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Africa Geographic Travel
Leopard mom and her cub in Mashatu, Botswana. Check out our featured video below for epic footage of this encounter. © Sharon Thorpe

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Mining Mana Pools + tragedy in Amboseli + Top 101 Photographer of the Year selection

A pride of lions has been speared to death in Kenya. The context surrounding this tragedy is important – so that we can direct our reactions with purpose and support those working hard to keep free-roaming lions safe:

  • Nine subadult lions broke into a livestock enclosure near Mbirikani town on the night of May 12th, killing 12 goats and a dog
  • Three of the lions were chased away and the remaining six were killed by angry villagers
  • Mbirikani is a settlement within Mbirikani Ranch – a wildlife conservancy in the greater Amboseli ecosystem – about 30km from Amboseli National Park
  • The area is unfenced and human-lion conflict is an ongoing issue, although 97% reduced since Big Life (who are based at Mbirikani) started a livestock compensation program in 2003
  • In a separate incident a few days prior to this, a 19-year-old lion known as ‘Loonkito’ was speared to death after he left the unfenced national park in search of food
  • In 2019, a lion mauled a man to death just outside the park, and in 2016 another lion was shot dead after attacking and injuring a local
  • The Governor of Kajiado County had this to say: “I would like to condemn this as a serious tragedy to us people who are pro-conservation, and as a community that has started to enjoy the benefits that go with conservation and wildlife. We are yet to fully establish what went wrong, but it is important for us to say that as a government, we support conservation and we condemn the act. I am sure that as a resilient community, a resilient people, we will overcome this.”
  • An investigation is ongoing

Updates from Biglife
More about the Amboseli ecosystem

Keep the passion

Simon Espley – CEO, Africa Geographic


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From our Scientific Editor – Jamie Paterson

Did you know that the oldest known cheetah ancestor came from a fossil found in the depths of the Silberberg Grotto in South Africa’s Sterkfontein caves? Scientists believe the animal lived over three million years ago and were larger but less speedy than our modern-day zippy cats.

I mention this because several cheetahs raced their way into our Top 101 selection for 2023’s Photographer of the Year competition. And what a collection it has turned out to be! The Big 5 all grace us with their presence, along with an abundance of iconic African wildlife and an eclectic collection of the weird and wonderful. Did your favourites make it in? You’ll have to peruse all FOUR galleries below to find out!

And now for a call to arms, so to speak. The Zimbabwean government recently announced that a local mining company had applied for an exploration licence for gas and oil. Their chosen land? The wilderness paradise of the Mana Pools ecosystem and surrounds. Though progress in the form of tearing up land and exploiting its resources seems to be an inevitable human pastime, are we seriously going to let it happen in one of Africa’s most precious wild spaces? Read the story below and then add your name to the petition.

Story 1
The first of four galleries featuring some of our 101 favourite images from this year’s Photographer of the Year competition

Story 2
The second of four galleries featuring some of our 101 favourite images from this year’s Photographer of the Year competition

Story 3
The third of four galleries featuring some of our 101 favourite images from this year’s Photographer of the Year competition

Story 4
The fourth and final gallery featuring some of our 101 favourite images from this year’s Photographer of the Year competition

Story 5
Mining in Mana Pools? Zimbabwean government announces application by Shalom Mining to explore one of Africa’s greatest wilderness areas

Sharing the love

Our 2023 Photographer of the Year entrants share their thoughts on having their images selected for our weekly galleries.

Thx a lot for featuring a piece of my work in one of the weekly galleries! I’m honored that you reckon it worthy of showing! There are amazing submissions, I’m proud and happy about all those photographers sharing the passion for our beautiful world and in this case, particularly Africa!” – David Heucke

Thank you so much…”Groom with a View”!..I wish I had your way with words!” – Turgay Uzer

Thank you so much. Love this contest every year.” – Dylan Lee

Thank you so much for the wonderful news and inclusion of one of my favourite photos in your weekly gallery. The quality of entrants this year seems to be a step above the already high standards of the past, so I really feel like I am part of a very select group and am truly honoured.” – Dirk Uys

Check out all 2023 weekly selections and the Top 101 and stay tuned! Photographer of the Year 2023 winners announced end May 2023


WATCH: Is this the best leopard & cub video you have ever seen? (03:32). Click here to watch

To comment on this story: Login (or sign up) to our app here - it's a troll-free safe place 🙂.


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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.

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