AFRICA TALKED – AUGUST 2022 NEWSLETTER
News, Views, Conservation, People and places
“Human rights are not things that are put on the table for people to enjoy. These are things you fight for and then you protect.” Wangari Maathai, 1940-2011 Kenyan Noble Prize Laureate and Environmentalist
BIRD MIGRATION. Following the flight of a European Honey Buzzard from Reitz, Free State, South Africa on April 20 arriving in Finland on 2nd June, we were reminded of the tiny Northern Wheatear that breeds in Canada and Alaska and who visits Africa every year. This songbird only weighs 25 gms (the same as two tablespoons of flour) a weight it has to reach before setting off. There are two separate populations of Wheatears in the north. The Alaskan breed flies over Russia, and the Arabian Desert, to the Sudan and Uganda, a flight of approx 14,500 km.
The ones that breed in the Canadian Arctic go in the opposite direction to winter in Mauritania, West Africa, a journey of 7,500 km. Research has shown that this tiny bird completes the longest known flight over water of any songbird, a distance of 3,500 over the Atlantic taking about 4 days of non-stop flying.
(Photo of Northern Wheatear by Sandra Palme)
TANZANIA: Evictions of the indigenous Maasai, widely acknowledged as exceptional wildlife conservationists, in Tanzania is still taking place, mostly in the Loliondo region. The South African newspaper The Daily Maverick, gives a full, and disturbing account, with photos, of what is currently taking place and why. https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2022-08-25-maasai-evicted-by-dubai-royal-family-
ON 26 AUGUST 2022 we heard from Maasai elder, Taiko Lemayian of the Waus Community Justice Center, Kenya. “The government of Tanzania having forcefully evicted 70,000 from the 1,500 Km2 in Loliondo, the area has been heavily militarized and is out of bound to any media and even the request from the UN special rapporteurs turned down. The government has adopted scorched earth policy by daily seizing ten of thousands of Maasai cattle and levying hefty penalties.”
“The Loliondo refugees in Kenya continue languishing in poverty. The Red Cross and UNHCR has not come to their aid.”
MAASAI WARRIOR Oil on Canvas by PROUD SIBANDA www.africatalked.co.za/art/proud-sibanda
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SOUTH AFRICA. For the first time in almost two centuries, cheetahs are once again roaming the Babanango wilderness in KwaZulu Natal. The young males, brothers, came from the Roam Private Game Reserve in the Western Cape and have been released in the Babanango Game Reserve.
ZAMBIA. The Kafue National Park in Zambia is the latest reserve in Africa (of 89) to join the Unesco World Biosphere Network. Covering an area of approximately 22 400 sq km, the Kafue Marshes Biosphere Reserve passes through several districts of archaeological and historical importance. Located in the west of Zambia, Kafue is the oldest and largest national park in Zambia and is home to over 400 bird species and several mammals, including the endemic Kafue lechwe.
ESWATINI (Previously Swaziland). The colourful centuries-old ceremony where the kingdom’s unmarried and childless females present their newly cut reed to the Queen Mother to protect her residence, will take place on Monday 5 September. His Majesty King Mswati III will be attending.
THE INFAMOUS MALABOCH WAR and more gripping stories from the old Transvaal and beyond by David Hilton-Barber. www.africatalked.co.za/book-reviews/history
History comes alive with these short tales by historian and well-known author David Hilton-Barber. It is the small, and sometimes quirky, events that colour the days gone by. Adding usually not well-known knowledge of the people, the whys-and-wherefores of their actions and the unexpected outcomes, this book is a fascinating collection.
FIELD GUIDE TO THE AMARYLLIS FAMILY of Southern Africa & Surrounding Territories.
Text by Graham Duncan, Paintings by Barbara Jeppe and Leigh Voigt
Not only a beautiful field guide to the 265 taxa of amaryllid in southern and central Africa, this is a magnificent record of each species. Photographed, where possible in their natural ecological habitat by 162 photographers, capturing the brief flowering time of so many amaryllids, this book includes an amazing amount of information. https://www.africatalked.co.za/book-reviews/
GEOLOGICAL HIGHLIGHTS of East Africa’s National Parks by Roger N Scoon with Maps by Lyn Whitfield. This is a superb, informative and well-presented guide, with maps and full-colour photographs of the major, and some minor, parks of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and the Virunga Mountains along the border of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). https://www.africatalked.co.za/book-reviews/
DON’T MISS your copy of the Travel & Leisure: Zambia & Zimbabwe www.zambiatravelmagazine.com Lots of interesting stories, information and brilliant photographs.
FIND US on Wild Zambezi www.wildzambezi.com under Travel Listings/Useful Links. The Zambezi Valley: Victoria Falls, Kariba, Zimbabwe, and Zambia.
DID YOU KNOW the national animal of Gabon is the black panther?
It is not a separate species, but a leopard with extra black pigmentation that gives it a black coat. Look closely and you’ll see black panthers still have dark spots on their fur like a leopard.
The first scientifically confirmed black leopard in Africa since 1909, when one was photographed and documented in Ethiopia. The first documentation of a black leopard in Kenya was in 2019, seen in the Laikipia Area.
We have not been able to confirm how many, if any, are found in Gabon –can you advise?
THANKS to our readers who write in, we so appreciate hearing from you.
I love your newsletter! Kate. Kate Turkington, Winner of the 2019 Mbokodo Woman in the Media Award, Author, Broadcaster, Award-winning Travel Writer, Influencer.
“It is with great pleasure that I announce the addition of two new parks to our portfolio, Boma National Park and Badingilo National Park in South Sudan. This new agreement is a momentous step for both African Parks and the Government of South Sudan as we embark on this journey together to revive and protect one of the planet’s most significant landscapes.” Peter Fearnhead, CEO. African Parks https://www.africanparks.org/
(Photo by Fausto Carbone)
Go well and be Faithful to Nature
Lesley & Ian Thomson. Africa Talked
W: www.africatalks.co.za E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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