Verily Vulture

Less pain now let’s you choose a better burger for that last meal! Your puppy Fido will be all better in time for the apocalypse! Cataract surgery for vampires! Vultures are in trouble, real trouble. More than half the species worldwide are going extinct. The main reason is a popular Novartis drug, diclofenac. Dead things […]

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Religion is Tribalism

Obama is trying to be the Great Mediator in Africa having failed in America. Don’t hold your breath. John Kerry is completing a whirlwind tour of Africa, today, dolling out money like carnival candy and telling the McCoys and Hatfields that they’ll be a lot more if they have Thanksgiving dinner together. Kerry’s bitter sweet […]

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A New African Fall?

Are we facing a new Arab Spring September 1? Will the “African Fall” be as bloody and consequential? The Tanzanian president promises a “crackdown without mercy” on protestors planning country-wide demonstrations September 1, setting up a potential firestorm in the northern safari circuit including Arusha and Moshi. The protest has been called by the country’s […]

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Oh So Many Enemies

The U.S. continues to strengthen its ties with arguably Africa’s most oppressive regime, Ethiopia, because the enemy of your enemy is your friend. By doing so if not actually supporting we are facilitating mass executions of regime opponents, widespread suppression of freedom and liberty in a politic totally opposed to our values. This is realpolitik. […]

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Tribalism Exploding

For the moment, there is no part of Victoria Falls comfortable for tourists. The Zimbabwean side of Africa’s greatest tourist attraction is ready to explode as President Mugabe’s health fails. Livingstone on the Zambian side Tuesday was filled with the smoke of burning tires and tear gas. Britain issued new travel advice for Zambia this […]

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The Meaning of Motherhood

The daughter wants nothing to do with her mother. That statement has special meaning today in South Africa where 20-year old Zephany Nurse’s presumed mother began a 10-year jail sentence for having snatched Zephany from the hospital when she was 3 days old. The now legal name given to Zephany by the convicted woman is […]

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OnSafari: Kenya or Tanzania?

Conditions in tourism can change as fast as political and economic conditions. The question for many potential safari travelers is where should I go? If wildlife is the primary goal, then the choice is between Kenya or Tanzania. I’ve just completed my 40th year of guiding in sub-Saharan Africa. In March I guided veteran travelers […]

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OnSafari: River Crossing

We were among 30 cars on one side of the Mara river – there were another 30 on the opposite side. I don’t like crowds in the wilderness, and I avoid them pretty successfully. But this is an exception. If you want to see one of the most dramatic still truly wild components of the […]

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OnSafari: Maasai Mara

We’re in the Maasai Mara, Kenya’s best game park and the top of the great Ngorongoro/Serengeti/Mara ecosystem. She had killed a wildebeest yearling this morning without much effort. Large files of the great migration are coming through the salient. We saw three groups of about 400 wilde and another of about 1000 that was running […]

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OnSafari: The Selous

We’re in The Selous, a giant, uncontrollable river delta a bit like the bottom of Louisiana, a reserve the size of West Virginia in central Tanzania. The Selous is not for everyone. Even now at a cooler time of the year it’s extremely hot and humid. Game viewing is restricted to not very many tracks, […]

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OnSafari: Dar Hell

On a two-day hiatus from my Miller Family Safari, I find myself in a Poe or King hell: Dar-es-Salaam. The family’s foreign exchange student joined them for the first ten days. The two of us peeled off the group yesterday so that I could shepherd him onto his international flight home to Paris. Unable to […]

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OnSafari: End of the Game?

I suppose as we age the accumulation of changes so untethers us from our foundations that it seems apocalypse is right around the corner. Nevertheless, this safari truly makes me wonder if African wilderness will be around much longer. I remind myself that in 1979 Peter Beard published a best-selling book, The End of the […]

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OnSafari: Crater Climate Change

Lazy guys, content curmudgeons, and sassy big boys told us some marvelous stories about the crater this year. In sum, better than expected rains have relieved some tension in the wild. Normally I find less than a few thousand wildebeest in the crater now at the height of the dry season, and these are often […]

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OnSafari: Lion Alert

Cats dominated our first few days of game viewing. On only four game drives we’ve racked up 34 lions, 6 cheetah and one leopard. Lion aren’t doing well in Africa. Nearly a third of the population has been lost in the last decade, and we experienced first hand one of the reasons why. Our first […]

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OnSafari: Dry Delights

The Miller family safari didn’t waste any time. We chartered right into the Serengeti for the first two nights at Ndutu, which I’d planned because I had expected light game viewing during this middle of the dry season. I was reminded that I’m often wrong. My preference is for the wet season when the migration […]

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