Description: The Wallpaper above is National geographic expedition Wallpaper in Resolution 1600x900. This National Geographic expedition (titled 'Alaska's Inside Passage Photo Expedition') offers participants the chance to explore the Alaskan wildlife with a team of qualified photography experts. Guests are invited to spend eight days sailing aboard either the National Geographic Sea Lion or National Geographic Sea Bird, going on what is described as a "voyage of discovery." Not only do participants have the opportunity to learn about Alaska's rich history and Native American heritage, they're also searching for wildlife such as humpback whales and orcas. Other highlights throughout the trip include adventurous hikes, kayaking trips and sight-seeing tours.
Botswana and Zambia, two premier wildlife destinations, recently banned all trophy hunting within a few months of each other. Africa is home to the largest remaining migrations on earth, the last prides of lion, the gorillas and chimpanzees, and most of the remaining elephant and rhinoceros. Saving the great parks and wildernesses of Africa is becoming part of African national pride. Botswana must be proud that they have the largest remaining elephant population on earth.
Africans are beginning to realize that our wilderness areas are not endless and that what we have left, the Serengeti, Okavango, Congo, Luangwa, Massai-Mara, Kruger, Namib… are, in fact, global treasures to be proud of. National Geographic Expedition stops to look at a clan of hyenas moving down a dry river near Mashatu Camp (Northern Tuli, Botswana).
Elephants enjoying a drink in the Mashatu area (N Tuli, Botswana) as a game drive vehicle moves past in the background.
National Geographic Expedition expert and guests photographing a herd of buffalo in Mala Mala along the Sand River (Sabi Sands, South Africa). Herd of buffalo move past the LandRover and behave as they would if lions were following them.
Over 20% of the global population of African grey parrots are being harvested from the wild every year. Bushmeat markets flourish in and around Maputo in Mozambique as poaching escalates in the north. Poaching operations in Zambia are being supported by light aircraft. Is it justifiable in this day-and-age to hunt one of the last big tusker elephants for $100,000? Is it possible to conserve large tracts of land in Africa without hunting adding value to wildlife? Do we need to draw a line between sourcing organic meat for your family and shooting a prize wild animal for a trophy?
Shocking declines in wildlife populations in northern Botswana 0ver the last 15-20 years has encouraged government to halt issuance of hunting licenses from January 2013, effectively banning all forms of hunting by 2014. This move has ostracized the professional hunting community in Botswana and polarized the local safari industry. She also fired the Director-General of the ZAWA and launched an in-depth criminal investigation of ZAWA. Botswana and Zambia are taking the preservation of their natural heritage far more seriously than previous decades. Hippopotamus are the protectors of the remotest reaches of the inland deltas of Africa and have been hunted almost to extinction for their ivory throughout most of their distributional range. Hunting concessions on marginal land on the edge of protected areas have functioned as an effective buffer from poaching in past decades, aggressively pushing out poachers for at least part of the year.
The repeated beep of the digital cameras and rustling of tourists fiddling in their bags must be a comforting sound for wildlife that associate photographic safari operators with safe areas.
Lions and leopards lie in front of the vehicles as if basking in the safety they represent.
By 2015, the number of digital photographs taken by Americans each year will go up to 105 billion or 322 per person, doubling the number taken in 2006. So right now there are more Americans taking more photos than ever, and one third of them enjoy the outdoors.
More and more people are making the decision to go to Africa to see and photograph this primordial continent’s amazing wildlife.

