Aug 162017
 
POLL: Should the export of "legal ivory" be made illegal?

The United Kingdom ships more legal ivory beyond its borders than any other country, according to an analysis released today by the London-based NGO Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). The announcement comes two days before World Elephant Day on Saturday. Globally, elephant numbers are falling, down 30 percent between 2007 and 2014 — a decline driven […]

Dec 032016
 
Elephant refugees flee to last stronghold in Africa

Chobe National Park, Botswana – The elephants swim across the river in a straight line, trunks jutting out of the water like snorkels. With low, guttural bellows, they push their bodies together, forming a living raft to bolster a calf too tiny to stay afloat on its own. This pachyderm flotilla has a dangerous destination […]

Nov 282016
 
Take me to the place where the white boys dance...

To kick off this post, I have to apologise to the band “The Killers”, whose song title made a perfect title for this photo and its resulting blog post. As you may know, we recently returned from an amazing family safari-camping-roadtrip through some of the most iconic places in Namibia. One of the destinations was […]

Oct 252016
 
Returning to Namibia

For someone who feasibly lives merely a day’s hard drive from the glorious expanse that is Namibia, I visit very seldom. I suppose that’s the way it is – life gets in the way, other destinations beckon…but that will change soon. We will be embarking on a 24-day camping adventure, with families in tow, across […]

Aug 212016
 
POLL: Should the sale of elephant ivory be legalized?

World Elephant Day was not necessarily good news for Africa’s elephants: Pressure is mounting in southern Africa to lift the ban on the sale of ivory. In the mid-1980s, during the last great elephant poaching crisis, Africa lost nearly half its elephant population, roughly 600,000 animals, in a decade. But the world responded in 1989 […]

Nov 232015
 
POLL: Is Trophy Hunting Helping Save African Elephants?

African elephants are in trouble. Their numbers have fallen from as many as ten million a hundred years ago to as few as 400,000 today. Recent losses are largely from poaching for the illegal ivory trade (some 30,000 elephants a year), but also because of the shrinking habitat for elephants, as people open up land […]

Aug 202015
 
Lions Return to Rwanda for First Time Since Genocide’s Aftermath

Jes Gruner was excited when he told me over the phone that the lions had made their first kill. A week after their release into the Akagera National Park in the northeast of Rwanda, the lions took down a waterbuck on the lakeshore and were gorging themselves on the carcass. Gruner, the Park Manager of […]

May 022015
 
Why Elephants Are As Ritualistic and Violent As the Mafia

Every summer, Caitlin O’Connell, author of Elephant Don: The Politics of a Pachyderm Posse, packs her bags and travels to northern Namibia to study a group of male elephants. What she witnesses as the males jockey for power and position around a water hole is both shocking and heart-warming: violent conflicts, tender scenes of affection. […]

Nov 252014
 
Shake if Off

All is quiet, except for the sound of doves and guinea fowl in the distance. The sky is bright blue on a winter’s morning. I am sitting in an underground research bunker in Etosha National Park in Namibia. He approaches from the southeast, ambling like they usually do. His footfalls are quiet, eerily quiet, like […]

Oct 202014
 
The Handshake

Secret societies have it. Mob bosses have it. Elephants have it. Secret Handshakes. My time spent in this research bunker at a very remote waterhole in Etosha National Park will always bring back fond memories of really seeing and experiencing the daily lives of elephants up close and personal. Elephants are highly social creatures, and even […]

Oct 132014
 
Dawn of the Striped Ones

It’s early on a summer morning in Namibia’s Etosha National Park. The first summer rains have just started to fall – so everything looks and smells fresh. There’s still a lot of cloud cover overhead from last night’s deluge…but there’s a gap for the sun to rise into on the Eastern horizon. As I drive […]

May 282014
 
Lions vs Giraffe: The Prelude

I’ve been putting off telling this story on my blog…but I feel that it’s time. In November 2013 I went on a very long safari-roadtrip with my lovely wife and our 2 young children. The destinations were to be the Etosha National Park in Namibia and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in South Africa. The story […]