African Expedition Magazine Volume 4 Issue 2

Page 1

Going to XTremes How far will you go to stay alive?

Want to hunt elephant in the Kruger Park? The ongoing culling debate

Make a Plan The many uses of Condy’s Crystals


net hunting


Published by Safari Media Africa Editors

United States of America

Editor: Alan Bunn Associate editor: Galen Geer


Editor: Hans Jochen Wild


Editor: Mitch Mitchell

Financial Thea Mitchell Layout & Design Xtasis Media and Digital Wind Contributors & Photographers A. Bunn, C. Cheney, D. Edgcumbe, G. Geer, L. Grizzaffi (Reloading), Dr. K. Hugo (Medical) D. Hulme, C. Mitchell, Dr. G. Swart (Medical) Advertising and Marketing South Africa: T. Mitchell Phone +27 13-7125246 Fax 0866104466 USA: Alan Bunn (706) 2762608 African Expedition Magazine is an independent bimonthly publication promoting fair, sustainable hunting, a protected environment and adventure sports in Africa. The African Expedition Magazine is published by Safari Media Africa

Disclaimer While all precautions have been taken to ensure the accuracy of advice and information provided, the Proprietor, Publisher, Editor, or Writers cannot accept responsibility for any damages, inconvenience or injury whatsoever that may result from incorrect information. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher or its agents. African Expedition Magazine assumes no responsibility to return graphics unsolicited editorial, or other material. All rights in unsolicited editorial, letters, emails, graphics and other material will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright purposes and material will be subject to African Expedition Magazine’s unrestricted right to edit and editorial comment. All material and/or editorial in African Expedition is the property of African Expedition and/or the various contributors. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the prior written consent of the Publisher.

contents 4 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE Volume 4 Issue 2

8 Going to XTremes How far will you go to stay alive?

18 Want to hunt elephant in the Kruger Park? The ongoing culling debate

26 B’aka net hunting


44 African hunters of yesteryear The Maneating lions of Tsavo

76 Africa - the good news The good news from Africa

100 Make a Plan

The many uses of Condy’s Crystals

105 True North

Happily Ever After Has Been Stolen


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Going to XTremes How far will you go to stay alive?



hat would you as an individual do to survive? It is quite scary to see what people will do to save their own skins. Some will turn traitor and sell out on their own comrades or even family. Cannibalism is not unheard of. You might recall the account of a rugby team that crash landed high in the Andes mountains and resorted to this extreme to stay alive. Well there is extreme and there is extreme. Some extremes cross over the bounds of what might be called “civilized” but there are other extremes which may in the correct context be regarded as an acceptable way of staying alive. People dying of hunger resort to eating animals, reptiles and insects that they would, under normal circumstances, not even consider. When hunger pangs are gnawing away at your stomach and you feel yourself growing weaker by the minute then the sight of a juicy puff adder or fat scorpion may become all the more appealing – something which might have appeared repulsive in terms of a food item in times of plenty may suddenly take on a new attraction. Dying of hunger would by all accounts after the first few days of hunger pangs appear to be less traumatic than dying of thirst because it takes longer and the symptoms are more subtle to begin with. Volume 4 Issue 2 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 9


Dying of thirst however is another matter. It can occur within the short space of 36 hours. The symptoms are intense. A raging thirst, swollen tongue, cracked lips, headache, hallucinations, and coma. To be lost in the wilds of Africa – especially in dry areas or during the dry months of the year can be a terrifying experience compounded by a lack of or absence of water. There are many who have succumbed to thirst and are now part of the dust of Africa. When entering the African bush always make sure you are well hydrated to begin with and take enough water with you. But as we all know things can and often do go wrong. If you are a hunter armed with a firearm or bow and you find yourself in a desperate situation of being lost, not being able to find water and are succumb-

ing to the consequences of dehydration there is one recourse of action which may save your life as it has of hunters in the past. There is one source of water which is often overlooked which may just make the difference between dying or surviving to tell the tale. This water source is found in one of the large stomachs of ruminants such as kudu, wildebeest, impala, eland, cows and so on. This large sac known as the rumen is one of four stomachs possessed by animals which “chew the cud” the other three being the reticulum, omasum and abomasum. Armed with a rifle or bow you should be able to shoot a ruminant. The rumen is most easily accessible from the left side. When normally field dressing a carcass the rumen tends to balloon out when the abdominal cavity is opened Volume 4 Issue 2 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 11

Figure 2: Rumen content


Figure 3 Placing rumen in a cloth


see Figure 1). If you are desperate for water, need it urgently and do not have the strength, time or inclination to field dress the carcass to remove the internal organs, lay the dead animal on its right side and make a cut through the skin behind the ribs. The rumen will lie immediately below the skin. Cutting through the wall of the rumen will reveal a mass of green, wet vegetable matter comprised of chewed grass, forbs and leaves (depending on the diet of the particular animal- see Figure 2). Here is your life saving water source. Place this vegetable matter in some cloth material (shirt, towel, handkerchief) and squeeze it out over a container (see Figure 3 and 4) or directly into your mouth (Figure 5). Yes the liquid emerging will be olive green in colour and will smell rather offensive but it is water – life sustaining water and we are talking here of extreme survival. You can easily extract 5 litres of fluid from the stomach of an impala sized animal – perhaps even more. In larger animals such as gemsbok, and kudu you should be able to get as much as 15 litres of life saving liquid

from the rumen.

Cleve Cheney holds a bachelor of science The hardest part is to get your mindand degree in zoology a master’s degree around drinking the stuff (Figure 5) in animalenough physiology. but if you are desperate and He is a wilderness thirsty enough you will drink it and trail leader, rated field save your life in the guide process. If you instructor and do have the time you further filter thecan author of many leading articlesitonsafer the subjects of or trackand / or boil the water to render to drink ing, guiding, bowhunting and survival. pass it through some filtering system (e.g. sand) to Cleve has unrivalled experience in make it more palatable. You can contrive sort wildlife management, gamesome capture and of condensing apparatus toboth getwith pure water from it but hunting, bow and rifle.

the wherewithal may not always be available. Obviously if you have water purification tablets (all good outdoorsmen should have some in a survival kit) you can add these to the “water” to purify it. Rumen water can save your life. When you emerge from the ordeal take a course of antibiotics and a course of de-worming medication. You may pick up some parasites from the rumen fluid but this can be sorted out and successfully treated at a later stage.

Figure 4 Squeezing out rumen fluid





Want to hunt elephant in the

Kruger Park? The ongoing culling debate



ruger National Park has 12,500 elephants which is 5,000 more than is sustainable, according to park officials. This is the issue that has bitterly divided game managers, conservationists and animal rights groups for years.



We have fenced the wild areas in and with it the game that live there. We have disturbed the natural balance and elephant can no longer make their great migrations. Elephants have few natural predators and live long lives. They eat about 300kg of vegetable matter per day - and Kruger alone has 12,500. This translates to 3,750 tons per Kruger day or 1.4 million tons per year In Hwange where there are an estimated 30,000 elephant this translates to 9,000 tons per day and 3.3 million tons per year. How can normal vegetation growth sustain that?

The UK Guardian reports that debate over culling is hugely emotive in South Africa, which is renowned for its wildlife, and the announcement came after nearly three years of widespread consultation and acrimonious debate.

National Park has more than 12,500 elephants, 5,000 more than is sustainable.

