Africa & the Middle East

King Juan Carlos, at right, stands with his guide from Rann Safaris as his dead Botswanan elephant lies propped against a tree.

World Wildlife Hunt

It takes $6,000 to shoot a leopard in Botswana. For $1,200, you can shoot a crocodile. Short on cash? There's always baboons, which go for $200 a pop

They helped overthrow the regime, but can they overcome tradition and win their share of political clout? (Here: Women rally in Tripoli.)

Women: The Libyan Rebellion's Secret Weapon

They helped overthrow Qaddafi by smuggling arms and spying on the government. Now the women of Libya are fighting for a greater voice in society

South Africa’s limestone caves, such as Sterkfontein often hold the fossilized skeletons of hominids who fell into holes or were dragged underground by predators.

Evotourism ®

Evolution World Tour: The Cradle of Humankind, South Africa

The world's greatest source of hominid fossils is among dozens of caves just hours from Johannesburg

Whales evolved from mammals that adapted to hunt in oceans. Skeletons of Basilosaurus, a whale ancestor, reveal the leviathan still retained tiny hind legs.

Evotourism ®

Evolution World Tour: Wadi Hitan, Egypt

In Egypt's Western Desert, evidence abounds that before they were the kings of the ocean, whales roamed the earth on four legs

Although Christians and Muslims joined in protests against Mubarak, shown here in Cairo's Tahrir Square this past February, violence against the Copts escalated soon after the regime fell.

A New Crisis for Egypt's Copts

The toppling of Egypt's government has led to a renewal of violence against the nation's Christian minority

Infamously fierce, rhinoceroses, pictured is a black rhino in Kenya, are victims of rumors that have driven the price of their horn to hundreds of dollars an ounce.

Defending the Rhino

As demand for rhino horn soars, police and conservationists in South Africa pit technology against increasingly sophisticated poachers

The Arab Spring uprisings tell only part of the story.

The Struggle Within Islam

Terrorists get the headlines, but most Muslims want to reclaim their religion from extremists

Table Mountain is a flat-topped granite and sandstone massif that rises 3,562 feet above Cape Town, South Africa.

Take in South Africa From Table Mountain National Park

High above Cape Town, this craggy wildlife preserve provides sprawling views and thrilling hikes

Cape Coast Castle is one of several Ghanaian colonial-era compounds in which captured Africans were held in dungeons during the slave trade era.

Ghana’s Monument to Sorrow and Survival

At Cape Coast Castle, visitors walk in the footsteps of African slaves

In his new book, iDubai, Joel Sternfeld publishes scores of photographs from his iPhone.

Seeing Dubai Through a Cell Phone Camera

At a shopping mall in Dubai, Joel Sternfeld documents the peak of consumer culture with his iPhone

Mud-brick homes dot the hillside along the road from Bamyan City to the Bamyan Family Park.

A Short Walk in the Afghan Countryside

On their way to a park built in the shadow of Bamiyan’s Buddhas, two Americans encounter remnants of war and signs of promise

A cliff-face cavity is all that remains of one of two sixth-century Buddha sculptures, sublime expressions of Bamiyan's ancient kingdom.

Searching for Buddha in Afghanistan

An archaeologist insists a third giant statue lies near the cliffs where the Bamiyan Buddhas, destroyed in 2001, once stood

Legend has it that camel jumping began many generations ago with a dare between two Zaraniq tribesmen.

The Sport of Camel Jumping

In the deserts of Yemen, Zaraniq tribesmen compete to leap camels in a single bound

Love it or hate it, the vuvuzela is the voice of South African soccer fans and will be on display at the 2010 World Cup.

Vuvuzela: The Buzz of the World Cup

Deafening to fans, broadcasters and players, the ubiquitous plastic horn is closely tied to South Africa’s soccer tradition

Isolation allowed the Kurds to survive for thousands of years while other cultures faded from history.

Kurdish Heritage Reclaimed

After years of conflict, Turkey's tradition-rich Kurdish minority is experiencing a joyous cultural reawakening

"The numbers are incredible," says photographer Suzi Eszterhas of the multitudes of migrating wildebeests that cross from Tanzania to Kenya and back each year.

For Wildebeests, Danger Ahead

Africa's wildebeest migration pits a million thundering animals against a gantlet of perils, even—some experts fear—climate change

Mali's long history as a sub-Saharan trade route underlies its artistic traditions.

Looting Mali's History

As demand for its antiquities soars, the West African country is losing its most prized artifacts to illegal sellers and smugglers

Working like "little pistons," donkeys keep the medina humming.  An estimated 100,000 people in the Fez area depend on the animals for their livelihood.

Morocco's Extraordinary Donkeys

The author returns to Fez to explore the stubborn animal's central role in the life of this desert kingdom

Scott Wing points out the red and gray strata visible in the distant hills.

Day 2: Uncovering Earth’s History in the Bighorn Basin

Secretary Clough tours the different Smithsonian excavation sites and discovers some prehistoric fossils while there

Secretary of the Smithsonian, G. Wayne Clough, traveled to Worland, Wyo. to observe Scott Wing and his team mine the fossil lode they found.

Day 1: A Geological Trip Back in Time

Smithsonian Secretary Clough flies to Wyoming to learn about a period of intense global warming that occurred 55 million years ago

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