Learn South African English It is past time
Casting basics remembered
Privilege of a few or a National asset?
In the dark?
Why are cows not endangered?
A Radical approach to Conservation
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contents 4 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE AUGUST 2011
8 Casting basics remembered Pursuing accuracy
17 WILDLIFE IN ZIMBABWE
Privilege of a few or a National asset?
27 Why are cows not endangered?
A Radical approach to Conservation
34 Learn South African English It is past time
42 African hunters of yesteryear The Maneating lions of Tsavo
78 Africa - the good news The good news from Africa
98 Make a Plan In the dark?
103 True North
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lmost all of us senior citizens whom have been casting bullets since the early days of interest that grew right after world war 2 have developed habits and preferences that are at some time hard to justify to todayâ€™s new body of bullet casters. I personally agree with Colonel Whelan that only accurate guns are truly interesting. On my own, I have found that to be correct, but that the challenge of developing a accurate cast bullet loading in a basically accurate rifle is extremely more rewarding then just using factory bought jacketed bullets. My pursuit of accuracy with cast lead bullets has never overridden my sheer enjoyment of a day of just plain shooting. I get a kick out of letting my friends and new shooters enjoy shooting some of the firearms and experience that I have acquired over the years. The memories of casting with a one cavity mold and then the labor of sorting weighing and selecting the perfect bullet has in the past been pleasant and at the time challenging, but now that I have a few extra years behind me, just AUGUST 2011 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 9
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a day of shooting without looking for perfection has taken over my shooting programs. I have now put aside most of my single cavity molds and use only two cavity molds or larger. I even have some 10 cavity pistol and rifle molds that cast bullets of such quality that I no longer bother to do any bullet weighing. I have developed the practice of selecting two or usually three molds that I can work together with in a casting session. I try to select molds that because of their cooling characteristics can be run together in a cycle. I cast with one mold while the other two are cooling and drop the projectiles directly into a container of water. By moving down the line one mold at a time, each mold has time for the metal to solidify and produce comply filled out grooves and nice cutting of the cast sprew. There is no way to tell what molds will work out together until you have had a chance to use them together and adjust your casting rhythm to their casting style as a group. When I have to mind to do some casting, I usually down a couple hundred pounds at a time and when I select a group of molds that I want to work with that are based upon their cooling patterns, I end up with some bullets that I may not use for some time in the future so I store them unsized and unlubricated. My basic casting metal is usually a mixture of wheel weights with 2% tin added to help metal flow and the cast bullets are dropped directly from the mold into a bucket of room temperature water. Yesterday I wanted to try out a lot of Linotype metal that I have had on hand for some time now. My goal was to use a two cavity .375 plain base iron mold that throws a 245 grain plain base bullet. I had never used this mold before with Linotype and only wanted a couple of hundred bullets to play with. Rather then run a full casting session with two other molds with bullet designs that I really did not need at this time, I decided to make my selection of a companion mold based on what I would like to play with rather then mold cooling pattern. The only other bullet that I was interested in playing with at this time was a two cavity aluminum mold throwing a 98 grain plain base projectile. This bullet is long in relationship to itsâ€™ diameter. I have found in the past that long bullets require a higher temperature for proper metal flow into the mold and to avoid the development of voids. This lot of Linotype metal became liquid at the 600 degree setting on my RCBS melting pot.
At this temperature the iron mold started producing quality bullets after the second or third cast. The 257 aluminum mold produced wrinkled bullets at this temperature. After four or five pours, i assumed that the mold was cooling too fast at the rhythm I was working. I then turned up the heat to a setting of 750 degrees and the 257 mold started to settle down and produce a quality product. Work a rhythm with these two mold however started to become a challenge. After casting the 257 bullets the Linotype in the 375 mold still had not solidified and when I would knock of the sprew and the bullets had a little frosting; also the sprew plate would pull out a plug of lead from the base of the bullets. It was necessary to give the 375 mold more time to cool before striking off the sprew. When I waited for the metal in the 375 mold to fully solidify the 257 mold had cooled down to the point where the next pour would again produce a wrinkled bullet. In order to keep both molds going and have a good quality pour and production rhythm going, it was necessary to pour the 375 mold and then make two pours with the 257 mold. This is a different casting pattern then what I normally experience. However it worked and a quantity of good bullets in both caliber were produced in these casting session. Almost 90 percent of the 375 bullets were prefect without pulled out bases or wrinkles, but over 25 percent of the 257 bullets did not pass inspection. I believe that this was mostly due to the specifics of my working out a casting rhythm and pattern for both of these very different molds. I size and lubricate my plain base bullets, both pistol type and rifle, in a Star Lubricator sizer using NRA formula lube. Magma Engineering can supply almost any size bullet diameter you need for this machine. Their quality is superb, The cost may keep some of us from having as many of the sizes we would like to have available, but you can not dispute the quality. I sized and lubricated both bullet sizes within one hour of casting. They both passed through the sizer as smooth as you could wish for. My practice is to size nose first using a undersized punch stem that is flat nosed and matches the diameter of the sizing die within a couple of thousands. I use the feel of my finger to insure that the base of the bullet is flat with the punch stem and that the core of the bullet and punch stem are aligned together. You can do a pretty good job of this just using the feel of your fingers. Since I had some 375 rejects that had been sorted out during the sizing operation, I thought that I might AUGUST 2011 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 11
see what happens when a bullet is not in line when punch nose when first passing into the sizing die. With this question in my mind, I took a couple of the bullets and pushed them as far out of line with the center of the sizing die as I possibly could. They still passed through the die without any difficulty. However, as the die attempts to correct any misalignment and realines the bullet with the center of the die. The bases of the test bullets show major signs that the bullet had shifted during the sizing process. These marks are very prominent and a different indication that these bullet should be sent back to the melting pot. All this goes to show that there is a lot of science in the manufacture of cast bullets for any firearm. The discoveries and recreation value continue to be unlimited and any shooter who uses only factory ammunition is missing out on a whole new world of enjoyment in the area of reloading and bullet casting I plan to give these Linotype bullets a week or so to stabilize and will then see how they shoot. In short, the challenges never seem to end.
Leo Grizzaffi is a lifelong hunter and veteran of many African safaris. Author and reloading expert, his specialty is the care and feeding of big bore double rifles, however he also dabbles with the little calibers. Leo resides in California, where being a lawyer and judge in the City of Los Angeles sometimes interferes with his busy hunting and reloading schedule.
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ZIMBABWE Privilege of a few or a National asset?
imbabwe had a proud record of excellence in Wildlife Management and Nature Conservation. That no longer applies to the majority of land for Wildlife today. Some 28% of Zimbabweâ€™s landmass is reserved for Wildlife; in itself an incredible statement how much importance the Government of Zimbabwe has given and continues to give to this National Asset. AUGUST 2011 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 17
But an asset implies that it provides returns for those who own it, in this case the Zimbabwean people. If the asset of Wildlife is well managed, then, the result is, this will maximise the return for the population in income and wealth creation, in job provisions and enhancing the reputation of the country, thus driving Tourism and related activities. Yet, a varied reply will have to answer the headline question.
visitors to come to Zimbabwe only exists if we make ourselves attractive to them. But the current Director General of National Parks has an impossible task: ●● Parks have little income and thus no funds to actively do what they should be doing: game counting, assessing the habitats and active
Who owns the land? As can be seen from the pie charts below, which are based on Government information, indigenous players – the Government, Rural and District Councils, Campfire etc control 26.1% of the landmass of Zimbabwe and allow wildlife to roam on it. That translates to a staggering 93.2% of this industry in indigenous hands. Only 6.8% of the entire Wildlife landmass in Zimbabwe is in (partly) private hands of which two thirds is held by foreign investors who are overwhelmingly passionate about conservation. Hence, the Wildlife Industry is by far the most extensively indigenised industry within Zimbabwe. By conclusion, the huge responsibility of maintaining and conserving Wildlife is not a ‘privilege’ of a few but rests in the hands of many.
Quality and Success of Wildlife Management National Parks by admission of one of its former Director Generals generates about 95% of its income from auctioning hunting concessions under an often contentious tender system. National Parks should generate their income from Tourism of any kind rather than hunting but that is hardly possible today. Due to the lack of management or correct allocation of resources many animal species have suffered. National Parks are said to have some 50,000 Elephants too many, a specie which in over abundance destroys the habitat for many other species. Hence, wildlife management in National Parks leaves plenty to be desired. In addition, camps and roads are often in poor condition, keeping tourists away. And Zimbabweans must understand: there is plenty of excellent competition in our neighbouring countries. Hence, the need for 18 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE AUGUST 2011
game management, all of which is costly. ●● Vehicles, computers, camps, roads, fences, water supply, etc. are in dire need of replacement or repair. ●● Parks Investigative Unit employs good people but a few ‘bad apples’ have rendered the unit untrustworthy to the rest of the industry. Therefore, active or proactive anti-poaching
activities are hampered severely as evidenced by the very poor results of combating Rhino poaching.
