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05

Apr 2019

Black rhino in Tanzania

Posted by / in Africa, Blog, Featured Posts, frontpage, Tavistock Travel Agents, Traveller's Tales /

Black rhino
The black rhino population in Ngorongoro Crater has been decimated by poaching over the last 50 years – that’s not news. What is great news is how successful the conservation efforts have been. Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) have been the ‘feet on the ground’ and it’s all been paid for from income derived from wildlife tourism: conservation funded solely from safari visitors to the Ngorongoro Crater.

Here are the stats:-

Year    Popln
1968      108
1977         25
2018        52

Nowadays the rhinos are under 24-hour camera surveillance which has reduced poaching and improved husbandry allowing more calves to survive. A few blacks have also been reintroduced to Ngorongoro, from South Africa, to improve the gene pool.

The oldest resident is Fausta (54 years) and she is now on a special care programme because they recon 50 years is the usual life expectancy for a rhino.

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05

Apr 2019

Poachers in Kenya

Posted by / in Africa, Blog, Featured Posts, frontpage, Tavistock Travel Agents, Traveller's Tales /

The Fate of Elephants & Black Rhino
“Wildlife poachers in Kenya will face the death penalty”, so says Najib Balala the Minister of Wildlife in Nairobi.

Kenya is home to a wide variety of species and remains a popular safari destination, but its reputation has been damaged by Al Shabaab activities and the continued niggle of poaching. In 2018 69 elephants, out of a population of 34,000; and 9 rhinos, from a population of under 1,000 were poached.

The highly social African elephant

“We have in place the Wildlife Conservation Act that was enacted in 2013 and which fetches offenders a life sentence or a fine of US$200,000” Mr Balala said. “However, this has not been deterrence enough to curb poaching, hence the proposed stiffer sentence.”

Needless to say, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights opposes the move and would like to see the death penalty abolished worldwide.

Recently 2 black rhino and a calf were poached in Meru National Park, virtually cancelling out the overall rhino population’s growth in Kenya, according to the Save the Rhino organisation; gestation periods are 16 to 18 months.

Social-media reaction varies from some users applauding Kenya and calling it “fantastic news” and others insisting it should never happen. Watch this space.

Happy as a rhino in a mud-wallow!

Happy as a rhino in a mud-wallow!

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05

Mar 2019

Quagga

Posted by / in Africa, Blog, Featured Posts, frontpage, Horse Riding Holidays, Tavistock Travel Agents, Traveller's Tales /

I must admit I’ve never heard of a quagga, and couldn’t guess what one is!

Picture a zebra that’s been put through a washing machine and lost the stripes from its quarters and belly: that’s a quagga. They went extinct in the first half of the 20th C.

Enter the Heck brothers who were Nazi geneticists at Berlin zoo during WW II. They specialised in resurrecting extinct animals. Another German, Hr Rau picked up the baton in the 1980’s, after the death of the brothers Heck, which subsequently passed to the South African National Parks a decade ago. And hey-presto, derived from the Plains Zebra of Etosha, Namibia, please welcome back the Quagga. The first quagga foal, Henry, was born 5th Jan 2005. Numbers are now up to about a dozen, mainly in the Cape Town area.

 

The quagga

This is not a Quagga – but it’s equally strange to look at!

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22

Feb 2019

Duma the Mozambique Dog

Posted by / in Africa, Blog, Featured Posts, frontpage, Horse Riding Holidays, Tavistock Travel Agents, Traveller's Tales /

Meet Charlotte who looks after the horses for the Mozambique ride.

Mozambique horse riding holiday

Duma the Dog in Mozambique

 

Last month she came across Duma, one of several semi-independent beach dogs. Duma had broken his front leg which was dangling awkwardly in-front of him. As Charlotte approached to get a better look he took flight and raced into the bushes on three legs. She spent hours persuading him to come out but Duma was terrified and very sore. Eventually Charlotte managed to coax him into her room with a bowl brimming with rice and chicken.

The vet was 800 km away and not due to visit for some time, so she sedated him with pain killers and kept a close eye on him. Like most of the beach dogs Duma has a gentle temperament and it didn’t take long for everyone at the stable to fall in love with him. Finally the vet arrived and poor Duma was coaxed into a cage. A short drive into town, which was a painstaking journey as the road was bumpy and Duma was in a lot of pain. Monica, the vet, took one look at Duma and in no time at all had the leg set and bandaged up in a bright coloured bandage.

He has now settled into his new home at the stables and joins Boots and Peppy, two of the other rescued beach dogs. Today he had his bandage removed and his leg is perfect, he just needs a bit of time getting used to being a four legged dog instead of a three legged dog.

Mozambique horse riding holiday

 

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