Following the “Big Elephant Debate” in Berg-en-Dal, some 50 scientists from South Africa, the rest of Africa and abroad got together to discuss elephants and biodiversity in South Africa’s national parks, and specifically the Kruger National Park. The South African government finally concluded it would have to lift a moratorium on the culling of the native elephant to cope with its booming population. Amid protest and expressions of relief environment minister Martinus van Schalkwyk announced the elephant had been a victim of its own success with numbers growing from 8,000 to nearly 20,000 in national parks and private reserves in just over a decade. He unveiled a new conservation plan and stressed that the killing of excess animals would only be allowed once all other available options - including translocation and contraception - had been ruled out. Contraception and translocation are both cost prohibitive - and who wants a 4-ton animal that is going to devastate your habitat? Hwange reportedly has 40,000 elephants and the same problem faces the authorities there.

the majority of South Africans.”

“Our department has recognised the need to maintain culling as a management option, but has taken steps to ensure that this will be the option of last resort that is acceptable only under strict conditions,” he said in a statement. “The issue of population management has been devilishly complex and we would like to think that we have come up with a framework that is acceptable to

Elephants have huge appetites and reduce forests to flatland by uprooting trees and trampling plants as they feed and roam - threatening any park’s biodiversity.

But some conservationists argue the environmental impact is less severe than is being claimed, while animal rights campaigners, who have threatened to hold public protests if culling goes ahead, say the elephants’ intelligence and their close-knit social structures make culling deeply inhumane. In 2005, the government recommended the cull of 5,000 elephants, which would have been the largest slaughter anywhere in the world, causing a storm of protest and a rethink. The new framework, which will permit culling from May 1, is likely to see a far lower number of the animals destroyed. Van Schalkwyk said that estimates of between 2,000 and 10,000 deaths were “hugely inflated”.

If unmanaged, the elephant count will top 34,000 by 2020.

He continued:

Supporters of culling point to growing difficulties in managing elephants in the country’s biggest and most famous game reserve, Kruger National Park. It has more than 12,500 elephants, 5,000 more than is sustainable, according to park officials.

A national park or private reserve will only be allowed to cull with the approval of the authorities and an elephant management specialist, who must be satisfied all other options are not viable.

These include contraception, a tricky process that can cause females much distress, and relocation of entire elephant families, which can be stressful for the animals and is expensive. The removal of fences between the Kruger and parks in neighbouring Mozambique will eventually help with migration into less congested areas, but not soon enough, according to some experts. Rob Little, conservation director at WWF in South Africa, welcomed the announcement. He said the country’s rapid elephant population growth of 6% mainly due to the absence of natural predators of Volume 4 Issue 2 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 21


mature animals - was unsustainable. If unchecked, wildlife officials say the elephant count will top 34,000 by 2020. “All available options must be available to control the elephant population here and conserve the biodiversity of the national parks,” said Little. “The new framework imposes a hierarchy of choices, and culling is right at the bottom. We are not going to see a mass destruction of elephants here.” But other conservation groups were less enthusiastic. “This does not give park managers carte blanche simply to go out and kill if they think they have too many elephants,” said Christina Pretorius, communications manager at the International Fund for Animal Welfare. “It is incumbent on the government to make sure that this is policed properly.” Michele Pickover of Animal Rights Africa, which has threatened to urge a tourist boycott if culling goes ahead, said there was no scientific proof that the killing of elephants was necessary or even effective in controlling the population. “This is a sad day for the country. Elephants are being treated as commodities by the government and game managers,” she said. The Kruger Park Times reported that Danie Pienaar, head of Scientific Services in the KNP. said that: “We looked at the positive and negative roles of elephants in a system and tried to identify weaknesses and gaps in our existing management plans and identify where more work needs to be done.”

could theoretically accommodate 50 000 to 60 000 elephants. However in recent years, scientific focus has moved from big species to biodiversity, a more holistic view. The “carrying capacity” at which biodiversity is maintained will be much lower than a food related “carrying capacity” but scientists do not have a good knowledge of the biodiversity consequences of elephant impacts at this stage. The group agreed that too many elephants in the KNP can have a detrimental impact on the biodiversity. The impact of elephant on biodiversity is context specific so that the impact on the vegetation in Kruger, for example will differ from that in Addo and again from that in Tsavo. In Kruger the structure of the trees could change over time from large trees to shrubs and this, in turn, will have a knock-on effect, as some 40 percent of Kruger’s bird species are dependent on tall trees for some part of their life cycle.

Many scientists feel that elephant numbers in Kruger are already too high but others say that elephant will always eliminate some species so that the real question is at what stage does it matter. “This brought the delegates to the next major point of agreement and Rob Little, conserthat is the need for an adaptive manvation director at agement approach,” says Prof Rogers. “Essentially this means learning WWF in South Africa, welcomed the by doing.”

of culling decision.

Prof Rogers is an ecology professor at the University of the Witwatersrand who has conducted research in Kruger for the last 18 years, mainly focussing on rivers. He said there was broad agreement amongst the attendees that a decision about the elephants in South Africa’s protected areas needs to be made soon. If the situation is left as is, the elephant numbers in five years would probably reach 20 000 and in 10 years there would be about 30 000 elephants in Kruger. In the past, elephant management decisions were largely based on carrying capacity. If carrying capacity is defined in terms of food only, the KNP

The workshop expressed its high regard for Kruger’s present adaptive management plan and recognised Kruger’s management objectives as ranking with the world’s best. The meeting agreed that a fixed number, e.g. 7000 elephants for a reserve, is unnatural as elephant numbers will always fluctuate in nature.

Unfortunately South Africa’s national parks are too small for these fluctuations to take place naturally and the need for an adaptive management approach is apparent. They felt that there was a need to do something sooner rather than later. If something is done now, it will take about five years before the effect is noticeable. The group agreed that with new ideas developed in the workshop, they could produce estimates within six to nine months of how soon and how much effect the elephant population can have on Kruger’s biodiversity..




B’aka net hunting



Cam Crieg


hey are called the B’Aka and they live in the tropical jungles of West Africa, mostly in the Congo. They shun civilization and live in harmony with their world, or as much as their Bantu and Western neighbors allow. What is most striking to the few outsiders allowed to visit them is not so much their diminutive size, but a total sense of contentment and almost complete harmony in the village. I have seldom heard any raised voices or crying, especially among the infants who are carried by their mothers on their hips or backs, providing a secure and nurtured cradle. And all this without TV or even electricity! Volume 4 Issue 2 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 27

B’Aka boys setting nets


The group I have been privileged to become acquainted with live a very long ways away from any other humans, for the basic reason that they do not want to be associated with any other humans. They have always been exploited, and so have fled to remote locations, far from civilization. On one memorable voyage with an extremely elderly B’Aka he recounted how, when the Bantu first came into the jungle, they hunted and ate the B’Aka! I think I would keep my distance if faced with such a situation as well! Far in the shadows of the giant trees they continue to live as they always have; in a contented manner that is as far removed from high rises and street signs.

time, a very reserved one. I was looking for twelve porters to carry the gear for me and my two companions into the forest for an extended exploration. One of my companions was actually my son, and his thirteen-year-old figure helped to assure the B’Aka that I had no ulterior motives. It took two days of negotiations to come up with the required porters and even then I ended up accepting one lad of twelve. I was hesitant to accept this lad who was even smaller than my son and proposed to carry a 40-pound load for days on end. I found myself with no choice and took him; he ended up doing a magnificent job. I had thought my son was tough until I had the definition of tough before my very eyes.

