From Cairo to Cape Town: 125 years of Africa in photos

Joe Yogerst
Sahel’s last remaining elephant herd finds refuge in Chad’s Zakouma National Park in 2006: Minden Pictures

For over five generations, National Geographic magazine has dazzled and educated people with its incredible photographs and gripping stories from all corners of the earth.

Through spectacular landscapes, bustling cities, local customs, and wildlife photography, it has brought Africa’s boundless beauty and diversity to life through a lens for years.

From amazing Africa ranges in evocative early black-and-white pictures to autochromes, from the golden age of Kodachromes to digital.

Along the way, flying over the misty volcanoes of Uganda in a 1950s plane; archaeologists in the cool, musky tombs of Egypt; gleaming skyscrapers of Zimbabwe; the ritual masks of the Chokwe tribesmen of Angola; labyrinth of alleys and souks in Algeria’s old quarters; the fragile red-tufted flowers of South Africa’s Drakensberg mountains; Kenyan farmers as they battle clouds of flying locusts; and gorillas enjoying the Rwandan sunshine.

Long before the Travel Channel and Google Images, these photographs celebrated Africa’s spectacular landscapes, incredible wildlife, and diversity – but also reflect edgier stories that speak of rural hardship, environmental threats, and the lasting remnants of forced colonisation. Leaving no stone unturned, this definitive voyage is in equal parts a breathtaking homage to an incomparable continent, and a unique tribute to the world’s most famous photography magazine.

During three decades as an editor, writer, and photographer, Joe Yogerst has lived and worked on four continents including Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America. He has authored numerous travel guides for National Geographic and has been the recipient of four Lowell Thomas Awards from the Society of American Travel Writers.

'National Geographic: Around the World in 125 Years – Africa' is published by Taschen and is out now (£50)