Recently published newspaper and magazine articles, radio interviews and video clips about my Year in the Wild.
A feature article on my time at the prestigious yet down-to-earth EcoTraining camp in the Tuli Block of south-eastern Botswana. I joined instructor Okwa Sarefo and his students for a few days, to learn about the African bushveld, it's animals, its trees, it's life...and it's soul. And you know what I learned? That we don't need much to be happy...water, food, friendship, wild animals, land, sky and maybe a cold beer or two. (Ok, DEFINITELY a cold beer or two).
One of the most remote, and wildest, spots in Africa is Etendeka Mountain Camp in Damaraland in Namibia. But there's a beautiful camp that caters for people who want to immerse themselves comfortably into the desert wilderness. Owner and manager Dennis Liebenberg is among the most knowledgeable and committed operators in Namibia's famed community conservation program, and chatting to him while sitting around the fire at Etendeka is a fascinating experience.
Peter Timm passed away in May 2014, at the age of 51, soon after I had the privilege of meeting him and chatting to him about his numerous sightings of one of Earth's oldest animals - the coelacanth, dating back 400 million years. Peter's love for the ocean (and nature in general) was infectious, and I got the feeling that if he wasn't an elite Trimix diver, plunging down to more than 100 metres in Sodwana Bay's deep canyons, he'd be a game ranger somewhere on a wild river in Africa. He was a larger than life person, who died while trying to help another diver.
During my last few years of exploring Southern Africa's protected areas, I've spent time with some special people who have inspired me enormously. One of them is Meg Murgatroyd, who did her PhD on the imperious Black Eagle (yes, I know the new name is Verreaux's Eagle, but the former just sounds better!). Meg spent three years in the Cederberg mountains of the Western Cape, hiking every square kilometre, during icy winters and searing summers, mostly on her own. Her goal? To find as many black eagles as possible, and figure out as much as possible about them. In the process she saw some pretty amazing things: like a black eagle divebombing a rare Cape leopard (she saw that happen on FIVE separate occasions). Oh, and while hiking on her own in the mountains, she broke her leg about as badly as you can break a leg...but after some help from friends, an operation or two and a few bottles of her favourite beer, she was just fine. Tough girl. Meg's now the world's leading expert on these
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Last year during winter I spent four very cold days in the Mnweni area of the Drakensberg, guided by Caiphus Mthabela, a Zulu who knows these mountains better than anyone else I've met. In my opinion, Mnweni is the most beautiful and wildest part of South Africa's biggest mountain range, yet it is the only part that is not formally protected, falling outside the World Heritage Site because of historical and political reasons. Mnweni is very remote, with few hikers - so chances are you'll have the place to yourself. Just watch out for Basotho dagga smugglers, who regularly use the steep passes at night to carry their merchandise down to the foothills. As a pure wilderness experience, it is one of the best in South Africa. And maybe one day the government and conservation organisations will work to include Mnweni in the larger uKhahlamba-Drakensberg World Heritage Site. Read my article in the upcoming issue of British Airways Highlife magazine. Much gratitude to editor Lin Murray for
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A little feature on Mokala National Park's tree house, the only proper arborian accommodation in the whole of South Africa's national park network. It's a welcome break from the usual national parks' fare, and although there aren't any big predators at Mokala, there is still a special wild atmosphere while braaing on the deck of this elevated eyrie.
This is the second time I've done the Imfolozi Wilderness Trail, and it's one of my favourite wild experiences in South Africa. This very special wilderness area - the place where the last white rhino in Africa were saved from extinction - is now under threat from a proposed mine that will border the protected area. When do we say: enough is enough? Surely the destruction and compromise of Africa's ancient natural heritage must come to an end? This is my article in the Cape Times.
While the South African side of Kgalagadi is more popular, the Botswana side (including Mabuasehube) is much bigger, and far wilder. There are only jeep tracks and simple campsites, and there is a distinct possibility of being surrounded by prides of lion. My kinda place. Check out my article in Leisure Wheels article on this area, where a 4x4 is most definitely necessary!
In the south-east corner of Botswana is Mashatu Game Reserve, a place of baobabs, elephants and leopard. On the banks of one of the rivers lies the Ecotraining camp, where students of all ages or stages can learn about the bushveld and wild animals from experienced rangers and guides.
