The summer issue of Wild is packed with unspoilt places where you can escape the holiday madness. Discover new ways to explore your favourite parks and marvel at wildlife photography that takes you to the heart of the action. Wild17-Summer-2012-PAGE

Park in the spotlight: Mapungubwe

As you travel from east to west, you journey from sun-baked sandstone cliffs to dense, cool forests. This is a park that surprises again and again. Stories of a lost kingdom that once traded with India and China. A tree-top boardwalk that brings you eye to eye with birds. A sundowner spot that overlooks three countries.

Destination

West Coast: If you want to spend a lazy day on the beach, then head for Langebaan Lagoon. Visit sheltered bays perfect for swimming and braai spots with beautiful views of the lagoon. Plus: We take you on the Postberg Trail, the best way to see the strandveld’s flowers.

Day walks: Making your way to the coast? Stop off at a park en route and recharge your batteries on one of our family-friendly walks.

Wildlife: Researcher Francois Deacon shares his pictures from the field and reveals fascinating facts about these towering beauties. Find out how to tell the difference between a male and female giraffe and why it pays to have darker coloured spots.

People in parks: Marakele’s top tracker, field guide Sidney Mikosi, is fluent in the language of the bush. Under his gaze the empty veld offers up its secrets: fighting impala, zebra at a waterhole – and a crash of rhino.

Animal behaviour: Why would a pied babbler steal another bird’s chicks? Dr Amanda Ridley uncovers the reasons for this disturbing behaviour.

Adventure: The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park has many rewards for those who dare to explore the wild side of the park. Wild’s Kate Collins takes on the Nossob 4×4 trail and !Xerry wilderness walks.

Portfolio: Vultures vs jackal… Don’t miss these incredible pictures of a species showdown at Giant’s Castle vulture restaurant.

Click here to read Wild 17 online.