OnSafari: Early Man Gets Earlier

In less than a week I take my group to the Cradle of Humankind, and it’s appropriate that yesterday a milestone discovery was announced. In what has certainly become the paradise for human fossil hunters, Afar in Ethiopia, a Univ. Of Arizona grad student found a mandible with teeth of a creature most scientists’ first […]

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Cape of Good Hope Not Enough

Global warming disrupts my landmark Cape/Botswana safari, but compared to what may happen a decade from now, I don’t think anyone will complain. A 12,000-acre wildfire has closed one of the Cape’s most spectacular coastal highways and today threatens Table Mountain National Park. These areas are not simply major tourist attractions, but arguably the most […]

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OnSafari: South Africa’s Cars

I transferred to my hotel in Sandton last night in a brand new Mercedes Benz, but the driver/owner kept turning the engine off at stoplights to save gas. That’s South Africa in a nutshell: a veneer of luxury … but a base still struggling to become middle class. In incredible contrast to the rest of […]

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OnSafari: TSA Unhappy But Unarmed

It’s not just America arming itself to fight extremism. Lesson learned in Schiphol today. I’m on my way to Africa for two months of guiding safaris. (Follow this space for some of the most fun and exciting safari stories you’ll find!) But yesterday and today is the dread of all far-distant travelers: traveling, that is. […]

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Bon Voyage!

Those of us daring to leave the country after today through unpaid security staff might heed the following advice. Go early. I can’t blame anyone who works for the TSA for slackening up. Many went through this in the 2013 government shutdown, and the experience wasn’t pleasant or fair to any of the workers. To […]

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The Cold Out of The Spy

Today’s spy scandal in South Africa, CitizenFour and my own novel, Chasm Gorge, all show that the old spy isn’t all that he’s cracked up to be. And that, my friends, is why not funding Homeland Security could be the greatest security threat the United States has faced since 911. This morning South Africa is […]

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Ebola & Other Warnings

‘Ebola’ and ‘terrorism in Kenya’ have been massively distorted by American media and not for wont of reporting truthfully. Confused? So was I until helped by a little email dialogue with a friend. What I mean is that readers’ reactions today are so instantaneous a normal bloke can’t possibly have taken any time to think […]

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Listen to Africa

African critics are condemning the Oscars for validating American Sniper, which they charge is little more than propaganda. Calling it a “highly dangerous and simplistic film,” respected Kenyan author Rasna Warah claimed this morning that American Sniper will reenforce the lies that many Americans believe regarding the Iraq War. Popular South African movie critic, tha-bang, […]

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Frontiers Are Endless

MarsOne has all the makings of the Africa Association and might just be mankind’s next great exploration. Revolution was stirring across the globe, a sort of Arab Spring. The major powers were preoccupied with managing a tech boom as well as numerous wars. Distant and unexplored parts of Africa had their attention but not their […]

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The Season Change… Again

This week’s aggressive attacks against Islamic extremists by Egypt, Jordan and now Nigeria is a significant turning point in the wars against ISIS and Boko Haram. That’s not to say it’s a significant turning point in the “War against Terror.” But we’ll never get to figuring that one out until we start dealing in realities […]

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Fight of the Hyaenas

Egypt’s bombing yesterday is proof positive that we have to get completely out of the current fight before something horrible happens. The Egyptian president’s decision yesterday to bomb ISIS targets in Libya is a massive escalation of the current conflict. It turns it almost into something closer to the conflict in Ukraine, where tanks and […]

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The Age of Presidents

Today is the American Presidents’ Day holiday, and as in Africa perhaps we should think of as commemorating ‘The Age of Presidents.’ Officially marked to celebrate the birthday of our first president, George Washington, it was expanded by most of the states to also celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, which also occurs in February, hence the […]

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State of Whatever

South Africa’s State of the Union last night was not “unprecedented chaos,” just theater at its best. Isn’t that what government is all about? One longs for days past when information didn’t fire so quickly all over the place, when natural barriers – like time and party lines – filtered the nonsensical from what was […]

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Just a little Love Song

Is music one clue as to why modern humans displaced Neanderthals and now reign supreme? One of the greatest mysteries in all paleontology is why we, modern homo sapiens sapiens, appeared so suddenly in Europe 50-65,000 years ago and equally suddenly (in paleontological terms) wiped out or subsumed the Neanderthals who had reigned in Europe […]

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Ain’t So Edelweiss

East Africans figure prominently among the leaked billionaires holding accounts with the Swiss HSBC bank, but there’s a lot more to the story. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’ report of the hidden, possible illegal depositors of HSBC’s Swiss bank was released last week. As thousands of journalists mine the information it was reported yesterday […]

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