It may be one of the smallest national parks, but it's got plenty of history and scenery. Besides, it's the only park that surrounds entirely an urban area. Watch out for those kudu on the main road!
The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park spreads across 3 million hectares, straddling both Botswana and South Africa. The South African side is where most of the wildlife occurs, in the dry river beds, and is also where most of the tourism facilities are located. My Leisure Wheels article gives an insight into travelling in this area where black-maned lions are the main attraction.
The little kingdom of Swaziland has one of the best records of rhino conservation in Africa. The man at the middle is Ted Reilly who was instrumental in rallying the nation to reintroduce and then protect wildlife, especially rhinos. My article in Cape Times touches on this remarkable achievement.
Beyond the rugged and remote campsites and chalets, a jaw-dropping world awaits in the Richtersveld. Make the most of this fine wilderness destination by venturing where few go. Read my feature article in the Autumn edition of Wild Magazine.
What is it about deserts that grip the imagination more than other wilderness areas? On the surface, these arid spaces are the most intimidating. Yet the drier the air, the hotter the temperatures, the more dessicated the earth, the more we are inclined to fall in love with them. Part of a transfrontier conservation area, Ai-Ais National Park in southern Namibia may be one of the most alluring of them all. Read my article in Leisure Wheels Magazine which takes in the awesome Fish River Canyon and the surrounding areas.
During the Second World War, when South Africa’s armed forces took over South-West Africa, two German geologists and their loyal dog escaped internment by hiding in the desert for two years. Despite the inevitable hardships, Henno Martin, Hermann Korn and their hound Otto found solace and meaning, far away from the cities and madness of war. Martin’s book "The Sheltering Desert" is one of the all-time survival classics, and must-read for nature lovers and visitors to Namibia. Their story epitomizes the natural attraction of desert life, and I kept thinking of their adventures while spending two weeks in the Ai-Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park in the south of Namibia. Read the article online here.
This smallish, but very important, national park lies an hour's drive south-west of Kimberley in the Northern Cape of South Africa. It's considered a "breeding" area for endangered and valuable species like roan, sable and Cape buffalo. If you can get past the "farm"-type atmosphere, then Mokala is great...and offers some of the best opportunities to take photos of these species.
My montly article for March 2014 in Leisure Wheels focused on Garden Route National Park and Goukamma Nature Reserve. These are two of my favourite spots...the former is much bigger than the latter, but they both have a critical role to play in conservation of the area, especially as they both include important Marine Protected Areas. Check it out!
When a pride of wild Kalahari lions stare directly at you, their predatory gaze fixed on your human frame like a missile locked onto its target, there are two things that happen. First, everything else on your mind tends to disappear instantaneously. Right then, there is nothing in the world that matters, except the lions and you. Work, obligations, anxieties, ambitions, dreams… they all evaporate in the golden glare of an animal that cares for you onlyas food. Second, you can’t look away – and you don’t want to. A primordial fascination rises up, and something stops you from averting your own gaze. It’s a mixture of fear, enthrallment, vulnerability and excitement. Download my article on the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in the February 20 Edition of the Cape Times newspaper, or read it online at IOL's website.
It's largely unknown, but there are plans afoot to prospect for coal bed methane gas on the Botswana side of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. As in Chobe National Park and Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the Botswana government has issued licences to several energy companies to prospect. Full scale fracking could occur in these wilderness areas...and it breaks my heart. Plus, does it make economic sense, especially when surface water is already in short supply, and fracking could contaminate the ground water? Read my article on News24 about it...
I'm not one for being in front of the camera or the microphone...usually I'm behind both! But here's an article of my Year in the Wild project in Leisure Wheels magazine.
A little article of mine about De Hoop's Marine Protected Area off the southern coast of Africa. One of the most impressive and well-studied ocean environments, this MPA is the site of the longest running fish tagging study in the world. Led by Colin Attwood from University of Cape Town, the study has set the standard for other MPAs around the world, proving to the skeptical fishermen that if we look after our shoreline environments, they will look after us!
In this article in British Airways Magazine, I profile four nature reserves on South Africa's Wild Coast, the least developed and most beautiful part of the subtropical coastline. Although there is increasing pressure on the land and sea, these reserves largely retain their sense of wildness. My favourite is Mkambati Nature Reserve in the northern part of this coastline...check it out!
I was in southern Namibia on the night of Nelson Mandela's death, and this is my article in the Cape Times on the great man's contributions to Africa's wild places.
