News

31 July 2019

A message of support from Jane Goodall on World Ranger Day

Atta

"Never has the work of rangers been more important and necessary than it is today." These were the words of famed primatologist Jane Goodall in her World Ranger Day message as she expressed her support and thanks to those tasked with protecting the world's wildlife. In the last year, over 140 park rangers have reportedly lost their lives in the line of duty. In reality, that number may actually be far greater as many deaths go unreported. For most of us, environmental crime is something we read about in headlines or hear about in panel discussions – it's easy to overlook the tireless work carried out by park rangers across the globe who commit their lives to the preservation of the world's wild species and places.

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31 July 2019

Cheetahs Introduced to Majete Wildlife Reserve After Decades-Long Absence as Predators Resurge in Malawi

Atta

A small founder population of wild cheetahs has been successfully translocated from South Africa to Majete Wildlife Reserve, in Malawi, where cheetahs have not been present for decades. Cheetahs were entirely absent from Malawi for twenty years before a successful reintroduction returned them to Liwonde National Park in 2017. The translocation of four cheetahs on Thursday July 25th resulted from a collaboration between African Parks, which manages Majete and Liwonde in partnership with Malawi’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW), and the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT).

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30 July 2019

Sweeping the bush, protecting the land - The women quashing poaching

Atta

The black mamba is the most venomous snake in sub-Saharan Africa. One bite can kill a person in just a few hours. It is also the namesake of the all-female anti-poaching unit that operates in the 56,000-acre private Balule Nature Reserve at Kruger National Park in South Africa. The name choice represents “the strength of the mambas, and their quick reactions,” said Valeria van der Westhuizen, communications manager for the Mambas. “Strength of the woman in South Africa, strength of the Mamba.”

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30 July 2019

New Atta Members this month - July 2019

Atta

Adams & Butler - European Based Travel Specialist - Ireland East Cape Tours - African Based Travel Specialist - South Africa Safari Avventura - African Based Travel Specialist - Tanzania Coastal Holidays - African Based Travel Specialist - Tanzania First Class Holidays - UK Based Travel Specialist - United Kingdom Gondwana Collection Namibia - Accommodation Suppliers - Namibia

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29 July 2019

Kenya & Mauritius eye closer airline ties to boost tourism

Atta

Kenya and Mauritius respective tourism ministries held discussions on Friday to better employ their national airlines in tourism marketing. In a joint meeting which brought together Kenya’s Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala and his Mauritian counterpart Anil Gayan, the two countries held dialogue to promote tourism in their respective hubs in the Chinese market. Further, the pair discussed collaboration in the development of a cruise circuit between them.

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29 July 2019

Tanzania to shut part of wildlife preserve to big game hunters

Atta

Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Friday ordered the sprawling Selous Game Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage site, to be split in two to restrict the access of big game hunters. Covering 50,000 sq km (19,000 sq miles), the Selous reserve is one of the largest protected areas in Africa, and is famed for its elephants, lions, black rhinos, hippos and giraffes. About 8% of the Selous, which is larger than Switzerland, is dedicated to photo-tourism while the rest is a hunting reserve.

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26 July 2019

Safari operators expect to feel the love from 'Lion King' release

Atta

Disney's much-anticipated remake of the 1994 classic "The Lion King" hit the big screen this month, and although tour operators say it's too early to tell what kind of impact the movie will have on travel to Africa, they agree it will be an inspiration for travelers around the world to consider the continent when making travel plans.

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26 July 2019

Direct flights from Mumbai to Nairobi set to boost tourism business

Atta

The move by Air India to resume direct flights between Mumbai and Nairobi from September has been welcomed as a huge opportunity for local hospitality business and leisure industry. PrideInn Group of Hotels Group Managing Director Hasnain Noorani said the development is a welcome boost for PrideInn as a majority of the hotel’s business guests from Asia are from South Asia. He added that shortened flight hours would also bring added benefits to the tourism industry.

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25 July 2019

After a long journey, 16 rare black rhinos make a new home in eSwatini

Atta

A group of 16 endangered black rhinos has been moved over 700 kilometres from poaching hotspot South Africa to an “ideal” - and safer - habitat in eSwatini, the eSwatini national wildlife authority said on Thursday. The rhinos include adult breeding bulls and cows, young adults and calves. They came from a private game reserve in South Africa, where the cost of protecting them from poachers was rapidly becoming unsustainable, the wildlife authority said. Once dehorned, they were released in eSwatini, formerly Swaziland, earlier in July. “Many delays were experienced ... especially with respect to the bureaucratic nightmare of issuance and re-issuance of permits,” said Ted Reilly, chief executive of Big Game Parks, eSwatini’s national wildlife authority.

