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Wildfile

Bands on the run

Bands on the run

Seeing is believing: Mike Unwin admires the collective spirit of the banded mongoose Pandemonium on the savannah. A martial eagle grabs a mongoose. Swooping in from nowhere, the huge raptor snatches up the hapless creature in its talons and...

Pangolins at risk

Pangolins at risk

The pangolin is in grave danger of extinction, in part because people believe the myth that pangolin scales can cure diseases. Megan Berman of African Wildlife Foundation reports The world’s most trafficked mammal may vanish before many people have...

In praise of mothers

In praise of mothers

To celebrate Mother’s Day, Ann and Steve Toon pay homage to a few of Africa’s marvellous animal mums Protecting, nurturing, teaching, building a close bond, then letting go when the time comes; such skills are not simply the preserve...

Hamerkop: harbinger of doom?

Hamerkop: harbinger of doom?

It’s early evening in a rural Swazi village. A brown bird cruises low overhead in buoyant, unhurried flight. At its sharp kek-kek call, an elderly gent looks up and tuts in disapproval. Thekwane is not welcome here. Birdwatchers might...

Day of the jackal

Day of the jackal

Trot, trot, trot. Stop, sniff, spray. Trot, trot, trot… There’s no mistaking a foraging jackal. Restless and relentless, it jogs purposefully through the bush, its canine radar attuned to every rustle in the grass and scent on the breeze....

Understanding elephants

Understanding elephants

Every visitor to the African bush wants to see an elephant. Alongside their intelligence, intense social ties, vulnerability to emotion and phenomenal memories, they’re physically extraordinary too, as Travel Africa reveals. Size – the secret to survival The elephant’s...

Big cat lovers

Big cat lovers

Seeing a big cat in the wild is top of many people’s bucket list on safari. But why? William Gray explains the abiding appeal of observing lion, leopard and cheetah in the wild and what makes them so captivating...

Treasures of the Namib

Treasures of the Namib

The Namib Desert harbours some extraordinary creatures that have developed fascinating adaptations to cope with the challenges of desert life. We give you seven to look out for Desert lion Probably the single biggest difference between the desert lion...

In praise of antelope

In praise of antelope

Some accelerate to unexpected speeds; others survive months without drinking; all are beautiful to watch. From the elusive hirola (pictured above) to ubiquitous impala, we celebrate the continent’s most elegant mammals. Unbelievable as it may seem, there are around...

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