Issue 36 (Autumn 2006)
Autumn 2006

Tracking wild dogs in South Africa · Sierra Leone · Wildlife watching experiences in Kenya · Kafue, Zambia · Gauteng feature · Walking with elephants · Essential Tanzania · Wilbur Smith · Birding in Gabon · Libya for history buffs.......and much more!

Gauteng - Striking Gold in the Heart of South Africa
Thousands of visitors to South Africa make Gauteng their first stop, but most don’t stay long enough to appreciate all it has in store. They’re missing out. With two vibrant cities, Johannesburg and Tshwane (Pretoria), and a hinterland stuffed with cultural treasures, there’s a great deal more to this province than Jo’burg International Airport, says John Malathronas.
Sleeping Giant
Kafue, Zambia’s oldest national park, is so vast it could swallow both the Serengeti and Ngorongoro whole. Yet the number of visitors it receives is tiny. For decades it’s suffered from under-investment and neglect but now, little by little, things seem to be changing for the better. With the opening of an impressive array of new camps and lodges, is southern Africa’s sleeping giant finally back on its feet? Huw Williams investigates.
On the trail of the diamond dogs
With Mickey Mouse ears, supermodel legs and swirling dark, milk and white chocolate coats, African wild dogs are among the continent’s most charismatic flagship species. Endangered and hard to see in the wild, only around 450 remain in South Africa, along with small pockets in Tanzania, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In a move to boost wild dogs’ chances of survival, a new ecotourism initiative in South Africa’s Limpopo province is allowing visitors to go behind the scenes of a special monitoring and conservation project. Ann and Steve Toon joined the project’s researchers on patrol, tracking a pack of radio-collared wild dogs though the bush.
A Taste for Adventure - Wilbur Smith
Best-selling novelist Wilbur Smith grew up in southern Africa, and his books are full of the flavour of the continent’s chequered history. He chats to Ron Toft about how it all began.
Unforgettable wildlife watching experiences in Kenya
Enduringly popular – sometimes dismissed as too popular – Kenya is one of Africa’s top tourist destinations for good reason. It offers a unique combination of accessibility, infrastructure and scenic diversity, along with one of the continent’s best rosters of animal-watching opportunities. If you take steps to avoid the tourist herds, you’ll find huge scope for personal discovery and adventure, says Richard Trillo, author of The Rough Guide to Kenya.
Essay: Royal Standards
Africa’s political framework may be evolving fast, but the continent’s chiefs and royals – many of them the living representatives of ancient dynasties – still hold sway, says Hamilton Wende.
An elephant at my table
What’s it like to stand so close to an elephant that you can see every hair on its trunk? In Botswana, a well-established project encourages local children and interested visitors to meet elephants on intimate terms. Emma Gregg investigates.
Paradise reborn
Sierra Leone is back on its feet, and the locals are delighted. It may be a while yet before its roads are rebuilt and its hoteliers get accustomed to welcoming more than a handful of guests at a time. But with a British airline launching a new direct service from London to Freetown this autumn, life in this easy-going tropical nation is beginning to change. And the beaches are as alluring as ever, says Alan Duncan.
Riches of the Past
With ancient dunes, an abundance of prehistoric rock art and the most impressive Roman ruins in Africa, Libya offers a feast for history buffs, says Anthony Ham.
Wheels around Africa
What’s it like to cycle the entire coast of a continent? Riaan Manser of South Africa, the first person ever to circumnavigate Africa by bicycle, tells Stephen Lord, himself an experienced adventure cyclist, about his epic 26-month journey.
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