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Of mammoths & tuskers + fantastical Madagascar + horny toads
Why is transparency SO DIFFICULT for some? The info-gathering journey for my follow-up below was an interesting one. Our usual network of information brokers performed well, as usual – thanks to every one of you. And also a SHOUT OUT to Nyambe Nyambe of KAZA who was courteous and professional in fielding teamAG questions about elephant trophy hunting. BUT
Our attempts to determine THE FACTS from the trophy hunting industry about this particular Botswana tusker hunt were met with petulance, insults, smoke and mirrors. We are used to this from a minority of loud individuals within the industry – water off a duck’s back – but from representative body officers? I won’t repeat what is included in the notes below my op-ed (or stoop to their levels of personal and brandAG attacks), but I will say that the LACK OF dignity, professional courtesy and foresight exhibited by the representative body for Botswana trophy hunters will come back to haunt them. Hopefully, the ethical members from within that body will one day exorcise the rot.
I will be enjoying a 4-day mountain biking sojourn deep in the northern Kruger National Park as you read this, with other bushveld junkies. SAFARI NJEMA my friends
Keep the passion
Simon Espley – CEO, Africa Geographic
From our Editor – Taryn van Jaarsveld
We will soon be revealing the finalists, and shortly thereafter, WINNERS of Photographer of the Year. Our team of judges is deeply immersed in a cauldron of contemplation, giving each pic in our Top 101 galleries due deliberation. Watch this space!
Will Africa’s great tuskers face the same fate as the now-extinct woolly mammoths? A few weeks ago we broke the news that two of Botswana’s largest tuskers were trophy hunted. This week, Simon delves into the great debate following this fallout, and spotlights the threat this brings to community wealth, an important wildlife corridor and tusker survival. See our first story below.
Madagascar – the fantastical land of plenty – is a natural evolutionary playground and a human kaleidoscope of cultural influences. For those seeking spiny forests, elegant sifakas, ring-tailed lemurs and desert canyons, south and central Madland is just the ticket. Read more in our second story.
Happy celebrating Africa to you all!
From our Scientific Editor – Jamie Paterson
Science is a serious business. The business of publishing in scientific journals even more so. This is why I find brief glimpses of humour so profoundly refreshing. Along with fun taxonomic names, tongue-in-cheek article titles are right up my alley.
Take my most recent read, entitled “Finding love in a hopeless place”. It’s about frogs. More specifically, it is about desperate frogs. Did you know that during their chaotic breeding seasons, male frogs will grab almost anything in the hope that it’s a female? When this approach goes wrong, it is called misdirected amplexus (amplexus describing the Anuran mating position). These love-struck amphibians have been known to clasp boots, carcasses and pythons.
Given that the Bufonidae were well represented in this research, I can think of at least one alternative title that would have worked just as well. Though it probably wouldn’t have made it past the reviewers…If you think you know what I was thinking (or have a better idea), why not share it in our club comments section?
The trophy hunting of 2 of Botswana’s largest tuskers threatens community wealth, a wildlife corridor & tusker survival. By Simon Espley
South & central Madagascar is popular with tourists for spiny forests, elegant sifakas, ring-tailed lemurs & desert canyons
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A rare find indeed – affordability in the birthplace of walking safaris. This well-priced safari is a must for those seeking true wilderness and expert walking guides. Expect excellent game viewing (did someone say LEOPARDS?) and tracking on foot, plus epic bush breakfasts and unforgettable sundowners. Unwind, detox and let 5 days in remote Africa recharge your batteries.
And then there is this – 19 days in paradise – Greater Kruger, Cape Town & the Winelands, Khwai, Chobe and Victoria Falls. From bush to beach, Pinotage to predators and the biggest curtain of falling water in the world, this epic safari showcases the best that southern Africa has to offer.
WATCH: Your feel good fix for the week! Watch two rangers rescue an exhausted honey badger, trapped in the base of a marula tree (04:01). Click here to watch
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