Believe it or not, it's that time of year again: the Christmas holidays are just around the corner. So if you haven't sorted out where you are going or what to do over the festive season, now is the time to get the wheels in motion to avoid disappointment.
Travellers the world over are discovering that decades of ignoring a country has its benefits. This is particularly true where Zambia is concerned. The raw material is beyond compare - vast tracts of wild, untamed Africa.
Rats enjoy being tickled, sheep prefer people to smile and birds are mean music critics. If you have your doubts, just ask Dr Jonathan Balcombe.The Canadian-Brit is animal behaviour research scientist for the physicians committee for responsible medicine in Washington, DC and author of a book that has been taking the world of science by storm: <i>Pleasurable Kingdom</i>.
Think African predator and the likely mental image is one of a huge male lion. Itâ€™s odd then to learn that, while the iconic big cat is certainly at the top of his food chain, he is far from the most successful hunter on the continent, let alone the planet. In fact, none of Africaâ€™s felines, and none of the worldâ€™s carnivores period, can compare to the African wild dog, Lycaon pictus.
Minister of Science and Technology Mosibudi Mangena looks the studious type. And with a masters degree in applied mathematics he would be the first to admit that his passion for science, which started while he was still a schoolboy in Limpopo about 40 years ago, would render him a geek by today's standards.