Issue 34 (Spring 2006)
Spring 2006

Attenborough on Africa · Gabon · Tanzanian hideaways · Elephants at Risk · 24 Hours in Mana · Life in the Sand · Magical Mara · Essential Namibia · Gay Honeymoons · Photographing leopards · Bargain hunting · Ougadougou

Attenborough on Africa
In an exclusive interview, Sir David Attenborough talks to Emma Gregg about his most memorable moments on location in Africa and his passionate concern for the planet we all share.
Wild Paradise
Join a safari in Zimbabwe's Mana Pools National Park and you could be strolling through prime elephant-spotting territory one day, and paddling gently down the mighty Zambezi to a chorus of grunting hippos the next. Either way, you can expect a delicious sense of remoteness and some thrillingly close wildlife encounters. Photographer Eric Gauss samples one of Southern Africa's ultimate bush experiences. 
Close to Nature
Tourism in Tanzania appears to be booming. But so are safari companies' claims for their new lodges and camps: the best, the most eco-friendly, the most remote, the most luxurious... Hannah Forbes Black talked to a few industry insiders about what really lies beneath all those gushing superlatives.
Africa Untamed
In Gabon's Loango National Park, elephants stroll casually along the beach, the red river hogs and forest buffalo have wonderfully tufty ears and whiskers, and you find the most unexpected creatures in the trees. Watch out, this place could turn your world upside down, says Melanie McGrath.
Crush of the Giants
In areas where elephant overpopulation is a problem, is culling and acceptable solution? It's a matter of intense discussion in South Africa where, in February this year, the government came close to approving a drastic new programme to reduce elephant numbers in the Kruger National Park. With the decision postponed, the debate rages on. Steve and Ann Toon get to grips with one of Africa's thorniest conservations dilemmas.
Timeless Plains
With sweeping savannahs, towering escarpments and an ever-changing parade of animal activity, there's nowhere else on earth quite like Kenya's Masai Mara, says photographer and adventure tour guide Paul Goldstein.
Pink confetti in the Rainbow Nation

Lively clubs, chic resorts and gorgeous boutique hotels – it’s no wonder that South Africa scores so highly with gay and lesbian travellers. Many enjoy holidays here year after year and plenty have snapped up second homes in the Cape. With well over 4000 British same-sex couples predicted to tie the knot in 2006, is South Africa set to become one of the world’s hottest gay and lesbian honeymoon destinations, too? John Malathronas investigates.

Audience with a King
While plotting a path through the green dappled shadows of West Africa's inner folds to research a guidebook to Benin, Stuart Butler was rarely more than a step away from something strange. His spiralling course through a world inhabited by witches, demons, walking haystacks, dancing chickens, sacred pythons and people who can fly like birds left him uniquely equipped to deal with the unexpected. He picked up a few tips on how to mix with royalty, too.
Eating out in Ouagadougou
Ouagadougou: spectacular name, spectacular food. James Knight and Katrina Manson, co-authors of the new Bradt Travel Guide to Burkina Faso, lick their lips and take us on a culinary tour of this relaxed and hospitable capital city.
Essential Africa: Namibia
Few have returned from a trip to Namibia with anything other than supreme praise. Its serene deserts and wild, rugged landscapes have inspired many an intrepid traveller, but, for all its accessibility, even the most popular of its tourist hotspots rarely feel crowded – for now. Chris McIntyre, author of Namibia: the Bradt Travel Guide, introduces one of Africa’s hippest destinations by shortlisting its most compelling attractions and suggesting three itineraries to excite anyone from first-time visitors to true old hands.
Essay: Bargain hunting
Glitzy malls, who needs them? When in Africa, shopaholics with an eye for a bargain need look no further than the nearest marketplace, says fashion fiend Lizzie Williams.
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