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Africa Geographic Travel
A young mountain gorilla reaches out to the camera on a gorilla trek in Virunga National Park, DRC.
Photographer of the Year 2018 entrant.

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Remarkable Virunga + COP19 win or fail?

I promised a summary of the flood of emails in response to my question two weeks ago about whether restricting low-season safari specials to locals is acceptable. So this is what you had to say:

1. Is the practice of offering low-season specials to locals acceptable? Yes – all but a few felt comfortable that this practice increases awareness and improves buy-in by local people of conservation measures.

BUT

2. Foreigners should be offered better low-season discounts than the ‘pay-3-get-4’ packages with caveats and restrictive conditions that are usually available. There was an acceptance that these offers would be priced less favourably than those offered to locals.

AND

3. Most foreigners don’t view themselves as wealthy and consider African safaris expensive, even ‘over-priced’. Safaris are unfortunately often seen as a once-in-a-lifetime experience to save up for and unlikely to be repeated. Most foreign respondents repeated the request for mid-range price options.

I am not surprised at the high level of awareness and big-picture thinking that stemmed from this exercise – you guys rock – but it’s always good to be reminded of how awesome this tribe is.

You have been heard – watch this space …

Keep the passion

Simon Espley – CEO, Africa Geographic


Travel desk TRAVEL DESK UPDATES: 

Your next out-of-this-world safari is just around the corner…

Maasai Mara migration season safari – 7 days – from US$ 4,190
Experience the Great Wildebeest Migration in Kenya with this carefully crafted itinerary. Stay at Sentinel Mara Camp, perched on the high banks of the Mara River in a cool riverine forest, and explore Musiara Marsh and Paradise Plains – popular for their excellent cat sightings.

Africa’s ultimate primate safari – 8 days – from US$ 4,905
Head out on the ultimate wildlife bucket-list pilgrimage and come face to face with incredible mountain and Grauer’s lowland gorillas, chimpanzees, and golden and pied colobus monkeys. You’ll trek through the forests of Mgahinga National Park, Volcanoes National Park and Nyungwe Forest, and experience Kahuzi Biega National Park. Let us tailor dates and prices to suit your needs.


From our Editor – Taryn van Jaarsveld

Africa’s conservationists and politicians recently wrapped up the 19th Conference of the Parties (CITES CoP19). Our first story takes a deeper look into the future of African wildlife and ecosystems, delving into the debates and most important decisions made on African species at CoP19. Was the conference an overall win for wildlife, or a fail? Read more below.

In our second story we explore the beating heart of Africa: Virunga National Park. This remarkable park is known for hosting a third of the world’s mountain gorillas. Trekking through its rain forests to discover epic primates, and witnessing its fiery magma lava lakes bubble, is a dream of many a traveller. Read more about this magical land of unparalleled biodiversity, and start planning your Virunga adventure.

Happy celebrating Africa!


Story 1
https://africageographic.com/stories/cites-cop19-a-win-for-wildlife/
COP19 WRAP-UP
CITES COP19: We examine the most important decisions relating to African wildlife and ecosystems made at the latest Conference of the Parties

Story 2
https://africageographic.com/stories/virunga-national-park/
REMARKABLE VIRUNGA
Virunga NP offers unparalleled biodiversity. Rain forests, gorillas, endemic birds, bubbling volcanoes, and safari favourites await


From our Scientific Editor – Jamie Paterson

Not long ago, I saw a woman standing with a bundle of blankets in her arms, looking for all the world like a new mother. Then she flicked back a corner of the blanket and revealed the sleeping face of her pet white tiger cub. I had to walk away before I exploded.

Did you know that the Big Cat Safety Act was recently passed in the United States Senate? It will make its way to President Biden’s desk and become law. People will be prohibited from keeping big cats as pets, and public contact with these animals will be banned.

It is truly a piece of legislation to be celebrated, but I wish the rest of the world – especially South Africa – would catch on faster. People should not be able to wander around with tiny tiger cubs. Indeed, I firmly and unapologetically believe that no wild animal, be it a big cat, otter or chimpanzee, should be kept as a pet.


WATCH: Wish you were here? Check out this serene moment spent savouring the abundant wildlife to be found on safari. AG can take you there – contact us to start the discussion (00:39). Click here to watch

To comment on this story: Download our app here - it's a troll-free safe place 🙂.


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We're the Africa Geographic editorial team – a diverse set of writers, editors, designers and social media natives, all united by our passion for this addictive continent.

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