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Sacred mountaintop ceremony. THULAMELA – an ancient walled kingdom in Kruger National Park, South Africa. © Simon Espley

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We have HEART-WARMING news in our first story below. Nature’s resilience against our onslaught is a constant source of soul food for me – and, I am sure, you. There is so much going on behind the scenes at ground level in Africa – and this success story is just one indicator of immense conservation efforts by dedicated people.

And then we have a new bat species! And it’s ORANGE with black wings. How sad that some commentators on our Facebook page immediately focused on the link between Covid and bats and expressed fear and concerns about this beautiful creature. Oh boy, isn’t it concerning how we often fixate on the wrong end of the problem?

Finally, our third story below gives us a boy’s perspective of a few days in the life of a Madikwe game ranger. I know this kid; he is an excellent example of the benefits of a BALANCED upbringing with plenty of time outside.

OK, that’s it from me for 2021. Phew, what a year. Here’s hoping that your 2022 is better than the last two years. JUST LOOK UP

Keep the passion

Simon Espley – CEO, Africa Geographic

From our Scientific Editor

My favourite view in the entire world: the Abel Erasmus Pass lies between the two small towns of Ohrigstad and Hoedspruit, where the road winds through the Manoutsa section of the Limpopo Drakensberg Mountains. The views at this time of year are beyond breathtaking – the air washed clean by afternoon thunderstorms, the rocks golden and the vegetation verdant. One dares not take one’s eyes off the road for more than a split second, but there are plenty of places to stop and take in the vista.

As I weave the tight corners that negotiate the precipitous decline, I always feel a sense of peace, as though a weight has been lifted – the magic of the wild. Below me, the Olifants River snakes its way through the bushveld, which stretches as far as the eye can see. To a now bush-starved city-slicker like myself, it is such a joy to know that the bush will always be there, waiting for me to return…

And the wild will await your return as well when the time comes to travel to Africa once again. Because nothing can match the miraculous effect that it has upon the soul.

Happy New Year, everyone!


Story 1
A large nomad lion has roamed into and settled in the remote Zinave NP, Mozambique – the first lion in 30 years

Story 2
A new bat species discovered in Guinea has bright orange fur and black wings

Story 3
My name is Luka, and I am ten years old – I spent my school holidays learning what it’s like to work as a game ranger in Madikwe



• If this awesome video does not get you in a safari mood, nothing will! For the BEST PRICES at these and other lodges visit our travel & conservation club via your mobile phone app or desktop and search under ‘lodges’

• CEO choice: Simon loves this glamping safari because there is enough comfort to chillax but not so much that you feel disconnected

• Firm favourite every year: Family safari in the Maasai Mara


DID YOU KNOW: Heaviest wood in the world? The black ironwood tree Olea capensis, found throughout sub-Saharan Africa. One meter weighs roughly 1,300kg. The wood sinks in water, unlike other wood

WATCH: The last Knysna elephant – a beautifully filmed documentary about the last remaining wild elephant in the Knysna forests (Garden Route, South Africa) (7:15)

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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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