Geographical

The monthly magazine of the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers. Covers a broad range of subjects related to geography in articles on people, places, cultures, adventure, responsible travel, history, science, and the envir

Articles from Vol. 78, No. 1, January

Aids Crisis: 25 Years On: Forget Bird Flu. the World Is Already Gripped by a Health Crisis of Catastrophic Proportions. Twenty Five Years since the Discovery of AIDS, HIV Is Now the Most Serious Threat to Humankind since the Black Death and We're Not Even Close to Controlling It
Thursday 3 October 2002, just another autumn day in Washington DC. But for those meeting at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), it was anything but normal. That morning, more than 40 representatives of the UN, the World Bank,...
Driving South: Hot Weather Forecast for Sahara Rally
The Paris-Dakar rally, in which competitors in cars and on motorbikes race across the inhospitable Sahara Desert, is held this month. So what sort of conditions can the competitors expect and what is the climate there like during the rest of the...
Earth's Wobbles Drove Human Evolution
A cruelly fickle climate in East Africa two million years ago could have triggered the rapid development of the human race, according to Dr Mark Maslin, a palaeoclimatologist at University College, London. "The old story is that East Africa steadily...
Eric Newby: 50 Years after This Short Walk: In 1956, Young Travel Writer Eric Newby and His Friend Hugh Carless Set out on an Expedition to Central Asia, Later Immortalised in Newby's Brilliant Comic Tale A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush. Half a Century Later, He Reminisces with Robin Hanbury-Tenison
Eric Newby is a chameleon. His prolific autobiographical writings cover a life of infinite variety. A man of many parts, he is far more than just a travel writer. Brave, observant, erudite and, above all, funny, he brings his own self-deprecating...
Going for the Guilt-Free Option: Now in Their Second Year, the Responsible Tourism Awards Shine the Spotlight on Excellence in the Field of Sustainable Tourism. Tom Chesshyre Looks at What Makes a Winner
During the 1980s, Guy Marks was a wheeler-dealer commodity broker. His wife, Amanda, was a high-flying advertising executive, handling clients such as ICI and Prudential. Independently, (at the time they didn't know each other) they gave up their...
Hidden Treasure of the Dessert
SUDAN For two years, photographer Michael Freeman travelled all over Africa's largest country, visiting every major town and village, including some areas that no Westerner had seen for decades. The resulting images, featured in his book Sudan:...
HIV and 'Crystal' in the USA: Gay and Bisexual Men in the USA Are Using the Drug Crystal Methamphetamine to Initiate, Enhance and Prolong Sexual Encounters. Professor Perry Haltikis, Director of the Center for Health, Identity, Behavior and Prevention Studies at New York University, Explains How 'Crystal' Is Exacerbating the HIV/AIDS Epidemic among This Community
"Although it has been used recreationally for more than 30 years, crystal has become known as the ultimate sex drug during the past ten years. Like ecstacy, it stimulates the release of dopamine in the brain--a hormone associated with pleasure and...
HIV and the Golden Quadrilateral Highway: In Six Indian States, Prevalence Rates Are More Than One Percent in the General Population and Even Higher among High-Risk Groups. Dr Smarajit Jana Explains How CARE International Is Working to Control the Epidemic among Long-Distance Truck Drivers and Sex Workers
"In recent years, the Indian government has been developing a huge national ring road in an effort to improve the country's transport links. The Golden Quadrilateral Highway will eventually cover almost 6,000 kilometres and connect Delhi, Kolkata,...
Jo Sargent in Conversation with ... Rebecca Stephens
Rebecca Stephens Was the first British woman to climb Mount Everest and the first to climb the seven summits: the highest peaks on the seven continents. Since then, she has been a motivational speaker and recently published The Seven Summits of...
Mongolia: Steppe Back in Time
During the 13th century, Genghis Khan created Mongolia by unifying the nomadic tribes of the Gobi Desert. Under his rule, the country built the largest land empire in history. Eventually absorbed into the ManChu Quing empire, Mongolia then remained...
Outdoor Technology: Essential Gear: Expeditioners Are Increasingly Employing High-Tech Equipment to Stay Safe and Keep in Touch with the outside World, Says Paul Deegan
During the autumn of 1988, co led a 47 strong expedition to Nepal. The aim was to clean up the 35 years' worth of mountaineers' rubbish that had accumulated at the foot of Mount Everest. We ran into our first major snag in Kathmandu when we discovered...
