In a rare, single-topic issue, the September 2005 National Geographic magazine explodes the reductionist myth that “Africa” is one place, one social, political and environmental whole, and one monumental problem to solve. The G8 summit and humanitarian-minded celebrities have drawn attention to Africa’s myriad challenges. But many people still have little idea that the continent comprises wildly different cultures, governments, environmental concerns, social issues, resources and histories. Reporting from Kenya, Chad, Zambia, South Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, National Geographic offers an unusual look into little-known corners: marketplaces, forests, health clinics, games reserves, oil fields, restaurants, schools and homes. Through photographers’ lenses, from an aerial survey plane, through the words of a Kenyan writer, from unfiltered voices of everyday people, National Geographic builds a mosaic of life in Africa, a complex continent where there are no simple answers.
– Africa MegaFlyover
National Geographic Mission Programs has supported the work of ecologist and conservationist Michael Fay for nearly a decade. In June 2004 Fay started the Africa MegaFlyover, an endeavor to trace the impact of the “human footprint” on the continent. The 70,000-mile trip ended in Morocco in December 2004. Fay and his MegaFlyover team flew over 21 African countries. They took more than 106,000 photos and flew at altitudes as low as 300 feet. Fay will speak at a press conference at National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 17, 2005.
– Events in New York
From Sept. 6-10, “Experience Africa,” a photo exhibition of larger-than-life (10 ft. by 15 ft.) images from National Geographic magazine’s September issue will be on display in Grand Central Station’s Vanderbilt Hall. Also on view will be a jumbo screen of a live broadcast from a watering hole in Botswana.
On Sept. 14, 2005, National Geographic magazine Editor in Chief Chris Johns sits down at the 92nd Street Y in New York City with Wangari Maathai, 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Kenyan environmentalist and human rights leader, to discuss links between the environment, democracy and peace. She speaks out for human rights and stands up for a democratic, multi-ethnic Kenya, facing powerful and often violent opposition. Her Green Belt Movement has planted more than 30 million trees, empowered a generation of women and affected social change throughout Africa.
– National Geographic Channel
Follow scientist-turned-adventurer Dr. Mike Fay on his eco-reconnaissance mission over Africa in “Africa: The MegaFlyover,” which has its world premiere on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2005, at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Take a passion to save the planet, two Cessna 182s, a digital camera, a dedicated team, and you have one of the most incredible adventures of our time. The team flies from the southern tip of Africa to Morocco’s northern shores, taking over 100,000 images to create an aerial mosaic of the continent. They risk their lives and sanity, nearly die from malaria, overcome sandstorms and bush fires, and constantly struggle to keep the planes flying, all in the name of preserving what remains of Africa’s wilderness. Fay is driven by a personal mission to save the natural world from the worst excesses of the human species, and his images will be powerful weapons in the fight to save African wildlife and their habitats.
– National Geographic Books
“Through the Eyes of the Gods: An Aerial Vision of Africa,” a dazzling collection of photographs depicting the grandeur and beauty of Africa from the unusual perspective of the air, will be published in September 2005. This spectacular coffee-table volume by Robert B. Haas offers a bird’s-eye view of the most inaccessible, unspoiled and breathtaking regions of the continent.
In “The Last Place on Earth,” famed photographer Michael “Nick” Nichols joins forces with ecologist and conservationist Michael Fay. This landmark, two-volume book, to be published in September 2005, documents 12 years of conservation work in Central Africa. Fay and Nichols’ last collaboration — the Megatransect, a 2,000-mile walk across equatorial Africa — resulted in the establishment of 13 national parks in Gabon, encompassing some of the most pristine tropical rain forests on Earth.
– National Geographic Traveler magazine
In “Safari Guide: 12 Epic Adventures in the Heart of Africa,” National Geographic Traveler’s September issue simplifies the options and helps consumers decide where and how to go. Assistant Editor George W. Stone describes diverse experiences from gorilla tracking and bird watching to hot-air ballooning and train trips. Readers can choose a budget safari or a luxury adventure.
– National Geographic Adventure magazine
National Geographic Adventure’s September issue turns its attention to Africa in three feature stories, including an excerpt from “The Last Place on Earth,” a collaborative work by National Geographic photographer Michael “Nick” Nichols and conservationist Michael Fay, a National Geographic fellow. Contributing Editor Tim Cahill writes about a 10-day camel safari into Kenya’s little-visited Samburu District, following the footsteps of famed explorer Wilfred Thesiger. In a roundup of safe, exciting and fresh African destinations, National Geographic Adventure editors map out the best cutting-edge journeys around the continent.
– National Geographic Exhibitions
A photo exhibition based on the book, “Through the Eyes of the Gods: An Aerial Vision of Africa,” by Robert B. Haas, will be on view at the African American Museum in Dallas from Sept. 23 to Nov. 13, 2005; at the National Geographic Museum at Explorers Hall from Oct. 25, 2005, to Jan. 25, 2006; and at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City from Nov. 5, 2005 to Jan. 11, 2006.
“Africa MegaFlyover,” on view from Aug. 15 through Oct. 30, 2005, at the National Geographic Museum at Explorers Hall in Washington, D.C., will include a model of the plane used by Michael Fay during his aerial survey of Africa, as well as video and photographs from the epic journey. In addition, photographs and excerpts from National Geographic’s all-Africa issue will be on display at the National Geographic Museum from Aug. 15 to Oct. 26.
– National Geographic Live! lectures and performances in Washington, D.C.
-Tuesday, Sept. 20: Writer Alexandra Fuller and Zambian conservationist Hammer Simwinga, “Staying
Alive in Luangwa Valley”
-Wednesday, Sept. 21: Mamadou Diabate Ensemble presents music from Mali
-Tuesday, Oct. 11: Conservationist Michael Fay, “MegaFlyover: An Aerial Survey of Africa”
-Tuesday, Oct. 18: National Geographic photographer Randy Olson and Congo conservationist Corneille
Ewango, “War and Innocence in Central Africa”
– Wednesday, Oct. 26: Author Robert Haas, “Through the Eyes of the Gods: Africa from Above”
-Tuesday, Nov. 29: Photographer David Harvey, “Inventing Nairobi”
– Genographic Project
National Geographic and IBM’s recently-launched five-year Genographic Project to study humankind’s migration across the globe has established a research center covering sub-Saharan Africa, one of 10 institutions around the world looking at local indigenous populations’ history through their DNA. Africa’s principal research investigator Himla Soodyall will be contributing her team’s findings over five years to help create one of the largest public human genetic population databases in history.
– National Geographic Home Entertainment
Discover Africa through the eyes of its people. “Africa,” National Geographic’s stunning eight-part series on the continent, is now available on DVD. Set against a backdrop of spectacular landscapes and wildlife, the programs showcase the personal stories of people making their way in an ever-changing world. Available by calling 800-627-5162, or through www.shopngvideos.com.