Another article of mine on Namibia's Kunene conservancies in the far north-west of this beautiful country. If there is one landscape that is truly unique to Namibia, then it's Kunene. It's a photographer's paradise, and immensely rewarding for visitors who not only want to camp but also want to stay in some of the best lodges. Read my indepth multi-page travel feature in Leisure Wheels magazine - it's 30 MB to download, but it's worth it!
Marine Drouilly is a French researcher who is working in and around Anysberg Nature Reserve in the Karoo to figure out the dynamics of predator-livestock conflict. Caracals and jackal continue to kill sheep in the Karoo, while farmers continue to shoot, poison and trap these predators. Marine is using camera traps to determine levels of biodiversity across farms and protected areas, and gathering predator scat to figure out what the predators are actually eating.
Ten years ago during some rather drab emotional times, while I was sitting in a suit and tie in an office in Joburg, I would spend hours daydreaming about wilderness areas of Africa. I'd never been to Namibia's northwest, but for some reason, images of elephants walking across vast desert landscapes would pop into my head while I was in the middle of supposedly important business meetings. I've since read a lot about the impact of our wild ancestry and its effect on modern day people...and I'm convinced that a place like Kunene in Namibia holds a potent grip on my unconscious. So when I travelled there in April this year, it was as if all those dreams had come to life. Read my article in Getaway on this heart-achingly beautiful wilderness which is truly wild, and which is a "landscape of the soul."
Buffalos and hippos at the southern tip of Africa? Long ago, yes, these were a common sight, but these days it's remarkable to see these species that were shot out 300 years ago by colonial huntesr. A group of farmers - together with the community of Elim - are working to create a private protected area around Agulhas National Park, proving that agriculture, communities and conservation can work together for a sustainable future.
Addo is probably the most accessible and authentic Big 5 destination in the country, but is also one of the most diverse, with semi-desert, fynbos, thicket, forest and ocean habitats. So not only is it rewarding to visit, but it's one of the country's most important conservation areas. To get the most out of a visit read my article in Leisure Wheels.
A little article on the little Keurbooms River Nature Reserve, a lekker slice of paradise near the big holiday town of Plett. Once the whole southern Cape looked like this reserve - pristine amber rivers, steep gorges forested with Outeniqua yellowwoods so tall that you could reach heaven if you climbed to the top of them...and the dreamy echoes of Knysna turacos and Fish Eagles calling like archangels of the natural world. This reserve has one of my favourite log cabins...there's only one, and you are all alone in the reserve. Magic.
This little reserve is on a peninsula at the end of Africa. Robberg Nature Reserve has always been popular with the beachbums...the strandlopers loved living here, and there are several archaeological sites that prove that Robberg was - even back then - a top chillout spot for stressed-out hunters and gatherers. These days, the reserve is as popular, but fortunately, it's protected from the groping fingers of gluttonous property developers, and may it remain that way forever. Fountain Shack is the only place to stay, and despite it's lack of amenities, it's probably in my top five places to stay in the whole world. Take me back there, anyone, please! Check out my article here.
I've now travelled to about 60 protected areas in Southern Africa during my work as a photojournalist, but these are my favourite ones in South Africa. Check out Intrepid Explorer magazine, the official publication of my partners Cape Union Mart. Epic stuff.
The uKhahlamba-Drakensberg World Heritage Site is a true wilderness, despite its relative proximity to both Joburg and Durban. There are several popular tourist spots where you can easily admire this basalt-topped mountain range, but the upper reaches are deceptively difficult to reach, and to do so almost always involves plenty of steep hiking! The upshot is that you can escape the tourists, and be at one with the majesty of it all. My article in Leisure Wheels gives readers a list of the best places to go and things to do.
My article on News24 about this tiny reserve to the east of Plettenberg Bay. One of my favourites...because it's largely undeveloped, and you have to paddle up the river for seven kms to get to the log cabin at the top of the gorge. A unique and appropriate way to access this slice of serenity. Read my article here.
Another article of mine on Goukamma Nature Reserve, which recently escaped serious ecological disaster from an oil spill, thanks to quick-thinking and hard-working conservation staff. We can be very proud in this country of the rangers and managers who look after South Africa's most important biodiverse areas, and they deserve all the recognition and reward they receive, if not more. Read my article and see my photos online here.