●● Offers by European countries to assist in rebuilding National Parks have been made but unless Government engages on these offers, no help will be forthcoming. Unfortunately, the Government has not engaged. Question: what happened to Zimbabwe’s Wildlife, the attractive National Parks, why were these asset permitted to deteriorate to their current sorry state?
Zimbabwe used to be second to no one, not even South Africa, in the field of Wildlife management. That is different today. As most of the assets and animal herds in National Parks have deteriorated, it is today the almost miniscule private sector, which guarantees the quality of Wildlife Conservation in areas, which – through their surplus of animals -now represent the breading nucleus of Wildlife in the country.
Effective protection of species ... and the same Rhino when anti-poaching is not treated as a National priority.
Private Wildlife Management By contrast the country is fortunate to host a private Wildlife Industry better known as Conservancies. As stated above, the private industry represents less than 7% of all Wildlife land in the country. The majority of these 6.8% is owned by foreign investors, who came to the country at the invitation of Government. The conservancies are a model of local and foreign investors coming together with the passion for environmental development, embracing local communities directly and through Trusts, by providing employment and job training from the lowest educated upwards and with the ability to earn foreign currency income. Whether private or investor owned or controlled by Government or Councils, the Wildlife in question makes up the total of Zimbabwe’s Wildlife Herd and collectively is the National Wildlife Asset. That is a fact, unless we expect Foreign Investors to carry their animals back to their home country, as impossible as that may seem.
Politically forced indigenisation Success breeds contempt and envy. Under the disguise of “Indigenisation” a group of politically allied forces in Masvingo Province (list attached) have tried massively to either force partnerships onto the private conservancies or threatened to destroy them. Laws of Zimbabwe, International Law of Cross Border Investment, Bilateral Investment Protection Treaties between Zimbabwe and other countries are ignored. Contrary to the country’s policy, a former Governor relocated the poorest in the Province to these Wildlife areas, thus destroying the resident wildlife, and the job creation it could offer by rendering the livelihood of these people unsustainable. Wildlife is the only legal and physically possible form of land use in most of the areas in question. The land in question is unfit for agriculture or cattle ranching. It is either Wildlife or nothing. Relocating humans into these region five areas is cruel and irresponsible. Wildlife left to flourish will represent one of the three largest employment sectors in Masvingo Province. AUGUST 2011 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 19
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CITES and Zimbabwe’s Global Reputation Zimbabwe’s reputation in the world is tarnished. Whether we agree with the reasons or not, the fact remains. This reflects on tourism figures and visitors to the country at large. The effect on the private Wildlife Industry has been dramatic and most owners / operators have struggled to contain their losses over the past several years. The private Wildlife Industry is known for high capital investments and slow as well as low returns. Anyone without the passion for Wildlife is unlikely to put his or her capital into this
business. The Director General of National Parks understands and agrees with these facts. Early in 2010, CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) a UN body was close to condemning Zimbabwe for its poor protection of fauna and flora. The private Wildlife Industry was instrumental in averting a ban by CITES, an action which would have devastating effects on the entire Tourism and Hunting industry. However, the country’s reputation with CITES will remain patchy unless a dramatic improvement in the protection of Wildlife is recorded shortly.
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The solution In view of these severe challenges, National Parks and the private Wildlife Sector have agreed to formulate an amended Wildlife-based Investment and Indigenisation Policy. Discussions and consultations are ongoing and a National Workshop will be held on November 15 and 16 with participation from a host of Ministries, their ministers and Permanent Secretaries, Ambassadors of Countries who’s investors are involved in Wildlife, experts and academia. The outcome should be a policy document fit to be discussed and approved by Cabinet to govern the national, rural and individual use of Wildlife in Zimbabwe. As a result 10% of Zimbabwe’s GDP could again be generated on a sound sustainable basis, with international competitiveness being restored in due course. Recent comments in The Herald made certain allegations and claims as to Conservancies; these are dealt with below: ●● “…problem lies with unrepentant rogue elements that resist change from a skewed colonial ownership structure…”: Some 95% of all land within private Conservancies changed hands after Independence, holds Government’s Certificates of no Present Interest, mostly have Zimbabwe Investment Centre or ZIC/ZIA approvals, and foreign ownership, some 70%, is governed and protected by Bilateral Investment Protection Treaties as well as International Law as it applies to Cross Border Investments. Hence, Conservancies today were formed with express approval of the Government after Independence and investors were actively invited and encouraged by Government. Colonial ownership? Hardly so, unless the Governments after Independence are considered to be of Colonial nature…
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●● “…recently enacted law of Indigenisation, which requires that indigenous people take up 51 percent stake in any business venture, becomes handy.”: The law is not prescriptive and certain indigenization criteria will be negotiated suitable to each Industry. (1) The Wildlife Industry is in indigenous hands by over 93% (!) and counts as fully indigenized as confirmed by many =embers of Cabinet. (2) If a further indigenization is agreed willingly by parties, due value recognizing capital invested, interest and good will must change hands; the law is explicit in this regard. ●● “… indigenous people are denied access to Wildlife investments or participation…”: A maliciously wrong statement. Indigenous or other investors had the same opportunities and still do. There is not currently and has never been any discrimination against anyone since inception of the Conservancies. Government would never have allowed the formation of the latter otherwise. Several black indigenous investors participate in Conservancies as do Government bodies such as ARDA and Bikita RDC as well as other councils. ●● “…as rash issuance of leases to those that cannot deploy usefulness in the sector can only spell doom for the program.”: It appears that leases of a bogus nature have been issued to specific individuals of a political leaning. These “leases” cover land in control or possession of investors and landholders who are oblivious to these actions. At a recent meeting of Permanent Secretaries and Principal Directors these “leases” were considered illegal, ill advised and the issuing authority acting without authority.
●● “…community-based conservation projects . . . suggest that communities are as good guardians of their environment …”: Correct and well stated. Conservancies have active relationships with their neighbouring communities directly or through jointly administered Trusts. Political interference has made working in this fashion often impossible, as those who feel to be in power would take away the benefits from those who should be the recipients. The structures are in place, the willingness is there, the foreign investors serving as catalysts for NGO’s and donor Nations getting involved are active. Good and constructive neighbourhood is good for all.
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CLICK HERE AUGUST 2011 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 25
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not endangered? A Radical approach to Conservation
outh Africa has been rocked over the last two years with rhino poaching soaring to unheard of levels in South Africa. This is having a very negative effect on the private game ranching industry. Whereas the sale of live rhino (both black and white) has been vibrant three and more years ago, live sales have virtually come to a complete standstill. Land owners are now just too scared to invest a lot of their money on an animal that stands a good chance of being poached. AUGUST 2011 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 27
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This is going to have a very negative effect on rhino population numbers in the medium to long term. I have thought long and hard about this problem. Sometimes the answer to perplexing problems stare us in the face and we fail to recognize them. We tend to fall back on ways we have tried to address a problem in the past and continue in the same old way knowing inherently that it will not solve the problem or make it go away. A few months ago a rather strange thought came to mind. Why aren’t (domestic) cows on the endangered list? Or domestic pigs, goats, sheep or chickens for that matter. All of these species are in huge demand. Millions – literally – of these animals / birds are consumed worldwide on a daily basis yet they are not in danger of becoming extinct! Why then are black rhino, wild dog, ground hornbills, and thousands of other wildlife species teetering on the brink? The answer was immediately apparent – it was so obvious that most of us miss it! It is all about that old age business principle of supply and demand. If a “commodity” is in demand and is supplied a lively “economy” is put into effect. As long as the commodity is produced in a sustainable way there will always be a market for it. The “penny dropped” – because domestic livestock is in worldwide demand people produce cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and chickens to satisfy (even if it is only partially) the demand. Because there is a demand they do not now decide that it is economically unwise to carry on producing these species and stop farming with them. But that is exactly what conservations and game ranchers are doing! I like to think of it as a “lager mentality”. Because we are losing rhino (the same would apply to other species as well) we decide to stop producing rhino because they are being poached. This logic or lack of it is apparent once we realize what we are doing. Cows (pigs, chickens, sheep, goats) are produced because there is a demand for cows – so more are produced to meet the demand – not less! That is why these animals are not on any list of endangered species.
