At the beginning of November, Muizenberg hosted the 19th Cape Town Kite Festival; an annual jamboree which attracted crowds of over 20000. Being good and responsible corporate citizens of Muizenberg, the Uyaphi team witnessed the sublime and the strange over this 2 day festival.
A few weeks we wrote about the scourge of rhino poaching and gave statistics as to the severity of the situation as well as proposing various alternatives to stop this bloody war. In this article we look at two different technological solutions to improve rhino security and diminish its attraction to potential poachers.
The African elephant (of the genus Loxodonta), the iconic symbol of the African plains and bushveld. A animal that is revered across the world not only for its beauty and grace but also unfortunately for its ivory. One of the easier animals to photograph due to it’s size and fact that they are quite difficult to miss! Our team at Uyaphi have taken the greatest of pleasures in the past decade in snapping this selection of Amazing Elephant pictures. Enjoy!
The main event in Munich finished earlier this month on the 5th October. The Windhoek Oktoberfest may not compete with over six million patrons and 7.5 million liters of beer drunk (enough to fill three Olympic swimming pools) but in its own way, it is flying the flag for the reputation of good beer and hospitality in this south western corner of Africa.
In a recent announcement, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) announced the micro-chipping of every horn of every rhino in the country. This is an increasingly high tech solution to the epidemic of rhino poaching which is afflicting every country in Africa and which shows no sign of abating. On the contrary, there is a surge in demand with new countries like Vietnam taking over the mantle from China of leading consumers of rhino horn.
This year marks the twentieth anniversary of a very special family, the Mubare family group in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in the south western corner of Uganda. They are of course, gorillas. Why are they so special? They were the first official group or family to be habituated and receive visitors thus starting one of the great safari tourism experiences of our time, gorilla trekking.
In the north east of South Africa, known as the Limpopo province, you will find a mountainous range called the Waterberg. It was so called by the original Afrikaner settlers because of the abundant sources of water; a geological rarity and life giving necessity in this region. Wildlife thrives in this non-malarial environment: giraffe, white rhinoceros, warthog, impala, kudu, klipspringer, blue wildebeest Nile crocodile and hippopotamus all present in abundance.
One of my most formative experiences with these magnificent beasts was about thirty years ago in the Kora Game Reserve in north eastern Kenya working for the internationally renowned game ranger , George Adamson. Our battered Land Rover had broken down (again) about 15 kilometres from camp (kampi ya simba). Setting out in the sweltering midday sun, we were approaching the final track to camp at dusk only to be confronted by a large pride of about 11 lions casually blocking the road. We stared at each other for about half an hour. They couldn’t have been particularly hungry because I lived to tell you this tale but since that day, the die was cast. I was smitten by these creatures. Majestic, dignified and virile yet with a relaxed demeanor and gait.
Kenya remains the premier safari and beach destination in East Africa. Over 1.6m foreign tourists visited the country in 2010, testifying to the country’s enduring popularity. In no particular order, here are 10 good reasons to visit:
Kenya has been much in the news over the last few weeks for the wrong reasons. A sad and tragic terrorist attack has impacted the country’s image. This is doubly unfortunate as Kenya remains the most popular of all tourist destinations in east Africa and as most visitors will attest, their holiday was perfect and trouble free. The combination of going on safari and then relaxing on the beach is alluring and with its spectacular Indian Ocean coastline, there is much to choose from. In no particular order and with much thought from our team, these are our picks of the most beautiful beaches in Kenya:
Our friends at Africa Geographic Magazine recently published a list of African animals in decline. This is not the same as endangered which is defined as “a species whose numbers are so small that the species is at risk of extinction”. This “African Animals in Decline” list focuses on these animals and birds whose numbers are declining so strongly that it will be difficult for the species to recover meaningfully. There is some crossover on these two types. This unfortunate hit parade is as follows:
The capital of the pearl of Africa is booming. Like many other African cities, a burgeoning middle class enlarged by a stable Ugandan government and consistent economic growth over the last two decades, has created a dynamic city. Every day, you can see new cranes on the city’s skyline building apartment blocks, hotels and offices. In this environment, dining options abound. I will add that most meals ought to be accompanied by cold Nile beer, one of the best commercial ales in the whole of Africa. In association with our friends at Wildplaces Uganda, here is our choice of the Top 5 restaurants in Kampala:
The fire which devastated Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and in particular the international arrivals and immigration terminal on the 7th August, has served as a catalyst for renovations and improvements for the whole airport. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the new airport will be bigger and much better to cope with the increasing volume of traffic.
When you live in Africa, love the smell of nature and its strong call, and perhaps even more importantly, understand the natural cycles; you see death of wildlife as part of the natural order. The strong conquer the weak, the old give space to the young. Yet, when you see a magnificent animal and predator die in an area which is desperately (and successfully) trying to rehabilitate natural corridors of flora and fauna over a previously devastated land, no one would think less of you for shedding a tear.
It’s a funny old world. At the end of August, the UN World Tourism Organisation held its bi-annual general assembly at the Victoria Falls, the border between hosts Zambia and Zimbabwe. More than 120 delegations attended with a stated objective of “advancing tourism’s sustainable growth.” The black humour makes it entry when you realise that one of the world’s more authoritarian dictators, President Robert Mugabe, welcomed the delegates and the practices which have occurred to produce this shindig are from sustainable.