A largely unknown gem of a protected area, Goukamma was placed at serious ecological risk when a large ship ran aground near the reserve's beach, leaking about 50 tons of oil into the oceans, some of which washed up onto the shores. But fortunately, thanks to some heavy seas and the hard clean-up work of reserve staff, most of the oil has disappeared, so that today the reserve's long beaches, fynbos and valuable marine protected area are once again back to their best.
If I was to go on holiday from my "job", I would go to Mtentu River Lodge and Mkambati Nature Reserve in the northern Wild Coast. For me this is the best place in South Africa to chill out to the max, and to do nothing but eat, sleep, swim, canoe, walk and love your lover. Read the article and see my photos here.
This article and photos of mine makes a pithy introduction to the reserves on the Wild Coast of South Africa. My favourite is Mkambati in the far north of the region, but a close second is the Pondoland Marine Protected Area, which is the biggest in the country, and lies adjacent to much of the Wild Coast. Here you will see some of the densest concentrations of large marine mammals in the world, with hundreds of humpback whales, and thousands of dolphins. Other reserves worth visiting are Hluleka and Dwesa, but Silaka near Port St Johns was a great disappointment.
If you have any interest in mountain scenery and large birds of prey, then head to Giant's Castle in the central uKhahlamba-Drakensberg in KwaZulu-Natal. There is the famous vulture hide on top of nearby cliffs, where you can watch Cape vultures, bearded vultures and an assortment of eagles soaring overhead...or sometimes landing to check out the buffet of bones that are laid out to attract these imperious acrobatic masters. Check out my article here.
The northern Drakensberg is the most photogenic part of South Africa's largest mountain range, and this article of mine in the Cape Times guides you to the best sights and activities...
The first of my bimonthly columns for News24.com, South Africa's biggest news website. Check out the article and photos online here. I started off my Year in the Wild 2013-14 journey in uKhahlamba-Drakensberg, and this column is about the best of the northern part of this World Heritage Site.
One of my favourite protected areas in South Africa, Tembe hosts some of the largest tuskers on the Afican continent. Check out my feature article in Getaway which profiles this unique community reserve in northern KwaZulu-Natal, which is very important for conservation, not only of elephants but also the diminutive Suni antelope and it's sandforest habitat.
I keep going back to Garden Route National Park in the southern Cape, because it's an intriguing place. Forests, ocean, lakes, rivers, mountains...this article is all about how to get the most out of this fragmented but diverse protected area.
One of the best commissions of my career so far, I travelled to north-west Namibia to track desert-adapted rhinos with Wilderness Safaris at their Desert Rhino Camp. My article in British Airways Magazine gives readers an idea of what it's like to travel to this incredibly harsh but beautiful region...and coming eyeball-to-eyeball with Africa's fourth largest mammal species.
The wildest part of Namibia is in the far northwest, in a region formely known as Kaokoland, but now known as Kunene region. On the border of Angola, this is one of the least inhabited places on Earth, while desert elephants can be spotted roaming along ephemeral rivers that cut a tortuous course through the rocky desert mountains. Read my article online here.
This article of mine on News24 gives visitors an introduction to Damaraland, which together with Kaokaland further north, makes up the Kunene region of northwest Namibia. It's a wild, hot, dusty, rocky and stupendously photogenic desert wilderness, and I can't wait to go back...soon! Check out the article here.
Just down the road from where I live (when I'm not travelling!), Cape Point is the wildest part of Table Mountain National Park, and one of my favourite places in the whole world. Three words...I LOVE IT.
Wild Magazine used my photo of Augrabies Falls as an opener for their "Parks that break the journey" feature...thanks to Riaan Vermeulen for the awesome designs.
The cover of Getaway used my photo of my Ford Everest descending the Helskloof Pass in the Richtersveld National Park. What a place...
The awesome desert wilderness of Richtersveld National Park in South Africa is always a favourite of mine. My feature length article and photos in Getaway gives readers a taste of what it's like to explore the most remote national park in the country.
I didn't write this article on Addo (my friend Stephen Cunliffe was the author), but some of my photos appear prominently, including the opening spread of the elephants, and a double-collared sunbird. Thanks to Riaan Vermeulen for the awesome design, as always.
Safari Interactive, the sister magazine of Africa Geographic, published my aerial photos of Kaokoland and Damaraland on their blog...have a squiz at them by clicking here...