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I understand that landowners are reluctant to invest large sums of money in animals that do stand a good chance of being poached. But this is where official conservation agencies like the provincial parks authorities and SANPARS could come to the party if conservation is high on their list of priorities as we expect it should be.
3. An agreement is signed whereby the first calf born to a breeding pair is donated back to SANParks – if they want it. All calves born thereafter become the property of the landowner. SANParks to cover the capture and translocation fees back to a national park of their choosing.
Some provincial and national parks have fairly large populations of rhino. A recent survey in the Kruger National Park indicated that there are…….white rhino and ….black rhino. I am not going to divulge exact numbers because game counts are at best estimated but suffice to say there are significant numbers of these two species in the Park. One of the ways that we can counter poaching is to “not have all our eggs in one basket” – and to distribute assets.
4. No rhino of a donated breeding pair may be hunted until the pair have produced two calves.
The rhino in the Kruger Park are being heavily poached at this point in time. So heavily in fact that section and field rangers have been unable to contain it and the help of the SADF has been called in to assist. One of the reasons that poaching will become more focused on the Park is that the number of rhino on private game ranches is decreasing. Because of the size of the Park it is very difficult to police effectively and its location bordering on Mozambique in the east and Zimbabwe in the north make it particularly vulnerable to poaching. One way in which SANParks could effectively contribute towards the long term conservation of rhino as well as other species is to distribute their assets, not only to other Parks, but to private game ranches as well. But what must SANParks do if no one wants to buy rhino any longer because of the fear of losing the investment? The answer is to think innovatively. Give the rhino to game ranchers who have proved their commitment to conservation. By now all the SANPark financial and conservation managers are having apoplectic fits. Calm down and pick yourselves up off the floor. Give the rhino away but under certain conditions. What conditions? Well they may come up with other suggestions but here are some to begin with. 1. There are enough rhino in the KNP to remove some to other locations without negatively impacting on the populations themselves. In fact it is sometimes advisable to reduce population densities in the interest of increasing population productivity. 2. Landowners, to whom an adult pair of rhino are donated, must cover the capture and translocation fees.
5. The original breeding pair may not be sold or translocated until they have produced two young. 6. An agreement is signed whereby the landowner undertakes to implement a comprehensive security plan to protect the rhino and may be subject to a periodic security audit. What are the benefits of this sort of cooperative agreement? Well it is a win win situation. 1. Assets are distributed. Having breeding populations of rhino (or any other species for that matter) spread around the country is a better and ultimately safer option than having populations concentrated in one spot. Not only in terms of poaching but also in terms of disease control. 2. SANParks can replace rhino from donated populations, in the future, if it becomes necessary. There will be no cost charged for the animal itself. 3. We will get out of the “lager mentality” and start producing more rhino – not less. It will therefore benefit rhino in the long term. 4. Only older animals that have already produced at least two young will be hunted. 5. Landowners will not be able to exploit the situation for pure financial gain in the short term but will earn this privilege by first putting back into conservation before taking out of it. 6. Smaller reserves are easier to police. In some well managed private reserves rare or endangered animals are “shadowed 24/7”. This means they literally have an armed guard looking after them 24 hours a day ever day of the week. This is impractical on large reserves. The bottom line is that it will be disastrous at this stage to implement conservation strategies which will reduce the incentive to increase wildlife populaAUGUST 2011 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 31
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tions and everything should be done by conservation agencies – provincial and national as well as private game ranching enterprises – to STEP UP production. If there is a demand for more cows to eat the answer is to produce more cows – not less. If rhino are being poached we should not decrease production we should increase it. If this means a relaxation of some of the laws pertaining to private game ranching then so be it. The more restrictive conservation agencies are with regards to ranching with wildlife the less motivation there will be for private landowners to go that route or to continue farming with wildlife. Something else we should guard against is allowing the price of game to spiral out of control – whether it be for live sale or for hunting. We are beginning to see the consequences of this.
Landowners not being prepared to pay high prices for game for fear of it being poached or caught by predators. This is also negatively affecting predator populations. Landowners that have expensive animals on their properties don’t want predators. Asking too much for animals to be hunted is now also negatively impacting on the hunting industry as, fueled by the slump in the world economy, there are more hunters both domestic and foreign, showing a resistance to paying high hunting prices. Greed has a nasty sting in the tail! Keep prices moderate – not cheap or exorbitantly expensive. Making things too cheap deprives them of value. Making them too expensive prices them outside of what the market is prepared to pay. Let’s be pragmatic.
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It is past time
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You have come to hunt in Africa a few times, got to know us a little and perhaps even came to like us - but now we want to take our relationship to the next level: we want to share our language with you. This is no small honor - we are inviting you into the inner sanctum of Afrikanerdom (our boer psyche). Here is your first assignment. Learn these words by heart. AUGUST 2011 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 35
Ag - a useful South African words. Pronounced like the “ach” in the German “achtung”, it can be used to start a reply when you are asked a tricky question, as in: “Ag, I don’t know.” Or a sense of resignation: “Ag ok, I’ll have some more mieliepap then.”
Aikona – not on your life / never / no
Donner - A rude word, it comes from the Afrikaans “donder” (thunder). Pronounced “dorner”, it means “ to beat up”. A team member in your rugby team can get donnered in a game, or your wife can donner you if you come back from a braai at three in the morning.
Arvie – afternoon Bobotie (Pronounced buh-boor-tea) – served with yellow rice and raisins, this is a spicy traditional Malay mince with an egg custard topping Babbelas (Pronounced bub-elas) – South African Afrikaans for hung over or tender Bakgat – when something is done correctly Bakkie – (pronounced “bucky”) can refer to a small truck, pick-up or Tupperware container. If a young man takes his “girl/bokkie” (date) in a bakkie it could be considered as a not so “lekker” form of transport because the seats can’t recline Biltong - dried, seasoned meat, similar to jerky Bioskoop (Pronounced bio-skoowp – the Cinema Biscuit – South African Afrikaans for cookie, used as a term of affection – Claudia, you biscuit! Bliksem – hit or punch Bitter koud (Pronounced bitterrr-coat – South African Afrikaans for very cold Boer – Afrikaans word for farmer Boerewors (boerie) – spicy South African farmers’ sausage Boetie (Pronounced Boet–tea – South African Afrikaans for little brother, this can also be used as a nickname. Bokkie – a small buck, or affectionate name for a female (my bokkie)
Dikbek – sulking / pouting Diski – South African township slang for football e.g. Learn the Diski Dance for 2010
Dop - This word has two basic meanings, one good and one bad. First the good: A dop is a drink, a cocktail, a sundowner, a noggin. When invited for a dop, be careful! It could be one sedate drink or a blast, depending on the company. Now the bad: To dop is to fail. If you “dopped” standard two (Grade 4) more than once, you probably won’t be reading this. Doss – a nap Dorpie (Pronounced door-pea) – a town small in size Droë wors (Pronounce Drew-a-voars) – dried sausage, similar to biltong Eina! - (Pronounce A-nah) – Widely used by all language groups, this word, derived from the Afrikaans, means “ouch.” Pronounced “aynah”. You can say it in sympathy when you see your friend the day after he got donnered by his wife. Eish! (Pronounced aysh) – a phrase of exclamation e.g.. Eish! I am so tired Fundi – expert Gatvol – fed up, had enough Gelukkige Verjaarsdag (Pronounced Ggeluk-kighe Ferrr-yaars-dag) – South African Afrikaans for Happy Birthday Gogga - bug in Khoikhoi
