It is early evening at Taita Ranch, which lies adjacent to Kenya’s biggest national park, the Tsavo. We drive slowly along the bumpy roads in the 98,000-acre conservancy, stopping to peer into bushes, alert for any signs of movement. We are looking for giraffes. They are usually in plenty, visibly towering over the shrubland and quietly grazing on the choicest leaves on the tops of trees, but today they are proving uncharacteristically elusive.
African Wildlife Foundation in partnership with the Government of Rwanda and Rwanda Development Board has expanded Africa’s oldest park for the first time in 30 years.
The 27.8-hectare of donated land is adjacent to Volcanoes National Park and is the narrowest part of the park in an area where endangered mountain gorillas often wander across the park boundary, which increases the risk of human-gorilla conflict and the danger of exposure to deadly disease.
More than 80 percent of this landlocked country is covered by the Sahara Desert.
Named after the Niger River, Niger is the largest nation in West Africa. The Sahara Desert covers more than 80 percent of its land. Even its non-desert portions are threatened by drought.
Niger’s hot and dry landlocked position has put it at a great disadvantage. It is one of the poorest countries in the world, with low literacy, lack of infrastructure, and little access to health care.
Copper isn’t Zambia’s only rich natural resource.
The Republic of Zambia is located in Southern Africa. Its name comes from the Zambezi river, which flows through parts of the country and also forms its southern border. Zambia has a tropical climate, high plateaus, broad plains, and river valleys.
In Kenya, conservation is a cornerstone of the economy.
Kenya is a country of diverse, rich habitat. The humid broadleaf forests along the coast of the Indian Ocean give way to lush grasslands and savannas. The Kenya Lake System of the geologically dramatic Great Rift Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And, Mount Kenya — the nation’s namesake — is the second-tallest mountain on the continent.
Zimbabwe is facing food and water insecurity.
Officially called the Republic of Zimbabwe, this Southern African country is located between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. Home to 350 species of mammals, more than 500 birds, and 131 fish species, Zimbabwe is mostly grassland, but its mountains give way to tropical and hardwood forests. Zimbabwe supports the second largest population of elephants, important and growing populations of lion and wild dogs, and was once the agricultural breadbasket in Africa.
Over half of Botswana is covered by the Kalahari Desert, yet it’s one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.
The Republic of Botswana may be one of the world’s most sparsely populated countries, but it also happens to be one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Over the years, it has transformed into a middle-income country with a competitive banking system and a growing mineral industry that accounts for about 40 percent of its GDP.