One of the smaller national parks in South Africa, Golden Gate in the Free State province offers something in every season of the year, and is considered one of the prettiest protected areas. Comprising mostly montane grasslands, Golden Gate has the highest altitude of any national park in the country, and supplies much of the fresh water for the region. Located just a few hours from Joburg, the park has some of the best and most diverse accommodation...from an Alpine-style hotel to log cabins perched on top of a mountain side.
The marine protected area of Table Mountain National Park protects some of the most diverse oceanic life in South Africa. Steve Benjamin from Animal Ocean took me out to go snorkelling with one of the seal colonies off Hout Bay, where thousands of seals cavort in the shallow ocean, making it one of the wildest things I've ever done! My article in the Cape Times describes it all...
Africa Geographic's website published my photos of desert-adapted elephants in Namibia. Check out the blog here...
Mapungubwe National Park is fast becoming one of the most popular national parks in the country. This is the place to come if you're looking for a sense of history, grandeur and intrigue. Mapungubwe is the site of Southern Africa's oldest formal civilisation, dating back to AD 1200, and walking tours to the burial site on top of the eponymous hill are highly recommended. As part of the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area, which includes conserved land in neighbouring Botswana and Zimbabwe, the national park in South Africa offers visitors a fantastic sense of Africa as it once was, with a surprising amount of wildlife.
On a recent trip for an article in Wild Magazine through the Great and Little Karoo regions of South Africa, I visited four of the best protected areas in this semi-arid region. Karoo National Park, Mountain Zebra National Park, Camdeboo National Park and finally Anysberg Nature Reserve. Each is surprisingly very different from the other. Who said the Karoo was monotonous? In fact, at one stage, before farmers and fences cut off the migration of antelope like springbok and eland, this semi-arid land would be covered from horizon to horizon with huge herds of wild animals. Today, these herds have gone, but it's still a
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My magazine feature in Getaway Magazine on Addo Elephant National Park. This protected area is most famous for the conservation of the last elephants in the Cape, which were reduced to just a handful by hunters. Today there are several hundred, but the park offers so much more than just elephants; it encompasses seven different biomes, including mountain fynbos, spekboom, coastal forest and dunes, Nama Karoo and several islands offshore that are marine protected areas. Consider too that the park is the most accessible, authentic Big 5 destination in the south of the country, making it a must-visit park for travellers on the Garden Route.
My three page article in South African Airways' inflight magazine on Tembe Elephant Park - one of the wildest, and least known of South Africa's reserves, and one of my favourites. The elephants are some of the biggest tuskers in Africa, and the lion population is doing really well too. A highly recommended reserve for the wildlife connoisseur and novice alike.
My monthly column in the Cape Times on Anysberg. This Karoo reserve just south of Laingsburg off the national N1 road was a surprise to me. There is a surprisingly large amount of wildlife for a semi-arid region, and the sense of wilderness is impressive. But it's the stars that captivate first and foremost. Their is NO light pollution anywhere, because the 800 square kilometre reserve is situated between two mountain ranges, making it one of the best places in the country for peering through a telescope.
The huge tidal lagoon of West Coast National Park is the diamond in the jewels of this ecologically-unique protected area. There is plenty to admire - the interplay of cold ocean, shallow tidal flats, spectacular spring wild flower displays and an impressive list of marine and terrestrial bird species that includes the largest population of endemic black harriers in the country, as well as one of only six remaining Cape gannet colonies on earth.
One of the highlights from the past year was flying over West Coast National Park with my friend Jean Tresfon who owns a gyrocopter. What a spectacular way to see this beautiful national park. My column in the Cape Times elaborates. For more photos check out my blog here.
The mountains of uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park in KwaZulu-Natal are one of the country's last true wilderness areas, where it's possible to lose yourself for days on end without seeing anyone else, except maybe for a few Basotho horsemen. I was privileged to explore this magnificent protected area for three weeks, and my article in Leisure Wheels is just a small introduction to this vast mountain range.
I wrote the article on the readers' favourite national parks and nature reserves for the January 2013 issue of Getaway. Some great destinations in the list, including Kgalagadi, Richtersveld, Hluhluwe-iMfolozi, Addo Elephant, Tankwa Karoo and Garden Route National Parks.
iSimangaliso Wetland Park in northern KwaZulu-Natal on the sub-tropical coast is one of my favourites. My article in Leisure Wheels Magazine's December 2012 gives a broad overview of this enormously diverse reserve that must be visited by everyone at least once!
