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Leopards are Best at Going the Distance

Leopards are Best at Going the Distancemaxresdefault Leopards are Best at Going the Distance

When an Elephant charges

When an Elephant charges

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When an Elephant charges Lessons from Dereck  and Beverly 

An elephant’s age can be determined by its molar teeth, and the Jouberts conclude from them that both animals died at around 70, but still had a few years left to live. So what caused these bulls to die in the same place and at the same time? The mystery so intrigues the filmmakers, they decide to spend the next two years traveling through what would have been their home range, reconstructing the lives these elephants would have led, reimagining their birth and childhood, how they would have interacted with each other, their great migrations for water with their families and the inevitable encounters with lions.

To understand the lives of the two old bulls, the Jouberts paddle from one end of a river to the other in the Selinda Reserve, home to over 7,000 elephants in a remote corner of Botswana. Their journey brings them into extremely close contact with herds that, over time, seem to accept their presence as the couple film and photograph them.

They capture scenes of a mother teaching her new calf that he can’t have his milk until he stops his temper tantrum, and also manage to document elephants snoring. But there are moments when an elephant suddenly charges toward their canoe. When that happens, the experienced pair know it’s best not to move, but to rather remain quiet and wait. The filmmakers only discover what caused the herd’s agitation after they paddle downstream, and come upon piles of discarded bones and skulls that had been chopped away to remove the ivory.

The Jouberts explain that prior to 2014, hunting male elephants was legal in Botswana, and that it is traumatic for elephants to come across a killing field. The couple follow different herds on foot and place small cameras in strategic positions to capture them stopping to examine carcasses of dead elephants with their trunks, perhaps searching for the cause of death or remembering a friend.

The film likens the scene to a family in mourning and suggests that these elephants, whose brains are almost five times the size of ours, are feeling emotions similar to those we might feel, showing evidence of living beings with full lives and even souls. But not all threats are from man as an elephant’s raging testosterone can take its toll when one young bull is pitted against another, and a severe injury can signal death.

To track the herds as they head across the grasslands, the Jouberts take to the skies. They film the elephants following ancient networks of paths in search of their daily requirement of nearly a quarter pound of salt. Aerials also track each herd as it methodically crosses the floodplains, led by a matriarch giving commands with growls, trumpets and even the flapping of her ears. The families close ranks in a crisis.

When a mother loses her calf at a crossing and lions begin their attack, a small group of relatives helps her rescue the calf just in time. Botswana is home to over one-third of the elephants living in the wild today, and is one of the few places where these animals can still live out a natural life. The Jouberts take us into that world and bring the story of the two bulls to life. They even arrive at a solution to the mystery of their deaths. Those deaths remain a cause for celebration because when an elephant dies with its ivory intact, perhaps the soul of that elephant is at peace.

Ruaha National Park Tanzania

Ruaha National Park Tanzania 

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Ruaha National Park

Ruaha National Park is the largest national park in Tanzania. The addition of the Usangu Game Reserve and other important wetlands to the park in 2008 increased its size too. Located in the heart of the country, Ruaha is the ‘other park’ on the Southern circuit. Ruaha’s relative inaccessibility has resulted in a park that takes far fewer tourists than the Selous and far fewer than any park in the Northern circuit.

The rewards of travelling this far are a wild landscape with baobab studded hills and rocky escarpments, playing host to excellent levels of game including superb predator concentrations, huge elephant and buffalo herds and a cross over of game from southern and Eastern Africa. Birdwatcher’s can enjoy over 400 species of bird.

Mahale Mountains National Park

Mahale Mountains National Park

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Mahale National Park

Mahale national park was the research base for a team of Japanese anthropologists for several decades. Despite the gorgeous clear waters of Lake Tanganyika and the obvious draw of the chimps themselves, Mahale was not an established tourist destination until about decade ago. It’s still remote, but absolutely worth the trip. Mahale is located in the Western Tanzania to the South of Kigoma town, it is bordering Lake Tanganyika-the World’s longest, second deepest and least polluted freshwater lake-harboring

Rwanda Uganda Gorilla Tracking Tours Gorilla Watching Congo Mahale Mountains National Park

 

US lifts travel warning on Kenyan coast

US lifts travel warning on Kenyan coast

Beach Holidays US lifts travel warning on Kenyan coast

The United States government has lifted travel restrictions it issued to its citizens on visits to most parts of Kenya’s coastal region.

The US Embassy stated travel restrictions to Malindi through Mombasa and Kwale counties to the Tanzanian border had been lifted.

“There are no longer general restrictions on travel to Malindi city in Kilifi County through Mombasa and Kwale counties to the Tanzanian border,” an email sent to its citizens and staff stated.

The US, however, restricted its staff from traveling to towns near the border with Somalia and cautioned them against using the Likoni ferry in Mombasa.

The US also cautioned those visiting Old Town in Mombasa, saying they should do so during the day.

The Barack Obama administration asked its citizens in Kenya to be vigilant and be aware of their own personal security.

The US issued a travel advisory in May this year and restricted its personnel from visiting Eastleigh in Nairobi and the coastal counties of Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi and Lamu.

The travel restrictions also covered Tana River County, north of Pate Island, Kiwavu and Kiunga on the Kenya-Somalia border, and northeastern Kenya towns, including El Wak, Wajir, Garissa, Mandera and Liboi.

Any travel to the restricted areas by any US Embassy personnel had to be pre-approved by appropriate embassy offices.

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