May 7, 2009

Five things Africa might lose

Filed under: Introduction — parto @ 8:50 am

Snow of Kilimanjaro

Mt. Kilimanjaro’s glaciers are melting fast. They heve shrunk by one quarter since 2006, and at this rate may be gone entirely by 2015. Some scientists blame global worming . Others blame deforestration on the lower slopes, which prevent prevailling winds from picking up enough moisture to replenish the evaporating ice with water.

Lake Chad

this lake was once Africas largest body of fresh water., comparable in size with Canada’s Lake Erie. But an increasingly dry climate and the ever-growing demand for water, including massive irrigation projects, have taken their toll. In just 40 years,it has shrunk from 25,000km2 to 500km2.


The unique fynbos of South Africa’s cape isthe smallest, yet more diverse, of the world’s floristic kingdoms. More than 8,600 plant species, of which two thirdsare endemic, are found in an area of less than 90,000km2. But fynbos is vanishing under pressure from Agriculture, urban development and alien plants. More than one third of its original area and 36 species of plant are already gone.

Northern White Rhino

Critically endangered is an understatement for the northern white rhino: just for wild individuals remain, all of them in the DRC’s Garamba National Park.After decades of poaching , the magnificent animal is now the victim of regional unrest , with armed militias roaming the park. Its prospects look bleak.

Blue Swallow

This endangered bird is confined to a scattered handful of locations from South Africa to southern Tanzania. Its habitat – high altitude mistbelt grassland – is under intense pressure from commercial agriculture, including timber plantations, and sugar cane. Fewer than 4,000 pairs are now thought to remain.

May 6, 2009

The Olympic Eleven

Filed under: Introduction — parto @ 4:00 am

Cheetah: This big cat is the world’s fastest sprinter, reaching speed of up to 110 kph in its pursuit of nippy prey. It can only sustain this for 200-300m for fear of terminally overheating.

Whale Shark:Its 1.5m wide maw and is designed solely for engulfing planktons. Big individuals may exceed 12m in length and weigh up to 15 tonnes.

Giraffe: Thia is the worlds tallest animal, with mature bulls reaching 5m or more. It also has the largest heart of terrestrial mammal, the extra pumping power helping to get the blood to distant extremities.

Ostrich:This is the world biggest bird (up to 2.5m tall) and the fastest runner on two legs ( up to 60 kph). It has the largest eyes of any land animal (up to 5cm across) and the world largest egg – which, at1.5kg, makes a decent omelette for 25 people.

Peregrine Falcon:It has a faster flying speed than any other creature. During its aerial stoop on prey (when it folds its wings and plumments downwards on an unsuspecting pigeon or water bird), it can exceed 180kph.

Goliath Beetle:Its a huge insect which is among the world’s heaviest, with the grubs of some species weighing more than a mouse.

Red Billed Quelea:This small member of the weaver family is the world’s most numerous bird, despite being confined in Africa. Flocks millions – strong, pulsing like giant shoals of fish, can strip a harvest in hours.

Gorilla:This massive animals already scales the podium as the world’s largest primate: mature silverback males may exceed 220kgs.

Goliath Frog:Africa largest frog is bigger than its smallest antelope. The goliath frog, confined to coastal rivers in Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, can weigh up to a massive 3 kgs.

Sociable Weaver:A sparrow – like bird of the Kalahari, builds the world’s largest colonial nest. The immense twig – and grass structure may span more than 5m and contain individual apartments for over 100 pairs of weaver bird.

Egg – Eating Snake: The snake can swallow an egg three times the size of its own head

May 5, 2009

Kenya Garden of Eden

Filed under: Introduction — parto @ 2:20 am

The Aberdares are the original Garden of Eden. A mist wreathed realm were elephants roam through lichen – clad forests, spectacular waterfalls plunge into churning pool and trout – filled streams cascade through mossy dells, this beautiful national park is one of the gems of the Kenya’s Great Rift Valley.

When the mist clears, the Aberdares offers matchless view of Mount Kenya’s glittering coronet, while the dense forest is home to the elusive and endangered bongo antelope. Black leopards can also be found here, and there have been reports of an exceptionally rare golden cat.

Nesting deep in the forest of Aberdares National Park, Treetops – the original tree lodge rises straight out of the ground on stilts and has four decks and a rooftop platform perfect for viewing the rhinos, elephants and other wildlife.

Treetop is located near the path of an ancient elephant migratory route between the Aberdares Mountain and Mt. Kenya , Treetops almost guarantees riveting wildlife viewing. As well as watching the dramas unfold at the waterhole from the safety of the viewing decks and rooftop platform, guets can also enjoy close – up views fronm two photographic hides at ground level.

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