My pup has been sick this week – nothing really serious – “tummy troubles” – but he is my fur kid, and any time he is hurting, I am hurting. I get pretty sappy and sentimental when I think of everything that my boy means to me. But I know he won’t be here forever, so I try to think of every day as a gift with him. We have a great time whether we are heading out for walks, or cuddling on the couch.
Spencer loves his toys, and now that I have a great camera, I have tried to capture Spencer in action.
I first came across the term sundowners on a trip to Hong Kong. Basically, it’s just a fancier way of saying an after work drink.
Now, popping into a nice pub or sitting on a patio having an after work drink is a great, but having a sundowner on the African Bushveld, or a Zambezi River cruise – that’s absolutely fantastic. I admit freely that these photos are not the best pictures I have taken. The photos really weren’t the point – they were almost an afterthought.
On the river cruise, I relaxed and chatted with my parents, enjoyed a cold Zambian beer and spotted wild life and birds on the shore. I had some fun playing with my camera photographing the sunset on full zoom, and ended up with the photos below, filled with colour.
For sundowners at Londolozi, I enjoyed the company of our fabulous guide and tracker, Talley and Freddy, the other guests along for the game viewing, and a cold glass of Chenin Blanc (and far too many Chili Bites). I even left my camera on the vehicle, not just once but on two different evenings and had to climb back up for it, as I was so content simply enjoying the peace and tranquility of watching the sunset in what I can honestly say was my favorite place on earth.
I am shocked I managed to get this last photo, as I didn’t have a tripod and was trying to avoid the dreaded camera shake on a fairly lengthy exposure.
Before I left for my first trip to Africa, people would ask me what I was most looking forward to seeing. Of course, I would say “Everything!”. I enjoy nature, love watching wildlife and birds, and enjoy traveling and seeing new places, so I really was looking forward to seeing everything. When pressed though, I would admit I would really love to see a baby elephant, and wild dogs.
As we were traveling to the Zambezi River and a taking a day trip into Botswana, I knew the chances of seeing a baby elephant (or many baby elephants as it would turn out) was quite high. In talking to people though, wild dogs seemed very unlikely. My ranger at Londolozi explained that for private reserves, unless the wild dogs den on the site, viewings are very rare because the wild dogs travel over great distances, and are a threatened species, so there are not many of them to see. She also told me of more than one group she knew of that had been on several safaris, never to see the elusive wild dogs.
In Botswana, we spent a lovely morning on a boat cruise, viewing elephants, hippos, water buffaloes, crocodiles and loads of different types of birds. In the afternoon, we went for a game drive in Chobe Park, allowing us to get much closer to the elephants. Our lovely guide Mike pulled over early in the drive to read a text message sent by another guide, and told us that wild dogs had had a kill the previous day in the area, and would likely still be near the water hole – would we like to try and find them? I answered yes for the group and we went off on an hours trek, up to the water hole, following their last tracks, over to their kill site – which by this point was nothing more than a pile of bones being fought over by vultures.
Just as we were giving up hope of seeing them, another guide had found their position, and a few minutes later, we were sitting amongst a pack of wild dogs – 18 in total. They were enjoying the shade, trying to beat the mid afternoon heat and digest the large meal they had recently had. The lighting was unfortunate for photography, but the experience was simply amazing.
This photo was taken April 2013 while on a safari boat cruise at the Chobe Marina Lodge in Botswana.
I was lucky enough to travel for two weeks in Southern Africa with my parents, and on this morning, we saw many breeding herds of elephants. This baby spent a great deal of time in the river playing. She was rolling in the river, submerging herself and sticking her trunk up, spraying water around – generally behaving like a small child having a great deal of fun on a warm, late summer day.
I took hundreds of photos that day. Actually, probably closer to a thousand, but this view remains my favourite. Seeing mama and baby in perfect step with one another, heading off to a new area to graze and play, was amazing to view in person. Looking back at it now brings a smile to my face.