Bra – Afrikaans word for male friend - dude in English
Gooi (Pronounce ‘g’ as a rolling ‘gggg’ almost like a cat purring) –
Bru – male friend (from Afrikaans, broer meaning brother)
Chuck to throw something
Braai – a BBQ Cell – mobile phone Choc – township slang for R20 note Chommie / china – my friend Chow – to eat Cozzy (Pronounced cozzie) – swimming / bathing 36 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE AUGUST 2011
Gat - backside or hole. When used in the phrase “He’s going to see his gat” it means he is in for a really bad time. Hardegat - to have an inflexible attitude Heita (Pronounced hey-tah) – a greeting Hey - Often used at the end of a sentence to emphasise the importance of what has just been said, as in “You’re only going to get donnered if you come in
late again, hey?” It can also stand alone as a question. Instead of saying “excuse me?” or “pardon me?” when you have not heard something directed at you, you can always say: “Hey?” Highway – motorway / freeway Howzit – A universal South African greeting, and you will hear this word throughout the country. It is often accompanied with the word “Yes!” as in: “Yes, howzit?”. In which case you answer “No, fine.” Hundreds – excellent, good – Hi buddy how are you? I am hundreds Indaba – from the Zulu language meaning a matter for discussion or widely known in South African English as conference Ja-nee - “Yes No” in English. Politics in South Africa has always been associated with family arguments and in some cases even with physical fights. It is believed that this expression originated with a family member who didn’t want to get a klap or get donnerred, so he just every now and then muttered “janee”. Use it when you are required to respond, but would rather not choose to agree or disagree. Ja well no fine - A great conversation fallback. Derived from the four words: “yes”, “well”, “no” and fine”, it roughly means “ok”. If your bank manager tells you your account is overdrawn, you can, with confidence, say: “Jawelnofine.” Just now – interchangeable meanings which could be just now tomorrow... or perhaps never Izit? - This is another great word to use in conversations. Derived from the two words “is” and “it”, it can be used when you have nothing to contribute if someone tells you something at a braai. For instance, if someone would say: “The Russians will succeed in their bid for capitalism once they adopt a work ethic and respect for private ownership.” It is quite appropriate to respond by saying: “Izit?” Klap - Pronounced “klup” – an Afrikaans word meaning smack, whack or spank. If you spend too much time in front of the TV during exam time, you could end up getting a “klap” from your mother. In America, that is called child abuse. In South Africa, it is called promoting education. But to get “lekker geklap” is to get motherlessly drunk. Lekker: An Afrikaans word meaning nice, this word is used by all language groups to express approval. If you enjoyed a braai thoroughly, you can say: “Now that was lekk-errrrrrr!” while drawing out the last syllable. Kombi – a minivan
Kwaai (Pronounced kw-eye) – a homonym meaning – cool, excellent or angry in South African Afrikaans Monkey’s wedding – a rain shower when the sun is out Plaatjies (Pronounce ‘tj’ as an ‘ck’) – flip slop sandals (also see slip slops) Laaitie (Pronounces as lighty) – a young person, usually a young male such as a younger brother or son Laduma! (Pronounced la-doom-a!) – it thunders in Zulu - used when a goal is scored in South African soccer matches Larney – fancy / designer Lekker – great / tasty Makarapa – a modified, decorated miners’ helmet used by South African soccer fans Mielie – corn on the cob Moer - to hit or mother. See Donner. Naartjie - tangerine, mandarin Now now - In much of the outside world, this is a comforting phrase: “Now now, it’s really not so bad.” But in South Africa , this phrase is used in the following manner: “Just wait, I’ll be there now now.” It means “a little after now”. Ou Ballie – South African Afrikaans for old man Oke (Pronounced oak) – a guy / bloke Padkos – food for the road / journey Pap / mielie meal – ground maize Pavement – sidewalk Oom - Afrikaans for Uncle. A respectful form of address to any (much) older man of about the same age as your father. Pasop - From the Afrikaans phrase meaning “Watch Out!”, this warning is used and heeded by all language groups. As in: “The boss hasn’t had his coffee yet – so you better pasop boet”. Sometimes just the word “pasop!” is enough without further explanation. Everyone knows it sets out a line in the sand not to be crossed Rock up - To rock up is to just, sort of arrive (called “gate crash” in other parts of the world). You don’t make an appointment or tell anyone you are coming – you just rock up. Friends can do that but you have to be selective about it. For example, you can’t just rock up for a job interview. Robot – traffic light Rondavel – free-standing round building which usuAUGUST 2011 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 37
ally has a thatched roof
gusting, horrible, ugly or expired – “This milk is siff!”
Saamie - This is a sandwich. For generations, school-children have traded “saamies” during lunch breaks. In South Africa you don’t send your kid to school with liver-polony saamies - they are impossible to trade.
Skinner – gossip
Sangoma – South African traditional healer Scale -: To scale something is to steal it. A person who is “scaly” has a doubtful character, is possibly a scumbag, and should rather be left off the invitation list to your next braai. Sjoe - (Pronounced Shhh as in be quiet and the ue of blue, but shorter) An expression of amazement or indicating heat Shongololo – millipede Siff – Used in South African English to describe dis-
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Skop, Skiet en donner - Literally “kick, shoot and thunder”, this phrase is used by many South African speakers to describe action movies. A Clint Eastwood movie is always a good choice if you’re in the mood for a lekker skop, skiet en donner flick. Slap chips – French fries Slip slops / slops – flip slop sandals Spaza shop / cafe (Pronounced caffie – convenience store Stoep – veranda Sosatie – a kebab on a stick Swak (pronounced – swuk) – South African Indian slang for bad. Also weakness
Tackies - Sneakers or running shoes. The word is also used to describe automobile or truck tyres. “Fat tackies” are really wide tyres, as in: “You’ve got lekker fat tackies on your Vôlla (VW beetle), hey?” Tannie – Afrikaans for aunt. A respectful form of address to any older woman of about the same age as your mother. Tekkies – sneakers Tokoloshe – evil spirit Toyi-Toyi - South African Zulu for protesting and dancing in the street. We do this when we need a raise or just want to have some fun. Tsotsi (Pronounced Tzotzi – a person who does no good, gangster, layabout Tune – to give a person lip – Don’t you tune me Veld – bush / grassland Veldskoens / vellies (Pronounce ‘v’ as an ‘f’) – traditional Afrikaans outdoors shoes made from hide
Vrot - Pronounced “frot”. An expressive word that means “rotten” or “putrid” in Afrikaans, it is used by all language groups to describe anything they really dislike. Most commonly intended to describe fruit or vegetables whose shelf lives have long expired, but a pair of old tackies (sneakers) worn a few years too long can be termed “vrot” by some unfortunate folk which find themselves in the same vicinity as the wearer. Also a rugby player who misses important kicks or tackles can be said to have played a vrot game – opposite of a “lekker” game (but not to his face). A movie was once reviewed with this headline: “Slick Flick, Vrot Plot.” Vuvuzela – An annoying bugle-like instrument used to make a noise at soccer games Windgat - Arrogant, full of yourself Yster - Iron. When used ion the phrase “My Toyota Land cruiser bakkie is an yster” (a phrase used ad nauseum by professional hunters) it means really tough or built to last. AUGUST 2011 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 39
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African hunters of yesteryear
The African hunters of days gone by have had experiences few hunters have today. In those days, the game was much more plentiful and regulations were non-existent. Hunting was more dangerous in those days - no chopper evacuation when clawed up by a wounded leopard and no protection against marauding tribesmen. We can learn something from them. In this series, we feature some of the writings of the hunters that came before us and who hunted in an era we think of with nostalgia. 42 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE AUGUST 2011
The Maneating lions of
Tsavo My arrival at Tsavo
by Lieut.-Col. J. H. Patterson, D.S.O.