Just to get to their village is a challenge. You have to navigate a tortuous winding river in a dug out canoe. The paddlers have to push as well as paddle the monster log along narrow winding passages where the canoe slips like a duiker down the gullet of a python. You often scrape bottom and all passengers have to disembark to push the canoe over the sunken logs and sand bars. When the canoe can no longer be muscled forward everyone gets out and the mud slog begins.

It was only after one of the elders came and spoke to me, through an interpreter, that I was able to make any more headway. This stately old gentleman knew a missionary friend of mine, and volunteered to come with me. Once he made it clear he would be coming along I was able to convince my future porters train to sign up. In retrospect they had a legitimate fear that I would only use their services and not reward them, which was the norm for the relations they had with most outsiders. They had almost no history of dealing with true foreigners, as I was only the second white person to make it to their village in living memory. My missionary friend was the other.

As my friend noted, it is obvious the B’Aka do not want any visitors and keep the trail as nasty as possible. Unless you possess a supreme sense of balance, which translates to balancing on mud encrusted small logs and branches, you will most assuredly end up hip deep in the mud below. A mounting sense of frustration accompanies any outsider as you watch the B’Aka scamper along as if this was a groomed trail heading home, which, I guess it is. To the Western mind it more resembles a marine obstacle course with a cauldron of mud below to accept the failures. After about two hours of exhausting balancing and extracting yourself from the quagmire you emerge into a set of disorganized gardens. The mere fact that this village has gardens is a bow to the modernization of the B’Aka. Older traditional villages had no permanent roots, as they moved at will through the vast jungle, but modern times have constricted the B’Aka lifestyle, and they can no longer barter for everything they need with meat and honey harvested from the forest. At the same time this group has decided they will continue to live as far away as possible, so as to prevent the Bantu from solidifying their hold on the diminutive people. This has led to the concession of having to cultivate some crops. I first visited this particular village in 2002, and was treated to a very magical experience, but at the same

What is important to remember in dealing with the B’Aka is they have no chief. Every individual is free to do as he wishes, and although the elders are respected, they have no actual authority in the village. Consensus is the norm, but not the rule. This is true of the hunting as well. Each person does as he feels best, which can lead to a sense of total frustration to an outsider used to some sort of program being followed. This elder B’Aka proved immensely valuable as we ventured further and further into the jungle. Even though I had traveled extensively with the Aka of Cameroun, and in fact even spoke a common language with them, the B’Aka are different. One altercation took place when the oldest hunter took my gun and went off hunting. This nearly cancelled the exploration. I was not pleased that he had taken my gun and shells and told him it was “like stealing” since he had not asked permission, and in fact had told me a lie as to where he was going. It was only the intervention of the elder that kept the party together. By the end of the trip the older hunter and I were fast friends and he was the first to greet me on my return nine years later with a big handshake and ear-to-ear grin, but I was nearly Volume 4 Issue 2 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 29


Setting the nets


Cracking nuts


abandoned in the bottomless sea of green with all my gear. Because of how this hunter was ultimately treated, along with the rest of the porters, my return in 2011 was more like a homecoming. I had my choice of over 40 porters and even had one porter follow us for two days to catch up with us and claim a load, just as he had nine years before. I was very pleased by this, as it showed me a loyalty I had only hoped for. I was continually reminded that what an intrepid explorer needs to do is constantly remember the vast gulf of cultural tradition that separates a western hunter and a B’Aka hunter. Although we have many of the same common goals in mind the B’Aka is used to tracking his game and so an early start is not critical. Tracks will be there just as much after the dew dissipates, and it is much more comfortable to track while dry. B’Aka hunters like to be back in camp by dark, or even well before, so they can sort out sleeping arrangements. After all, he has no flashlight and the resin torches he makes are too valuable to use every night. Once a large animal is shot there is no need to do anything but feast and sleep. The concept of continuing hunting is ridiculous, as anyone can see you cannot carry any more meat anyway. In fact the whole idea of keeping the horns and skin, which are not edible, is so crazy he has a very hard time conceiving of what it is we do with them. It is attributed to some sort of very powerful magic. In any case, I was fortunate enough to return to Congo a long nine years after my last trip with the B’Aka. I was disappointed to discover that three of the thirteen porters and guides I had previously employed were dead, but the rest were thrilled to welcome me back. In spite of remoteness of the village, it had changed much more than I had anticipated. While previously I had bought good working crossbows with the poison still dripping from the arrows, on my return I was hard pressed to find even a broken down one for sale. I could not find any of the B’Aka who still used them to hunt monkeys. The honey pots fabricated from bark were no longer readily available and it seemed many of the traditions were disappearing. None of the younger B’Aka drilled a hole in their upper lip to provide a feeding hole for possible tetanus, and many fewer scarred their faces or sharpened their teeth to points. The forest spirit dance I requested brought a lot of consternation, and when it finally took place it was obvious that they had gone out and fabricated the costume of the spirit just for us. Even in the B’Aka world things are in rapid flux. Volume 4 Issue 2 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 33

B’Aka boys setting nets


The one thing I wished to experience before I left my forest friends was a true net hunt. This was the traditional manner in which the B’Aka meat of the jungle is harvested. Each adult male of the village owns hunting net. These are fabricated from the vines of the forest and traditionally given to a young man on his entry into manhood by his mother. His wives and other females that he is responsible for would add additional nets on into his manhood. I have hunted with men who are tradition bound to provide for up to 10 women, as men have a hard life in the jungle and young men tend to want to go away to the bigger towns to seek their fortune. This often leaves a surplus of women in the village, who all need care. I had sent ahead a runner to the village to let them know that I would be coming and that I wished for us to participate in a net hunt together. When I reached the village I informed them that I really wanted to do a net hunt, but they said it would be best done at the end of the trip. On the return from the deep forest, I repeated my request once again and was told that it would take place and everyone from the village would participate. Well, after so many requests, it looked like I would at long last get to have my net hunt. As I fell to sleep in my hammock in the center of the village the town crier could be heard making the rounds of all the small beehive size homes scattered along the trail. He was admonishing all the men to be ready at dawn the next day and all the women and children were reminded to be quiet, as this was not a game but serious business. Just like in medieval times, this was the way village news was distributed. He seemed to revel in his assignment, and had a pleasant, but loud voice, which he utilized to full effect while he circled the village, at least two times, before I finally drifted off to asleep. I was told we would all be leaving at 8:00, so was up bright and early with the sun. I traded some chocolate candies for some fresh papayas and we donned head nets to stave off the sweat bees and waited. The hut nearest us finally came to life around the appointed 8:00 time frame, but his only order of business was to set his net out and start repairs. From the number of tears I saw in it, we were in for a long wait. Finally around noon we headed off with about 20 B’Aka, mostly the same young men who had just finished our trip with us. I was disappointed, as I could only count 7-8 nets and was quite sure this would

not be adequate to entrap the duikers, but off we headed. I had to remind myself that the B’Aka have no hierarchical structure and if anyone else wanted to join they would, but I could do nothing about it that would not backfire. I had been told we would walk for 4-5 hours before starting the hunt, but less then ten minutes from camp they made the first set. Each man set his net in such a manner that it was held up by small wooden hooks and the natural vegetation. The nets overlapped side-to side and were about three feet tall. On closer inspection it was obvious the nets were not securely set at all, but engineered to collapse on the duiker or animal running into them. Suddenly we heard a lot of commotion and the excited younger boys were all running around like hounds after a fox. The basic rule of the hunt is if your net is the one the animal ends up in you get the major portion of the meat, with pre-arranged division of the rest to the village and your extended family. The beaters try to drive the bolting animals into their portion of the nets while still placing a captured animal higher in value than one that gets away. I was not surprised when the first set did not even turn up so much as a porcupine, much less a duiker, as we were within hollering distance of the village. I had a hard time believing they had actually scared up a duiker that has escaped. What did surprise me was that almost all the subsequent sets caught animals. By the end of the day four blue duikers had been caught, and a few missed, including a yellow back duiker, the largest of all duikers. In the end over 20 nets were in use and about 60 villagers participated. It was a genuine circus and I could see it served as a bonding experience for the whole village. The young men were the most excited, running back and forth as the game was herded into the nets. The young girls brought along baskets slung from a trump line around their foreheads and gathered fruits and nuts as we went along. The older women seemed to have their eye on particular plants and leaves, which they would stop to gather as we moved from set to set. At one point we came upon a tree that had dropped its nuts and the whole village stopped to gather, crack and eat. It served as a rest stop, and when most of the nuts were gone everyone picked up their nets and off we went. An anthropologist would have enjoyed the experience almost as much as I did. Here were a stone-age people exhibiting true hunter gathering as a means of livelihood, well into the 21st century. Volume 4 Issue 2 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 35