One of the most botanically-diverse areas of the world, Kogelberg Nature Reserve an hour's drive east of Cape Town rivals the tropical rain forests for number of plant species per hectare. It's also stunningly beautiful, and has some of the best eco-accommodation in the country. One of my favourite places in southern Africa.
A short column for the Cape Times, this time on Addo Elephant National Park in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, where the beautiful private Gorah Elephant Camp is located.
My heart was captured by Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park in northern KwaZulu-Natal. It's one of the three oldest game reserves in Africa, and although it's situated in a densely-populated rural area, it still retains a very wild spirit. My nine-page feature in Getaway tries to capture the essence of this very special and beautiful protected area.
A four page article describing some of the partners that have helped me make Year in the Wild possible, including Total, Ford, Goodyear, Evosat, Frontrunner, Garmin, EeziAwn, National Luna Fridges, Conqueror Trailers, K-Way, Cape Union Mart, Lacie, Vodacom and Safari Centre in Cape Town.
My four-page article for Leisure Wheels Magazine, on the small but special Mkhambathi Nature Reserve on the Pondoland Wild Coast.
The Garden Route National Park is an amalgamation of three former national parks, the Knysna National Lake Area, and Tsitsikamma and Wilderness National Parks. One article doesn't do it justice, but I try in this nine-page feature article for Getaway Magazine.
My column in the Cape Times on Kogelberg Nature Reserve in the Western Cape profiles the enormously diverse flora that exists here, rivalling the rainforests for diversity of species per hectare. The reserve also boasts some of the best accommodation I have seen on my journey to the country's protected areas. Check out CapeNature's site.
A four page feature article that I wrote and photographed for Leisure Wheels Magazine, on the northern section of Kruger National Park. For me, the north of Kruger is more interesting than the south, and certainly it feels wilder.
A nine-page page feature article which I wrote and photographerd for Getaway Magazine, on iSimangaliso Wetland Park, one of my favourite reserves in the country, mostly because it's so incredibly diverse.
One of the three oldest game reserves in Africa, declared in 1897, Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park in central Zululand in KwaZulu-Natal is one of the wildest places I've been to, even though it's relatively small and situated in a highly-populated rural area. My article for the Spring 2012 edition of Wild Magazine attempted to portray the effect that African wilderness can have on people.
My time with rangers Buyisile Mkulungu and Siyanda Mgidlana in Great Fish Nature Reserve was one of the highlights of Year in the Wild. Every morning and afternoon, they track black rhino in the remote, dense spekboom thickets of the central Eastern Cape. My column in the Cape Times endeavours to capture the essence of their work.
A four page feature article that I wrote for Leisure Wheels Magazine on the wild Tembe Elephant Park, in northern KwaZulu-Natal of South Africa.
Few people know about the small Mkhambathi Nature Reserve on the Pondoland coast in the Eastern Cape. But it is one of the most beguilingly beautiful in our country, and I can't wait to go back. My nine-page feature article in Getaway on Mkhambathi was published in the August 2012 issue.
I had the privilege of interviewing botanist and author Meg Coates Palgrave, an indefatigable botanist who is the editor of Trees of Southern Africa, the definitive "bible" of trees in the region. Meeting Meg is like paging through the book - both are truly impressive in their scope of information and knowledge (the book contains about 1 600 species), but she's quick to point out that much of her botanical training came from her late brother-in-law Keith, who in fact was the initiator and editor of the first few editions, before Meg assumed the role. There are not many people who can identify any southern African tree - and its scientific name, ecological role and cultural significance - as easily as we can read the morning newspaper. Meg is one of them.
The floodplains of the Luvuvhu and Limpopo Rivers in northern Kruger make this region one of the best for birders. The fever tree forests are also perfect backdrops to herds of elephant and buffalo. My column in the Cape Times newspaper on Pafuri was published in August 2012. There are only a few places to stay in Pafuri, but the best is Wilderness Safaris' Pafuri Camp.
My article for Leisure Wheels in August 2012 was on the Baviaanskloof, an Eastern Cape park that is one of the most diverse places on earth, and a real adventure for 4x4ers and nature lovers.