t was towards noon on March 1, 1898, that I first found myself entering the narrow and somewhat dangerous harbour of Mombasa, on the east coast of Africa. The town lies on an island of the same name, separated from the mainland only by a very narrow channel, which forms the harbour; and as our vessel steamed slowly in, close under the quaint old Portuguese fortress built over three hundred years ago, I was much struck with the strange beauty of the view which gradually opened out before me. AUGUST 2011 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 43
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Contrary to my anticipation, everything looked fresh and green, and an oriental glamour of enchantment seemed to hang over the island. The old town was bathed in brilliant sunshine and reflected itself lazily on the motionless sea; its flat roofs and dazzlingly white walls peeped out dreamily between waving palms and lofty cocoanuts, huge baobabs and spreading mango trees; and the darker background of well-wooded hills and slopes on the mainland formed a very effective setting to a beautiful and, to me, unexpected picture. The harbour was plentifully sprinkled with Arab dhows, in some of which, I believe, even at the present day, a few slaves are occasionally smuggled off to Persia and Arabia. It has always been a matter of great wonder to me how the navigators of little vessels find their way from port to port, as they do, without the aid of either compass or sextant, and how they manage to weather the terrible storms that at certain seasons of the year suddenly visit eastern seas. I remember once coming across a dhow becalmed in the middle of the Indian Ocean, and its crew making signals of distress, our captain slowed down to investigate. There were four men on board, all nearly dead from thirst; they had been without drink of any kind for several days and had completely lost their bearings. After giving them some casks of water, we directed them to Muscat (the port they wished to make), and our vessel resumed its journey, leaving them still becalmed in the midst of that glassy sea. Whether they managed to reach their destination I never knew. As our steamer made its way to its anchorage, the romantic surroundings of the harbour of Mombasa conjured up, visions of stirring adventures of the past, and recalled to my mind the many tales of reckless doings of pirates and slavers, which as a boy it had been my delight to read. I remembered that it was at this very place that in 1498 the great Vasco da Gama nearly lost his ship and life through the treachery of his Arab pilot, who plotted to wreck the vessel on the reef which bars more than half the entrance to the harbour. Luckily, this nefarious design was discovered in time, and the bold navigator promptly hanged the pilot, and would also have sacked the town but for the timely submission and apologies of the Sultan. In the principal street of Mombasa -- appropriately called Vasco da Gama Street -- there still stands a curiously shaped pillar which is said to have been erected by this great seaman in commemoration of his visit. Scarcely had the anchor been dropped, when, as
if by magic, our vessel was surrounded by a fleet of small boats and “dug-outs” manned by crowds of shouting and gesticulating natives. After a short fight between some rival Swahili boatmen for my baggage and person, I found myself being vigorously rowed to the foot of the landing steps by the bahareen (sailors) who had been successful in the encounter. Now, my object in coming out to East Africa at this time was to take up a position to which I had been appointed by the Foreign Office on the construction staff of the Uganda Railway. As soon as I landed, therefore, I enquired from one of the Customs officials where the headquarters of the railway were to be found, and was told that they were at a place called Kilindini, some three miles away, on the other side of the island. The best way to get there, I was further informed, was by gharri, which I found to be a small trolley, having two seats placed back to back under a little canopy and running on narrow rails which are laid through the principal street of the town. Accordingly, I secured one of these vehicles, which are pushed by two strapping Swahili boys, and was soon flying down the track, which once outside the town lay for the most part through dense groves of mango, baobab, banana and palm trees, with here and there brilliantly coloured creepers hanging in luxuriant festoons from the branches. On arrival at Kilindini, I made my way to the railway Offices and was informed that I should be stationed inland and should receive further instructions in the course of a day or two. Meanwhile I pitched my tent under some shady palms near the gharri line, and busied myself in exploring the island and in procuring the stores and the outfit necessary for a lengthy sojourn up-country. The town of Mombasa itself naturally occupied most of my attention. It is supposed to have been founded about A.D. 1000, but the discovery of ancient Egyptian idols, and of coins of the early Persian and Chinese dynasties, goes to show that it must at different ages have been settled by people of the very earliest civilisations. Coming to more modern times, it was held on and off from 1505 to 1729 by the Portuguese, a permanent memorial of whose occupation remains in the shape of the grim old fortress, built about 1593 -- on the site, it is believed, of a still older stronghold. These enterprising sea-rovers piously named it “Jesus Fort,” and an inscription recording this is still to be seen over the main entrance. The Portuguese occupation of Mombasa was, however, not without its vicissitudes. From March 15, 1696, for example, the town was besieged for thirty-three consecutive months by a large fleet of Arab dhows, which completely surrounded the AUGUST 2011 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 45
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island. In spite of plague, treachery and famine, the little garrison held out valiantly in Jesus Fort, to which they had been forced to retire, until December 12, 1698, when the Arabs made a last determined attack and captured the citadel, putting the remnant of the defenders, both men and women, to the sword. It is pathetic to read that only two days later a large Portuguese fleet appeared off the harbour, bringing the long-looked-for reinforcements. After this the Portuguese made several attempts to reconquer Mombasa, but were unsuccessful until 1728, when the town was stormed and captured by General Sampayo. The Arabs, however, returned the next year in overwhelming numbers, and again drove the Portuguese out; and although the latter made one more attempt in 1769 to regain their supremacy, they did not succeed. The Arabs, as represented by the Sultan of Zanzibar, remain in nominal possession of Mombasa to the present day; but in 1887 Seyid Bargash, the then Sultan of Zanzibar, gave for an annual rental a concession of his mainland territories to the British East Africa Association, which in 1888 was formed into the Imperial British East Africa Company. In 1895 the Foreign Office took over control of the Company’s possessions, and a Protectorate was proclaimed; and ten years later the administration of the country was transferred to the Colonial Office. The last serious fighting on the island took place so recently as 1895-6, when a Swahili chief named M’baruk bin Rashed, who had three times previously risen in rebellion against the Sultan of Zanzibar, attempted to defy the British and to throw off their yoke. He was defeated on several occasions, however, and was finally forced to flee southwards into German territory. Altogether, Mombasa has in the past well deserved its native name of Kisiwa M’vitaa, or “ Isle of War”; but under the settled rule now obtaining, it is rapidly becoming a thriving and prosperous town, and as the port of entry for Uganda, it does a large forwarding trade with the interior and has several excellent stores where almost anything, from a needle to an anchor, may readily be obtained. Kilindini is, as I have said, on the opposite side of the island, and as its name -- “the place of deep waters” -- implies, has a much finer harbour than that possessed by Mombasa. The channel between the island and the mainland is here capable of giving commodious and safe anchorage to the very largest vessels, and as the jetty is directly connected with the Uganda Railway, Kilindini has now really become the principal port, being always used by the liners
and heavier vessels. I had spent nearly a week in Mombasa, and was becoming very anxious to get my marching orders, when one morning I was delighted to receive an official letter instructing me to proceed to Tsavo, about one hundred and thirty-two miles from the coast, and to take charge of the construction of the section of the line at that place, which had just then been reached by railhead. I accordingly started at daylight next morning in a special train with Mr. Anderson, the Superintendent of Works, and Dr. McCulloch, the principal Medical Officer; and as the country was in every way new to me, I found the journey a most interesting one. The island of Mombasa is separated from the mainland by the Strait of Macupa, and the railway crosses this by a bridge about three-quarters of a mile long, called the Salisbury Bridge, in honour of the great Minister for Foreign Affairs under whose direction the Uganda Railway scheme was undertaken. For twenty miles after reaching the mainland, our train wound steadily upwards through beautifully wooded, park-like country, and on looking back out of the carriage windows we could every now and again obtain lovely views of Mombasa and Kilindini, while beyond these the Indian Ocean sparkled in the glorious sunshine as far as the eye could see. The summit of the Rabai Hills having been reached, we entered on the expanse of the Taru Desert, a wilderness covered with poor scrub and stunted trees, and carpeted in the dry season with a layer of fine red dust. This dust is of a most penetrating character, and finds its way into everything in the carriage as the train passes along. From here onward game is more or less plentiful, but the animals are very difficult to see owing to the thick undergrowth in which they hide themselves. We managed, however, to catch sight of a few from the carriage windows, and also noticed some of the natives, the Wa Nyika, or “children of the wilderness.” At Maungu, some eighty miles from the coast, we came to the end of this “desert,” but almost the only difference to be noticed in the character of the country was that the colour of the dust had changed. As our train sped onwards through the level uplands we saw a fine ostrich striding along parallel with the line, as if having a race with us. Dr. McCulloch at once seized his rifle and by a lucky shot brought down the huge bird; the next and greater difficulty, however, was to secure the prize. For a time the engine-driver took no notice of our signals and shouts, but at last we succeeded in attracting his attention, and the train was shunted back to where the ostrich had AUGUST 2011 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 47
fallen. We found it to be an exceptionally fine specimen, and had to exert all our strength to drag it on board the train. Soon after this we reached Voi, about a hundred miles from the coast, and as this was the most important station on the line that we had yet come to, we made a short halt in order to inspect some construction work which was going on. On resuming our journey, we soon discovered that a pleasant change had occurred in the character of the landscape. From a place called N’dii, the railway runs for some miles through a beautifully wooded country, which looked all the more inviting after the deadly monotony of the wilderness through which we had just passed. To the south of us could be seen the N’dii range of mountains, the dwelling-place of the Wa Taita people, while on our right rose the rigid brow of the N’dungu Escarpment, which stretches away westwards for scores of miles. Here our journey was slow, as every now and again we stopped to inspect the permanent works in progress; but eventually, towards dusk, we 48 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE AUGUST 2011
arrived at our destination, Tsavo. I slept that night in a little palm hut which had been built by some previous traveller, and which was fortunately unoccupied for the time being. It was rather broken-down and dilapidated, not even possessing a door, and as I lay on my narrow camp bed I could see the stars twinkling through the roof. I little knew then what adventures awaited me in this neighbourhood; and if I had realised that at that very time two savage brutes were prowling round, seeking whom they might devour, I hardly think I should have slept so peacefully in my rickety shelter. Next morning I was up betimes, eager to make acquaintance with my new surroundings. My first impression on coming out of my hut was that I was hemmed in on all sides by a dense growth of impenetrable jungle: and on scrambling to the top of a little hill close at hand, I found that the whole country as far as I could see was covered with low, stunted trees, thick undergrowth and “wait-a-bit” thorns.
