Strange but true, in Africa

It’s uncanny how often we discover themes that link features we run in Africa Geographic, serendipitous connections that help us uncover a fuller picture of wildlife and conservation in the continent. Editor Sarah Borchert has herself commented on this very occurrence in an earlier front-of-the-mag column.

Recently we came across a remarkable link between an article that appeared in the November issue and another scheduled for December. In the former, we ran an extract from wildlife photographer and film-maker Alan Root’s recently released, and hilarious,  autobiography Ivory, Apes & Peacocks. The man is a true and highly respected adventurer, having ballooned over Mount Kilimanjaro, been bitten by snakes and had a hair-raising encounter with a croc.

 Ivory, Apes & Peacocks by Alan Root

Alan Root’s recent autobiography Ivory, Apes & Peacocks

Alan Root was the first person to balloon over Mount Kilimanjaro.

Alan Root was the first person to balloon over Mount Kilimanjaro

The book is really entertaining (watch out for a review on this site later). In it, I learnt that Alan was the person who led Dian Fossey to her first encounter with gorillas on the Virunga volcanoes region of the DRC. The experience so thrilled the shy American occupational therapist that she dedicated herself to gorilla conservation, a task that finally cost her her life. Her story, along with those of Richard Leakey’s other ‘Ape angels’, Jane Goodall and Biruté Galdikas, is featured in the December issue. Don’t miss it; it’s on sale now.

Dian Fossey relaxing with the female gorilla Puck.

Dian Fossey relaxing with the female gorilla Puck.Through patient effort, Fossey was able to observe the animals and accustom them to her presence. The data she gathered greatly increased our knowledge of gorilla habits, communication and social structure.

Africa Geographic magazine, December 2012

December issue of Africa Geographic magazine

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About Judy Beyer

Hi, I'm Judy, the senior sub-editor of Africa Geographic magazine. I'm not only fixated about commas, though. I am passionate about our planet, its wild landscapes and its bustling places. People fascinate me, animals even more and wide open spaces simply mesmerise me. I've travelled some and have been privileged to see a handful of Africa's amazing sights. Oh, and I love to write.

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