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An Unnatural History: Hedley Twidle Reviews Henrietta Rose-Innes' Green Lion bit.ly/1PdOM7e http://t.co/NhCHFHl7oG

Experience the Splendour of Namibia Through the Lens of Paragliding Photographer Theo Allof

This is NamibiaBeyond the Victoria FallsAre you planning a trip to Namibia any time soon? If so, these pictures from paragliding photographer Theo Allof are sure to make you excited for the journey.

The New York Post has shared amazing aerial shots of the landscape of Namibia – from the leopard-spotted desert sand to the sandy beaches, from ostriches in formation to zebras running in a cloud of dust.

This is Namibia by Peter Joyce, with photography by Gerald Cubitt and Beyond the Victoria Falls: Forays into Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia by Gill Staden will help you to prepare for an adventure in Namibia or to learn more about the country.

Take a look at Allof’s viewpoint of Namibia:

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Karina M Szczurek Reviews Back to Angola by Paul Morris

Back to AngolaVerdict: carrot

In the beginning of Back to Angola, Morris mentions that he doesn’t consider himself a brave man. But only a brave man could have written this book. It is “my truth”, he says, but it is the kind of personal intimate truth which has universal appeal. A quarter of a century after his first involuntary visit to Angola in 1987 at the height of the military conflict, Morris decided to return to the country of his nightmares and confront what he refers to his “shadow side”.

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South Africa is Home to Two of World's 10 Most Popular Protected Areas

Kruger National Park Questions and AnswersField Guide to the Mammals of the Kruger National ParkGetaway Guide to the Kruger National ParkNational Parks and Nature ReservesWalking Cape Town

 
South Africa is home to two of the world’s 10 most visited nature reserves in the world, according to a new report published by PLOS Biology, and peer reviewed journal of all topics relating to biological science.

The two most popular protected areas in South Africa are the Table Mountain National Park and the Kruger National Park.

Read and article by Traveller24 about the research:

According to the study, the Table Mountain National Park (formerly Cape Peninsula National Park) receives around 1.4 million visits per year, making it the sixth most visited park on the face of the earth. The Kruger National Park receives 1 million visits per year, making it the eight most visited park.

Read the report by PLOS Biology:

How often do people visit the world’s protected areas (PAs)? Despite PAs covering one-eighth of the land and being a major focus of nature-based recreation and tourism, we don’t know. To address this, we compiled a globally-representative database of visits to PAs and built region-specific models predicting visit rates from PA size, local population size, remoteness, natural attractiveness, and national income. Applying these models to all but the very smallest of the world’s terrestrial PAs suggests that together they receive roughly 8 billion (8 x 109) visits/y—of which more than 80% are in Europe and North America. Linking our region-specific visit estimates to valuation studies indicates that these visits generate approximately US $600 billion/y in direct in-country expenditure and US $250 billion/y in consumer surplus. These figures dwarf current, typically inadequate spending on conserving PAs. Thus, even without considering the many other ecosystem services that PAs provide to people, our findings underscore calls for greatly increased investment in their conservation.

Instagram images from the parks:

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Four Not-to-be-missed Places and Activities in Beautiful Namibia

This is NamibiaBeyond the Victoria FallsSkeleton CoastSecret Namibia

 
Fiona McIntosh has compiled a list of four unmissable spots in Namibia for Country Life. The list includes a diversity of landscapes and ideas for activities.

Namibia is a country of vast and evocative beauty. McIntosh suggests visiting the Etosha National Park, the Fish River Canyon, Sossusvlei and Spitzkoppe, and shares a number of different activities to do at each spot.

For even more inspiration, check out This is Namibia by Peter Joyce, Beyond the Victoria Falls: Forays into Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia by Gill Staden, Skeleton Coast: Africa’s Last Wilderness by Thorsten Milse and Secret Namibia by Lily Jouve and Marcel Jouve

Read the article:

1 Self-drive Etosha National Park
Namibia’s number one tourist attraction, Etosha is one of Africa’s most dramatic and easy to visit wildlife reserves, offering sightings of big game in a splendid, surreal setting.

The 22 000km², malaria-free park is centred around the vast Etosha Pan, a bleak expanse of white, cracked mud that shimmers with mirages and is often dotted with dust devils. Some 114 mammal species including elephant, rhino and all the large cats are found in the park but it is probably best known for its large herds of plains game such as zebra, blue wildebeest, gemsbok and springbok.

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The Heartwarming Story of a Stolen Bicycle, Found with the Help of the Ceres Community

Around Africa On My BicycleAround Iceland on InspirationAround Madagascar on My Kayak

 
In what turned out to be a great example of a community pulling together, Japanese cycling tourist Diago Narita had his bicycle returned to him, after it was stolen in Ceres, Western Cape, thanks to some help from adventurer and long-distance cyclist Riaan Manser.

The bike had been with Narita around the world before it was stolen from him last Wednesday. Manser started a campaign to find it, and soon the hashtag #GetTheBikeBack was trending on Twitter.

Manser told CapeTalk that at first there was little hope, but after some great work by the police and the Ceres community, the bike was found – albeit in 100 pieces – and three men are in custody:

 
Manser says the incident ultimately showed South Africa’s true colours:

“One of the owners of Ceres Cycles, Jaco Taylor was a real champion, jumping straight in. He looked after Diago for the day. Liaising with the investigators. Jaco is now helping put the bike back together for him,” said Manser.

Manser admitted he honestly did not expect to get the bike back, but told Traveller24 he was not at all surprised by the immediate reaction of South Africans wanting to do good, which he felt was crucial to getting the bike back.

“We as South Africans have had a hell two weeks. We’re tired mentally. We needed a good end to this robbery. Bottom line is people are robbed all over the world. I’ve been mugged at gunpoint more than a dozen times. The end result was my focus. The people of Ceres were not going to let them get away and‎ I knew the story would end well.”

Watch a heartwarming video interview with Narita:

YouTube Preview Image

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Xenophobic Attacks Lead to Booking Cancellations from Tourists: SANParks

National Parks and Nature ReservesThe recent spate of xenophobic attacks has been accompanied by “a number of booking cancellations from neighbouring countries”‚ South African National Parks (SANParks) said in a statement on Thursday.

“A large proportion of guests to our national parks are international visitors and we appear to be sending a message that foreigners are not welcome in our country‚” SANParks said.

SANParks also raised concern that the violence “could also undo years of successful work done in the establishment of the Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs)”.

These‚ the authority explained‚ are managed as part of cross-border relationships in the research‚ tourism‚ cultural heritage‚ science and conservation functions.

But‚ TFCAs are about more than just conservation‚ SANParks CEO Fundisile Mketeni said. “They are also about building bridges within southern African society and breaking down the artificial barriers that were created between people by our colonial history.”

“We fear that the current wave of attacks on our fellow Africans will undermine the good work that has been done in this regard‚” Mketeni said.

“It is for this reason that we call on all South African’s to take time to reflect on the negative impact these attacks have on our sense of humanity and our standing within the broader international community.”

RDM News Wire

To find out more about our country’s national parks have a look at National Parks and Nature Reserves: A South African Field Guide by Chris and Mathilde Stuart.

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