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The only clearing, indeed, appeared to be where the narrow track for the railway had been cut. This interminable nyika, or wilderness of whitish and leafless dwarf trees, presented a ghastly and sun-stricken appearance; and here and there a ridge of dark-red heat-blistered rock jutted out above the jungle, and added by its rugged barrenness to the dreariness of the picture. Away to the north-east stretched the unbroken line of the N’dungu Escarpment, while far off to the south I could just catch a glimpse of the snow-capped top of towering Kilima N’jaro. The one redeeming feature of the neighbourhood was the river from which Tsavo takes its name. This is a swiftly-flowing stream, always cool and always running, the latter being an exceptional attribute in this part of East Africa; and the fringe of lofty green trees along its banks formed a welcome relief to the general monotony of the landscape. When I had thus obtained a rough idea of the neigh-
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bourhood, I returned to my hut, and began in earnest to make preparations for my stay in this out-ofthe-way place. The stores were unpacked, and my “boys” pitched my tent in a little clearing close to where I had slept the night before and not far from the main camp of the workmen. Railhead had at this time just reached the western side of the river, and some thousands of Indian coolies and other workmen were encamped there. As the line had to be pushed on with all speed, a diversion had been made and the river crossed by means of a temporary bridge. My principal work was to erect the permanent structure, and to complete all the other works for a distance of thirty miles on each side of Tsavo. I accordingly made a survey of what had to be done, and sent my requisition for labour, tools and material to the head-quarters at Kilindini. In a short time workmen and supplies came pouring in, and the noise of hammers and sledges, drilling and blasting echoed merrily through the district.
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Help us stop those poaching bastards. Donate quickly and securely with PayPal
The BorderLine Walk is in support of antipoaching efforts for Black Rhino in the SavĂ¨ Valley. Initiated by Hunters for Zimbabwe, the walk will be 3066 kilometers long: 813 kilometers along the Botswana border, 797 km. along Zambia, 225 km. along South Africa, and finally 1231 km. along the Mozambique border. The BorderLine Walk will be widely covered by the media and progress will be published on the African Expedition Magazine and tracked on Google Earth.
The BorderLine walk will support anti-poaching efforts to prevent this from happening again: a young black rhino caught in a poacherâ€™s snare. This baby died a few days after this photograph was taken. 54 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE AUGUST 2011
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David Hulme is a Zimbabwean writer and professional wanderer who spends most of his time searching for new stories and country, never staying too long in any one place.â€™
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Support Hunters for Zimbabwe by buying David Hulme’s great new book, Shangaan Song. Proceeds from the sale of this book will be used to support the BorderLine Walk – a foot journey of approximately three thousand kilometers along Zimbabwe’s border. The BorderLine Walk is an initiative aimed at raising awareness for Hunters for Zimbabwe, an organization whose primary objective is the advancement of Zimbabwean people and wildlife.
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JimmyJimmy and Anne Whittall on the day I found him 64 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE AUGUST 2011
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News courtesy www.sagoodnews.co.za
Africa - the good news
The good news from Africa
Keeping a Measure on Malaria Posted: 02 Oct 2011 11:25 PM PDT The African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) has launched a scorecard to improve the fight against malaria on the African continent. “This,” said Agnes Bingwaho, Rwanda’s Health Minister, holding up the laminated scorecard, “is something that will help Africa make progress.” Updated quarterly, it provides information from each country on policies formulated, preventative measures initiated, money spent, lives saved and lost. The latest scorecard, launched on 21 September, describes, for example, how Angola and Burundi removed taxes and tariffs on anti-malarial commodities such as mosquito nets, medicines and insecticides. It tells how Côte d’Ivoire distributed 8.9 million nets in 2011, bringing the country closer to achieving universal net coverage. The scorecard also tracks tracer indicators for maternal, newborn and child health. “The scorecard is very important,” said Raymond Chambers, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Malaria, “because it gives us the lens to see what’s happening but more importantly gives African countries the chance to compare how they are doing with peer countries and to improve where improvements need to be made.” Founded in 2009, ALMA includes 40 African countries, all pledged to eradicating a disease that has no regard for borders. Tanzania’s President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, ALMA’s chair, said the evidence proved the disease was “receding steadily”. Eleven African countries have slashed malaria cases by more than 50 percent, he said. Among the preventative measures he highlighted were the distribution of 229 million long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets, providing coverage for 84 percent of Africans deemed at risk. 78 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE AUGUST 2011
But he also worried about sustaining the gains. He acknowledged how deadly malaria remains to the continent’s inhabitants and how profoundly it hinders development. It is estimated that Africa experiences a 2 percent loss in GDP each year due to the effects of the illness, which forces people out of work and requires them to spend precious money on treatment, he said. One issue central to the malaria fight is funding. It is necessary to both protect existing resources and identify new sources of revenue, Kikwete said. “There is a US$3 billion gap in funding that we are trying to mobilize,” he said. Rwanda’s Bingwaho – whose country has seen as precipitous drop in malaria cases – noted that “we have made progress by an approach based on community, based on integration and, also a word we like to hear, based on country ownership”. “Everything that we can do to help move ownership and responsibility of these issues back to the African countries and at the same time provide them with investment instead of subsidy is clearly a step in the right direction,” said UN Special Envoy Chambers. Panellists also emphasized the necessity of cooperation between African nations, a particularly important issue since malaria travels easily. Kikwete said Tanzania, which he said has succeeded in eliminating malaria, was thought to have been clear of the malady twice before. But malarial mosquitoes, he said, travel by bus and on “ships, boats and ferries”. The disease has the ability to re-emerge if not contained in surrounding countries. “More than 50 percent of all our cases last year were in one district of our country – the border,” said Bingwaho. “The fight will not be won by any single country,” added Christian Chukwu, Nigeria’s Health Minister. “We need to work across borders and let’s all of us
get more committed.” Kikwete concluded that in this “interdependent world” a malaria-free Africa “is in the best interests of humanity. It means increased productivity, more income for our people, more trade.” Then he added on a lighter note, “And there’s no more hassle of swallowing malaria pills every time you travel to Africa.” Source: IRIN News
Rwanda Wins Gold for Forest Conservation Blueprint Posted: 30 Sep 2011 01:49 AM PDT Government policies are seldom lauded, yet Rwanda’s forest policy has resulted in a 37-percent increase in forest cover on a continent better known for deforestation and desertification. Rwanda’s National Forest Policy has also resulted in reduced erosion, improved local water supplies and livelihoods, while helping ensure peace in a country still recovering from the 1994 genocide. Now Rwanda can also be known as the winner of the prestigious Future Policy Award for 2011. “Rwanda has sought not only to make its forests a national priority, but has also used them as a platform to revolutionise its stances on women’s rights and creating a healthy environment,” said Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and founder of the Green Belt Movement. She issued a statement for the award ceremony in New York City last week just days before her death from cancer in Nairobi Monday at the age of 71. “Rwanda has been a very divided country since the 1994 genocide but this policy is helping to bring peace and value to the people,” said Alexandra Wandel, director of the World Future Council, which administers the Future Policy Awards. The World Future Council is an international policy research organisation based in Hamburg, Germany that provides decision-makers with effective policy solutions. “Our aim is to inspire other countries to adapt these successful policies to their individual needs.” said Wandel told IPS. This year’s award celebrates the UN Year of the Forest and highlights the critical importance of forests around the world – and especially for the 1.6 billion people who directly depend on them, she said.
