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Jambo Kenya! Some of the most commonly used phrases and words whilst on Safari

Wherever you travel in Kenya, you will find that English and Swahili are the most widely spoken and official languages. However, when you’re in the Masai Mara, your guide will more than likely speak Maa, the official language of the Masai tribe. To make your life easier, here are some key Swahili and Maa phrases you might want to have handy on your travels in the region.

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Talking Travel with Andrew | Episode 3

As most of you are aware, I had the privilege of spending a week in the Masai Mara along with gerry van Der Walt of Photo-Africa . In this weeks final chat under the Photo-Africa & Moya Wa Tenga brands, we feature a short video clip of a river crossing in the Masai Mara and an informal interview with Paul McDougall, Isaac Kinyanjui. In case you are wondering, that is the mighty Mara River running in the background!

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Talking Travel with Andrew | Episode 2

Check out the second installment of my weekly travel feature in the Photo-Africa Weekly Chats! This week we look at some of the more affordable accommodation options which do not compromise on your game viewing experience, as well as a short feature on the Morukuru Family of Lodges in Madikwe Game Reserve, our featured destination of the week.

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5 Magical hours in the Masai Mara

For the last six days I have been trying to work out how to answer the inevitable question that would await my return to South Africa “So, how was your trip to the Masai Mara?”. For anyone who has been to this beautiful place, you will know exactly why I was struggling to find the words to describe the experience. Luckily for me, I had one of the most incredible days that I have ever spent in the bush and rather than harping on about the wide open spaces, sheer numbers of wildlife, ecological diversity and abundance of predators, it takes a brief summary of a single morning drive to put it all into context.

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Talking Travel with Andrew go’s LIVE!

I am very excited about a new feature spot that I have been able to secure in Photo-Africa’s weekly video chat! This new feature, Talking Travel with Andrew, will become a weekly event and will aim to provide all of you keen travellers out there with a range of travel related information. I aim to cover everything from interesting sightings from specific camps and conservation areas, destination reviews, travel tips, right the way through to the latest industry news and more! If you have any travel related questions or would like to suggest ideas for future episodes, feel free to drop me a line and I will see what I can do to include get the answers you need, even if it means bringing in an expert!

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Mapungubwe | A Valuable Green Tourism Destination

As mining activities continue to threaten one of South Africa’s most unique National Parks (Mapungubwe), a new coalition group has been formed with the aim of preventing any further development of the intended opencast and underground coal mine that is to be located near this, a World Heritage Site. This media release looks at Vanessa Bristow’s views on the current situation and includes a fantastic video clip which highlights the natural beauty and history of this region.

Bristow, like many others, believes that the Mapungubwe region should be preserved and protected from the impacts of infrastructural development, and allowed to remain pristine for generations to come. What do you think?

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Reflective space is a winner!

After many years of taking photos and having hundreds of images just sitting on my hard drive or hanging on walls in my house, I finally decided to pluck up the courage and start entering some competitions. An image I submitted to both Getaway Magazine and Africa Geographic publications, was chosen as a monthly winner in their September & July issues respectively but this post focusses more on the personal battle that I fought in order to get to this point.

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Crocodiles Devour Young Hippo Calf in South Luangwa

What started out as a fairly quiet early morning game drive in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park took an interesting turn as we spotted a crocodile feeding on something on the far bank of the river. After 30 minutes of intermittent action, the centre of attention turned out to be a young hippo carcass. More than 20 individuals were seen fighting for their share of the carcass and I was lucky enough to capture the whole sequence of events on camera.

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New Research Helps Conservationists Mitigate Bird and Power Line Collisions

Recent noteworthy research is helping the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) to better manage the interactions between birds and electrical infrastructure. The EWT first identified a conservation need around wildlife and power line interactions in 1996. The most common problems are electrocution of perched birds, and birds colliding with power lines. Birds can also cause short circuits in the electricity supply, which costs both Eskom and the electricity user.

