Tag Archives: Big Five

Stress

Whether you feel “I’ve-had-it-with-the-world-and-everything-in-it” hectic,


MALE LION BARING HIS FANGS – Schotia Safaris, South Africa

“get-out-of-my-face-I’m-having-a-bad-day” mad,

MALE LION SNARL – Schotia Safaris, South Africa

or “don’t-make-your-problems-mine” ratty,


LIONESS BARING HER FANGS – Schotia Safaris, South Africa

it pays to remember that stress arises inside.

STRESS:

In response
to a given stimulus,
Stress arises
inside

Allowed to rule,
it wreaks havoc
recognized, unresisted,
it recedes

Powerful,
potential teacher,
Stress offers options
on a silver platter

Succumb and suffer
or choose to transcend,
knowing that the choice
arises inside

©Naomi Estment

Quotes to consider:

“If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn’t ask me, I’d still have to say it.” – George F. Burns

“Don’t let your mind bully your body into believing it must carry the burden of its worries.” – Astrid Alauda

“Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.” – Hans Selye

God will never give you anything you can’t handle, so don’t stress.” – Kelly Clarkson

“Give your stress wings and let it fly away.” – Terri Guillemets

“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.” – Chinese Proverb

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“Mud, mud, glorious mud!”

This was certainly the case at Madikwe Game Reserve last week. In a show of sympathy for all those devastated by recent floods around the world, Johannesburg and surroundings have been drenched in downpours over the past while. Madikwe is a mere 3-odd hours’ drive from here, and seems to have shared in the rain too.

Luckily for us, we sneaked into a window of great weather and had the BEST time. Well, probably not better than the African Wild Dogs, who made a meal of the left-over puddles:


AFRICAN WILD DOG wallowing in mud – Madikwe Game Reserve, SA


AFRICAN WILD DOGS cavorting in the road – Madikwe Game Reserve, SA

It wasn’t all rosy, though, like one morning when a Landcruiser got stuck in the mud 😀 Our ranger saved the day, so we witnessed the good deed:


LANDCRUISER stuck in the mud – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa


BUSH RESCUE – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

This was the reason for venturing off-road, which caused it all – understandable really!


TRACKS UNDERWATER – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

Later, we struck it lucky, courtesy of more puddles, when two lionesses squatted to drink right beside our vehicle. Tell me it gets any better than this!


LIONESSES drinking – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

There was more magic in store, thanks to the rain. The pan was a sea of yellow flowers:


RHINO & ELEPHANT in a sea of yellow flowers – Madikwe Game Reserve, SA

This is our head-ranger mate, Marc (of my previous post fame ;-)), getting down low with his Nikon. Don’t you just love it?


MARC LINDSAY-RAE in action – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

As you can imagine, we had plenty to talk about at the gourmet dinner every evening:


MADIKWE SAFARI LODGE dining area – Madikwe Game Reserve, SA

I could carry on, but instead here are links to my Facebook albums, which tell a lot more: Handful of Highlights – MADIKWE, Jan 2011 Playing on the Pan – MADIKWE, Jan 2011

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Appetite

Appetite ↔ Action


FEMALE KUDU EATING – Welgevonden Game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa


MALE KUDU EATING – Welgevonden Game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa

APPETITE

More than a motivator,
marker of hunger,
it drives decisions,
sometimes destiny

Herald to action,
heartbeat of life,
this humble impulse
will be heard

Embraced,
befriended,
Appetite begs
not only for food

Managed,
directed,
it offers a door
to understanding

Quotes to consider:

“A well-governed appetite is a great part of liberty” – Seneca

“Reason should direct and appetite obey” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

“Appetite comes with eating; the more one has, the more one would have.” – French Proverb

“Always rise from the table with an appetite, and you will never sit down without one.” – Horace Greeley

“As we become purer channels for God’s light, we develop an appetite for the sweetness that is possible in this world. A miracle worker is not geared toward fighting the world that is, but toward creating the world that could be.” – Marianne Williamson

“Doth not the appetite alter? A man loves the meat in his youth that he cannot endure in his age” – William Shakespeare

For another peek at Nature’s perspective, here are some lions feeding on a Wildebeest kill:


LIONS FEEDING ON WILDEBEEST KILL – Welgevonden, Waterberg, SA

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Thirst

Thirst comes first.


MALE LEOPARD DRINKING – Londolozi Game Reserve, Sabi Sands, South Africa

Silent paws pad down the dirt road, leaving perfect prints. Leopard prints. Warren has picked up the trail of this most elusive cat. It appears to be a male, heading for water. Our eyes scan ahead for the flash of his tail tip. Nothing. Still, my pulse quickens as I flick the video camera onto standby. Leopards are among the rarest of game drive diamonds. We approach the dam slowly, spotlight sweeping from side to side.