In spite of what I thought was a very low catch of meat for 60+ people they insisted that we take the back half of the first blue duiker that was caught. At no time in the hunt were there any serious arguments, but plenty of frolicking by all. In my observations of the B’Aka and the village life away from the Bantus, they are the happiest people I have ever had the pleasure to spend an extended time with. None of them have been to school and few can even understand rudimentary French, but as a society they are content and show it. In contrast, back in the Bantu village every gathering was fraught

Cam is a Cameroun born missionary child who explores Central Africa for fun. You can contact him at


with the kids hitting and fighting, especially if I was handing out any sort of treat like a fishhook or candy. In the B’Aka village I never observed this. Several times a woman would try to cut back into line when I was distributing communal gifts, but always left with a smile when she was caught out. I am afraid that what I have managed to experience and document is fast disappearing. How the B’Aka will adapt, or even if they will, is a huge question, but I feel truly privileged to have enjoyed their company and hope to repeat it before it simply becomes history.

Cam and B’aka women









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. 44 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE Volume 4 Issue 2

The Maneating lions of




nfortunately this happy state of affairs did not continue for long, and our work was soon interrupted in a rude and startling manner. Two most

voracious and insatiable man-eating lions appeared upon the scene, and for over nine months waged an intermittent warfare against the railway and all those connected with it in the vicinity of Tsavo. This culminated in a perfect reign of terror in December, 1898, when they actually succeeded in bringing the railway works to a complete standstill for about three weeks. At first they were not always successful in their efforts to carry off a victim, but as time went on they stopped at nothing and indeed braved any danger in order to obtain their favourite food. Volume 4 Issue 2 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 45


Their methods then became so uncanny, and their man-stalking so well-timed and so certain of success, that the workmen firmly believed that they were not real animals at all, but devils in lions’ shape. Many a time the coolies solemnly assured me that it was absolutely useless to attempt to shoot them. They were quite convinced that the angry spirits of two departed native chiefs had taken this form in order to protest against a railway being made through their country, and by stopping its progress to avenge the insult thus shown to them. I had only been a few days at Tsavo when I first heard that these brutes had been seen in the neighbourhood. Shortly afterwards one or two coolies mysteriously disappeared, and I was told that they had been carried off by night from their tents and devoured by lions. At the time I did not credit this story, and was more inclined to believe that the unfortunate men had been the victims of foul play at the hands of some of their comrades. They were, as it happened, very good workmen, and had each saved a fair number of rupees, so I thought it quite likely that some scoundrels from the gangs had murdered them for the sake of their money. This suspicion, however, was very soon dispelled. About three weeks after my arrival, I was roused one morning about daybreak and told that one of my jemadars, a fine powerful Sikh named Ungan Singh, had been seized in his tent during the night, and dragged off and eaten. Naturally I lost no time in making an examination of the place, and was soon convinced that the man had indeed been carried off by a lion, as its “pug” marks were plainly visible in the sand, while the furrows made by the heels of the victim showed the direction in which he had been dragged away. Moreover, the jemadar shared his tent with half a dozen other workmen, and one of his bedfellows had actually witnessed the occurrence. He graphically described how, at about midnight, the lion suddenly put its head in at the open tent door and seized Ungan Singh -- who happened to be nearest the opening -- by the throat. The unfortunate fellow cried out “Choro” (“Let go”), and threw his arms up round the lion’s neck. The next moment he was gone, and his panic-stricken companions lay helpless, forced to listen to the terrible struggle which took place outside. Poor Ungan Singh must have died hard; but what chance had he? As a coolie gravely remarked, “Was he not fighting with a lion?” On hearing this dreadful story I at once set out to try to track the animal, and was accompanied by Captain Haslem, who happened to be staying at

Tsavo at the time, and who, poor fellow, himself met with a tragic fate very shortly afterwards. We found it an easy matter to follow the route taken by the lion, as he appeared to have stopped several times before beginning his meal. Pools of blood marked these halting-places, where he doubtless indulged in the man-eaters’ habit of licking the skin off so as to get at the fresh blood. (I have been led to believe that this is their custom from the appearance of two half-eaten bodies which I subsequently rescued: the skin was gone in places, and the flesh looked dry, as if it had been sucked.) On reaching the spot where the body had been devoured, a dreadful spectacle presented itself. The ground all round was covered with blood and morsels of flesh and bones, but the unfortunate jemadar’s head had been left intact, save for the holes made by the lion’s tusks on seizing him, and lay a short distance away from the other remains, the eyes staring wide open with a startled, horrified look in them. The place was considerably cut up, and on closer examination we found that two lions had been there and had probably struggled for possession of the body. It was the most gruesome sight I had ever seen. We collected the remains as well as we could and heaped stones on them, the head with its fixed, terrified stare seeming to watch us all the time, for it we did not bury, but took back to camp for identification before the Medical Officer. Thus occurred my first experience of man-eating lions, and I vowed there and then that I would spare no pains to rid the neighbourhood of the brutes. I little knew the trouble that was in store for me, or how narrow were to be my own escapes from sharing poor Ungan Singh’s fate. That same night I sat up in a tree close to the late jemadar’s tent, hoping that the lions would return to it for another victim. I was followed to my perch by a few of the more terrified coolies, who begged to be allowed to sit up in the tree with me; all the other workmen remained in their tents, but no more doors were left open. I had with me my .303 and a 12-bore shot gun, one barrel loaded with ball and the other with slug. Shortly after settling down to my vigil, my hopes of bagging one of the brutes were raised by the sound of their ominous roaring coming closer and closer. Presently this ceased, and quiet reigned for an hour or two, as lions always talk their prey in complete silence. All at once, however, we heard a great uproar and frenzied cries coming from another camp about half a mile away; we knew then that the lions Volume 4 Issue 2 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 47


had seized a victim there, and that we should see or hear nothing further of them that night.

seemed to be careful to choose in retreating to their den.

Next morning I found that one of the brutes had broken into a tent at Railhead Camp -- whence we had heard the commotion during the night -- and had made off with a poor wretch who was lying there asleep. After a night’s rest, therefore, I took up my position in a suitable tree near this tent. I did not at all like the idea of walking the half-mile to the place after dark, but all the same I felt fairly safe, as one of my men carried a bright lamp close behind me. He in his turn was followed by another leading a goat, which I tied under my tree in the hope that the lion might be tempted to seize it instead of a coolie. A steady drizzle commenced shortly after I had settled down to my night of watching, and I was soon thoroughly chilled and wet. I stuck to my uncomfortable post, however, hoping to get a shot, but I well remember the feeling of impotent disappointment I experienced when about midnight I heard screams and cries and a heart-rending shriek, which told me that the man-eaters had again eluded me and had claimed another victim elsewhere.

