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Seize the day

Issue 76, October-December 2016

“If we look straight and deep into a chimpanzee’s eyes, an intelligent self-assured personality looks back at us. If they are animals, what must we be?” There is much truth in these astute words by primatologist and ethologist Frans de Waal. For to come face to face with man’s closest cousin (apart from the bonobo) is life-affirming.

At first you’re struck by its humanlike expression, a reflection of your own; then by the affinity you feel with this wild creature that has 98.7 per cent of the same DNA as you. Then you may begin to consider how modernity has changed us — how we are tossing and turning in a world of division caused by religion, colour and creed, ever striving for something more, and rushing around without taking the “time to stand and stare”, as William Henry Davies put it in ‘Leisure’, one of my favourite poems.

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About Travel Africa

Transfixed by Ethiopia • Lake Kariba • Kolmanskop, Namibia's ghost town • South Africa on a shoestring • Looking for lemurs in Madagascar • Kenya's keepers of the wild • Why Bengweulu is so bewitching • Remote Ruaha • Sail away to St Helena • Chimps in Uganda • Picture-perfect Tuli... and much more!
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