News

30 September 2019

Rail Infrastructure Transforms Sustainable Tourism In South Africa

Atta

Last year, travel and tourism contributed almost half a trillion rand to South Africa’s economy and generated 8.6% of all the economic activity in the country. This is according to an annual review by the World Travel and Tourism Council¹. During the State of the Nation Address in June 2019, President Cyril Ramaphosa recognised the potential of tourism sector which acts as a catalyst to job creation as well as economic growth and announced a bold new plan to double international tourist arrivals by 2030. Key to this plan was upgrading and expanding the country’s rail network.

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30 September 2019

Sneaky lions in Zambia are moving across areas thought uninhabitable for them

Atta

Zambian lions are split into two subpopulations, with one in the Greater Kafue Ecosystem in the west and the other in the Luangwa Valley Ecosystem in the east. Between these two geographically different regions lies Lusaka, Zambia’s largest city, which is surrounded by farmland. People had assumed that the two groups of lions did not – even could not – mix. After all, they’re separated by a geographical barrier: the two regions feature different habitats, with the east an offshoot of the Great Rift Valley system and the west part of the southern savannas. The lions are also separated by what’s called an anthropogenic barrier: a big city that lacks wildlife protection, making it seemingly unsuitable for lions.

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27 September 2019

New Atta Members this month - September 2019

Atta

First Light Safaris - North American Based Travel Specialist - United States Bellavista Safaris - African Based Travel Specialist - Uganda Marasa Africa Lodges - Accommodation Suppliers - Uganda Kagera Safaris - African Based Travel Specialist - Uganda Tanzania Roadside Expeditions - African Based Travel Specialist - Tanzania Coquille Bonheur - African Based Travel Specialist - Mauritius

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27 September 2019

Zim, SA, Botswana Landrover tour attracts 70 world tourists

Atta

A total of 70 tourists from across the globe, arrived in the country yesterday through South Africa via a temporary crossing point along the Limpopo River to take part in the inaugural Defender challenge in the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area (GMTFCA). The Mega-Park is made up of national parks from Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe. During the tour, the visitors from the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Mexico, Ireland and South Africa will leave for Botswana through Mlambaphele Border Post.

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26 September 2019

Namibia introduces visas on arrival

Atta

Tourists from 47 countries no longer have to apply for visas in advance before leaving their countries for tourism, visiting, or transiting through Namibia. This was announced yesterday by home affairs minister Frans Kapofi at the launch of the 'Visa on Arrival' pilot project held at Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA). This project aims to improve Namibia's global competitive ratings and progress towards liberalising Namibia's visa policy framework for all Africans. Kapofi said the project further aims to improve Namibia's diplomatic representation and network across the world. “Our ministry will continue to deploy smarter approaches to support tourism and economic growth, while maintaining the integrity and security of our country,” he added.

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26 September 2019

The near-impossible task of moving 520 elephants across a country

Atta

Who knew that elephants are at it like rabbits? Unlike the giant panda – the other pin-up of the conservation world – elephants successfully procreate unaided in the wild. The ease with which they breed is advantageous for the species’ survival, but it poses new challenges. Some 15 years ago, Malawi’s Majete National Park was an empty forest. Poachers had wiped out the wildlife. NGO African Parks took over Majete in 2003, restocked the park, engaged the local community, and introduced effective law enforcement. Since then, not a single elephant has been poached. It’s a model African Parks has replicated in nearby Liwonde National Park.

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25 September 2019

How tourism can help save gorillas

Atta

In a world where the population is increasing by about 82 million people per year, areas of true wilderness on the planet are few and far between. As the human population multiplies, wildlife habitats of all types are under pressure from a range of threats including agriculture, industrial expansion, poaching, climate change, and human-borne diseases. In countries throughout Africa, gorillas are bearing the brunt of these immense pressures. Though their numbers have increased slightly in recent years, (representing a rare conservation success story), mountain gorillas, in particular, are critically endangered thanks to limited habitat, intense human encroachment, and potential diseases, according to The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International website.

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25 September 2019

Gabon is the First African Nation to Be Rewarded for Conservation Practices

Atta

Gabon just made history as the first African country to receive payments for preserving its rainforests. On Sunday, Gabon signed a 10-year deal with Norway that will give the country $150 Million for their efforts at sustainable forest conservation, reduced greenhouse emissions and carbon dioxide consumption. The money will be paid as both a reward for past environmental performance and as an incentive to continue their good work. The deal was made via Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI), a project launched in 2015 by the United Nations to link European donors with African countries.

