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DECEMBER 2006 Volume 78 No 12

Features 28 Earthly treasures James Morris travels across West Africa, photographing the region’s stunning adobe architecture 36 An iceman’s best friend The sledge dogs bred by the Chukchi people of the Russian far east have helped them colonise one of the world’s harshest regions, as Benedict Allen discovers 42 Return of the wild Clive Grylls visits Madikwe Game Reserve in South Africa, where more than 8,000 animals from 27 species have been reintroduced since 1991 53 Dossier: China in Africa In order to satisfy its growing hunger for energy and resources, China is striking contentious alliances with governments all over Africa. Charlie Furniss investigates 62 Mapping a metropolis Peter Barber profi les a new exhibition that charts the cartographical history of our nation’s capital 70 Where there’s smoke, there’s gold The mining industry has turned its sights on the deep ocean, where cracks in the Earth’s crust are spewing forth mineral-rich water. Mark Rowe reports 76 Island in the stream Amar Grover visits India’s Majuli Island, one of the world’s largest riverine islands – but for how long? 82 Archive: Kathmandu A selection of the oldest images held in the RGS archive reveal Nepal’s capital in the mid-1800s

95 Essential gear: women’s kit Felicity Aston celebrates the outdoor-equipment industry’s long-overdue discovery that women have diff erent kit requirements to men

News 8 Worldwatch 13 Climatewatch 22 In Society 100 Out and about

Regulars 6 Where in the world? 15 Geopolitical hotspot 16 State of the world 18 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty Gower 26 Artefact of the month 68 Subscriptions 89 Reviews 102 Geophoto Colour and composition 107 Letters and crossword 114 In conversation with Ajantha Perera

Felicity Aston

WIN! A Tierra Canela Peruvian teddy bear Full details on page 109


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