AFRICA TALKED – March 2023 NEWSLETTER – for International Distribution
“We humans are the only species with the power to destroy the earth as we know it.” His Holiness the Dali Lama
Climate Change and Global Warming are two aspects of a huge problem. Global Warming is affecting Climate Change, and there are things that can be done about reducing its effects on Climate Change. Climate Change, a historic phenomena, we can only be prepared for.
Spending time with a conservation research scientist on his way to an international conference on Climate Change was a rewarding and enlightening experience. Understanding more about carbon emissions and footprints explained why some experts believe it is too late to do anything about the problem man has created. However, he stressed, we must continue to fight this battle on all fronts, including on a personal basis, not just waiting for governments to do it for us.
An interesting site to look at is Project Drawdown a non-profit organisation that suggests if global food waste is reduced by 2050, the amount of carbon dioxide that would not be emitted is “the equivalent to taking 2,570 coal-fired power plants offline”. https://drawdown.org/.
A SELECTED DESTINATION
Where to go in Africa
South Africa, Kenya, Botswana
Visionary in its thinking ECOTRAINING, started twenty years ago by a group of young guides who wanted to preserve wildlife and the environment. Now offering a range of courses from professional safari guide to keen naturalist and photographer, either online or at exclusive bush camps, they offer an opportunity to understand and enjoy the wilderness.
HEART TO HEART – A Conversation on Love and Hope for our Precious Planet
Words by His Holiness the Dalai Lama illustrated by Patrick McDonnell
This is a beautiful little book with a big message. With charming illustrations by award-winning
artist and author Patrick McDonnell, this is a book to read time and again, to treasure and to
ISBN 978-0-00-851376-4 Published by Harper Collins 2023
THE BODY ILLUSTRATED – A GUIDE for OCCUPANTS by Bill Bryson
We are, as the psalmist said, ‘fearfully and wonderfully made.” And this book shows and explains so much about our bodies in Bill Bryson’s inimitable style – clear, easy to understand and very entertaining.
A huge tomb – in both size and content – this is not a book for medical professionals, though there is some in-depth and thought-provoking information, but a beautifully illustrated discussion on the wonders of the human body and how it works. Taking medical progress through the last few centuries, to the amazing discoveries and technology of today’s surgery and preventative medicine, there are cameo profiles of patients and doctors alike, insight into sleep patterns, diseases and fascinating information on how the brain works. With some laugh-aloud anecdotes, a bit of gossip, lots of interesting facts, illustrations and beautiful copies of historic paintings, there is a great deal to read, learn and enjoy in this unusual book.
ISBN 978 0 8575 2769 1 Published by Penguin Random House UK.
NAMIBIA. Romeo Muyunda of the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism advised that one of the eight
cheetahs flown to the Kuno National Park in India from Namibia in September last year died on Monday 24 April 2023. “She had kidney failure and has been under medical care for the past three months. The other cheetahs are doing very well. Currently four of them are out in the wild – they are hunting and being monitored,” he said. There has been a great deal of debate as to whether this translocation was the correct thing to do or not, with
opinions for and against.
CAMEROON. Restoration of Waza National Park is planned, with attempts to curb illegal logging and poaching. On the borders with Chad and Nigeria, it is the country’s most diverse wildlife reserve, with lions, elephants, giraffes, antelopes and numerous species of birds. The 170,000-hectare park has been recognized since 1979 as a UNESCO World Heritage biosphere reserve.
DID YOU KNOW Gorillas and chimpanzees, like humans, can become infected with malaria?
RWANDA. Eric Rutayisire, Founder and CEO of Charis Unmanned Aerial Solutions (Charis UAS) advised that due to their successful collaboration with the Rwanda Biomedical Centre on developing a protocol on how to use drones and advanced 3D geospatial data as an effective tool to tackle Malaria they have been able to expand their areas of operation.
TANZANIA is also using drones to combat malaria. According to scientific findings, there are more than 300 species of mosquitoes of which five of them are spreading malaria in Africa, three of the five causing malaria in Tanzania.
KENYA has begun to inoculate more than 400,000 children against mosquito- borne malaria. Health officials say malaria kills more than 12,000 Kenyans each year and more than half a million people in sub-Saharan Africa, most of them children.
SOUTH AFRICA. Hyneria udlezinye – the biggest prehistoric bony fish ever to be discovered in southern Africa was found on Waterloo Farm, near Makhanda (previously Grahamstown) in the Easter Cape, South Africa. Discovered by palaeontologists South African Rob Gess, and Swedish Per Ahlberg, this is a new species belonging to an extinct group of lobe-finned fish known as tristichopterids. This group were the fish most closely related to tetrapods, the four-legged vertebrates.
ESWATINI – The 16th MTN BUSHFIRE FESTIVAL Named the “Top African Festival by the BBC and called one of the “7 African music festivals you really
have to see” by CNN, this vibrant and eclectic celebration of some of the finest African music – with local and international artists – the MTN Bushfire
takes places near Malkerns from 26 – 28 May. Tickets have sold out in advance 8 years in a row, so book now through www.bush-fire.com
ZIMBABWE AND ZAMBIA. The 11th Vic Falls Carnival includes adrenaline-pumping adventure activities during the day, with live performances from over 30 of Africa’s hottest music acts at Elephant Hills Resort in the evenings. April 28 & 29 Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe April 30 Livingstone, Zambia.
Tickets are available online. https://vicfallscarnival.com/
EAST AFRICA. Lake Victoria, surrounded by Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania, has seen fish die-offs due to low oxygen for the past two years. Scientists are linking the phenomenon to climate change and unregulated development along the lake. Low dissolved oxygen (DO) primarily results from excessive algae growth caused by phosphorus. Nitrogen is another nutrient that can contribute to algae growth. As the algae die and decompose, the process consumes dissolved oxygen. This is causing massive problems amongst the fishermen who rely on fish, especially tilapia, for their living.
Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List, they live in savanna woodlands and scrubland with sparse trees. The total population is estimated to be approximately 2,000 of which +/-1,400 are probably mature individuals, and their numbers are decreasing due to loss of habitat and poaching.
Compared to most other subspecies of giraffe, the Kordofan giraffe is relatively small in stature, with small and pale irregular patches and spots on the inner legs. Their lower legs have no markings. They are similar to other giraffe with their diets, family structures and habitats.
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(Photo of lion by Thomas Bruhlmann)