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24 September 2019

South Africa's Kruger Park gets gunshot detection technology to fight rhino poaching

Atta

Poaching incidents often go undetected in the Kruger Park – a sprawling stretch of bushveld in the north east of South Africa that covers almost 20,000 square kilometres (12,427 square miles) – with carcasses only discovered days or weeks after a poacher has struck. The new tech employs acoustic sensors coupled with software to quickly pinpoint the location of gunshots, allowing park rangers to respond rapidly. "ShotSpotter changes the game by giving our rangers the exact location of the shot within seconds," Glenn Phillips, Kruger National Park’s managing executive, told IOL. "The resulting speed and accuracy of the response not only increases our chances of making contact and effecting an arrest but over time we hope will send a powerful message to poachers to stay away."

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24 September 2019

Atta Legal: Thomas Cook and its airline

Atta

An Update from Atta Legal Advisor - Alan Bowen As you will all be aware the Thomas Cook Group was placed into liquidation on the morning of Monday 23rd September and no further outbound flights will operate from the UK.

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24 September 2019

Application for Membership - African Travels

Atta

African Travels 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 September 2019

Maasai women become first only-female rangers in East Africa

Atta

Traditionally, Maasai women don’t hold professional jobs in the wildlife sector. But a group of women from the community in Laikipia County defied all odds to train as rangers. On Sunday, Yesterday, 12 women from the pastoral community graduated as wildlife rangers at Segera Conservancy after six months of extensive training in different wildlife reserves. The team will be the first only-female rangers in the male-dominated career in Kenya and East Africa. Women and men from Maasai, Samburu and Turkana gathered to witness and celebrate the success of the former housewives. “I grew up knowing Maasai women should only graze and take care of children at home. My parents refused to educate me since I could not help them,” said Ann Momina.

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23 September 2019

Application for Membership - Miracle Experiences Tanzania

Atta

Miracle Experiences Tanzania 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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20 September 2019

A bold plan to save Africa’s shrinking giraffe herds

Atta

Of all the large African mammals that wildlife veterinarian Pete Morkel has had to capture over his career—lions, forest elephants, white rhinos—giraffes are the most stressful. “With other animals, you’re trying to give just enough anesthetic to immobilize them, but with a giraffe, we use a total overdose to chemically knock them off their feet,” the sun-leathered 59-year-old tells me as I stalk him stalking a two-year-old female giraffe somewhere in the Nigerien bush, about 60 miles east of Niamey, Niger’s capital. He is wearing a camo hat and a pair of torn, purple-checkered boxers that he’s been wearing as shorts for the past several days.

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20 September 2019

Application for Membership - Elkano - Somos Mundo

Atta

Elkano - Somos Mundo 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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20 September 2019

Kenya’s Jambojet to start flights to Rwanda

Atta

The Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority has granted Kenya-based Jambojet the rights to fly to the capital Kigali. In a statement to the media on Thursday, Jambojet Chairman Vincent Rague said: “We are pleased to have received this approval. Kigali is one of the routes we have been pursuing in our expansion plan. Once we have everything in place, we will begin operations.” Jambojet CEO Allan Kilavuka said the airline is expanding its fleet as it plans to fly to more destinations in Africa.

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19 September 2019

Tourism CS Balala Elected to Chair Global UNWTO Executive Council

Atta

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala was elected to chair the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Executive Council, Friday. The elections took place during the UNWTO General Assembly in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The Council consists of full members elected by the Assembly in the proportion of one member for every five full members, in accordance with the rules of procedure laid down by the Assembly with a view to achieving fair and equitable geographical distribution. Speaking to Capital during a phone interview from Russia, Balala said he is delighted to have been elected to chair this important council.

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19 September 2019

Application for Membership - Donak Safaris

Atta

Donak 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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18 September 2019

A rare baby Zebra has been spotted in Kenya

Atta

A rare newly born Zebra has been spotted in Kenya and tourists can’t get enough of it. The zebra has a rather amazing dark colour due to a genetic abnormality linked to the amount of melanin, affecting the pigmentation of the fur. On Sunday 15 September, Mr Antony Tira – a tour guide-cum photographer – at Matira bush camp located in Maasai Mara came across the one-of-a-kind genetically mutated baby zebra. However, upon closer examination, Mr. Tira realised that what he was seeing was actually a zebra with melanin disorder. It was hardly a week old, it appeared weak and very different from the others and was stuck close to a female adult zebra, probably its mother.