At this early stage of the struggle, I am glad to say, the lions were not always successful in their efforts to capture a human being for their nightly meal, and one or two amusing incidents occurred to relieve the tension from which our nerves were beginning to suffer. On one occasion an enterprising bunniah (Indian trader) was riding along on his donkey late one night, when suddenly a lion sprang out on him knocking over both man and beast. The donkey was badly wounded, and the lion was just about to seize the trader, when in some way or other his claws became entangled in a rope by which two empty oil tins were strung across the donkey’s neck. The rattle and clatter made by these as he dragged them after him gave him such a fright that he turned tail and bolted off into the jungle, to the intense relief of the terrified bunniah, who quickly made his way up the nearest tree and remained there, shivering with fear, for the rest of the night.

At this time the various camps for the workmen were very scattered, so that the lions had a range of some eight miles on either side of Tsavo to work upon; and as their tactics seemed to be to break into a different camp each night, it was most difficult to forestall them. They almost appeared, too, to have an extraordinary and uncanny faculty of finding out our plans beforehand, so that no matter in how likely or how tempting a spot we lay in wait for them, they invariably avoided that particular place and seized their victim for the night from some other camp. Hunting them by day, moreover, in such a dense wilderness as surrounded us, was an exceedingly tiring and really foolhardy undertaking. In a thick jungle of the kind round Tsavo the hunted animal has every chance against the hunter, as however careful the latter may be, a dead twig or something of the sort is sure to crackle just at the critical moment and so give the alarm. Still I never gave up hope of some day finding their lair, and accordingly continued to devote all my spare time to crawling about through the undergrowth. Many a time when attempting to force my way through this bewildering tangle I had to be released by my gun-bearer from the fast clutches of the “waita-bit”; and often with immense pains I succeeded in tracing the lions to the river after they had seized a victim, only to lose the trail from there onwards, owing to the rocky nature of the ground which they

Shortly after this episode, a Greek contractor named Themistocles Pappadimitrini had an equally marvellous escape. He was sleeping peacefully in his tent one night, when a lion broke in, and seized and made off with the mattress on which he was lying. Though, rudely awakened, the Greek was quite unhurt and suffered from nothing worse than a bad fright. This same man, however, met with a melancholy fate not long afterwards. He had been to the Kilima N’jaro district to buy cattle, and on the return journey attempted to take a short cut cross country to the railway, but perished miserably of thirst on the way. On another occasion fourteen coolies who slept together in a large tent were one night awakened by a lion suddenly jumping on to the tent and breaking through it. The brute landed with one claw on a coolie’s shoulder, which was badly torn; but instead of seizing the man himself, in his hurry he grabbed a large bag of rice which happened to be lying in the tent, and made off with it, dropping it in disgust some little distance away when he realised his mistake. These, however, were only the earlier efforts of the man-eaters. Later on, as will be seen, nothing flurried or frightened them in the least, and except as food they showed a complete contempt for human beings. Having once marked down a victim, they would allow nothing to deter them from securing him, whether he were protected by a thick fence, or inside a closed tent, or sitting round a brightly burning fire. Shots, shouting and firebrands they alike held in derision. Volume 4 Issue 2 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 49



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The BorderLine Walk is in support of antipoaching efforts for Black Rhino in the Savè 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 poacher’s snare. This baby died a few days after this photograph was taken. 52 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE Volume 4 Issue 2


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Africa - the good news

The good news from Africa

South Africa Becoming Renewable Energy Hub Posted: 06 Dec 2011 02:13 PM PST South Africa is fast becoming a preferred renewable energy investment destination for both private and public sector investors – good news for the country’s growing electricity demands, emerging clean energy sector and the economy. The World Bank recently approved a $250-million (R1.5- billion) loan to South African power utility Eskom to develop a wind and solar plant, which will help the country reduce its reliance on coal-based power generation. The World Bank, which granted the funding through its Clean Technology Fund, will finance a 100-megawatt solar power plant in Upington in the Northern Cape province and a 100-megawatt wind power project north of Cape Town in the Western Cape. Leading clean energy projects in Africa The loan will enable Eskom to build two of the largest renewable energy projects ever attempted on the African continent, the World Bank said in a statement. Ebrahim Khan from Wesgro, the Western Cape Investment and Trade Promotion Agency, welcomed the World Bank’s investment into the renewable energy sector. “These investments are a breath of fresh air and it shows that South Africa is no longer just talking about renewable energy,” Khan said. “The good news for South Africa is that there are serious ambitions to get our energy mix right and there are more renewable energy power projects in the pipeline that are to be funded by private investors,” he added.


Key investment areas He said that the Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Northern Cape Provinces have been identified as the main regions to establish renewable energy plants, particularly wind and solar. “Many people don’t know that the Northern part of the Western Cape has higher irradiation than the best locations in Spain and the State of California,” he said. In the Western Cape, investment is primarily into wind and photovoltaic (PV) solar power. PV solarpower generation converts solar radiation to electricity by means of static panels. He said that photovoltaics is the main form of solar technology that is used widely on a commercial scale in other parts of the world. The Northern Cape has been identified as the best area for concentrated solar power (CSP) technology, which uses mirrors or lenses to concentrate a large area of sunlight, or solar thermal energy onto a small area, usually with rotating panels. Wesgro estimates that about 40% to 50% of the 1 850 wind technology projects and 30% to 40% of the 1 450 PV projects will come to the Western Cape. According to Wesgro, wind resources in the Western Cape are substantial and among the best in the country. “We are going for renewable energy in a big way,” he said. Khan said South Africa has the potential to become a major player in the clean energy sector, with significant interest being shown by investors in the past few months. Wesgro has also hosted many delegations who want to participate in the renewable energy sector. “Most of these companies are big players,” he said.

Research is still under way into ocean and wave technology, which can also be used to generate energy. “There are universities in the province that are working on innovations with ocean and wave technologies, but the models have not been perfectly worked out yet,” Khan added.

Construction to start in 2012 Eskom is in the process of building and upgrading existing coal-fired power plants to meet South Africa’s immediate energy needs, but it wants to diversify the energy mix toward cleaner sources of energy. Last year the World Bank received criticism for approving a $3.75-billion (R29.3 billion) loan for the development of a coal-fired plant in South Africa, but Eskom said the project was necessary to address the country’s chronic power shortages. Eskom anticipates that the construction of the 100megawatt wind power project north of Cape Town will start early in 2012.

Possibilities for manufacturing Khan said that there are good opportunities to establish a manufacturing sector focused on parts and components for the renewable energy sector. In the wind energy sector, European companies are already looking for suitable sites to set up plants to manufacture components such as blades for wind turbines, as they are extremely cumbersome to transport. Wind power company Isivunguvungu Wind Energy Converter (I-WEC) has identified Cape Town as its base to manufacture Africa’s first multi-megawatt wind turbines. Cape Business News reports that a large 42-ton mould, which recently arrived at Table Bay Harbour from China, will be used to manufacture 50m-long rotor blades for the 2.5MW turbines. This exceeds the span of an Airbus wing. The company plans to start production on its first turbine immediately, in time to set up the final product in Saldanha, northwest of Cape Town, early next year. According to I-WEC, the new 2.5MW turbines are almost double the size and capacity of the 1.3MW turbines currently used in South Africa. Each turbine has the capacity to provide enough power to run about 2 000 average South African households for a year.