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25 July 2019

Witness Africa’s ‘Other’ Epic Migration

Atta

The Serengeti exodus may be more famous, but Africa’s greatest annual mammal migration is the eight to ten million fruit bats that descend on Kasanka National Park in Zambia between October and December. The spectre of a bat-filled sky overwhelms the senses. “It’s absolutely one of the most mind-blowing and mesmerising things I have ever witnessed,” says former park ecologist Frank Willems. And then there are the sounds: millions of flapping wings and countless cries echoing across the secluded savanna of northern Zambia, one of Africa’s least visited but most rewarding wildlife regions.

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24 July 2019

Secretive and colorful dryas monkey isn’t as rare as once thought

Atta

In 2014, biologists discovered a population of critically endangered dryas monkeys (Cercopithecus dryas) living 400 kilometers (250 miles) south of their only known range in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Multi-level camera traps revealed that these stealthy monkeys are more common — and a lot weirder — than previously thought. They digest young leaves, snuggle up in impenetrable vine thickets, and sometimes boast an outrageous blue behind. In 2019, the IUCN downgraded their conservation status to endangered, and scientists are predicting a potentially positive future for the dryas.

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24 July 2019

Application for Membership - Apex Photo Safaris

Atta

Apex Photo Safaris has applied to join Atta. Their membership will be approved if there are not any objections lodged within the statutory 10 day period. (See objection procedure below).

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23 July 2019

Kenya Airways ups frequencies to regional destinations amid demand

Kenya Airways said Tuesday it will increase frequencies to three regional tourist destinations in Kenya’s Mombasa as well as Zanzibar and Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in July and August due to huge demand. The airline said the increased frequency will also cover the Juba in South Sudan and Rwanda’s Kigali routes as a result of increased demand during the peak travel season. Ursula Silling, Kenya Airways chief commercial officer said the key routes and additional frequencies are part of Kenya Airways’ network expansion strategy which is essential to the ongoing financial turnaround.

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23 July 2019

Here’s how your holiday photos could help save endangered species

Atta

Animal populations have declined on average by 60% since 1970, and it’s predicted that around a million species are at risk of extinction. As more of the Earth’s biodiversity disappears and the human population grows, protected landscapes that are set aside to conserve biodiversity are increasingly important. Sadly, many are underfunded – some of Africa’s most treasured wildlife reserves operate in funding deficits of hundreds of millions of dollars. In unfenced wilderness, scientists rarely have an inventory on the exact numbers of species in an area at a particular time. Instead they make inferences using one of many different survey approaches, including camera traps, track surveys, and drones.

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22 July 2019

How drones and sirens can help save the rhino

Atta

University of Brighton researchers have found new ways to help save white rhinoceros from illegal poaching – using drones and sirens. They investigated the most effective ways of deterring rhinos from danger areas such as near perimeter fences where poachers often operate and spent six months on a South African game reserve testing the most effective way of persuading the animals to move to safer areas.

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22 July 2019

First African Protected Areas Congress: A Watershed Event For Africa's Parks And Wildlife

Atta

The first African Protected Areas Congress is scheduled to convene in Nairobi, Kenya, from 18 to 23 November 2019. The International Union for Conservation of Nature, through its World Commission on Protected Areas, has partnered with Kenya’s Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife and a broad range of conservation groups to organize and facilitate this gathering.

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19 July 2019

Lion King’s success roars into Kenya

Atta

This is probably one of the most notable quotes by Mufasa, one of the leading characters in the just premiered Walt Disney movie, ‘Lion King’. The remake of the 1991 movie has taken the world by storm with leading movie critics terming it as one of the most epic animated movies by Disney. The star-studded photorealistic movie includes voices by Donald Glover, Beyonce Knowles-Carter, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Seth Rogen among others. This has given the country’s tourism watchdog a reason to smile about.

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19 July 2019

Humpback whales make stunning comeback in southern Africa

Atta

More than 30,000 humpback whales now splash across the western Indian Ocean, according to newly released preliminary data. That’s up from fewer than 600 in the late 1970s, after nearly two centuries of whaling decimated populations in the region. A team led by marine biologist Chris Wilkinson, technical manager for the Mammal Research Institute at the University of Pretoria, sampled the number of humpback whales in one population by counting them as they swam past Cape Vidal, on South Africa’s east coast. The whales migrate each year from feeding grounds in Antarctic waters to breeding areas near Mozambique. From their 2018 survey and data from previous years, the researchers extrapolated to estimate a population of more than 30,000 humpbacks in the entire western Indian Ocean.