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18 September 2019

Application for Membership - Coquille Bonheur

Atta

Coquille Bonheur 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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17 September 2019

Young environmental prize winner for Africa is saving the world’s last wild hotspots

Atta

Twenty-nine-year-old wildlife ethno-conservationist Adjany Costa from Angola has won the Young Champions of the Earth Prize for her efforts to conserve precious water and biodiversity hotspots in Angola. As world leaders gather at the UN Headquarters in New York for the Climate Action Summit and General Assembly in the coming days, climate and the environment will be at the forefront of discussions. Youth around the world are already taking action, because there is no time to lose. Costa’s solution is to work with the Luchaze community in the Eastern Angolan highlands, threatened by unsustainable livelihood practices following the country’s three-decade-long civil war which ended in 2002, as well as clearing of Miombo woodland once landmines are removed.

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17 September 2019

How old mascara wands are helping South Africa's wildlife

Atta

The Centre for Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) is appealing to women to donate their old mascara wands to help clean small wildlife. CROW’s marketing and communications manager, Lana Bartholomew, said they used the wands to clean off ticks, fleas, dirt, insects, fly larvae and other parasites from birds and small mammals who have been brought into the centre.

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16 September 2019

Pango-Cam offers amazing and unique view of pangolin behavior

Atta

Widely sought for its scales and flesh, which are channeled into the illegal trade to buyers in Asia, pangolins are said to be the world’s most trafficked animal. They face an uncertain future despite a complete ban on trade in any of the eight pangolin species, agreed to in 2017 under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Also known as scaly anteaters, pangolins are unique mammals covered in hard scales made of keratin. Predominantly nocturnal and elusive, these secretive mammals remain understudied and poorly understood.

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16 September 2019

Ethiopian Airlines to Launch Flights from Houston in December

Atta

Ethiopian Airlines has finalized its plans to launch flights to Houston starting on December 15, 2019, offering direct, nonstop Houston to Lomé, Togo air services operations three times per week. The new Houston flights will facilitate the travel of the large African community in the Houston area as well as the oil and gas industry and other companies doing business in the region of West Africa. The airline had originally flown to Lome from Los Angeles as the only non-stop to Africa from the US West Coast but that short-lived flight ended early this year when the airline ended its flights from LAX.

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13 September 2019

Application for Membership - Kagera Safaris

Atta

Kagera 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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13 September 2019

Nine critically endangered rhino are relocated from South Africa to Tanzania

Atta

Fueled by a lucrative illegal trade in wildlife products, East Africa has experienced an unparalleled poaching crisis, decimating rhino numbers. From an estimated 10,000 animals in 1970, the Tanzanian black rhino population has decreased by 99% and today there are estimated to be only 100 rhino surviving in all of Tanzania. While the Serengeti ecosystem has become the stronghold for Tanzania’s beleaguered rhino population, it is a pale shadow of its former glory when an estimated 700 rhino resided in the Serengeti National Park in 1980. The poaching pandemic has resulted in the IUCN placing the last remaining eastern black rhino (Diceros bicornis michaeli) on its red list and classifying them as critically endangered.

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12 September 2019

Application for Membership - Tanzania Roadside Expeditions

Atta

Tanzania Roadside Expeditions 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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12 September 2019

Twiga Tracker – Using modern technology to save reticulated giraffe and their habitat in northern Kenya

Atta

San Diego Zoo Global (SDZG) collaborating with the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) and in partnership with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Northern Rangeland Trust, Loisaba Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI), and BiK-F Senckenberg, recently undertook the single largest GPS satellite tagging of giraffe in history. Twenty-eight solar powered GPS satellite tracking units (so called ‘ossi-units’) were fitted to Endangered reticulated giraffe in a mix of public, private and communal land across northern Kenya in order to better understand their spatial movements and habitat use in the wild. “Knowing where giraffe are, how much space they need, and how they move across the landscape seasonally, is vital to inform effective conservation and planning. For the first time we will now have this information for the Endangered reticulated giraffe species,” says SDZG Community-based Conservation Ecologist David O’Connor, one of the leaders of this ground-breaking operation. “It was an immense, collaborative team effort, which is what is needed to move the needle forward in conservation.”

