, yet they still clot when injured. The physiological explanation may have profoundly practical applications in human medicine.
📷 Dust off your cameras! 📷
Photographer of the Year 2023 is just around the corner!
We are pleased to announce that entries open on 1st February. You have three months to get your entries in before judging during May and the winners announcement at the end May.
There are cash prizes to the value of $10,000 and an epic safari to Northern Tuli Game Reserve in Botswana up for grabs. Do you have any impressive pics that celebrate Africa? Check out the entry details here and get snapping.
Proudly sponsored by Hemmersbach Rhino Force and Mashatu Botswana.
WATCH: What happens when an ostrich and gemsbok come to blows? Find out in this footage of a scuffle between an ostrich trying to protect its chicks and a contentious gemsbok, captured at a waterhole in the Namib Desert, Namibia (04:56). Click here to watch
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