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Dyer Island Conservation Trust | Tracking The Great White

With our upcoming Photographic Workshop based around capturing breaching Great White Sharks off Seal Island, we thought it would be a good idea to gain a greater insight into the conservation and research efforts which focus on these magnificent creatures. The following is the first of many guest posts from the Dyer Island Conservation Trust.

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Carbofuran Ban Upheld in the USA

The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) welcomes a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington D.C. on 31 May 2011 denying a petition to reconsider the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2009 ban on domestic food tolerances for carbofuran, a pesticide used to kill nematodes in the soil.

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Yellow Fever Update for Travellers to and from South Africa

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has revised the Yellow Fever vaccination recommendations for Africa and the South African Department of Health has issued information regarding the requirements for travellers from and to South Africa. We would like to highlight that our investigations into the date of inception of the above recommendations suggest that the effective date has been set as 1 July 2011. Travellers immunized against Yellow Fever are issued with an internationally recognized vaccination certificate for inspection by immigration officials.

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Last Minute Accommodation Specials

Check out these fantastic last minute special offers on safari accommodation at a number of lodges throughout South Africa including Madikwe, Kapama, Pilanesberg National Park, Welgevonden, the Timbavati, and Mkuze Falls!

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Land use changes from a Bird’s-eye View | World Migratory Bird Day 14-15 May 2011

There are only about 1 000 Blue Swallow breeding pairs left in the world. The South African population is listed as Critically Endangered and its numbers are declining, with several local extinctions occurring in the past decade. World Migratory Bird Day was initiated in order to highlight the importance of and need for the protection of migratory birds and their habitats. This year’s theme is ‘Land Use Changes from a Bird’s-Eye View’.

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Wildlife Photography 101 Workshop Video

This short video clip was taken during our previous workshop which was held over two days in Johannesburg and Pilanesberg National Park. As you can see, the weather was pretty miserable but we had a great time and the delegates went home with a far greater understanding of their equipment and the theory behind capturing that perfect image

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Kruger National Park or Madikwe : Which should I visit during my Safari in South Africa?

First time travellers to South Africa often find themselves having to make the tough choice of choosing a wildlife conservation area to visit during their stay. In this post I look at some of the key differences in a number of fields between Kruger National Park’s APNR and the Madikwe Game Reserve.

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Photographic Equipment Rentals | Specials in Madikwe

From 15 April to 13 May 2011, Photo-Africa will be running a fantastic special offer for all visitors to Madikwe Game Reserve. Equipment rentals are not just limited to these packages and a full range of professional lenses and camera bodies are available!

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South African Army in the Kruger National Park to Stamp out Rhino Poaching

South African soldiers are patrolling the world famous Kruger National Park on the borders with Mozambique to stamp out rhino poaching. The soldiers have not yet clashed with poachers who had killed 46 rhinos in Kruger park this year out of a countrywide total of 71 by last month.

The operation in Kruger is part of a move to give the army, rather than police, responsibility for border patrols.

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Wildlife Photography 101 Workshop Review

With today’s technology, digital photography is more accessible than ever and when combined with South Africa’s amazing natural heritage it is not strange that more and more people are taking up wildlife photography as a hobby.It is with this goal in mind that Photo-Africa and Moya Wa Tenga present Wildlife Photography 101, a digital photography workshop aimed at helping you create better wildlife images. Check out this review of our most recent workshop.

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Destination Review | Finfoot Lake Reserve & Lodge

This past weekend we were able to spend a night at the Finfoot Lake Reserve and Lodge just outside of Pilanesberg National Park. After years of travelling through this area and seeing the turn off to the Finfoot Reserve, you can imagine how surprised we were to discover what proved to be an absolute gem of a destination! This review will provide you with all you need to know about this fantastic reserve.

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Serengeti Trip 2011 | The Final Chapter

And so an adventure of a lifetime comes to an end. Today was our last full day on the Serengeti Trip 2011 and the feeling in camp Ji-and-Villiers was part sadness, because we only have one day left on the road, and part joy, because tomorrow we’ll be home! It was a treat to sleep in this morning in an air-conditioned room and it took us ages to become fully mobile.

