SIMON ESPLEY is a seasoned African traveller – walking, driving, boating, biking, horse riding and flying his way in pursuit of true wilderness and elusive birds. In his spare time he rehabilitates birds for release back into the wild, tries to live sustainably and is increasingly interested in the true cost and journey of food. He is a chartered accountant and director of Africa Geographic Holdings and bigFIG Digital Media. Like all people who come across pangolins in the wild, Simon is enamoured by this incredible creature and goes on to tell the story of one ‘little scaled artichoke’ in particular in THE LUCKIEST PANGOLIN ALIVE.
A special thanks to MARIA DIEKMANN, founder and director of Rare and Endangered Species Trust. Maria has been surrogate mother to the star of this issue, Katiti, aka, THE LUCKIEST PANGOLIN ALIVE, and has rehabilitated and returned many other pangolins to the wild. While balancing this with the work she does rehabilitating other species, Maria has always been at hand to provide us with vital content to make this issue possible.
CHRISTIAN BOIX left his native Spain, its great food, siestas and fiestas to become an ornithologist at the University of Cape Town and to start Tropical Birding, a company specialising in bird-watching tours worldwide. The past 11 years have seen him travel to over 60 countries in search of 5,000 plus bird species. Time passed, his daughter became convinced he was some kind of pilot and his wife acquired a budgie for company – that’s when the penny dropped. Thrilled to join the Africa Geographic team, and hardly contained in an office, Christian runs Africa Geographic’s travel division, reports on new and exciting travels, and continues to share the joy of birding and exploration. Christian photographed the cover for this issue and contributed many of the images throughout this issue.
JUDY & SCOTT HURD are photographers living and working in Namibia, a country that they see as the most photogenic on the planet. Their bread and butter work is from mining and the lodge and hotel trade, but they love nothing more than to escape to the bush and desert near their home. Etosha Pan is an hour and a half away and they know it and the animals there better than most. They have accumulated a huge wildlife library, some of which you can view on their website. They consider it a privilege to work for the Rare and Endangered Species Trust and will always give their time and expertise to the organisation. Their photography of pangolins can be seen throughout this issue.
A special thanks to the AFRICAN PANGOLIN WORKING GROUP, particularly Rob Bruyns and Darren Pietersen, who have given their valuable time, insight and content for this issue. Follow APWG on Facebook to be kept up to date with the latest pangolin news and to offer your support.