National Geographic Expedition enjoying a scenic sunset in the Mala Mala wilderness adjoining the Sand River. Elephant bull photographed in the blue evening light of a Super Moon by guide Keith Connelly at Marataba, South Africa. Select your travel style--whether it's our signature expeditions, our active outdoors adventures, or our lower-priced journeys. Our newest small-group trips, provided in partnership with G Adventures, blend fun, hands-on exploration with meaningful cultural encounters, as well as more free time and choices. Using Darwin's own diary and field notes as a travel guide, retrace Darwin's expedition beyond the Galapagos to uncover the forgotten evidence that inspired his revolutionary work. Parks nourish the human spirit, help sustain the planet, and reflect the ideals of the societies that protect them. Urban Insider, Annie Fitzsimmons, shares what she learned while on a National Geographic Expedition to the Galapagos.
Andrée, seated at center right, assembles balloon parts with team members before his expedition. In a photo taken by Andrée and recovered 33 years later, Fraenkel (at left) and Strindberg stand by a polar bear shot during the trek south.
No one had reached the summit of Everest when Mallory (standing second from left) joined a 1924 team. A 19th-century German engineer who inspired the Wright brothers, Lilienthal pioneered glider flight. The 1970 moon mission was a failure, aborted after an oxygen tank in the service module pictured here exploded.
Deep, dark, and hard to navigate, they attract the bravest of explorers and yet give them pause. Go behind-the-scenes with our storytellers and join conversations about photography, art, and journalism. The trip begins in Alaska's capital, Juneau, and travels through to the town of Sitka, a small town with Russian roots. This move heralds a major shift in thinking about how Africa’s wildlife resources will be managed in the future. Right now, tourists from around the world coming to Africa to photograph the continent’s wildlife are the biggest conservationists by far.
The 1,000 elephants in the area are completely habituated to vehicles and do not run away when approached. Breeding herds are very protective of their new borns, preferring to stay on smaller islands where there are less lions and hyenas. These National Geographic Expedition guests are surrounded by the Endangered African wild dog or painted hunting dog that usually lives in fear of humans. On this expedition the guests saw these amazing dogs twice in the Okavango Delta, watching them playing together next to the vehicle.
Photographed by guide Marius Coetzee of Oryx Photographic Tours at Leopard Hills, South Africa. Is it ethical to shoot crocodiles that are over 100 years old and elephants that are nearing 70?
Most especially do we need to hunt in unfenced wilderness areas where animals roam free or could we restrict hunting to areas managed specifically for this purpose? This bodes well for the designation of the Okavango Delta as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the advancement of regional partnerships like OKACOM and the Kavango-Zambezi Transfronteir Conservation Area (KAZA-TFCA).
This 15+ foot nile crocodile was probably over 100 years old and planning on living for another few decades. Sustainable hunting quotas are only possible if research on abundance is up-to-date and unaccounted for instances of poaching are kept very low.

There are hundreds of millions of people around the world that are becoming interested in the natural world and may be interested in travelling to Africa to see African elephants or mountain gorillas one day. From erupting volcanoes, giant tortoises and leaping lizards to rarely filmed sites and creatures, Galapagos takes you inside this living laboratory of evolution.
Made of layers of varnished silk, enclosed by a net, and capped with a coverlet to protect against snow and sun, the 97-foot-tall balloon was designed to withstand polar elements. Along with ballast cords, the balloon, the Eagle, was outfitted with heavier ropes designed to help steer. Food was relatively plentiful over the three months the team survived after their balloon came down on the ice.
The operators and establishment owners that attract these tourists by selling the dream of an African photographic safari are the new ambassadors for conservation. Over 1,200 dead tree pangolins from Africa were confiscated by Indonesian authorities who discovered the 260 cartons of frozen pangolins weighing 5 tonnes. Prize wildlife is traded at lucrative markets, resulting in increasing trophy sizes on most game farms in South Africa. In the 1850s there were many reports of mammoth-size elephant in the Kalahari and mammoth-size tusks were exported. Wildlife populations need to be given time to recover before further hunting is allowed in Mozambique. Poaching, poisoning, natural disasters and droughts have tipped the scales and forced trophy hunters deeper into the wilderness. The question is: Are there enough digital photographs to pay for Africa’s last wild places?
No shooting meant that this industry could start habituating wildlife to the presence of vehicles and tourists. But he counts as the first aerial explorer in the Arctic, still one of the toughest environments for aviation. The men needed their strength: Each of them had to drag a sledge piled with gear and supplies, weighing about 300 pounds. In short: Corruption fueling unsustainable hunting and poaching that threatens species survival.
The light had got too dark to shoot anything other than silhouettes, so with the use of a flash i managed this picture.
Travelling by road through Africa you very quickly notice the difference between protected and unprotected areas. This contribution is, however, far less than the $41.8 billion spent by 33 million recreational and sport anglers. Soon after takeoff the balloon was battered by wind and weighed down by fog frozen into ice.
Photographic safari operators, like Wilderness Safaris, have been taking over the premier safari destinations from hunting operations for decades.
The wildlife of Africa needs a few decades to recover from the last few hundred years of carnage. What is the future of sport hunting in Mozambique and Zimbabwe where the same problems exist? The times when trophy hunting happened outside of game farms establish for that purpose may have passed in Africa.

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