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11 September 2019

Texas hounds chase down rhino poachers in South Africa

Atta

Dogs trained to run free in packs are revolutionizing anti-poaching efforts in Kruger National Park. Two years ago, Joe Braman was living a regular family life with his wife and two daughters on his remote ranch in southern Texas. A part time cop, businessman, and cowboy, he’d never given a thought to the rhino poaching crisis in South Africa. But in May 2018, Braman and his free-running hounds were sprinting across the acacia plains of Kruger National Park chasing armed rhino poachers. To date since then, according to authorities, his hounds have helped law enforcement teams in the greater Kruger region catch an unprecedented 145 poachers and confiscate 53 guns, boosting the overall rate of successful arrests and providing a new strategy to fight poaching in Africa.

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11 September 2019

First ever in-vitro embryos may mark the turn of the tide in the fate of the nearly extinct northern white rhino

Atta

For decades the story of the northern white rhinoceros has been a tale of decline. The number of individuals shrank down to only two in 2018, rendering complete extinction as only a matter of time. An international consortium of scientists and conservationists has now achieved a milestone in assisted reproduction that may be a pivotal turning point in the fate of these magnificent animals. Using eggs collected from the two remaining females and frozen sperm from deceased males, they successfully created two northern white rhino embryos. The embryos are now stored in liquid nitrogen to be transferred into a surrogate mother in the near future.

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10 September 2019

Application for Membership - Grande Roche Hotel

Atta

Grande Roche Hotel 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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10 September 2019

Is it time to start seeing conservation in Africa as a business opportunity, and not a charity?

Atta

The Kigali convention centre in Rwanda, a vast, opulent dome-like structure, cost $300 million to build, and is reputed to be the most expensive building in Africa. Last weekend it hosted the Business of Conservation, the second annual conference organised by Fred Swaniker, an enterprising young Ghanaian who, at the inaugural conference last year, managed to garner pledges for $600 million to be spent on conservation projects around Africa.

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09 September 2019

Tanzania: Campaign to Use Arts in Promoting Tourism Launched

Atta

The Deputy Minister for Natural resources and Tourism, Constantine Kanyasu has urged local artistes and prominent people to use their platforms to promote domestic tourism. Speaking yesterday in Dar es Salaam during a launching of a campaign to promote tourist attractions in the country, the deputy minister said the campaign's sole aim is to attract both local and foreign tourists. "Our attraction our economy" is the slogan that the campaign carries, he added. The Deputy Minister advised the prominent people in the country to come up with entertainment project ideas and concepts that will promote the tourist attractions while the government assured them a support when implementing it.

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09 September 2019

Kwita Izina: The names of the newborn gorillas - Rwanda

Atta

It was pomp as thousands of people, including conservationists, celebrities, and citizens gathered in Kinigi to witness the naming of the newborn mountain gorillas. 25 babies were named by soccer legends, those in show business, conservationists, and leaders from different fields from across the world. The 15th edition was graced by President Paul Kagame as the guest of honor and was characterized by a series of entertainment to celebrate the newborn babies.

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06 September 2019

South Sudan turns to tourism in bid to draw line under past unrest

Atta

When Carsten Lillelund Pedersen visited South Sudan in November he was almost turned back at the airport. The immigration official had never seen a tourist visa before. “They told me the country doesn’t have tourists,” said the Dane, 49, who travelled on a whim after visiting a friend in Uganda. While South Sudan has six national parks, 13 game reserves and is rich in biodiversity and resources, safaris are not uppermost in the mind when thinking about the wartorn nation. Five years of fighting killed almost 400,000 people, displaced millions and plunged pockets of the country into famine. Government and opposition forces alike have been accused of committing human rights atrocities, including the use of rape as a weapon of war.

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06 September 2019

Kenya tourism industry on growth path

Atta

Kenya's tourism and hotel industry is growing faster in the sub-Sahara Africa, Africa Resort International chief executive officer Ainsley Dancombe said on Friday. Speaking in Nairobi, Dancombe said the Kenyan government has revolutionised service provision which he said has made it easy for investors to operate with ease. “I’m happy with the progress being made by the government. Kenya represents a bright spot in sub-Saharan Africa as an investment hub for both local and foreign investors,”he said.

