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Tag archives for Africa

Expanding Beyond Conventional Conservation to Save African Lions

There is a lion in Tanzania who ignites my passion. A beautiful young male ranging through one of our focal areas, a place where people and lions cohabitate and sometimes conflict. I’ve been tracking him for several years now, and still, he survives. He is part of a coalition with two other males. About a…

World Ranger Day

Black rhino – Diceros bicornis – were once widespread throughout Africa and Asia. The disastrous combination of a thriving illegal wildlife trade and a lack of secure and suitable habitat have ensured that only 5,500 individual animals are now left in Africa. Kenya is thought to be one of the continent’s last strongholds; its own…

Elephant Country Blog 5: Behind the Scenes at Mushara

Every field season has its idiosyncrasies and challenges. This year, nature kept Tim particularly busy maintaining technology in order to keep the camp safe and operational, starting with a humane catch-and-release program for the inordinate number of brazen mice that inhabited our camp and got under foot after such good rains brought much grass seed—and abundance of food. Not only can mice be a nuisance by chewing the corners of each box of long-life milk or juice that they can, they also attract a problematic pursuer—the snake.

The Dirty Secrets of Gold Mining in Senegal

“Look at it,” Samba says as he hands me a solid piece of gold. “It’s better than farming.” I take the gold nugget in my hand. It shines in the late morning sun, beautiful despite its ugly history. The past few months of digging for gold as an artisanal gold miner have paid off for…

Mushara Elephant Project Celebrates 25 Years With New Season in Namibia

This season marks the 25th year of the Mushara Elephant Project, but the first few days were a little too chaotic to absorb the magnitude of this momentous occasion. We arrived at Mushara the first night of the waxing moon with much to set up before nightfall. A few bulls came and went as we got ourselves situated, allowing ourselves a break at sunset to soak in the beauty of this remote oasis.

Into a Vulture Lover’s Paradise

The vultures of Jaldessa Conservancy in northern Kenya are flourishing amidst the livestock and human communities of the region.

Field Notes: Conservation Music in Swaziland, Bring Your Fire!

The Crew Travels to the Bushfire Festival In the final weeks of May, the crew said their goodbyes to Maseru, the beautiful capital of Lesotho. Having lived, worked, and socialized there for the past month and a half, Alex and Chris had begun to feel at home. However, they were thrilled to embark on the…

For the Love of Honey

Honey Bees are just one of many bee species important for pollination. Stingless bees, some 500 odd species of them, provide valuable pollination services for crops in tropical and neo-tropical areas, and produce distinctive honey that is used in traditional medicines.

Are we coming or going? Stakeholder engagement in the four corners

Post submitted by Lise Hanssen, Project Coordinator of Kwando Carnivore Project If there was checklist for setting up a lion conflict mitigation project in rural Namibia (or anywhere else I would imagine), first on the list would be engaging with the affected community.  In the case of the Chobe floodplains, this means seven conservancies with…

Field Notes: Conservation Music Lands in Maseru

With sore shoulders and tired legs, completely weighed down by our gear and equipment, we ambled into Maseru like pack mules. It is still difficult to catch my breath and decipher my thoughts and feelings about this place. As an outsider with a callow amount of international experience, the warmth and camaraderie is present enough…

Mike Fay discusses his Expedition Through the Heart of Africa, and his plan to keep on walking … for ten years

Your latest trek through a part of central Africa that would be inaccessible for all but a very few people — hundreds of miles’ footslogging across roadless lands often devoid of people and large wildlife — was quite an adventure. You ran into some sketchy situations, including being attacked in the middle of the night by a swarm of hungry ants looking for a fleshy meal. How does this expedition fit in with — and add to — your previous explorations and experience in Africa?

Expedition Epilogue: Indelible ancient reality at the Heart of Africa

At the conclusion of his 290-mile transect through the Central African Republic, National Geographic Explorer J. Michael Fay shares his big-picture observation of what he’s seen, heard and understood: The regression from colonial occupation and post-colonial nation states is making way for the ancient fault lines in the region’s geography and population dynamics. If the world at large hopes to salvage nation states in this region of Africa, the solution lies in knowing the history, the land, the people and a state presence that applies land-use management as its primary tool. It can be done; law and order can exist. Programs like the Chinko Project that work at that fundamental level, helping to manage the wildlife, vegetation, soil, water, creating organization, employment, law and order, are absolutely necessary.

China bans ivory, prices plummet. Will this really help save the elephants?

The price of ivory in China has dropped by 2/3 since 2014. Can that help save living elephants?

Heart of Africa Expedition ends abruptly

I heard Yaya stirring and looked at my watch: 02h20. I said, Yaya it is two AM. He said: “I am ready”. Then I heard Herve and Felix. No use, time to get up.

Yaya said he heard the cattle come down to the river and he couldn’t sleep. Maybe he was a little apprehensive about our friends camping close by. Even I was getting paranoid thinking I gave this guy Cipro; if he is allergic or gets suddenly worse they will coming looking for us in the night thinking we poisoned him.

Among the wandering cattle herders in the Heart of Africa

We got going just before dawn. We could still hear the cows and donkeys across the river and got a good bearing on them, so this is the first objective of the day.