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Treehuggers + pyromaniac kites + your mid-year safari
TREEHUGGERS – the term used disparagingly by some self-appointed conservation experts to describe environmental activists. How desperately ironic then that the primary reason that some of these experts are promoting the culling of huge numbers of elephants is to save the trees!
teamAG had a busy festive season; safari enquiries have picked up hugely since the dark days of Covid – YAY! Also, we have rebuilt the safari portion of our website – check it out. Expect more safari options to come online in the coming months, and then stand by for that big announcement in a few weeks/months (African time) about more affordable safaris that leave a lasting legacy at ground level here in Africa. Exciting times …
Thanks for the messages and valuable info in response to my question in last week’s newsletter about the conservation benefits of breeding tigers in Africa. I am also in touch with the owners of the farm and collating info with the view to a future story. Fittingly, in an unrelated incident an escaped pet tiger was shot a few days ago in the suburbs of Johannesburg
Keep the passion
Simon Espley – CEO, Africa Geographic
TRAVEL DESK UPDATES:
Longing to follow in the footsteps of Africa’s greatest tuskers? Or witness the ethereal, otherworldly landscapes of fossilised salt pans? We have two magical safaris on offer…
Walking with giants in Tsavo – 13 days – From US$11,290 pps
This bygone-era walking safari tracks the wise old elephant herds as they follow the Galana River through Tsavo, Kenya. Sharing the elephants’ home on equal footing & encountering the famous maneless lions, gerenuks & hirolas (the world’s rarest antelope) of Tsavo will supersede any previous game-viewing experiences you’ve had. Stay in beautiful colonial camps along the way & explore the surroundings on game drives in the afternoons. The perfect balance between comfort & adventure.
Botswana salt pans – 4 days – From US$925 pps
On the eastern fringes of the Kalahari lies a collection of huge salt pans – desolate, flat landscapes that stretch as far as the eye can see. This safari goes beyond the Big 5 and allows you the chance to witness the second-largest zebra migration in the world (during green season). Popular pans you can visit include Makgadikgadi Pans (bedecked in massive baobab trees) and Nxai Pan (where you’ll find the famous Baines’ baobabs). Plus there are plenty of activities on offer for families.
From our Editor – Taryn van Jaarsveld
I am ecstatic to see so many members of the AG tribe setting travel plans into motion with the help of our safari experts. Over the next few months we have travellers packing their bags to experience the Big 5 in reserves in South Africa, the tuskers of Tsavo and Amboseli, the mighty waters of Victoria Falls, the islands of the Indian Ocean, and the Serengeti migration – just to name a few. But with all the options out there, where to start? If you’re planning your mid-year safari, check out our first story below: we’ve prepped a guide on the best places to safari between June and August.
In our second story, we’re putting the spotlight on one of Africa’s most hardy and courageous creatures: the warthog. No safari is complete without time spent observing the entertaining antics of these characters, which will reveal a wealth of personality and attitude.
Happy celebrating Africa!
Planning your mid-year African safari? Here’s our guide to the best places to go on safari from June to August
Warthogs are the fast and courageous tusked pigs of Africa. Known for their haggard looks, the warthog is an entertaining sight on any safari
From our Scientific Editor – Jamie Paterson
Anyone who has ever experienced a wildfire will be able to attest to how terrifying they are. Yet as the skies turn a smoky red, the kites and hawks wheel overhead, snatching up the creatures fleeing from the flames in a savage feeding frenzy. It’s all very Edgar Allan Poe…
Did you know there is anecdotal evidence that black kites deliberately spread fires? For thousands of years, Australia’s Aboriginal peoples have believed that these “firehawks” carry burning twigs to set new areas alight. There is enough evidence that scientists are investigating this theory.
So here’s my question for reserve managers, ecologists, and rangers across Africa. The stories originate from Australia, but black kites are also found throughout much of our continent. So have you ever encountered a pyromaniac black kite? Because if so, I know of some researchers that would be very eager to talk.
Sabi Sands big cat safari
And more from Jamie:
“I’ve just returned from our five-night Sabi Sands big cat safari – one filled with incredible sightings, spectacular scenery, and countless belly laughs. It unequivocally goes down as one of my favourite safaris of all time.
For genuine nature lovers, January is a magnificent time to visit the bushveld, and ours was a group of well-seasoned safari-goers with enough experience and insight to appreciate the majesty of the unfolding summer. Not for nothing is the Sabi Sands considered one of the leopard capitals of Africa, and it certainly lived up to its reputation for our safari. We saw four different leopards during our six-day sojourn, and nearly every drive delivered a rosetted pelage for our indulgence. Yet it was the quality of these sightings, not the quantity, that made the experience truly special.
Keep an eye out for the full safari report-back in the coming weeks, featuring some fantastic images from our photographically talented guests!”
WATCH: Witness the moments leading up to and following the magical birth of a lion cub. This lioness gave birth to her cub away from the antics of the pride. A special moment captured in Mala Mala Game Reserve, South Africa (01:18). Click here to watch
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