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18 July 2019

Qatar Airways to launch direct flights to Gaborone

Atta

Qatar Airways will start flying to Gaborone, Botswana, from October 27, 2019. The capital and largest city of Botswana will be the airline’s first destination in the Southern African country. The three-times weekly flights will be operated by an Airbus A350-900 aircraft, featuring 36 seats in Business Class and 247 seats in Economy Class. Qatar Airways will be the first Middle Eastern airline to operate to the capital of Botswana. Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker, said: “We are excited to be launching three-weekly flights to Gaborone, another highly sought-after destination in Africa. Qatar Airways is committed to growing our presence in Africa and adding to the 22 destinations in 15 countries we already offer. Our new service to the enchanting city of Gaborone will enable us to provide a seamless journey to and from Botswana, for passengers connecting from our extensive network of more than 160 destinations worldwide.”

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18 July 2019

FCO Travel Advice Update - Rwanda

Atta

Change made: Health section – revised information on Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo; on 17 July 2019, the World Health Organisation declared the outbreak to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) Atta Medical Advisor Dr Richard Dawood adds: 'The declaration of the Public Health Emergency of International concern should now result in a more robust, practical and political approach in tackling the problem. Furthermore it should result in things being brought to a swifter conclusion.

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17 July 2019

Chinese-built Maputo bridge helps boost tourism in local area

Atta

A local district in the Mozambican province of Maputo has witnessed a tourism boom and the related income doubling, due to the easier access to its major resorts brought by the cross-sea suspension bridge and its link roads built and financed by China, district authorities said on Tuesday. Joao Tembe, head of a local administration of the district of Matutuine, told Radio of Mozambique that the increased number of tourists in the first six months of 2019 has allowed the government to collect over 1 million U.S. dollars revenue, compared to the half-million in the same period of last year.

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17 July 2019

Application for Membership - Gondwana Collection Namibia

Atta

Gondwana Collection Namibia has applied to join Atta. Their membership will be approved if there are not any objections lodged within the statutory 10 day period. (See objection procedure below).

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16 July 2019

Forest elephants are our allies in the fight against climate change, finds research

Atta

Forest elephant extinction would exacerbate climate change. That’s according to a new study in Nature Geoscience which links feeding by elephants with an increase in the amount of carbon that forests are able to store. The bad news is that African forest elephants – smaller and more vulnerable relatives of the better known African bush elephant – are fast going extinct. If we allow their ongoing extermination to continue, we will be also worsening climate change. The good news is that if we protect and conserve these elephants, we will simultaneously fight climate change.

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16 July 2019

CNN’s Inside Africa investigates the conservation of Zambia’s black rhinos

Atta

This week on Inside Africa, CNN International visits North Luangwa National Park, the heart of Zambia’s black rhino conservation effort. There were once around 12,000 black rhinos in Zambia but the population was wiped out, with rhinos being declared extinct in the country in 1998. Since 2003, conservationists have been working hard to reintroduce the animals and are now discovering new ways to sustain their growing population. Rodgers Lubilo, the Natural Resources Community Manager at North Luangwa, tells the programme about Zambia’s love for the black rhino, “We have missed the black rhino in this country. And that’s why what we are doing in North Luangwa is loved by everybody because we are getting back the species that everyone wants to see.”

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15 July 2019

Lions, camel soup and scorching heat: Running a marathon through a wildlife reserve

Atta

John Ruengo might be an octogenarian, but he still has enough energy to dance as he finishes a 21km race through gruelling heat and dust in a Kenyan savannah. “I’m 89 years old and still strong,” he tells The Independent, claiming a diet of camel soup has kept him going. “Practice makes perfect. I started running in 1948 when I was a boy and since that time I have never left.”

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12 July 2019

Madagascar set to experience tourism-driven boom this year

Atta

New study reveals that Madagascar, which is a magnet for nature-loving tourists thanks to its unique flora and fauna and its unspoilt, authentic character, looks set to experience a tourism-driven boom this year. Visitor arrivals in Madagascar in 2018 were 8% up on the previous year and they are 19% up in the first five months of 2019. A detailed breakdown of Madagascar’s top ten origin markets shows that in the first five months of 2019, there has been a strong improvement in booking trends.

