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The childhood of a French girl Tippi Degre sounds more like a newer version of Mowgli, rather than something real. A white child, she was born in Namibia to French wildlife photographer parents, and grew up in Africa.

Tippi is now 23 years old, and the only child to wildlife photographer parents Sylvie Robert and Alain Degre, who published her photos in a book called Tippi of Africa. “It was magical to be able to be free in this nature with this child. She was a very lucky little girl – she was born and raised until the age of 10 totally in the wild.” said Sylvie.

To read Tippi’s story and few more extraordinary photographs please go here.

As much as I love my country (New Zealand) I often wonder if my husband and myself had stayed in Africa with our 10 month old twins, how different their lives would have been!!!

They are still fortunate enough to visit their grand parents in Tanzania, and experience the spectacular wonders of Africa. 

The last photo below Tippi Degre is one of my twins in Tanzania with a wild tortoise.


Tania Bale

African Art Online.Com

Filed under african wildlife photography Tippi Degre

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Maasai Cultural Documentaries

Ezekiel Ole katato works directly with rural Maasai people in Kenya. He stays in the village and of late he started making cultural documentaries to help support their community activities. Please view the 4 minute cultural documentary trailer below. AMLI Kenya is a non – profit organization created to improve the lives of the rural Maasai people by reducing the high illiteracy rates, improving health care, environment conservation, addressing social injustice inequalities and raising awareness to empower them to chat their destiny.

You can also visit their website at


Tania Bale

African Art Online.Com

Filed under maasai documentary kenya

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African Pancake Tortoise are an Endangered Species

The first Pancake Tortoise babies have been born at Meserani Snake Park. They are an endangered species.

The wild population of pancake tortoises is declining due to collection for the pet trade. It is currently illegal to import wild-caught tortoises, although captive-bred tortoises are available. Since they are dependent on rocky outcrops for shelter, populations of tortoises can become isolated easily, and are vulnerable to being harvested below sustainable numbers. Their reproductive rate is low.

The pancake tortoise is thought to be the fastest tortoise and the best climber, due to the lightness of its shell. Rather than ducking into its shell for protection, when threatened it will run for shelter in the rocks. The shell of the pancake tortoise is very flat, which makes it easier for the tortoise to right itself when overturned.

The average lifespan of a Pancake Tortoise living in captivity is around 25 years.

This tortoise is found throughout Kenya and Tanzania.

Aren’t they the cutest little things.


Tania Bale

African Art Online.Com

Filed under pancake tortoise endangered species african tortoise

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Our traditional Maasai BBQ

We took part in a traditional Maasai BQQ, at Meserani Snake Park, in Tanzania.

We headed off to the local market and purchased our goat.

The rest we’ll see for yourself.

Great fun, and boy was that goat yum :)

I wasn’t game enough to drink the goats blood, but our friends where keen to get involved in every aspect of the Massai Traditions.

What’s your thoughts!!


Tania Bale

African Art Online.Com

Filed under maasai traditions maasai bqq maasai culture

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African Batik Winner For May is……

Congratulations to Michele Harrison, our African Batik winner for May 2013.

Michele can pick a beautiful hand crafted batik of her choice from African Art Online.Com

If you would like to enter the draw, simply fill in your details in the sign up box to the right of this page.

Keep an eye out in your email inbox from African Art Online.Com to see if your our next lucky winner.

Great stuff Michele enjoy.

Good luck folks.


Tania Bale

African Art Online.Com

P.S. Michele just received her African Batik and sent us this lovely email.

She writes “I absolutely LOVE it! The colors are even more vibrant that they showed on my computer and I can’t believe how beautiful it is! I am in love :)

Thank you again!


Filed under african batik hand made african batik

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Lion and Wildebeest Encounter – Rare Footage!

Lion and Wildebeest Encounter – Amazing Footage!

by Dalene Ingham-Brown, Overlanding Africa.Com

Witnessing a lion attack during a game drive is one thing, but seeing a wildebeest fighting for its life for over 7 minutes and breaking free from the clutches of a lion’s jaws is something incredibly rare to witness.

The team at Ranger Diaries published this amazing video of the encounter. It’s sad, heartwarming and an inspiration to never give up, no matter how impossible the situation you are in may seem.

What an extraordinary event. Lucky wildebeest.

Thanks for letting us share your story Overlanding Africa


Tania Bale

African Art Online.Com

Filed under lion attack wilderbeest africa safari

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Please Vote for Our Dog

Hi folks, My 6 year old twins have entered our adorable dog in a competition.