I-WEC is also the first South African and African company that can manufacture the multi-megawatt wind turbines locally, using local labour. Up to 70% of the turbines’ components will be manufactured in South Africa. By Wilma den Hartigh Source: Media Club South Africa

Bring Development to Africa: How the Mobile Phone Industry Is Helping Posted: 06 Dec 2011 08:10 AM PST The mobile phone industry in Africa has boomed over the past five years with a growth rate of 550% recorded for this period. The African market does not merely offer hope in the form of investment opportunities, but has indeed transformed the way in which mobile phones have traditionally been used. The story emanating from Africa shows that this industry has allowed for significant gains in socioeconomic development, on a continent where development indicators are painfully low – a predicament that a litany of actors have long been trying to address. For many, the mobile revolution in Africa constitutes a far-reaching remedy, which, if exploited correctly, can continue to improve the quality of life of some of the world’s poorest people by providing a platform for innovative solutions to local problems.

The state of mobile phone penetration and growth in Africa Despite the exponential growth that has been witnessed in the mobile telephony sector, Africa still has the lowest mobile penetration rate in the world. According to a report on global mobile statistics for 2011, mobile penetration in Africa is at 41%, compared to the overall international rate of 76%. However, due to greater accessibility, there are in fact far more mobile phones in Africa than fixed lines – in 2007 this figure stood at eight to one. This illustrates why Africa is the fastest growing mobile market in the world, suggesting that there are massive opportunities in the key growth markets, as well as elsewhere on the continent. Mobile penetration rates do, however, vary largely. Nigeria is one of Africa’s fastest growing markets, having provided 68% of the MTN network’s new subscribers across the continent in 2010;(6) thereby making it a “major global player… because of its size and spending power.” Kenya, which boasts relatively Volume 4 Issue 2 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 77

high mobile penetration rates of well over 50% (8), has been at the forefront of accessing economic development through mobile phones. Other countries, such as Eritrea, have far lower penetration. Nonetheless, people in these countries have managed to overcome this with the community payphone model, and phone-sharing schemes, which make mobile phones far more accessible so that the opportunities that they offer may be exploited.

Continental opportunities Mobile phones have allowed African communities to transcend the problems of terribly poor and often non-existent infrastructure as well as the problem of isolation; to promote entrepreneurship, development, and ultimately bring a better life for people who have long lost sight of any hope. The emergence of mobile phones in Africa has promoted economic development in a number of ways. This includes: reducing costs and improving markets; allowing for greater efficiency in business; creating jobs in order to address demand; increasing the availability of information and thereby allowing for a response to shocks through engagement on social networks; and facilitating the delivery of public goods through mobile-based solutions in the areas of finance, agriculture, education and health. “A growing body of evidence suggests that access to communications boosts incomes and makes local economies far more efficient.”(10) In fact, studies show that a typical developing country can have its GDP growth boosted by 0.6% by increasing mobile penetration by a mere ten additional mobile phones per 100 people. This assertion has certainly been evidenced in practice. There have been numerous very successful mobile phone-based initiatives across the continent, with the M-Pesa campaign in Kenya perhaps standing out best in this regard. M-Pesa is a financial service that has been offered by Safaricom since March 2007, and allows people to transfer money between M-Pesa agents, which can then be claimed by using a code sent by SMS that is revealed to the receiver’s agent. “With characteristic ingenuity and resourcefulness… mobile phones… are becoming a way to extend financial services to the billions of poor people who have never seen the inside of a bank.” Migrant workers, for example, make use of the service as an inexpensive way to send to their families money for food. The service is also useful for people traveling long distances who don’t want to carry cash with them. They 78 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE Volume 4 Issue 2

can give their money to an M-Pesa agent and use the code to again obtain the money once they have arrived at their destination. Local businessmen have also been able to maximise their earnings by using their mobile phones. Fishermen and farmers can now use their phones to obtain information about daily sales and demand at various markets, thereby determining which would be the best market to ensure a good return on their produce. This allows them to save money by avoiding costly trips to the market and back, and to make money by being able to select the most profitable market for their businesses. Even international organisations such as the United Nations have been able to feed into this, with the body’s International Trade Centre in Geneva now providing price information for fruit and vegetable exports on a daily basis in Burkino Faso and Mali. Moreover, phone-based tools have offered benefits to a variety of sectors including agriculture, education and health. Vets in East Africa are using simple tools to keep track of disease outbreaks, treatment and vaccinations. In education, such tools are also implemented to help school-going children to expand their learning through educational games and other resources. With regards to healthcare, in some countries now operate systems that allow people to call hospitals in order to obtain certain health information that may not be available in rural regions. With ongoing innovation in this area, these kinds of initiatives can serve to improve development indicators dramatically, by giving access to information to the many people who live in isolated rural areas that have poor infrastructure. The transmission of information by mobile phone has assisted the media industry too, making mobile phones the main source of news aside from the radio. What’s more, in areas where radio frequencies are weak, radio stations may actually be accessed through mobiles. This widens the access to information in the public interest widely, and also creates jobs by way of an increasing demand for this need to be met within the industry. Further from this, the wide usage of mobile phones in Africa has allowed for greater public interaction and engagement through social media platforms. Due also to Africa having populations that are overwhelmingly young, a major portion of the mobile phone user demographic on the continent are youth. This demographic is often keen to engage more frequently on such platforms, as evidenced by Facebook being one of the most visited websites in many African

countries. In the wake of the North African protests and revolutions that took place on the back of mobilisation via social networking sites, the socio-political implications of the use of these platforms in Sub-Saharan African countries to lend voice to their concerns cannot be discounted. Mobile phones allow populations to overcome the challenges imposed by blocked radio waves and websites, allowing them to express themselves and communicate via mobile phones. Despite the range of developmental benefits that mobile telephony is bestowing on Africa, there are some pitfalls as well. Complex regulatory frameworks, high taxes and the burden of infrastructure-building have made mobile phone tariffs prohibitively expensive in comparison to prices in the developed world. Nonetheless, Africans have adapted and shown themselves to be resilient. A number of ways of getting around high costs are at play across the continent. The phone sharing schemes as mentioned before is one measure. Besides this, people tend to make only short calls, rely more heavily on text messaging, and make missed calls that communicate predetermined messages such as “I’m here” or “Call me.” Governments and mobile operators have also responded with bids to reduce taxes, and by providing cheap mobile phones that can be purchased new at a minimal cost but that can grant access to some of the initiatives that have been discussed.

