Tag Archives: Botswana

Belonging

Belonging is inescapable.


BABY BABOON WITH PARENTS – Moremi, Okavango Delta, Botswana

BELONGING

Acknowledged or not,
there’s no escaping
our own
belonging

Born of one,
born of another,
kissed into being
by the same breath

That bonds a baby
to its mother,
and cleaves a leaf
to a tree

The same sacred
infinitesimal
fibres
of life itself

Know our names,
cradle our souls,
which sing with
gratitude

At being a part
of the perfectly
complete
Whole

©Naomi Estment

Quotes to consider:

“I celebrate myself, and sing myself, And what I assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you” – Walt Whitman

“No house should ever be on a hill or on anything. It should be of the hill. Belonging to it. Hill and house should live together each the happier for the other.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

“See the things you want as already yours. Think of them as yours, as belonging to you, as already in your possession.” – Robert Collier

“The Earth is what we all have in common.” – Wendell Berry

“Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable”- Kenyan Proverb

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

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Celebrating Southern African Getaways

Sincere thanks to the fabulous Christine Searle at SA-Venues, for including me in her awesome post: South Africans share their favourite local getaways! It’s a total treat to participate and discover what’s special to others too 😀

Picking only one favourite was impossibly tough, given the abundance we have here – as well as how privileged Dave and I have been, thanks largely to friends, family and our professional photography. I narrowed it down to the African bushveld, because I believe that nothing compares to the ‘soul vacation’ this offers. Here’s the longer list, incorporating more of Southern Africa and a few of the countless highlights we’ve enjoyed:

Londolozi private game reserve, SA – leopards:


LEOPARD CLOSE-UP – Londolozi Game Reserve, South Africa

Madikwe private game reserve, SA – wild dogs:


AFRICAN WILD DOG – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

Schotia Safaris, SA – lions:


MUFASA – Schotia Safaris, South Africa

Welgevonden private game reserve, SA – rhino’s & elephants:


RHINO SILHOUETTE – Welgevonden Game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa


ELEPHANT SILHOUETTE – Welgevonden game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa

Timbavati private game reserve, SA – buffalo:


BUFFALO BULL – Timbavati game reserve, South Africa

Khwai River, Okavango Delta, Botswana – abundant game and raptors:


HIPPOS AT SUNSET – Khwai River, Okavango Delta, Botswana


FISH EAGLE TAKING OFF – Khwai River, Okavango Delta, Botswana

Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana – wide open spaces and occasional cheetah:


DAVE checking photo’s on our roofrack – Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana


CHEETAH RUNNING – Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana

Mozambique – scuba diving, especially Guinjata Bay’s manta rays:


MANTA RAY WITH REMORA FISH – Guinjata Bay, Mozambique


ME SCUBA-DIVING – Mozambique, Southern Africa

Lesotho – enduro riding, in particular the extreme Roof of Africa:


ROOF OF AFRICA 2010 – Lesotho, Southern Africa


VIEW OF MALUTI MOUNTAINS – Lesotho, Southern Africa

Cape Town (where I grew up) – family, fun, Two Oceans & Table Mountain:


TABLE MOUNTAIN from V&A WATERFRONT – Cape Town, South Africa


VIEW OF CAPE POINT – Cape Town, South Africa

As far as wildlife goes, we’re planning perhaps the pinnacle trip for September next year: Serengeti under Canvas in Tanzania with &Beyond Africa, which follows the migration in luxury tents. CAN’T WAIT, especially since it will probably include scenes like these:


WILDEBEEST RUNNING – Masai Mara, Kenya


HOT AIR BALLOON ABOVE MIGRATING WILDEBEEST – Masai Mara, Kenya

I wasn’t lucky enough to accompany Dave to Kenya, where he shot these last two pics, so that’s high on my wish-list of wildlife destinations, along with others in Southern Africa, such as Namibia (where I was born), Zambia (where my father was born and raised) and Zimbabwe (where some of our special friends come from). And that’s just for starters. Ah, AFRICA…what’s to do but LOVE YOU?