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12 July 2019

SA Tourism welcomes visa waiver for New Zealand, 6 other countries

Atta

South African Tourism (SA Tourism) has welcomed the Department of Home Affairs announcement that seven countries have been added to the list of countries that do not require a visa for travel to South Africa. This brings the total number of visa waiver countries to 75.

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12 July 2019

Application for Membership - First Class Holidays

Atta

First class Holidays has applied to join Atta. Their membership will be approved if there are not any objections lodged within the statutory 10 day period. (See objection procedure below).

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11 July 2019

South African teens fly from Cape to Cairo in homemade plane

Atta

An aircraft built by South African teenagers has successfully landed in Egypt three weeks after it set off from Cape Town. The four-seater Sling 4 plane was assembled by a group of 20 students from vastly different backgrounds. The crew landed in Namibia, Malawi, Ethiopia, Zanzibar, Tanzania and Uganda during the 12,000km (7,455 mile) trip. Pilot Megan Werner, 17, founder of U-Dream Global project, said she was thrilled by the accomplishment. "I'm so honoured to have made a difference around the continent at the places we've stopped. "The purpose of the initiative is to show Africa that anything is possible if you set your mind to it," she added.

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11 July 2019

Freddie Bailey Travel

One of our members has alerted us to a potentially fraudulent booking request coming from a 'Freddie Bailey Travel'

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10 July 2019

Tanzania says elephant, rhino populations rebounding after anti-poaching crackdown

Atta

Elephant and rhino populations in Tanzania have begun to rebound after a government crackdown dismantled organised criminal networks involved in industrial-scale poaching, the country’s presidency said. A prominent Chinese businesswoman dubbed the “Ivory Queen” was sentenced to 15 years in prison by a Tanzanian court in February for smuggling the tusks of more than 350 elephants to Asia, marking a major victory for the government. “As a result of the work of a special task force launched in 2016 to fight wildlife poaching, elephant populations have increased from 43,330 in 2014 to over 60,000 presently,” the presidency said in a statement late on Tuesday. The number of rhinos, an endangered species, had increased from just 15 to 167 over the past four years, it said.

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10 July 2019

SAA signs Codeshare Agreement with Brazilian airline

South African Airways

South African Airways (SAA) has signed codeshare and frequent flyer agreements with Brazilian airline Gol - Linhas Aéreas (GOL), which came into effect on Thursday. SAA acting Chief Executive Officer Zuks Ramasia said the airline is pleased with the agreement which is of strategic importance. "We are extremely pleased with this agreement which comes at an opportune time and gives strategic impetus to our strategy of growing partnerships globally to offer our customers more travel options. It is an important step in the execution of our strategy and gives our customers, through our direct flights to Sao Paulo, a number of further travel options to explore Brazil," said Ramasia.

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09 July 2019

Econet marathon boosts tourism at Victoria Falls

Atta

Players in the tourism sector were the biggest beneficiaries of the Econet Victoria Falls Marathon, which took place here on Sunday. Hotels and lodges were fully booked starting last week until Monday while eateries and activities also enjoyed more than 100 percent booking as sports tourists from 43 countries who had registered for the event sought services in the country’s prime resort town, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), reported. This is besides scores of visitors who thronged the town not for the sporting event but for holiday. Tourism players, who are smiling all the way to the bank on the backdrop of the event, have said the marathon period is an early Christmas for the industry.

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09 July 2019

Kenya moots plan to save Mountain Bongo

Atta

Kenya’s’ Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife Monday launched the National Recovery and Action Plan for the critically endangered Mountain Bongo. The Plan was launched by the country’s Cabinet Secretary for Tourism & Wildlife, Najib Balala. The plan seeks to address the myriad challenges facing the Mountain Bongo and will jump-start the process of reversing their population decline. It will be implemented by Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) in partnership with private and community conservancies and trusts.

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08 July 2019

Tanzanian president to commission upgraded Burigi-Chato National Park

Atta

Tanzania is hoping to woo international tourists into its borders by upping the number of tourists’ attractions in the country. This has seen the government focus on upgrading game reserves into fully fledged national parks. Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli is expected to kick start this ambitious plan with the commissioning of the Burigi-Chato National Park on Tuesday. The government is taking advantage of Chato Airport to open the North-East tourist circuit. The Park is situated close to Lake Victoria, on the border with Rwanda, and is surrounded by the Kagera River and Lake Burigi.