Concluding remarks Overall, the benefits to African economies and communities have far outweighed the costs. It is certainly refreshing to see developments in Africa that are so beneficial to all stakeholders. Most mobile operators doing business in Africa are home-grown, coming from within the region, and the benefits are visibly seeping into local economies, by assisting enterprises in functioning better, aiding development goals and offering numerous business opportunities across the economic spectrum. With growth in the sector set to continue on an upward trajectory, more positive outcomes in this regard can be expected. By Lisa Otto Source: Consultancy Africa

Powering Trade with Solar in South Africa

project is currently underway in Durban. KwaZuluNatal. The project was launched just ahead of COP17, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change talks which began in the harbour city on 28 November. Once both phases are completed in April 2012, the project will be Africa’s biggest rooftop solar installation, generating in excess of 600 kilowatts peak (kWp) – this is sufficient to power two fresh produce packing and logistics facilities. The project is located in the massive new multi-use Dube TradePort development, 30 kilometres north of Durban. About 990 solar panels will be attached to the roofs of two warehouses in the AgriZone, the trade port’s agricultural hub. In the first phase, the project will generate 220 kWp in total, equivalent to supplying 150 households with electricity. “With the completion of the second phase, an additional 400 kWp will be produced, making this the largest roof mounted photovoltaic system in Africa,” confirms AgriZone project executive Mlibo Bantwini. The solar panels have capacity to provide power for all the needs of the energy-intensive fresh produce pack houses. In the first phase alone carbon emissions will be reduced by 294 tons per year. Using the latest solar technology, little or no maintenance will be required other than to clean the panels from time to time. “This system will not require any major further investment for the next 20 years and will bring about considerable reduction in carbon emissions,” says Bantwini. Looking to the future The Dube TradePort is a 60-year master development plan consisting of several complementary and interconnected developments. The completed development will comprise the new King Shaka International airport, the Dube TradeZone linked to the Dube cargo terminal, and Dube City, a property development which will serve aviation and local communities. The plan is to make the city into a green precinct.

Posted: 05 Dec 2011 01:20 PM PST

The first phase of the airport, cargo terminal, trade zone and Dube City has been completed and is fully operational.

The first phase of a massive rooftop solar energy

The AgriZone is one of the key components of this Volume 4 Issue 2 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 79

multibillion-rand project, and includes the most advanced greenhouse hydroponics facility in Africa. Through its climate controlled greenhouses it already produces 50 000 cucumbers and three tons of tomatoes per week for large retailers. A sophisticated tissue culture facility with the capability to propagate three-million plants per year is also located here. A separate greenhouse for cut flowers and pot plant production will be developed in 2012. The project currently employs more than 100 local people. Aviation and cargo cluster Dube City is the first purpose-built aviation orientated city in Africa. On completion, the 24-hectare facility will include a mix of hotels, conference and entertainment venues, retail stores, and company head offices. Speed and turnaround times are key to freight handling. According to Bantwini the Dube cargo terminal has the most sophisticated ramp-handling equipment 80 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE Volume 4 Issue 2

available in South Africa. A fully automated air bridge conveyer system provides direct access to air freight forwarding companies in the adjacent TradeZone. A major advantage is that Customs, the Department of Agriculture, Department of Port Health, South African Revenue Service and South African Border Police are all housed within the cargo terminal, says Bantwini. “For the first time in South Africa, customs services are fully integrated with cargo terminal operations, providing one-stop regulatory, all-hours service for the convenience of shippers and forwarders.” Addressing challenges of climate change The Dube TradePort as a company also views itself as a responsible developer which responds proactively to climate change in all aspects of its business. To realise its vision Dube TradePort is working together with Swedish climate consultancy and carbon offset company Tricorona Climate Partner. “In response to the challenges of climate change and

as the host city of COP17, we would like to accelerate our efforts in lowering our climate impact, and develop a more sustainable business model in the aviation and trade port business” says Rohan Persad, Dube TradePort CEO. Rainwater harvesting, recycling and converting green waste into compost are just a few of the strategies to be implemented in the future. “A rehabilitation program over three years will revive 619 hectares of the grounds while the cargo terminal’s paperless trade program has already been initiated, and will in time dramatically reduce its own paper use as well as that of its related customers and service providers,” Bantwini adds. Eskom goes solar In the meantime, Eskom, South Africa’s national power utility has launched the first of its three solar photovoltaic pilot projects at the Lethabo Power Station near Vereeniging in Gauteng. Kendal in Mpumalanga and Eskom’s head office at Megawatt Park in Gauteng will likewise be fitted with solar panels. The entire project will cost about R90-million (US$11million) and will supply electricity for internal use at the two power stations and at the head office. The expected reduction in the company’s carbon footprint is about 2 845 tons a year. The lessons learned from the pilot projects will support the rollout of these systems across all Eskom’s coal-fired stations over time, the utility confirmed. The total electricity generated from all three solar plants will be about 1.55 megawatts (MW). Eskom was also looking to other renewable sources. “We have undertaken to invest in renewable energy projects and in cleaner coal technologies and these solar panels are an important first step towards that,” said Eskom CEO Brian Dames at the launch of the project. The utility’s Sere Wind Farm near Koekenaap in the Western Cape province will, on completion, generate 100 MW of power, with construction planned for early 2012. By Emily van Rijswijck Source: Media Club South Africa

The Future of Airport Market in Africa According to Paul Kehoe, Chief Executive of the Birmingham Airport in the UK, “There is a wide range

of airport development across Africa, from what I’ve seen. We’re seeing key projects coming off the ground, such as the redevelopment of the airport in Cape Town and the doubling in size of the Sharm El Sheikh Airport in Egypt.” This means that traditional routes through Europe and developing markets will diminish as hubs in and out of Africa. Airlines from countries like England and France, with traditional links to Africa, have been flying to and from the continent for decades. But there are others increasing their presence in Africa – airlines from countries like China and India. African airports are improving and expanding their facilities to cope with growth, both in large markets and in some smaller ones as well. “The challenge for all airport operators is to get a greater number of passengers through your fixed cost space and your fixed facilities so that you can make enough money to reinvest in those facilities,” explains Kehoe. “In this increasingly competitive world, the challenge is to make sure that you can get the airline to pay you sufficient funds so that you can invest in the sort of facilities that make a fantastic customer experience to those people who live in the country… and the tourists that want to come in, while giving a return to your shareholders who have taken the risk to invest.” With the high costs of fuel and other day-to-day expenses, airports worldwide face the issue of where to find additional funding for expansions and renovations. According to Kehoe, the United States has pioneered the concept of the aerotropolis . In an aerotropolis, an airport acts as a giant market where people are buying, selling, and trading. So, you develop appropriate infrastructure around the airport where people who regularly do business can also live. “Increasingly we’re going to see a lot of these so-called airport cities, which will be the future ports going forward,” says Kehoe. “And here energy and money and wealth will be created. And they will set in, as the (shipping) ports did over 100 years ago.” Kehoe explains that, “Africa is a continent of vast resources (and) it has a talent pool there in excess of 1 billion people. There is a great desire to trade with those countries (and) the investment in airport infrastructure, to connect those important cities to the rest of the world, is absolutely vital. I am sure that we will see increasing growth in terms of development in African aviation and African airports over the next few years.” Featured image is of airplanes at Cape Town InternaVolume 4 Issue 2 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 81

tional Airport.

