With their long trunks, elephants have a remarkable sense of smell. Now, a South African is training a group of the pachyderms to smell out explosives and narcotics. The US army hopes to understand the biology and turn it into science.
Combine big game viewing from up close with a magnificent multi-stage mountain bike ride and you've got a winner. This is exactly what is offered by Tour de Tuli, run by luxury ecotourism company Wilderness Safaris in Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
• The pain is soon forgotten
South Africa is renowned for its magnificent wildlife. From the elephant, lion, rhinoceros, buffalo and leopard, to the elephant shrew, ant lion, rhinoceros beetle, buffalo weaver and leopard tortoise, the country's plains, seas and skies are natural treasure troves for the animal and bird lover.
• Gallery: South Africa's birdlife
A debate that has raged for a decade could soon be put to bed, with the publication in the peer-reviewed biology journal Public Library of Science (PLoS) of a study confirming that Africa has two species of elephant, both occurring within the genus Loxodonta (Greek, meaning “oblique-sided tooth”).