Africa Geographic - March 2006

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Mar 21st, 2006, 05:41 PM
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Africa Geographic - March 2006

I know that recently there was some discussion on whether or not it was worth the cost to subscribe to Africa Geographic, but I finally had the opportunity to review my March 2006 edition, and it is just such an amazing publication.

This issue features an amazing photo series titled "Wild Dogs vs. Hyaenas", and this is also featured on the cover. While I like hyenas as youngsters and even adults, it is unfortunate how grotesque they look in their older years...plus, how could I root for a hyena over a wild dog???

Also discussed in this issue is the issue of trophy hunting. Although I should never cease to be amazed by how prolific trophy hunting is, I am still shocked by some of the numbers:

There are currently THREE THOUSAND lions in captivity in South Africa, many for use in canned hunting. These animals are sold at auctions where a female may fetch as low as $850, a black maned (male) lion as much as $40,000 and over $65,000 for a white lion. In a canned hunt, a white lion may fetch upwards of $100,000 from a trophy hunter.

The author, Ian Mechler, in the little space that he has, does a fantastic job at his expose of the industry as it now stands. At one point he said it is all made possible by numerous facilitators for the auctioneers, to veterinarians--this is the most unforgivable trespass in my opinion...animal doctors who assist in the trophy hunting of animals--to relocation companies and the authorities who issue permits.

Basically, the animals used for hunts are no longer wild animals but rather DOMESTICATED animals who have little developed defenses against hunters who have now even resorted to hunting from vehicles, hunting at night with spotlights, using airplanes to spot the animals and every other advantage that was not present when hunting was considered a more respectable endeavour. The author states that this type of hunting has absolutely no bearing on conservation and the protection of biodiversity and to most people these practices are immoral and unethical.

In any event, Africa Geographic and Travel Africa are two magazines that complement each other very well. Africa Geographic is not afraid to tackle the more difficult issues, while Africa Travel is great for featuring different destinations in Africa and takes a more commercial stance.
Roccco is offline  
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Mar 22nd, 2006, 01:58 AM
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Glad you like it - I've been enjoying Africa Geographic as a subscriber for about 18 months and before that I bought individual issues from central London bookstores that import it.

I also loved catching up on back issues during our 2004 trip to Africa as many of the Wilderness Safaris camps in Botswana had many back issues in their lounge areas.

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Mar 22nd, 2006, 06:15 AM
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I did want to subscribe after the recent discussions, but will most definitely do so now.

It is unfortunate that hyenas seem to have an appearance that most people can't warm up to. Even their Swahili name fisi - phonetically said fee see (feces) stinks in more ways than one.

Whatever happened btw, to the thread that a few of us responded to, where a woman wanted advice on hooking up with a trophy hunting co. for her husband and son for some good R+R. Did it just get too ugly? This truly was not the right forum to ask such a loaded question.

Sherry
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Mar 22nd, 2006, 07:11 AM
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I don't think it got any more ugly..I watched it quite closely out of interest, but it just disappeared one day. Not sure about the criteria used here since the thread advising "two teachers" went - though it didn't really get anything like nasty - but the "traitor" thread from the "imposter Gizzy" is still available.
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Mar 22nd, 2006, 07:20 AM
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I've been a subscriber for about three years and I believe the magazine has been mentioned in glowing terms many times. Be aware that the service, even though there is a website is definitely African not European or American.

My wife bought me the "Best of" for Christmas, just received it this week. Some great images including a couple from Jim Weis.
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Mar 22nd, 2006, 08:14 AM
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Rocco, I haven't read the Africa Geographic and read your comments with interest. I had heard about "canned lion hunts" but had no idea how many lions they have in captivity. Incredible and incredibly horrible! I'll have to get a copy and read it all.

I also read your comment "using airplanes to spot the animals and every other advantage that was not present when hunting was considered a more respectable endeavour". On my last trip to Africa, I was reading the Beryl Markham book "West with the Night" on the way home. Among other things (in 1936, she became the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic from east to west) she was an African bush pilot in the 1930's and she did fly her plane to spot elephants for hunters. So spotting animals with planes has been around for awhile. I really enjoyed the book.

Wild dogs vs hyenas - the dogs will get my vote!
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Mar 22nd, 2006, 10:56 AM
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The hunting fraternity prefer the term "high fenced hunting" over "canned hunting"
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Mar 22nd, 2006, 11:17 AM
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Actually, good points about the service not being fantastic...

I occasionally find an issue doesn't arrive and have to contact them to have them resend - that's not so much their fault as problems with postal services at their end or mine (or both).

Also, although they did send reminders, I somehow managed to let my subscription lapse (originally bought for me by my sister from my Christmas or Birthday list one year) and so when I finally called to renew I also paid for the missing back issues too. This was early January.

I just received the first issue of my renewed subscription but no back issues yet.

I called and apparently my payment details were "lost" so they had sent the first issue in good faith but not the back issues - I had to ask why they didn't just contact me (since they do work by email a lot and have my email details) as soon as they realised payment hadn't gone through.

Not only that but my sister keeps getting emails thanking her for renewing my subscription (which she hasn't, of course) and asked me to have them remove her details from their database. I requested this on the last call too and an email following up on the call confirmed that this had been done.

And then she got yet another email.

Sigh...

The staff are very friendly and helpful over the phone but, it seems, not hugely efficient and suffering from a poor IT system too.

I will certainly make sure my card hasn't actually been charged more than once, that's for sure.

But the magazine IS worth it (to me) so I put up with it...
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Mar 23rd, 2006, 06:52 PM
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santharamhari
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Love every single issue of Africa Geographic......nowadays, they have a special places section at the back of the book.........

Yes, i was wondering what happened to that thread Sherry was referring to: the lady wanting a hunting holiday......i guess, it got ugly and was removed by the moderator.....oh well!!!
 
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