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Top 25 Photographs from the Wilderness #23

“Life in us is like the water in a river.” Henry David Thoreau The Okavango is the beating heart of Africa, home to an estimated 50% of the world’s elephants, most of the world’s hippo, and crucial populations of many other keystone species. There is no wilder place on earth: this is the Africa of…

Elusive Abyssinian Owl Almost Confirmed on Mount Kenya Last Seen Fifty Years Ago

I love to hike and I even enjoy the occasional bush-whack. So it was with some excitement that my student Paul Muriithi asked me to accompany him for five days on Mt Kenya to search for the Abyssinian owl (aka the African long-eared owl). Though a pair can be observed in Bale Mountains, Ethiopia, the last confirmed Kenyan record of this species was in 1961. But how do you begin searching for an owl whose life history reads like an exposé of an FBI undercover operation: ‘few data’, ‘little information’, ‘nothing known’. That is where Paul first started in 2012, accompanied only by his tenacity and the occasional rampaging buffalo. Three years on, after losing three pairs of binoculars to buffaloes and bush-whacks, the search for this elusive owl has nearly been concluded.

“Things R Elephant”: Heated Debate in Kenya Gets to the Heart of What It Will Take to Save the Species

By Paula Kahumbu

In Kenya, when you hear that “Things are Elephant,” it means there’s a major problem. That’s why we chose this as the title for the first ever debate of its kind, organized by WildlifeDirect, on the future of elephants.

Follow Humans Who Walk ‘Through the Prides’

In the first episode we meet a young woman desperate to reunite with her dying father in Mozambique. Walking through Kruger National Park might be her only option to do so.

In the Agulhas

On board with Lindblad Expeditions Southern Africa and Indian Ocean tour. March 27, 2015 – The Agulhas current flows down the east coast of Africa from the north. It’s described as “narrow, swift, and strong” on our briefing material aboard National Geographic Orion. As it reaches the southern tip of Africa at Cape Agulhas (Cape of…

Huge, Rare Vultures Make Impressive Flying Journeys

Traveling 125 miles by your own power might take a human a week a more to complete. For Ruppell’s vultures, with an 8-ft wingspan, it’s a mere day trip.

OPINION: Rhinos and Elephants Are in Trouble—So Why Adopt Contradictory Emergency Measures?

By Katarzyna Nowak

It’s entirely possible, even likely, that we humans will not coexist very much longer with ancient, thick-skinned megafauna weighing thousands of pounds. How to save them is a matter of ever greater urgency—and dispute.

Elephant Poachers “Will not Have the Last Word in Kenya”

A plume of dark smoke curled over Nairobi National Park in Kenya last week. A funeral pyre of 15 tonnes of elephant tusks had been erected and set alight on a day that was at once tragic and full of hope. Kenya’s latest ivory burn comes at the end of a momentous week for elephants…

Waking Up with the Wildlife in Kenya

I peel myself out of bed as the sun peeps up over the horizon. The dogs are stirring and the mere mention of a walk puts them into a frenzy. We head out – the dogs’ noses close to the ground following all of the exciting scents to be found on the Kapiti Plains in…

Kenya Burns 15 Tons of Stockpiled Ivory

By Fredrick Nzwili

NAIROBI, Kenya — Kenya today burned tons of stockpiled ivory, sending a strong message against elephant poaching and ivory trafficking.

The burning is the latest in a series of ivory stockpile destructions by nations across the world. During the past three years, Gabon, Belgium, Chad, China, Hong Kong, Czech Republic, Gabon, France, Philippines, and the USA have all destroyed contraband ivory and rhino horn.

Bee With No Stripes Discovered in Kenya

It has a black head and a bright orange body, and velociraptor-like claws on its hind legs. It lives underground, not in a hive. And it lives by itself, instead of in the huge colonies we’re used to. Here’s the story of the discovery of the world’s newest-known bee. Bee-ing There The hot, dusty bush and deserts…

Using Science to Empower Communities and Improve Marine Protected Areas in East Africa

By Jennifer O’Leary and Arthur Tuda When you think about East Africa, probably the first images that emerge are of large terrestrial animals like elephants and lions. Many people don’t know that East Africa has vibrant marine fishing communities and hundreds of miles of coral reefs. In a typical morning, you watch the sun rise…

Oracle Visits AKTF’s Build-A-Boma Project in Maasai Mara

  The sun had risen less than an hour before, yet Anne and the rest of us at the Anne K. Taylor Fund were gathered on an earthen airstrip at the edge of Maasai Mara National Reserve. Our Anti-Poaching Team leaned coolly against their truck, its green paint matching their olive fatigues. I and the…

Will Mobilization of Military Forces Stop Elephant Poaching in Cameroon?

Ten elephant carcasses discovered in mid-January in and around Cameroon’s Bouba Ndjida National Park are raising fears that poachers may again be targeting the park. But information remains sketchy. According to the Cameroon Tribune, a government newspaper, the military made several patrols following reports of gunfire and men on horseback searching for elephants. They found…

400 Poachers Snared in a Year: Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit on a Roll

Every year, thousands of travelers from all over the world visit the Victoria Falls, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Zimbabwe and Zambia, to watch the waters of the Zambezi River thunder into the deep Batoka Gorge, and to appreciate the abundant wildlife that roam the areas around the Falls. But like anywhere in Africa,…