The under-rated De Hoop Nature Reserve on the southern Cape coast is one of the most beautiful wild places - and one of the most naturally-diverse - in South Africa. I wrote and photographed a nine-page feature article for Getaway Magazine in their July 2012 issue.
My monthly column in July for the Cape Times was on Tembe Elephant Park, the home of the largest tuskers in South Africa, and some of the biggest in Africa. One of my favourite wild places in the country, and one that must be visited by wildlife connoisseurs. (1.4MB)
A nine-page feature article in Getaway Magzine on the incomparable Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, published in July 2012
I was interviewed on SAFM Radio, the national radio station, by Sisanda Jonas, who asked me various questions about Year in the Wild, and the parks and reserves of SA. About ten minutes long.
No other protected area in South Africa conserves more species of animals than iSimangaliso Wetland Park on the north-eastern KwaZulu-Natal coast. A place of superlatives...it was the subject of my article in this Cape Times column which I wrote.
The glorious Karoo National Park, featured in a nine-page article that I wrote and photographed for Getaway Magazine's June 2012 issue.
My most rewarding photography so far on my Year in the Wild has been in Kruger National Park, the most famous of SA's nature reserves. I was lucky to get some great photos of a young leopard. Vodacom posted my photos to their Facebook page, spreading the message of conservation and biodiversity in our country...thanks Vodacom for your help!
A three-page feature article in Leisure Wheels Magazine on Namaqua National Park.
My loyal sponsor Vodacom posted my photos and blogs from Tembe Elephant Park in northern KwaZulu-Natal, where some of the biggest elephants in Africa thrive. It's a relatively unknown place, but one that must be visited by nature lovers. You won't be disappointed...especially if you see iSilo, the elephant with the biggest tusks in southern Africa.
A nine-page feature article on Agulhas National Park, published in the May 2012 issue of Getaway Magazine. (1.76MB)
The relatively small but immensely beautiful Mkhambathi Nature Reserve on the Wild Coast in Pondoland of the Eastern Cape was the subject of this column of mine for the Cape Times newspaper.
My fourth Year in the Wild article for Leisure Wheels Magazine, with a great cover photograph, on the |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld National Park, another of my favourite wild places in South Africa. Published in the April 2012 issue.
My sixth feature for Getaway Magazine's April 2012 edition, a cover article written and photographed, on the huge Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park which straddles both South Africa and Botswana. (2.1MB size).
My sponsor Vodacom posted my photos from the epic Imfolozi Wilderness Trail, and the feedback from their fans was equally epic. Everyone should do the trail at least once in their lives...it will change your life, I promise. We saw the Big 5 on foot, and every night at our campsite we had lions roaring, and leopards calling...it's one of the highlights of my year.
My third Year in the Wild article for Leisure Wheels Magazine, published in the March 2012 issue, on the awesome Tankwa Karoo National Park, one of my favourite wild places in South Africa.
My fifth Year in the Wild feature article for Getaway Magazine, on the Cederberg Wilderness Area, nine pages in length. (1.8MB size).
My column for the Cape Times in March 2012 was on the rugged and remote Baviaanskloof mountains, an Eastern Cape park that is one of the most biodiverse places on earth.
As part of a feature on African trees, Wild Magazine published a little article of mine (on the Richtersveld's iconic Quiver Trees) as well as one of my photos of the mysterious and endangered Cedar trees in the Cederberg Wilderness Area.
Vodacom's Facebook page has more than 140 000 fans, and my blogs and photos from Ukhahlamba Drakensberg were posted to their Facebook page.
Leisure Wheels Magazine – February 2012 – Cederberg Wilderness Area and Table Mountain National Park
My second Year in the Wild article for Leisure Wheels Magazine, published in the February 2012 issue, on the Cederberg Wilderness Area, and Table Mountain National Park.
My seventh column for the Cape Times newspaper, published in February 2012, on the Garden Route National Park. Read the online version of this article on the Cape Times/IOL website.
My blogs and photos of the incredible Mkhambathi Nature Reserve in the Eastern Cape were posted by Vodacom to their fans on their Facebook page.
A feature article that I photographed and wrote on Namaqua National Park, published in the February 2012 issue of Getaway.
My sponsor Vodacom posted my photos and blogs on Mountain Zebra National Park to their fans on their Facebook page.
A feature article published in People Magazine, on Year in the Wild. Read the online version of this article on People Magazine's website.