Q&A: You Wanted to Know about Tornadoes, the UK's Population of 100-Year-Olds, the Origins of Our Oceans, an African Border Dispute, England's Nation Status and Alien Invasions. Chris Edwards Has the Answers
We only seem to hear about tornadoes in the USA and the UK. Do they occur elsewhere? B Lee, Sheffield Tornadoes have been observed on all of the world's continents except Antarctica. However, certain climates are more prone to tornadoes than...
Recognition for the Society's Collections
EDITORIAL: The Society has always been well known in geographical circles for its collection of maps, photographs, books and documents. Recently, however, our collection was given official recognition when the Museums Libraries and Archives Council...
Schistosomiasis (Bilhartziasis): Medical Advice from Jason Gibbs, Head Pharmacist at Nomad Travel Stores and Health Clinics
This disease is most common in sub-Saharan Africa in particular Lake Nyasa--but areas of Brazil, China and other parts of Asia are also affected. It's mainly caused by three species of fluke--Schistoma haematobia, S.japonicum and S. mansoni. These...
Slave Routes across the Sahara: Although Historians Have Tended to Focus on the Atlantic Slave Trade in African People, the Numbers Transported Northwards across the Desert Are Truly Staggering. Justin Marozzi Travels through the Libyan Sahara in Search of the Legacy of This Lamentable Traffic
When Englishman James Richardson set out for the Libyan Sahara in 1845, his motives weren't those of the average Saharan explorer. His mission, he wrote, was to excite "an abhorrence of the slave trade" in the hearts of his fellow countrymen. "I...
Still Researching the World: With the Publication of the Latest Annual Round-Up of the RGS-IBG Grants Programme, Grants Officer Greg Dow Reflects on 12 Months of Inspiring and Important Project
For 175 years, The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) has been offering funding and support for geographical research, fieldwork and teaching. At the beginning of the new year, we're looking forward to another...
Supermarkets May Sink Fish Stocks
Some of the UK's largest seafood retailers are wilfully ignorant of the damage being done to fish stocks, according to a recent Greenpeace report. Many British supermarkets, which sell 90 per cent offish in the UK, buy fish "with little consideration...
Ten of the Best: Gadgets Ahoy! Once More We've Scoured the High Street, Pored over Endless Catalogues and Surfed the Web to Find the Pick of the Latest Offerings from the World of Kit
1 Satellite telephone Iridium 9505A* 900 [pounds sterling]/375 grams Iridium remains the only handheld phone that works at all latitudes. This handset includes a low cost texting facility. Pay-as-you-go voice options start at US$1.30 (80p)...
Testing Prevention: In 2004, Botswana Became the First Country in the World to Offer Routine HIV Testing. Tsetsele Fantan of Botswana NGO African Comprehensive AIDS Partnerships Explains How the Offer of Testing and Treatment Is Also Helping with Prevention
"We in Botswana inherited a stringent approach towards testing from the West, which said that in order to perform an HIV test you needed the individual's permission after a long counselling session. But we found that very few people were requesting...
The Railway That Never Was: Plan of the Direct London and Sydenham Railway (1856-57)
This loose sheet 'Plan of the Direct London and Sydenham Railway' by civil engineer William Bull carries his autograph and an inscription to Dr H Norton Shaw, secretary of the Royal Geographical Society between 1849 and 1863. The map represents...
The Tsunami One Year On: Rebuilding Lives in Aceh: The Boxing Day 2004 Tsunami Wiped Much of Aceh off the Map. in the Disaster's Aftermath, the Acehnese Have Banded Together to Rebuild Devastated Communities. Alina Paul, a Relief Worker for the International Medical Corps, Reports on the Recovery Process
We stop where the road disappears beneath the water--a new channel created when the tsunami brought the ocean inland. Seeing Samidan's reddened eyes, I avert my gaze. In the silence, it feels as if I'm intruding upon memories that are still very...
Thor Heyerdahl (1914-2002): Norwegian Explorer Who Drifted across the Pacific on a Raft to Test Theories of Human Migration
What was his background? Thor Heyerdahl, born in Larvik, Norway, on 6 October 1914, was a nature enthusiast from his earliest days, running a one-room zoological museum from his home while still in primary school. Inspired by his mother, who...
Time and Tide: The UK's Wild and Dramatic Coastline Offers Endless Photographic Possibilities. but You'll Need More Than Just a Camera and an Artistic Eye
The sight of the ocean stretching from the shore to the horizon has a powerful effect on our senses and imagination. Photographically, there is an enormous range of possibilities wherever land meets sea, depending on the local geology. But there...