Is Africa Important to Meeting China’s Growing Food Demand? Posted: 28 Nov 2011 05:46 PM PST Africa will in the next decade increasingly play an important role in China’s long-term food security agenda as demand for food in the world’s most populous nation threatens to outstrip its supply, according to Standard Bank research analysts Simon Freemantle and Jeremy Stevens. In their latest paper “China’s Food security challenge: What role for Africa?” published this week, Mr Freemantle and Mr Stevens write that China is facing serious strains on both the demand and supply side of its agricultural sector and will in the next few years have to look externally to supplement its sources of food supply. “Rising incomes and urbanisation are leading to dramatic increases in food consumption in China. 82 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE Volume 4 Issue 2

China now consumes the second most amount of food in the world, behind the USA. It is expected that by 2015, China’s total food expenditure will double to over US$1-trillion. Meanwhile, China is facing increasing strains on agricultural supply. Urbanisation and industrialisation are swallowing up farmland, and diminishing water tables. Between 1996 and 2006, China lost 9-million hectares of farmland,” they write. While for now China can and will look to its own sources to provide for the bulk of new demand, it is increasingly evident that China will be unable to ensure low-cost food for its large population without ramping up external sources of nutrition. Consequently, the authors note, Beijing is expected to increasingly align its aid and outward investment in agriculture to access new opportunities. They comment: “In Africa, two core areas create an allure for China. First, given the manner in which the continent’s agricultural sector has persistently underperformed, the provision of develop-mental and technical assistance allows Beijing an important avenue in fostering and building deeper bilateral ties. And,

second, Sub-Saharan Africa’s (SSA) immense and largely untapped agricultural potential is being increasingly viewed by China as a cog in an unfolding and inclusive food security strategy. For now, China’s strategy is overtly developmental, and, though commercialism inspires many of the cooperative farming projects, profits are generated almost entirely in local and regional markets.” They note it is already clear that Beijing is seeking to build deeper relationships in agriculture with landrich and politically stable countries that are friendly to China, such as Mozambique where China has made expansive agricultural investments. They add that investments, backed by state-directed assistance, in these countries will increasingly look to produce the types of crops—such as soybeans and cotton—for which demand in China is elevated. Collaboration will also be pronounced in coffee, tea, rubber, wine, sisal; and tobacco production—emphasising select strengths already evident in Africa in the production of some of these commodities. “Most of these initiatives will look to bolster China’s agricultural trade ties with Africa, though some, as has been evident in nascent moves in Latin America, will position Chinese firms to control the external source of production,” they write. Mr Freemantle and Mr Stevens conclude that for Africa, managing Chinese interest in the agricultural sector will be critical. They note that Africa desperately requires capital and skills to elevate food security. “The continent suffers from an acute lack of skills and capital in unlocking its inherent potential. Yet, as has been evident in many of the land leasing deals signed in SSA over the course of the past decade, too often investments are poorly structured, undervaluing the agricultural assets at stake. Managed well, partnerships with China can be meaningful. However, domestic food security must be placed first. Then, and leveraging Chinese aid, crops suited for China’s demand dynamics can and should be emphasised. Increasingly, green technology will provide cogent opportunities.” Source: Standard Bank

Zimbabwe Expecting Solid Economic Growth in 2012 Posted: 28 Nov 2011 04:22 AM PST Zimbabwe’s finance minister has told parliament the economy will grow by more than nine percent next

year, fueled by continued recovery and increased mining activity. Tendai Biti said he pushed the budget to $4 billion for 2012, anticipating dramatically increased revenue from Zimbabwe’s alluvial diamond mines in which the government has a half share. Tendai Biti said Thursday he has created a “propoor” budget for 2012, and has set aside additional revenue for recovery of the agricultural sector. The sector collapsed in the years after 2000, when President Robert Mugabe and his supporters seized some 90 percent of Zimbabwe’s white-owned commercial farms. Biti said he has allocated enough money for a census next year, as well as a referendum for a new constitution which is still being drafted. People on the street gathered around televisions and radios to hear Biti’s speech Thursday. Many say that the three-year-old inclusive government has not yet begun to help them recover from Mr. Mugabe’s catastrophic last decade in power. Ahead of Biti’s lengthy budget speech, a self-employed Harare worker said the inclusive government had stabilized the economy after years of recordbreaking inflation. But he said real growth was still not in sight. “This government has focused its attention mainly on political issues rather than any other social issues that affect ordinary people. The reality is beginning to sink in. This government is not working any wonders,” one worker said. “Economically everything else has gone to ground.” Biti predicted Zimbabwe’s economy, starting from a very low base, would continue to grow at a rate of more than nine percent in 2012. He also predicted inflation would remain at below five percent for the next year. He said increased revenue would come from legal exports of rough stones, mined in the controversial Marange fields of eastern Zimbabwe, and certified by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, the global watchdog for so-called blood diamonds. Zimbabwe faced international opposition to sales of its alluvial diamonds because human rights activists say the military killed and beat many people while seizing control of the diamond fields in 2008. Kimberley officials recently authorized Zimbabwe to sell the diamonds, despite continued opposition from activists. Even with increased revenue, Zimbabwe still faces Volume 4 Issue 2 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 83

major economic problems. The country has a foreign debt of $7 billion and survives on tax revenues, as it cannot raise loans. More than half of the budget is for public service worker salaries. Ahead of the budget speech, the World Bank said although Zimbabwe’s economy would grow it could not reach its potential until the country’s rundown infrastructure is repaired. By Peta Thornycroft Source: VOA News





Hardwear for the bush





If your mouth turns into a knife, it will cut off your lips. Do not call to a dog with a whip in your hand. He who is being carried does not realize how far the town is. Volume 4 Issue 2 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 Volume 4 Issue 2


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The many uses of Condy’s Crystals CLICK HERE to buy your copy of Make a Plan now for only $8.50

Permanganate of potash crystals, better known as Condy’s crystals have a lot of uses. At public swimming baths it is dissolved in foot-baths as disinfectant. The oldies also used one or two crystals in the drinking water of sick fowls or birds and some of the people apparently also put some crystals in the bath water to get a quick tan. At a university hostel they even tried to colour a poor guy purple with it, with rather bad consequences. If you prepare it too strong it can burn the skin horribly. It was even believed that the crystals would help for snakebite and for many years it was considered as the proper emergency treatment. Don’t confuse Condy’s crystals with copper sulphate which, according to tradition, were put in the tea or coffee of ex-servicemen to subdue “readiness”. This small purple crystal still has, for the hunter and those who expose themselves to the wilderness, very handy emergency uses. • Water purifier. Add two or three crystals per litre of water and stir until the colour is light pink. Allow the mixture to stand for at least thirty minutes and you have drinking water in an emergency. If possible, filter the water and also boil it. • Antiseptic: Add crystals in water and stir until it is purple. This mixture can be used to disinfect wounds as well as for fungus problems i.e. Athletic foot and other external infections. • Start a fire: To start a fire, form a small heap with one teaspoon of crystals, dribble glycerine, antifreeze or brake fluid on the crystals. Patiently wait until it catches fire and use to start your fire. Be sure you have a bottle of Condy’s crystals with you on your next hunting expedition. It has little weight, does not take up much space and is versatile in emergencies

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.


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.


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.


John Eldredge


True North Happily Ever After Has Been Stolen

Our Enemy is a thief, and of all the precious things he has stolen from our hearts, his worst act of treachery has been to steal our future from us. He has stolen all the magic and promise and wonder of the happily ever after. Very few of us live with hope. To those without faith, he has whispered, “Your story ends with an accident, and then . . . there is nothing. This is as good as it gets.” Small wonder people drink too much, eat too much, watch too much TV, basically check out. If they allow themselves to feel the depth of their actual longing for life and love and happiness, but have no hope that life will ever come . . . it’s just too much to bear. But to those who search in faith for the ending of the Story, our Enemy has whispered an even more diabolical lie, harder to dispel because it is veiled in religious imagery: “Heaven will be a never-ending church service in the sky.” All those silly images of clouds and harps. I’ve heard innumerable times that “we shall worship God forever.” That “we shall sing one glorious hymn after another, forever and ever, amen.” It sounds like hell to me. Seriously now-even though we were given Eden as our paradise, this whole wondrous world of beauty, intimacy, and adventure, in the life to come we will be sent to church forever because that’s better somehow? There is no hope in that. That’s not what’s written on our hearts. I mean, really. We have dreamed better dreams than God can dream? We have written stories that have a better ending than God has provided? It cannot be. I have some really good news for you: that’s not the so-called Good News. Not even close. ( Epic , 79, 80)

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