My sixth column for the Cape Times Newspaper, published in January 2012, on the beautiful Otter Trail in the Tsitsikamma section of the Garden Route National Park.
The South African magazine Tourism Tattler published a selection of my photos so far from my Year in the Wild, in their January 2012 issue.
Vodacom posted my photos and blogs of Garden Route National Park to their huge following on Facebook.
A feature article on Year in the Wild, eight pages long, published in Leisure Wheels 4x4 Magazine in January 2012.(1.6MB size)
My third feature article (four-pages long) for Getaway Magazine, published in January 2012, on Augrabies Falls National Park. (0.7MB size).
Vodacom posted my photos and blogs on the Garden Route National Park to their Facebook page in December 2011.
My second feature article for Getaway Magazine, five pages in length, published in December 2011 on Tankwa Karoo National Park. (1.3 MB size). Also, check out my 2007 article on Tankwa Karoo NP, which was also published in Getaway Magazine.
My fourth column for the Cape Times, published in December 2011, on the Gamkaberg Nature Reserve. (1MB size). Read the online version of the article on the Cape Times/IOL website.
Vodacom posted my photos of Garden Route National Park to their Facebook page in November 2011.
My sponsor Vodacom posted my photos and blog on the beautiful Otter Trail on their Facebook page in November 2011.
My fifth column for the Cape Times, on CapeNature's De Hoop Nature Reserve, published in November 2011. (1MB size). Also check out the online version on the Cape Times/IOL website.
An article on Year in the Wild by Ray Maota from Media Club South Africa, the press office of Brand South Africa. Read the article here.
My first Year in the Wild article for Getaway Magazine, eight-pages in length, on the beautiful Table Mountain National Park. (1.8MB size). Also check out the online version of this article on Getaway's website.
A cover feature on my Year in the Wild journey, published in the trade journal Tourism Tattler. A great cover shot of the Wolfberg Arch in the Cederberg Wilderness Area, as well as an article inside the magazine. (1MB size).
Before I started Year in the Wild in South Africa, I wrote an article for Africa Geographic on three of the finest guides in Zimbabwe - Leon Varley in Hwange, Steve Edwards in Matusadona and Stretch Ferreira in Mana Pools. Have a read, and then go experience these awesome national parks for yourself, with these special guides.
South Africa's biggest news website published a feature article on Year in the Wild, written by Nadia Krige, in October 2011. Read the article online.
My photograph of the magnificent Wolfberg Arch in the Cederberg was published as the opening double-paged spread in Getaway Magazine's "Ultimate Getaways", a selection of photographs of Africa's best escapes. (0.4MB size).
My second column for Cape Times, on the CapeNature Cederberg Wilderness Area, published in September 2011. (1MB size).
In 2011, during my research for Year in the Wild, Africa Geographic commissioned me to photograph and write a seven-page feature article on Mapungubwe National Park. (1MB size).
South African conservationist Ian Player was the leader of a team which helped save the white rhino from extinction, but to focus only on this achievement would do him an injustice. He was a critical part of so many other conservation battles, including the successful campaign to ban mining in iSimangaliso, SA's first World Heritage Site. He is also a remarkably good writer and speaker, and his books - especially Zululand Wilderness - have partly inspired me to do what I do, so I was grateful for the opportunity to interview him for a short article. Read the interview here on Wild Magazine's website.
During my initial research for my Year in the Wild project, I was commissioned by Wild Magazine to photograph and write about wildlife veterinarian Dr Dave Cooper's work in the reserves of Umfolozi and iSimangaliso Wetland Park. I spent a week with Dr Cooper during one of the worst rhino poaching episodes in recent years. We came across four dead rhino, each one killed for their horns. For each one, Dr Cooper had to conduct a post-mortem. But it wasn't all gloom. Dr Cooper and his team also darted and tackled a wounded giraffe which had a snare around its leg. The snare was removed and the animal lived.
During my initial research for Year in the Wild, I was commissioned by Wild Magazine to photograph and write about two botanists doing excellent work on trees in both the Richtersveld and Kruger National Parks. Elsabe Swart has been studying and documenting the mysterious Quiver Trees (or Kokerbome) in the desert mountains of the Richtersveld, while Michelle van der Bank is one of South Africa's leading tree expert, and has conducted ground-breaking genetic testing of trees in the Kruger National Park. I was fortunate to spend several days with both Elsabe and Michelle.