Some 20 forest-related policies were submitted this year. Rwanda’s National Forest Policy was awarded the gold while The Gambia’s Community Forest Policy and the U.S. Lacey Act and 2008 amendment received the Silver Awards. An international panel of experts selected the winners based on policies that were the most effective in the conservation and sustainable development of forests for the benefit of current and future generations. The evaluation criteria for the best forest policies are wide-ranging, including delivering essential benefits to local people now and in the long term, said Jan McAlpine, director of the UN Forum on Forests Secretariat and one of the judges. “The panel (of experts) receives a detailed analysis of the effectiveness of the policies that has been ‘peer-reviewed’ by NGOs, and others,” McAlpine told IPS. “It’s rare that a country gets complimented for doing something good.” The biggest threats to forests are oil palm, cattle and agriculture such as soy production, she said. Forest policies in most countries need to be changed usually because they are focussed on timber production or on conservation and don’t consider forests as key part of the ecological, social and economic landscape, she said. There is “huge interest in looking at good policies that are replicable”, she said. “It is very impressive what the World Future Council is doing.” This year, Rwanda’s forest policy was the hands’ down winner. “It’s quite stunning what they’ve accomplished,” said McAlpine. Despite enormous land pressures from a growing population, Rwanda was able to increase forest cover 37 percent since 1990. Massive reforestation and planting activities that promoted indigenous species and involved the local population were undertaken, and new measures such as agro-forestry and education about forest management. Rwanda’s forest policy has brought a range of benefits, including a better water supply, reduction in erosion, improved livelihoods and better quality of life overall. The goal is to cover 30 percent of the country in forest by 2020. “There was a strong consensus in selecting Rwanda’s National Forest Policy in a continent where the prospects for forests are generally bad,” said Wandel. “The jury was also impressed by Rwanda’s land tenure reforms, including giving women equal rights to inherit land.” Rwanda’s success gives hope for AUGUST 2011 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 79
other countries, she said. Africa’s The Gambia won silver for its innovative policy of handing control of forests to the communities that use them. Despite being one of the world’s poorest countries, Gambia’s Community Forest Policy has reduced illegal logging and resulted in a net 8.5 percent more forest cover while reducing poverty. “The policy has led to the development of new markets for dead branch wood and other forest products which benefit women and rural populations economically,” Wandel said. The other silver went to the U.S. for its criminallyenforceable ban on importation of illegal timber, called the Lacey Act. The U.S. is the first country to address the major global problem of illegal logging that results in corruption and environmental damage, and costs producer countries billions of dollars in lost revenue. The Lacey Act and its 2008 amendments have forced importers to take responsibility for their wood products. That helps to reduce illegal logging by withdrawing the huge rewards received by illegal loggers from the international market. “One of our jurists from Ethiopia said the U.S. law acts like a global enforcement mechanism, helping the weakest countries to reduce their illegal logging,” said Wandel. The European Union has developed similar legislation. “We need visionary policies which support a sustainable and just world and protect future generations,” said Wandel. Written by Stephen Leahy
Cow Dung Generates Energy for Households in Senegal Posted: 21 Sep 2011 06:36 PM PDT There are dusty barrels carefully positioned outside many of the family compounds in the Léona neighbourhood of Kaolack, a city of 20,000 in western Senegal: signs of success for a project to introduce the use of biogas as a source of fuel. Amadou Faye, whose family herds cows, goats and sheep as well as growing groundnuts on the side, is among the early adopters. For the past two months, his household of 25 people has relied exclusively on energy produced from their livestock’s waste. 80 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE AUGUST 2011
“To spend 300,000 CFA francs – more even – to install biogas is difficult. But I think it’s important. Since we started using this energy, I haven’t had problems with electricity cuts,” he told IPS. “We have our own energy source. I can easily find replacement parts when it is damaged, because Thecogas Sénégal, the company responsible for the installation, provides them to us.” The harmful effects on the environment of using firewood or charcoal for domestic fuel are well documented – contributing to deforestation and threatening the health of women who spend hours of each day cooking over smoky flames. Yet turning to electricity as an alternative is frustrated by already- inadequate generation. Nearly every West African country is wrestling with frequent power cuts; in Senegal these have even led to public demonstrations against the national electric company. Senegal, along with Mauritania and Burkina Faso, has turned to biogas as a partial solution. Alassane Dème, secretary general of Senegal’s Ministry for Energy, says that a major obstacle facing the country’s National Biogas Programme (known as PNB in French) is the high initial cost of installation. The PNB is supporting the construction of thousands of biodigesters by local masons, consisting of an underground chamber – much like a septic tank – into which cow dung and water are added manually each morning, and a system of barrels in which the gas produced is trapped before being piped to a household’s kitchen. “The fermentation of the mixture of dung and other waste will produce, in conditions similar to human digestion, methane gas. This gas is piped through a system of tubes to the kitchen or to a gas lamp to provide light in the house,” he said. Anne Mendy Corréa, programme coordinator for PNB Senegal, explains that in addition to gas, biodigesters also produce a valuable organic fertiliser which the beneficiary households in both rural and peri-urban areas can use in their fields. Each biodigester costs between 800 and 920 dollars depending on its size, though the Senegalese government is providing a supporting subsidy covering between 35 and 50 percent of the setup cost, according to the energy ministry. Ousseynou Bâ, the energy ministry’s chief of staff, says the PNB is being piloted both in the groundnutproducing region of Kaolack and in the peri-urban areas surrounding the Senegalese capital, Dakar; 8,000 biodigesters are expected to be built between
now and 2013. “In Thiès, not far from Dakar, entrepreneur Aïssatou Gning has also turned to biogas. “I’m a restaurant owner; I spent more than 500,000 CFA (just over 1,000 dollars) to install a biodigester, the barrels and the tubing,” she told IPS. “I have two barrels to store gas and I’ve been using them for five months and the needle shows that the gas level has not dropped. I have dung in reserve. I’ll say this – it’s expensive, but once you have it, you no longer have problems with energy.” In Burkina Faso, which has also begun experimenting with biogas, Ignace Ouédraogo, head of PNB Burkina, says the cost of a six cubic metre biodigester (two barrels) varies between 850 and 1100 dollars, depending on the area and the construction materials used. This is somewhat higher than in Senegal, but here too the government is subsidising start-up costs. “The government allocated a subsidy of 160,000 CFA (around 340 dollars) per biodigester. In the Cascades region (in the east), the beneficiary contributes up to 190,000 CFA (404 dollars) in cash, and can rely on the mobilisation of labour, which represents a value of 100,000 or to 140,000 CFA (300 dollars)…,” explains Ouédraogo. In Mauritania, El Hadj Mamadou Bâ, president of the Mauritanian Self-development Association, says that over the past three years, his country has been able to produce biogas very cheaply, with neither harmful environmental effects nor a cost to users.
“At the beginning of the project, we had trained and empowered women in the Ari Hara and Dioudé Djéri areas – in the Senegal river valley (in the south of Mauritania) – in the utilisation of biogas, so that they can ensure the installation and management of biogas kits,” he said. He told IPS that around 100 families are now meeting their energy needs from the output of biodigesters. According to Bâ, the women who’ve been trained there are now capable of installing and maintaining biogas units, benefiting more than 3,500 people and improving hygiene in and around the villages by collecting animal waste as feedstock. Written by Koffigan E. Adigbli
Opportunities and Challenges in Renewable Energy Projects in Africa Kyle Denning had a fairly successful renewable energy company in the United States when he received a call one day about a carbon credit project in Rwanda. Now Denning is the managing director of an offshoot of that company in Kenya called Viability Africa. While in Africa for his first project Denning was blown away by all of the possibilities to do business in the country and on the continent. “There’s so much competition throughout South America, Central America and Asia,” Denning explains, “we felt that we were going to be on the cutting edge of something by coming here and the timing was right.” While Denning says that his decision to do business in Africa came down to timing he also adds that, AUGUST 2011 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 81
“From a market standpoint it made a lot of sense. There are a lot of people here and there’s a tremendously strong and growing economy.” He also adds that, “The opportunity to bring energy to a lot of people that don’t have energy just gets us really excited.”
costs are going down and it is easier to convert solar energy to electricity. “For a community that needs a small system they can fund it [solar energy system] themselves, they can build their own grid and manage their own energy supply,” says Denning. “It makes sense in a lot of ways.”
Most countries are still developing in Africa and while some people may look at that as a negative, Denning saw the many possibilities. “You have so many people who need energy and there are so many natural resources available, for all aspects of business here, but energy specifically. Renewable energy, particularly over fossil fuels, makes a lot of sense when you’re starting from scratch.”
Starting a business anywhere is challenging, but Africa has some unique challenges. People generally don’t know very much about the vast potential that the Africa of today has and can be wary of funding projects there. Potential investors may also be hesitant because renewable energy is a fairly new technology, in the grand scheme of things, and it is even newer in Africa. Denning recommends trying to, “partner with a well-known, credible technology partner, like a producer of wind turbines or an engineering firm.” It is important to have a credible partner on your side as you will be looking for pretty large investments, anywhere form $5 million to hundreds of millions.
Hydroelectric systems are time tested in Africa and are probably the most abundant renewable energy system on the continent. Wind energy systems are also popular but not as prevalent as they could be. Denning believes that solar projects have the most potential as they are easier to set up, material 82 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE AUGUST 2011
Keep in mind that risk capital is hard to come by no matter what your project is and one of the biggest oversights that people make is running out of money before they complete their risk analysis and feasibility investment phase. Make sure you know your project specifications, including where you want to do it – location can be everything. Don’t be fooled by a lot of the hype, these projects take a long time, over a year at least, and will not be easy. Denning advises, “Be prepared to invest a lot of time, energy and resources into getting it done.” Featured image by NJR ZA.