The rustle of passing leaves whispers that someone has snuck from view. But we’re focussed forward. Rounding the road’s last bend, we see him! Cutting the engine, we coast closer for a more intimate look. Not too close, preserving the dignity of his personal space. Our frail human faculties can’t detect his scent, although the reverse seems true. Muscles bunch beneath his sleek spots, anticipating action. This is the way at waterholes. Encounters with other creatures are on the cards. After all, Thirst waits for no-one.

Quotes to consider:

“You should not see the desert simply as some faraway place of little rain. There are many forms of thirst.” – William Langewiesche

“When it comes to having a central nervous system, and the ability to feel pain, hunger, and thirst, a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.” – Ingrid Newkirk

“Kissing is like drinking salted water: you drink and your thirst increases” – Chinese Proverb

“Good as drink is, it ends in thirst.” – Irish Proverb

“They talk of my drinking but never my thirst” – Scottish Proverb

“Thirst will parch your tongue and your body will waste through lack of sleep ere you can describe in words that which painting instantly sets before the eye” – Leonardo da Vinci

While reminiscing about the Sabi Sand reserve, and taking a cue from that last quote, I simply have to share a few more of Dave’s photo’s with you. These are from another spectacular sighting at Londolozi, legendary playground of South African leopards. We followed this female for a magical hour or more, before she leapt up a tree:


FEMALE LEOPARD EYES – Londolozi Game Reserve, Sabi Sands, South Africa


FEMALE LEOPARD PAW – Londolozi Game Reserve, South Africa

In videography terms, we call those shots ‘simple reveals’. Now for the ‘wide establisher’:


FEMALE LEOPARD LYING IN TREE – Londolozi Game Reserve, South Africa

Don’t you just love her body language, delightfully draped in her natural vantage point?

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African Elephant on the Charge!

Several things happen simultaneously:

– an Elephant trumpets
– men yell
– tyres spin
– dust flies
Plovers shriek
Impalas scatter
Hippo’s submerge
– my throat constricts
– the video camera tumbles into my lap

. . . and Dave calmly fires off a sensational sequence, hand-held from our roof rack:

I don’t know how my husband does it, but there you go 🙂

He shot this near the Khwai River Lodge, just North of Moremi Game Reserve in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. No, we weren’t doing the five star thing, rather the real bush deal, camping at the Khwai Development Trust site just up the drag. Thereby hang a whole lot more tales, but we’ll save them for another day.

Our friends in the Prado had inadvertently come between the elephant and the water. Never a good idea. They got off fine, albeit shaken and stirred!
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Taking a shower on the Wild Side…together with Lions!

Little compares to the quiet symphony of a bush shower. Hot water is preferable, regardless if it spouts from a tap, bucket or bag. But the essential ingredient is open air. That perfect blend of shampoo mixed with wildness. It holds a primal pull. Midday is best, mellowing the burst of freshness from drying off:


CLEANSING SUNLIGHT – Welgevonden Game Reserve, Waterberg

Sometimes, however, caution is prescribed, like once at Mabuasehube in Botswana. Our own campsite barren, we investigate another, only to find that we’re not there first. A pride of thirsty lions precedes us. Maneuvering our vehicles into a safe scenario, we oblige with a steady trickle, before retreating to let them drink. It’s clear that the water tastes delicious to their tongues. You’re most welcome, magnifient friends, with all our love 🙂


YOUNG MALE LION LOOKING FOR WATER – Mabuasehube Game Reserve, Botswana


LION DRINKING IN SHOWER – Mabuasehube Game Reserve, Botswana


LIONS EXITING SHOWER – Mabuasehube Game Reserve, Botswana

LIONESS LICKING HER LIPS – Mabuasehube Game Reserve, Botswana


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Rhino horns belong on their heads!

How does a human stoop so low as to slaughter an animal simply to feed their own greed?

It appears that a cartel of poachers has been doing exactly this, close to Johannesburg, by raiding the Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve by helicopter at night. They’ve been killing rhino’s, hacking off their horns with chainsaws, and leaving their young distraught and defenceless, if not dead too.

Game rangers took many hours to find the nine-month-old calf of the most recent victim. He has been moved to a camp with other orphaned rhino’s, in part to alleviate his trauma and loneliness, which rhino’s have been rumoured to die from.

About six weeks ago a pregnant rhino and her calf were massacred in the same reserve, for the same reason: to supply the illegal market for rhino horn. A single one is said to fetch around $1,000,000 in China.

There are no adult rhino’s remaining in this park now, but for the record, here is a photo of a youngster that Dave took some time ago:


WHITE RHINO – Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve, South Africa Continue reading

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