Thanks again to every single person who followed the blog, left a comment, gave us advice, support and sms’s, hosted us during the trip or sponsored satphone data or a piece of equipment. You helped to make the Serengeti Trip 2011 a huge success!

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The Sky’s the Limit | Packing Tips for your African safari

Africa is vast with many national parks and game reserves located in remote wilderness areas. Often as with Botswana, the only way to reach them is with a small aircraft.

This guest post provides some tips and guidelines on what to expect when flying in these light aircraft, as well as how to plan and pack for these trips.

The Biggest tip: Shoes are bulkiest – always wear the biggest / heaviest items of clothing / shoes on the plane.

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Life Lessons from Wildlife | A Natural history filmmakers’ experiences in the wild

Join EWT and Rob Waldron for a deeper look into the exciting world of creating wildlife documentaries in Southern Africa.

Taking an average of two years to complete, each wildlife film is a tribute to the animals and conservationists that work with them daily. Working closely with specialist scientists and conservationists such as Dr.Gus Mills, Dr. Paul Funston, Dr Ian Player, Dr. Ian Whyte, and Prof Antoinette Kotze, the films emerge with good science pointing the way to the future.

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Serengeti Trip 2011 | A Relaxed Day in the Bay

Welcome to the Serengeti Trip series of blog posts! This series of posts covers the planning, packing and progress of a massive 70-day trip through 6 African countries early in 2011.

Today was one of the most relaxing days so far on the Serengeti Trip 2011 and that’s the way we planned it. After two days of being stranded next to the road we decided to spend my birthday in stunning Nkhata Bay on the shore of Lake Malawi. For the first time in some days we slept in and then slowly made our way down to the bar where we treated ourselves to full English breakfasts.

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A Pilanesberg Day Trip with a Difference!

This past weekend I had a group of guests from the US for a day trip up to the Pilanesberg National Park.

Little did they know that they would be in for the experience of a lifetime! We had been invited to join another group on a rhino notching excursion! The rest of the trip also provided great sightings of general game and elephant.

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Serengeti Trip 2011 | Goodbye North, Hello South!

Welcome to the Serengeti Trip series of blog posts! This series of posts covers the planning, packing and progress of a massive 70-day trip through 6 African countries early in 2011.

I wish we had a selection of excellent and interesting wildlife photos to post today, but instead you’ll have to be content with photos of us making the arduous journey down to Dodoma. It took us the best part of six hours to cover a 250 km-stretch of gravel road!

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Serengeti Trip 2011 | Into The Crater

Welcome to the Serengeti Trip series of blog posts! This series of posts covers the planning, packing and progress of a massive 70-day trip through 6 African countries early in 2011.

There are no words to describe the numbers of wildlife in the Ngorongoro Crater! We saw thousands of wildebeest, zebra and buffalo, as well as 27 lions!

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Serengeti Trip 2011 | “L” is for Lobo, Leopards and Lions

Welcome to the Serengeti Trip series of blog posts! This series of posts covers the planning, packing and progress of a massive 70-day trip through 6 African countries early in 2011.

The game viewing in the Lobo region of the Serengeti seems to be going well with loads of lions, leopards and general game!

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Photographic Safari | The Great White Sharks of Seal Island

Have you ever wanted to experience the thrill of witnessing one of the greatest natural phenomena known to man? Now is your chance!

Join Photo-Africa and Moya Wa Tenga Safaris as we set out to capture the Great White Sharks Breaching off Seal Island in Cape Town on camera in July 2011.

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Help Enforce the Law Against Illegal Dog Hunting

Illegal hunting with dogs is rife in parts of South Africa and this is having a serious impact on wildlife, including the Endangered Oribi antelope.

The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) calls on the public to report illegal dog hunting to them. “If we don’t stop this practice, antelope like the Oribi could soon be extinct in South Africa,” says Samson Phakathi, Field Officer with the EWT’s Threatened Grassland Species Programme.

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