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05 September 2019

Medivet Clients Reach One Million Donation Milestone in Support of Africa’s Rhinos

Atta

Medivet clients have made an incredible one million donations to raise £500,000 for the Medivet Saving The Rhino campaign with Wilderness Foundation Africa*, the Veterinary company has announced today. Contributions made in the past four years by kind Medivet clients using Pennies** - the digital charity box within its practices - hit the remarkable £500,000 milestone this week. The millionth donation was made at Medivet 24 Hour Shrewsbury. Medivet clients are offered the opportunity to add 50 pence to their veterinary bill to support the campaign.

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05 September 2019

Congo gets $65m funding to protect earth's lung, Congo Basin

Atta

Republic of Congo is joining an international program that will grant the country 60 million euros ($65.6 million) to better protect the rainforest and fight climate change. The country’s president, Denis Sassou N’Guesso, will formally sign up for the Central African Forest Initiative during a meeting Tuesday in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron. The program’s financing is provided by a coalition of donors: the European Union, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, South Korea and the United Kingdom.

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04 September 2019

Transforming African conservation from old social cause into next-gen growth market

Atta

Africa’s conservation challenges are daunting. The continent faces rapid human population growth, expanding agriculture and infrastructure, and globalized demand for its natural resources, including its forests, oceans, and wildlife. On top of that, Africa is expected to be particularly affected by climate change, which could produce more extreme weather events, exacerbate conflict, and drive large-scale human migration. On the surface it would seem that time is running short for African wildlife, but one Ghanian entrepreneur sees conservation as one of the great opportunities for Africa.

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04 September 2019

Prince Harry to Launch Green Travel Initiative

Atta

Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, will lead a global sustainable travel initiative to bring companies, consumers and communities together, he announced on Tuesday in Amsterdam. The initiative, called Travalyst, has been in the works for three years, Kensington Palace said. The duke began engaging in conversations with the travel industry in 2017, and the first official partnership meeting took place in January with a group of travel companies including Booking.com, Ctrip, Skyscanner, TripAdvisor and Visa, in hopes of making the tourism industry more environmentally responsible.

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03 September 2019

Dying pangolin saved by transfusion

Atta

A pangolin named Fortunate who was rescued from a poacher’s bag has been given the blood of another pangolin at a veterinary hospital in Johannesburg in what is being described as the first procedure of its kind. When the ten-year-old scaly mammal was discovered in a police wildlife trafficking operation two months ago he was close to death from starvation and had an infection after his main claws had been plucked out. Fortunate is an African ground pangolin, also known as Temminck’s pangolin. He was handed in to the hospital two months ago by police. Karen Lourens carried out the transfusion after protein levels in Fortunate’s blood dropped, taking 30ml of blood from another rescued pangolin that was about to be returned to the wild. “It was a risk but it worked very well,” she said.

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03 September 2019

Conservation plan could help endangered primates in Africa

Atta

A project co-led by the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), Bristol Zoo and West African Primate Conservation Action is set to protect nine species of primate found across Africa. A five-year plan that will be sent to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and which begins in 2020, sets out measures to protect the endangered Mangadrills.

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02 September 2019

Hunters turn gamekeepers to help Central Africa's threatened wildlife

Atta

Jean moves deftly through the tangle of roots and branches before waiting for the rainforest to give him a clue. In the heart of the Dzanga-Sangha wildlife reserve in western Central African Republic, the Pygmy hunter is looking for the tracks of a large female elephant he has been following for the last three hours. The elephant is not Jean's prey, but rather the opposite. He is part of a force of local hunters who have trained to become rangers. Their mission: To protect the park's precious animals from ruthless poachers.

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02 September 2019

Tanzania launches website to market tourist sites in China

Atta

The Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) in collaboration with Baidu China have launched a website to advertise the country's tourist attractions aimed at attracting more tourists from China and Asian countries. Speaking at the Wander Planet Project and Tanzania Shop launch ceremony, Tanzania Ambassador to China, Mr Mbelwa Kairuki said the country attracts 34,000 tourists annually from China but with the website they expect to increase the number to 100,000. "The number could even increase further when Air Tanzania Corporation Ltd (ATCL) launches its route to China because the Chinese hate to connect and with our direct flight the number will increase," he stressed.

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