Gorillas in our midst

Africa's critically endangered gorillas are to receive a welcome conservation boost with the announcement by the United Nations that 2009 is the Year of the Gorilla.

Two Oceans in fight for frogs

South Africa’s Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town has joined 500 zoos and aquariums around the world, in the biggest collaborative effort in the history of these institutions, to raise awareness of the plight of amphibians – animals which serve as the canaries in the mine of the world’s environment.

The healing power of African plants

The rich potential of African plants to produce new medicines – and create profitable agricultural businesses – was a key part of discussion at the fourth World Congress on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, held in Cape Town in November.

Climate park to cool off animals

With global warming is set to have a grave impact on South Africa's wildlife in particular, a new addition to the arid Namaqua National Park will help animals keep their cool, and preserve delicate ecosystems.

Kruger elephants off to Mozambique

South Africa is sending six elephant bulls from the Kruger National Park to Mozambique's Gorongosa National Park, as part of plans to restock the 350 000-hectare park that fell into ruin during Mozambique's 16-year civil war.

Tigers in Africa?

South Africa’s Laohu Valley Reserve in the Free State province was the scene of conservation history when Madonna, a South China tigress, gave birth to two cubs under completely natural conditions, a first for the project.

Conservation body approves ivory sale

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species has allowed South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe to have a once-off ivory sale - with South Africa poised to sell over 50 000kg of ivory to buyers in China and Japan in a closely monitored process.

World honour for SA botanist

Eastern Cape-based botanist Professor Richard Cowling has been admitted to the prestigious US National Academy of Sciences, becoming one of only 350 non-Americans ever to be granted this honour in the academy’s 145-year history.

Unforgettable SA hiking trails

The fifth title in the BBC’s Unforgettable series focuses on thirty of the most beautiful walks from around the world. Two of these – the Oystercatcher and Tierkloof trails – are located in South Africa.

Watching the right whale

Every year southern right whales migrate from their icy feeding grounds off Antarctica to warmer climates, reaching South Africa in June. Then the coastal waters teem with the giant animals, mating, calving and rearing their young - and giving whale-watchers spectacular displays of raw power and elegant water acrobatics.