His name is Wolf, he’s a Border Collie/Australian Shepard, he’ll be 4 in December.

The competition is based on votes and he is in 4th place with only 2 days remaining.

How would you like to help a couple of little girls out and vote for their awesome dog!!

Here is the link

Have a great day :)


Tania Bale

African Art Online.Com

P.S. Here’s the link again

Filed under dog competition

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Ancient African coins found in Australia, 1000 years before Cook

By JohnThomas Didymus

May 20, 2013 in World
1 000-year-old copper coins from Kilwa Sultanate  East Africa found in Australia
1,000-year-old copper coins from Kilwa Sultanate, East Africa found in Australia
Five copper coins thought to have originated in the East African Kilwa Sultanate (modern Tanzania), which date back to the early 900s, were discovered on the Wessel Islands off the north coast of Australia in 1944.
The coins are causing excitement among historians because they suggest that other seafaring peoples had discovered Australia 600 years before Captain James Cook. Although aboriginal Australians are thought to have arrived in Australia by boat from the Malay Archipelago between 40,000 and 60,000 years ago, the mainstream text of history claims that the Dutch navigators and later the English sailor Captain Cook “discovered” Australia. The first European landing on Australia is credited to Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon, who sighted the coast of Cape York Peninsula in early 1606 and landed on 26 February at the Pennefather River near Weipa on Cape York. A few years later, another Dutch navigator Dirk Hartog, reached the Island. William Dampier was the first English navigator to arrive in Australia, He landed on the north-west coast in 1688 and again in 1699. In 1770, James Cook explored the east coast which he named South Wales and claimed it for the English crown. Spaniard adventurer Luiz Vaez de Torres, discovered the strait between Papua New Guinea and Australia which was named Torres Strait in his honor. The British Government sent a fleet of ships under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip to establish a penal colony at Botany Bay in January 1788.

McIntosh points to where the copper coins were found on the map
McIntosh points to where the copper coins were found on the map

The Kilwa Sultanate
However, the coins linked to the East African Kilwa Sultanate suggest that other seafaring peoples had discovered Australia at least six centuries before the first European sailors. But another theory suggests that the coins may have been washed ashore from a shipwreck. According to the Courier Mail, the site of the Kilwa Sultanate in Tanzania is a World Heritage ruin. Kilwa was a Medieval Sultanate whose territory covered the entire length of the East African Swahili Coast. It was a flourishing trade port with links to India from the 13th to the 16th century. Trade in gold, silver, pearls, perfumes, Arabian stone ware, Persian ceramics and Chinese porcelain flourished along the East African coast until Kilwa was overthrown by the Portuguese in 1505, the Courier Mailreports. The sultanate produced the oldest known copper coins in sub-Saharan Africa.

Kilwa Sultanate
Archaeologists have long believed there might have been a maritime link between East Africa, Arabia, India, the Spice Islands and China. According to McIntosh: “This trade route was already very active, a very long period of time ago, and this may evidence of that early exploration by peoples from East Africa, or from the Middle East.”
Expedition to Australia According to the IUPUI, Australian researcher Ian McIntosh, Professor of Anthropology at Indiana University, is planning an expedition to the place where the five coins were found in the Northern Territory in 1944. An Australian soldier Maurie Isenberg, found the coins in 1944 while manning a radar station at one of the Wessel Islands, a group of Islands off Australia’s north coast. He found the coins while sitting in the sand on the beach. Although he had no idea where the coins came from or how old they were, he kept them in a tin and forgot about them until in 1979 when he sent them to a museum for identification. Experts identified them as 1,000 years old and asked him to mark “X” on a map where he had found them. He also found four other coins which were confirmed to be Dutch East Indian company coins dating back to 1690. Curiously, the map and the coins were forgotten until McIntosh rediscovered them a few months ago and confirmed they were from the East African Kilwa Sultanate.

The questions McIntosh and a team of Australian and American historians, archaeologists and geomorpholosgists hope to answer when they investigate the site where the coins were found include: How did they get there? Were they brought to the island by non-European explorers or were they accidentally washed ashore from a shipwreck? What sort of contact, if any, existed between the explorers and local Aboriginal populations? The team will also be looking for a cave mentioned in Aboriginal legends. The cave, said to be close to the beach where Isenberg found the coins, may contain ancient artifacts. If the team is able to locate the cave, they may uncover a new wealth of knowledge about the history of Australia before the first Europeans arrived.
Love to hear your thoughts.
Tania Bale

Filed under african history african coins east africa