Largest Nature Area in World Established in Southern Africa Posted: 19 Sep 2011 06:35 PM PDT A vast transfrontier park of almost 450 000 square kilometres, stretching over five Southern African countries and connecting 36 national parks and other managed areas, has been signed into being. The biggest conservation effort ever, it includes some of the most breathtaking protected areas on the planet, and will stretch over parts of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Once fully operational it will be roughly the size of Sweden. The Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area was legally established on the last day of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) conference held in Luanda, Angola, in August 2011. The signing followed a feasibility study initiated by the five participants in 2006. The implementation of the conservancy is overseen by the Peace Parks Foundation, with the help of integrated development plans (IDPs) to ensure that the process unfolds smoothly. Zimbabwe and Zambia have completed their IDPs, while Angola’s is nearing completion. IDPs for Namibia and Botswana will get underway before the end of 2011. “It’s the largest protected tourism zone in the world,” an official from the 15-nation SADC announced at the time of signing the deal. This conservation zone is located in the Okavango and Zambezi river basins and boasts an impressive array of natural attractions: ●● the Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe, a Unesco World Heritage site and one of the
world’s seven natural wonders; ●● the largest inland delta on earth, Botswana’s Okavango Delta; ●● the narrow and densely populated Itenge, commonly known as the Caprivi Strip, in Namibia; ●● and the Chobe Nature Reserve in Zimbabwe, home to about 120 000 elephants. Once all development plans are integrated the conservancy will boast the largest contiguous population of African elephant on the continent, estimated to be about 250 000.
Where the smoke thunders Rated as one of the seven natural wonders of the world, Victoria Falls is located on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe on the mighty Zambezi River. It’s considered to be the largest falls in the world in terms of the size of the sheet of falling water, although it isn’t the highest or the widest. Victoria Falls was so named by Scottish explorer David Livingstone in honour of the reigning queen, but the local Kololo tribe refers to it as Mosi-oa-Tunya, meaning “the smoke that thunders”. The surrounding area encompasses smaller nature reserves such as the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, the Victoria Falls National Park and the Zambezi National Park. The latter two parks already allow free movement of animals between them.
Oasis in a dry land Botswana’s Okavango Delta - also known as the Okavango Swamp - is the largest Ramsar site in the world. It is seasonally formed by the Okavango River as it spreads out across a 15 000 square kilometre area, creating an oasis in an otherwise bone-dry region. The Ramsar Convention was signed in the town of Ramsar, Iran, in 1971. It is an intergovernmental treaty that commits member countries to maintain the ecological character of their wetlands. The preservation of these sensitive areas is viewed as a matter of international importance. Members are encouraged to plan wisely or in a sustainable manner for any activities that may affect the wetlands in their territories. The Okavango and Zambezi River basins contain some of the world’s richest areas of plant and animal AUGUST 2011 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 83
biodiversity. If managed successfully and with vision, say authorities in the country, this natural wealth could give rise to a thriving ecotourism industry. The region is home to endangered species such as cheetah, African wild dog, black sable and black rhino. The national parks and game reserves within the zone are. in Zambia: ●● Liuwa Plain National Park
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●● Kafue National Park ●● Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park ●● Sioma Ngwezi National Park in Namibia: ●● Mamili National Park ●● Mudumu National Park ●● Bwabwata National Park in Botswana: ●● Chobe National Park
●● Makgadikgadi National Park ●● Nxai Pan National Park ●● Moremi Game Reserve in Zimbabwe: ●● Hwange National Park ●● Kazuma Pan National Park ●● Zambezi National Park ●● Victoria Falls National Park in Angola: ●● Luiana Game Reserve ●● Mavinga Game Reserve There are also various Wildlife Management, Hunting Blocks involved. The Victoria Falls, shared by Zambia and Zimbabwe, is a World Heritage Site. Written by Emily van Rijswijck
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Hardwear for the bush
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If you run after two hares you will catch neither. It is not what you are called, but what you answer to. Send a boy where he wants to go and you see his best pace. AUGUST 2011 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 91
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Make a Plan
Hints and advice are given in good faith to be of help in emergencies. The writer as well as the publisher, personnel and agents concerned does not accept any responsibility for any injury, accident or damages that might arise from the use of any of the hints. 98 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE AUGUST 2011
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Fire is not always advisable, for example, when you need light to work on an out of order vehicle. Here is another plan for emergency light: ●● Take a piece of electric cable and a 12 volt globe. Take a flash light or brake lamp out if there is no spare lamp. Strip about 5 centimeter of the insulation on both ends of the wire. Secure one end tight on the metal outside of the globe and turn the connection off with insulation tape or plaster but leave the bottom contact terminal of the globe open. ●● •Connect the other point of the wire now on the positive terminal of the vehicle battery. The whole metal work of the vehicle is already linked on the negative terminal of the battery, so everywhere that you touch with the bottom terminal of the globe on the metal work the lamp will shine brightly. Just be careful for short circuit with the electrical wire. Here is another idea to make a lamp for your camp: ●● Get two empty beer or cool drink tins ●● Cut off about a quarter of the bottom side of one tin.. ●● Make a hole in the middle of the bottom, just big enough to get a wick through and place the wick in the hole. ●● Use string or a strip of cotton fiber material for the wick. Cut a v-shaped notch on the side edge. ●● In the second tin, cut and bend an open tin or “window” out. The two flaps on both sides serves as reflectors and wind-breaks. ●● Put paraffin or diesel in the bottom of the tin and place the other part inside, over the fuel. First wet the wick in the fuel and make sure that the lower side of the wick is in the fuel. NB: Sometimes, especially when you walk in the dark, it is better not to make local light but rather make use of the light of the moon or stars to find your way. Consequently, your night sight will not be affected and you will be able to see better
Dr Wallace Vosloo is an Engineer and Scientist by profession. His family has lived in Africa since 1696 and he has a deep love for the continent. He is a practical outdoorsman and loves traditional hunting, axe and knife throwing, longbow shooting, black powder rifle- and cannon shooting, salt and fresh water fly fishing and tracking. The art of survival is Wallace’s main field of interest and his passion is to transfer these old forgotten skills to young hunters.
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Your African safari is a unique experience. Now you can document your hunt day by day and revisit those exciting times for years to come. 31 Full days of journaling space with vital information: ●● safari clothing ●● personal item checklists ●● health and first aid ●● mammal identification information with photographs, tracks, dung and SCI and Rowland Ward qualification minimums.
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Know how to administer CPR. Deal with dangerous animals up close. Identify and treat bites from snakes, spiders and scorpions. Know the right emergency numbers to dial in an emergency – it’s all there. A must-have item for every serious hunter. Sturdy PlastiCoil binding for durability and easy opening, 110 pages, 6.0 x 9.0 in. Full color covers and cream interior printed in black and white.
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True North The Evil Behind All Evil
In the mythic story of The Lion King, the lion cub Simba is separated in his youth from his father through a murder engineered by his uncle, Scar, the character symbolizing the evil one in our story. Scar arranges for the cub to be caught in a stampede of wildebeests, knowing that his father, Mufasa, will risk his life to save his son. He does, and Simba is saved, but Mufasa is killed. Scar then turns on Simba and accuses him, at such a vulnerable and desperate moment, of causing his father’s death. Brokenhearted, frightened, racked with guilt, Simba runs away from home. This is the enemy’s one central purpose-to separate us from the Father. He uses neglect to whisper, You see-no one cares. You’re not worth caring about. He uses a sudden loss of innocence to whisper, This is a dangerous world, and you are alone. You’ve been abandoned. He uses assaults and abuses to scream at a boy, This is all you are good for. And in this way he makes it nearly impossible for us to know what Jesus knew, makes it so very, very hard to come home to the Father’s heart toward us. The details of each story are unique to the boy, but the effect is always a wound in the soul, and with it separation from and suspicion of the Father. It’s been very effective. But God is not willing to simply let that be the end of the story. Not in any man’s life. Remember what Jesus taught us about the Father’s heart in the parable of the lost son: “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him” (Luke 15:20 NIV). Filled with compassion, our Father God will come like a loving Father, and take us close to his heart. He will also take us back to heal the wounds, finish things that didn’t get finished. He will come for the boy, no matter how old he might now be, and make him his Beloved Son. (Fathered by God)