Recently published newspaper and magazine articles, radio interviews and video clips about my Year in the Wild.
Posts categories: Magazines
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A nine-page feature article in Getaway Magzine on the incomparable Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, published in July 2012
The glorious Karoo National Park, featured in a nine-page article that I wrote and photographed for Getaway Magazine's June 2012 issue.
A three-page feature article in Leisure Wheels Magazine on Namaqua National Park.
A nine-page feature article on Agulhas National Park, published in the May 2012 issue of Getaway Magazine. (1.76MB)
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 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).
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.
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.
A feature article that I photographed and wrote on Namaqua National Park, published in the February 2012 issue of Getaway.
A feature article published in People Magazine, on Year in the Wild. Read the online version of this article on People Magazine's website.
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.
A feature article on Year in the Wild, eight pages long, published in Leisure Wheels 4x4 Magazine in January 2012.(1.6MB size)
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 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.
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).
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).
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.