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08 July 2019

Prof. Judi Wakhungu appointed to the Board of Wildlife Conservation Organization

Atta

enyan Ambassador to France, Prof. Judi Wakhungu, has been appointed to the Board of the Wildlife Conservation and Animal Welfare Organization – the International Fund for Animal Welfare (ifaw). Prof. Wakhungu is the immediate former Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. During her tenure from 2013 to 2018, she enacted substantive binding laws for the protection of the environment in Kenya including the Climate Change Act 2016 and the Wildlife Conservation & Management Act 2013.

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05 July 2019

Zambia halts plans to dam the Luangwa River

Atta

The government of Zambia has halted plans to build a hydropower megadam on the Luangwa River, one of the longest remaining free-flowing rivers in southern Africa. WWF reports that the Zambian government has cancelled a pre-feasibility study for the Ndevu Gorge Power Project, proposed by MDH South Africa (Pty) Limited, which would have cost $1.26 billion and generated between 235 and 240 megawatts of power if completed. The government’s decision effectively puts an end to the project, WWF said, calling the outcome “a major boost for communities and wildlife.”

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05 July 2019

Application for Membership - Coastal Holidays

Coastal Holidays has applied to join Atta. Their membership will be approved if there are not any objections lodged within the statutory 10 day period. (See objection procedure below).

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04 July 2019

Air Mauritius returns to Seychelles

Atta

Air Mauritius returned to Seychelles on Tuesday after a 14-year absence, touching down at 11.10 a.m. local time to become the 15th airline to connect the island nation to the rest of the world. Air Mauritius is flying to the 115-archipelago in the western Indian Ocean twice weekly -- Tuesdays and Saturdays at 11.10 a.m. and 1.10 a.m. The return of Air Mauritius brings extra competition to the country's national airline, Air Seychelles, but the extra flights should also bring increased economic benefits.

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04 July 2019

Application for Membership - Safari Avventura

Atta

Safari Avventura has applied to join Atta. Their membership will be approved if there are not any objections lodged within the statutory 10 day period. (See objection procedure below).

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03 July 2019

Ethiopian touches down in Marseille

Atta

Ethiopian Airlines, the continent’s largest Aviation Group and SKYTRAX certified Four Star Global Airline has landed in France’s second biggest city of Marseille. Marseille marks Ethiopian’s 20th destination in Europe. The airline will operate thrice weekly flights to Marseille.

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03 July 2019

Rwanda starts issuing East Africa E-Passport

Atta

Rwanda has begun issuing the East Africa e-passport in line with the country's commitment to promote regional integration as envisioned by East African Community (EAC) partner states, an immigration official announced Friday. "Rwandans can now start applying for the common east africa e-passport. Starting from today, Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration will start issuing EAC e-passport," said Francois Regis Gatarayiha, director general of Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration, at a press conference at the institution's head office in Kigali, capital city of Rwanda.

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02 July 2019

Scientists find zebra odour useful in fight against trypanosomosis disease

Atta

Researchers in Kenya have found that specific odours in zebra skin can provide leads to boost the management of the deadly trypanosomiasis disease, which is transmitted by tsetse flies to people and livestock. The scientists at the Nairobi-based International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) established that zebras produce certain scents that repel tsetse flies.

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02 July 2019

Application for Membership - East Cape Tours

Atta

East Cape Tours has applied to join Atta. Their membership will be approved if there are not any objections lodged within the statutory 10 day period. (See objection procedure below).

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01 July 2019

How did elephants evolve such a large brain? Climate change is part of the answer

Atta

Elephants have long captivated our attention, partly because of their sheer size and majesty. But we’re also struck by their complex behaviour. In some ways, we’re fascinated because this behaviour echoes our most humane feelings. For instance, elephants have repeatedly been observed using tools and grieving their dead. Their evolutionary history is interesting, too. It parallels humans’ in many ways. Elephant ancestors originated in Africa, just like ours. Their descendants, among them mammoths, went out of Africa to inhabit other continents. And in the process they evolved the largest brain of any land animal. It weighs around 5 kg, while our own brains weigh 1.4 kg.

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01 July 2019

'10 steps ahead': Kenya's tech war on wildlife poachers

Atta

Every morning, at the far perimeter of the wildlife reserve capped by Mount Kenya, a khaki-clad ranger meticulously sweeps the earth of animal footprints, covering their tracks from any poachers. It's an antiquated approach to outsmarting would-be hunters, but this ranger is not alone. High on a mast nearby, a new camera scans around the clock for intrusions, relaying real-time images to armed guards at park headquarters.

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