Spending the last 2 weeks in Africa visiting three unique Safari camps, I finally now have the time to get caught up and start sorting through over 19,000 photos and hours upon hours of video footage including a dramatic Helicopter run through the Blyde River Canyon in South Africa as seen by a GoPro attached to the belly of the chopper.
For starters, here are some of the early favorites from the cameras. This first batch is taken from my absolute favorite place on the planet, the Dulini Private Game Reserve in the western sector of the Sabi Sands of South Africa. It’s tops on my list because virtually every game drive will have you seeing the ‘Big 5’ as well as a wide variety of smaller mammals and more birds than you can keep track of. Never a risk of a bad or dull game drive and the photos will bear that out.
For this trip, I packed my Nikon D800 and D5, along with a Nikon 24-70, Sigma 150-600S, Rokinon 24mm 1.4 (For the star trails), and the ‘toddler’ as my wife calls it, the Nikon 600mm / f4. The D5 did the most of the heavy lifting, but the D800 took lead on anything that needed huge megapixels. I wound up having luggage far more full with Cameras, Lenses, cables, etc., than clothes and as far as I’m concerned, that’s the way it should be.
Enjoy these for now. Many more posts on the way including a closer look at the SWISS First and Business Class experiences during our travels….
Brussels Airlines has announced that it will begin service between Brussels and Accra, Ghana beginning on October 26. The new service will operate 4 times a week (Monday/Wednesday/Friday/Saturday) and will be flown by an A330 aircraft, which in my opinion sports one of the best Business Class cabins that you’ll find in Europe!
The details of the new service are as follows:
SN277 will depart Brussels at 11:00a, arriving in Accra at 4:45p
SN278 will depart Accra at 9:40p, arriving in Brussels at 5:25a the following morning.
In addition to this announcement, ‘SN’ has also indicated that they will be increasing service to existing African destinations.
Beginning in September the following changes are set to take place:
Lome, Togo will increase from 2x/week to 4x/week.
Cotonou, Benin will increase from 2x/week to 3x/week.
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso will increase from 2x/week to 3x/week.
Additionally, Brussels will stop flying to Nairobi, Kenya later this year due to the fact that Lufthansa will launch service between Nairobi and Frankfurt on October 27, 2015.
Brussels Airlines has modified their Cargo policy to ban the transport of any hunting trophies aboard their aircraft with immediate effect. This bans covers their entire network.
What makes Brussels’ announcement so important is the fact that they directly serve 20 African destinations. With this newly revised policy the impact should reverberate throughout the continent.
Brussels now joins Lufthansa, South African, Singapore, and Emirates with recent policy announcements that ban the transport of Hunting Trophies, regardless whether they were harvested legally or not.
It is encouraging to see airlines taking on an important role in an attempt to discourage the practice of hunting large African game simply for the purpose of harvesting a trophy. Also encouraging is the fact that these transport bans are going beyond just the ‘obvious’ animals such as Rhino, Elephants, Lions, Tigers, and the like.
With the prevalence of poaching and other questionable hunting ethics, I for one am glad that Airlines are beginning to take an ‘absolute’ position on the matter.
Yesterday I wrote a brief piece regarding some news I was hearing from reliable sources that Lufthansa Cargo had altered their policy on the transport of Hunting Trophies in Africa. This involved a memo that apparently had been issued by LH Cargo’s manager in Johannesburg, South Africa.
After reaching out to my Lufthansa contacts last night, I was pleased to wake up to emails confirming yesterday’s suspicions.
Coming directly from Lufthansa Cargo, it is clear as to what LH’s updated policy is on the transport of Hunting Trophies in Africa:
EFFECTIVE MAY 30, 2015:
‘Lufthansa Cargo has decided not to transport any trophies of the African fauna, e.g. lions, elephants and rhinos, in or out of Africa – including legally hunted or legally acquired trophies.’
No longer is there the technicality regarding CITES policies that allows for export of some trophies if they are legally hunted. As far as my language skills are concerned, I interpret the LH statement as covering a wide range of animals and the trophies will not fly aboard Lufthansa aircraft even if they were ‘taken’ legally.
This topic has been near and dear to me for quite some time and I’m happy to see that LH has joined the ranks of other airlines such as South Africa, Emirates and British Airways who also have policies in place that prevent this kind of transport.
To me, this looks like the beginning of a trend in the airline industry and if enough voices start calling for bans on Trophy transportation, airlines will have no choice but to listen.
Ideally, these policies should become ‘Alliance’ policies where organizations like Star Alliance, Skyteam or OneWorld would require member airlines to adhere to a uniform set of rules when it comes to topics such as this.
It is interesting to note however that Delta came out with a ‘defiant’ statement recently indicating that they will continue to transport hunting trophies in and out of Africa. I wonder how long that lasts…..but I digress…..
For now, enjoy the fact that Lufthansa has listened to our voices and has taken steps necessary to play an important role in this important matter.
Information is beginning to come from several reliable and proven sources that Lufthansa has issued a mandate instructing their African Cargo operations to place a ban on the transport of any African Hunting Trophy aboard LH Aircraft.
This memorandum may have been issued only in the last day or 2 and I am working to confirm additional details. What I understand so far is that the ban is effective immediately and covers any and all hunting trophies that originate in Africa.
With this new policy, LH has joined with South African, Emirates and British Airways in banning ‘Trophy’ cargo. Unfortunately Delta has issued a statement recently affirming that they will continue to allow transit of African Game Trophies aboard their aircraft.
More details as I learn them!