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Africa Geographic Travel
The mating game: a tense moment between two amorous leopards. Mashatu Game Reserve, Botswana. © Kevin Dooley. Photographer of the Year 2023 runner-up

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Mashatu in colour + 90 hunted leopards?

The leopard mating experience is far from peaceful – as demonstrated in Kevin Dooley’s pic above. Did you know that leopards on honeymoon may mate as much as 256 times in four days? But, even with this radical number, these honeymoons are not always successful in producing offspring. One study found that only 28% of adult female leopards in the Kruger National Park gave birth per year. Little comprehensive research has taken place on the mating habits of leopards, as they are elusive and difficult to study.

This also means obtaining a reliable population count of leopards is notoriously challenging, if not impossible. Which is why we recently asked Botswana’s Department of Wildlife and National Parks how they calculated the trophy hunting quota of 90 leopards for 2024. We are still waiting for a response and will keep you posted.

This leopard-mating pic, taken in Mashatu Game Reserve, Botswana, was the runner-up in our 2023 Photographer of the Year. teamAG is busy warming up for our 2024 competition – coming soon – and we can’t wait to share the details with you in a few days!

The winners from our 2023 competition headed to Mashatu recently and found this area of the Tuli Block to be an extremely rewarding photography destination. Check out some of their pics in the gallery below.

Estimating population sizes of spotted hyenas is also a tricky process. But a new study from Tanzania has produced the first population density estimates of this kind for spotted hyena in Tanzania – check out our second story.

Happy celebrating Africa to you!

Taryn van Jaarsveld – Editor


 

Story 1
https://africageographic.com/stories/mashatu-magic/
PHOTO SAFARI
Gallery: Simon Espley headed to Mashatu in Botswana’s Tuli Block with Photographer of the Year’s 2023 winners

Story 2
https://africageographic.com/stories/spotting-spotted-hyena/
SPOTTING HYENAS
New research using camera traps has measured spotted hyena population density in southern Tanzania


Travel desk TRAVEL DESK: 

Bush & beach, Pinotage to predators – South Africa – 12 days/11 nights – from ZAR85,745pps

Dreaming of visiting South Africa? Enjoy this iconic 12-day bush & beach safari, showcasing the best that South Africa has to offer. Be prepared to be swept off your feet with wall-to-wall wildlife action – with exceptional Greater Kruger Big 5 game viewing. This safari also includes a full-day road trip taking in the stunning scenery and cultural delights of the Lowveld. And then, head on to vibey, sophisticated Cape Town & the nearby winelands.

Or, to plan your perfect, tailor-made safari, get in touch with our safari experts.


Trip Report

Superb Botswana mobile safari

Lynn Killam and friends headed on a mobile safari to Botswana with us. Lynn says:

“The wildlife was fascinating. We loved the staff in camp, and were really happy to have visited. We loved camping and the outdoor areas. The mokoro was really great and we enjoyed the boat on the Chobe River. Our guide Paul was a delight. He was informative, helpful and funny, and told us the backstory on many of the animals along the way. I learned a lot from him, and we enjoyed his company very much. And he has the patience of Job!

But the absolute highlight was the animals. We watched wild dogs after a kill and saw them following a herd of wildebeest. We saw so many lions and listened to Paul tell us what he knew about each pride. The elephants were magnificent and the birds were fantastic. The wildlife – from the insects to the mega-mammals – were indescribably beautiful. Also – the baobabs! The experience was superb.”

Want to go on a mobile safari? Check out this classic Botswana fully catered mobile safari


WATCH: Most children living near South Africa’s Kruger National Park have never seen an elephant or lion. In many of these communities, children fall asleep to the sounds of lions roaring, but don’t get to see the animals for themselves. But the Future Rangers Program is working to change this reality – instilling a passion for wildlife conservation in future generations. (03:55) Click here to watch

For more videos celebrating Africa, check out our videos here

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HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF AFRICA GEOGRAPHIC:

  • Travel with us. Travel in Africa is about knowing when and where to go, and with whom. A few weeks too early / late and a few kilometres off course and you could miss the greatest show on Earth. And wouldn’t that be a pity? Browse our ready-made packages or answer a few questions to start planning your dream safari.
  • Subscribe to our FREE newsletter / download our FREE app to enjoy the following benefits.
  • Plan your safaris in remote parks protected by African Parks via our sister company https://ukuri.travel/ - safari camps for responsible travellers

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About

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.

Africa Geographic Travel
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