OnSafari: Kilimanjaro’s Foothills

A large private ranch on West Kilimanjaro was the perfect place for my group to shake some jetlag and ease into safari. Ndarakwai Ranch is one of many private concessions in the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Its 11,000 acres of beautiful undisturbed veld where wild animals and Maasai herds have coexisted for years. We spent […]

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OnSafari: Elephant Hysteria

Elephant hysteria has reached a new high, and I left Botswana amazed at how dangerously unorganized elephant protection is. The almighty and by this writer much revered CITES seems wobbling. African research organizations nip at each rather than cooperate to gather much needed facts. Positive moves in China get ignored so the country can be […]

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OnSafari: Magnificent Moremi

The rains returned! There’s no way of predicting for how long, of course, or if the serious deficit in moisture will be significantly reduced, but the two days of thunderstorms in my opinion was the reason our game viewing ended so well. We ended our Botswana safari with three days in Moremi, our third ecosystem […]

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OnSafari: Delta Dangers

The one-of-the-kind Okavango Delta in far off Botswana, like every other part of the world, is threatened by climate change caused by factories in China and soccer moms’ SUVs in Minneapolis. It makes our time here now even more treasured. Numerous studies as early as 2007, from a variety of high-tech government organizations around the […]

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OnSafari: Moremi

Jim is out of touch and on safari in Moremi in Botswana. The picture is of wild dogs seen on his last three consecutive trips to Botswana. Come back next week for a full account of this year’s trip.

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OnSafari: A “Real” Village Experience

The Naru Bushman experience was the highlight of our two days in the Kalahari. I’m continually upset when clients ask me to “visit a village.” There are no traditional villages left in most of Africa, and certainly not in the areas that tourists can visit. Yet someone will insist that their friends just came back […]

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OnSafari: Kalahari

We found a Kalahari lion our first day on safari! Unlike the more traditional lions roaming the great savannahs of Africa, the Kalahari lion has a lot more work cut out for him. Lions have to flood themselves with water after gorging on a kill or their insides close down. In the best of years, […]

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OnSafari: Cradle of Humankind

On our last day in South Africa we toured mankind’s first. Or some of his first, anyway. The Lanzerac was kind enough to give us an early breakfast so that we could leave at 7 a.m. It’s always such a crapshoot in South Africa when traveling around the cities during the week, because of traffic. […]

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OnSafari: In The Cape

After a day at Cape Point we ended our Cape experience in the wine country near Stellenbosch. Dogged by unprecedented fires, our touring was only slightly interrupted as part of Table Mountain Park at Cape Point was closed. But the Cape of Good Hope, the Flying Dutchman to the Cape Point and our choice picnic […]

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OnSafari: District Six

We spent the day in Cape Town’s District Six, learning of some very heavy history, eating some fine local food and applauding the country’s transformation. Around 60,000 people were relocated out of District Six under apartheid’s gruesome Group Areas Act, from 1966 – 1974. One of those persons was our guide, Linda Fortune, author and […]

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OnSafari: Joburg & Cape Town

Outstanding local guides complemented my own very personal commentary as we began city touring in Joburg and Cape Town. An increasing number of black Americans are traveling to South Africa specifically to visit Joburg and its surroundings. But many white Americans continue to see Joburg as unsafe. They’re very wrong. Safety is an issue I […]

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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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