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Wildfile

Where eagles dare

Where eagles dare

As awe-inspiring in reality as in myth, eagles dominate African skies. Mike Unwin focuses on the remarkable adaptations of the continent’s species and suggests the best places to see them for yourself Eagles are undeniably compelling. As predators, they...

Making a splash

Making a splash

Say ‘African mammal’ and most people will immediately envisage elephants, lions and other celebrated beasts on terra firma. But the oceanic waters that wash the continent’s shores are also home to many marine species, including an impressive selection of...

Keeping track of cheetah

Keeping track of cheetah

Nick Dall sets out in South Africa’s Mountain Zebra National Park to search for the world’s fastest feline, and learn about its behaviour and interaction with its cousin the lion. Image copyright Mike Dexter. I’m breathless and starting to...

Crowning glory

Crowning glory

Shock! horror! Giant eagle swoops down and snatches up small child in its talons. This sensational story runs, in one form or another, from ancient legend to YouTube hoax. It has spawned numerous lurid ‘true life’ accounts. But could it...

Death in the long grass

Death in the long grass

Grab, toss, gulp! Grab, toss, gulp! Grab, toss, gulp! Plucked in quick succession from their nest in a low bush, three quelea chicks meet a quick and gruesome fate. Chase, stamp, gulp! With a little more effort – but no...

10 Hyena facts

10 Hyena facts

Despite their reputation of being cowardly animals, hyenas can be aggressive and dangerous, but its hard not to respect them. Throughout history, there are tales of hyenas being in close contact with humans. For instance, it is thought ancient...

Grevy’s strain

Grevy’s strain

The majestic of zebra species struggling for survival in northern Kenya Of all the rare species that are found in northern Kenya, the Grevy’s zebra is easily the most striking. Known as punda kanga in Kiswahili, it is stunning...

Nile monitor

Nile monitor

Crash, slither, splash! You’re pursuing an elusive bush shrike through a riverine thicket when an unholy commotion in the undergrowth stops you in your tracks. An angry hippo, perhaps? A huge croc? Relax. It’s only a lizard. But what a...

Unearthing the earth pig

Unearthing the earth pig

I remember the occasion as though it were yesterday: May 1997, a night drive in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal and an unfamiliar, humpbacked creature shuffling away from our spotlight beam. Not until my binoculars alighted on those telltale ears did I...

Gone fishing

Gone fishing

Fish seems like the ideal diet: succulent slabs of protein in apparently inexhaustible abundance. But catching this slippery prey takes skill, technique and the right gear – as any long-suffering angler will tell you. Africa’s birds have risen to...

Swamp thing

Swamp thing

Ask a first-time birder to Africa what tops their fantasy feathers list, and chances are the outlandish shoebill will be somewhere up there. The appeal lies both in its bizarre appearance – think outsized heron with a Dutch clog stuck...

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