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The Case for Clean Water – Blog Action Day 2010

Don’t spill, you’ll waste it! Precious drops sink into the hot sand as I mentally admonish myself, pouring water from a 25l canister into a basin. It’s time to wash my hair and there’s not a chance the shower will do it. A scant spray at best, I’d hog our whole supply that way. This is the Central Kalahari Desert and water is scarce, so we’ve brought all our own. Along with a potent reminder not to take things for granted. Such as the basic essential that we’re blessed to have on tap back at home. Like countless other people, but unlike almost a billion around the globe. Here are a few pics to set the Kalahari scene:


DAVE doing the manly thing – Central Kalahari, Botswana


‘SOMEBODY’S WATCHING YOU’ – Central Kalahari, Botswana


LIONESS on the prowl – Central Kalahari, Botswana


STORM BREWING – Central Kalahari, Botswana

It’s Blog Action Day today, which means that thousands of us are posting about Clean Water, this year’s extremely worthy topic. Accordingly, today offers the perfect opportunity to say THANK YOU, and for that matter, in writing. Having recently visited Lesotho, Dave and I witnessed women carrying water from rivers to their rural dwellings, high on hillsides. Back-breaking work, to be repeated in endless cycles. Our Blog Action Day team have provided significant insights into the world’s water crisis, including the statistic that “African women walk over 40 billion hours each year carrying cisterns weighing up to 18 kilograms to gather water, which is still usually not safe to drink.”


WOMAN CARRYING WATER – Lesotho, Southern Africa

The Lesotho rivers appear clean and likely are, fed from the majestic Maluti mountains. But we can’t be sure, nor of the mineral make-up of the water. Jason Green from Protector Treatment Systems drew my attention yesterday to their revolutionary solution that removes “contaminants such as silt, colloidal particles, bacteria, viruses, protozoa, cysts, metals, fluoride and arsenic” and can “be powered and operated by children”. His business partner, George Rose, is quoted in their press release as saying: “I’ve seen people in Africa with skeletal fluorosis who can barely walk due to the mineral content of their water supply.” To read more, also of the pilot project in Kenya, visit www.protectorsystems.com.

This is just one example of the positive effort being applied to this issue internationally. Big up to the whole Blog Action Day crew for their part in it too. They offer a simple way for us to contribute, by signing their petition to “Stand for an International Water Treaty to Provide Clean Water Everywhere”. You can do that here: Sign Petition. Good for them also for making us mindful. Last week I blogged about teaching our puppies to swim, without a passing mention of the privilege of a pool. I won’t wait for our next trip to the Kalahari to say THANK YOU again, with sincere appreciation for an abundance of Clean Water.

Finally, speaking of Botswana, water and lions, here’s a pic of the thirsty cats that we found in a shower (from my post: Taking a shower on the Wild Side…together with Lions!) :


THIRSTY LIONS – Mabuasehube Game Reserve, Botswana

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Contentment

Contentment is not continuous.


AFRICAN SUNSET – Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana

This simply seems to be the way we’re wired. Like blowing the perfect soap bubble. We’re drawn to catch it as it drifts away, only for it to burst, leaving us with nothing but slippery fingers. But there are always more where that came from. Bigger and better ones.

Similarly with sunsets. Time’s relentless march sucks the molten orb into the night. No debate. Until tomorrow. And the point of it all is? Perhaps partly to teach appreciation, moment for moment, while allowing discontent to guide us in the direction of greater Contentment. Maybe one of these days I’ll manage the process with more grace 😀

Quotes to consider:

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” – Epicurus

“There is no end of craving. Hence contentment alone is the best way to happiness. Therefore, acquire contentment.” – Swami Sivananda

“It is better to want what you have than to have what you want.” – Proverb

“Contentment is a pearl of great price, and whoever procures it at the expense of ten thousand desires makes a wise and a happy purchase” – John Balguy

“Contentment is a kind of moral laziness; if thare want ennything but contentment in his world, man wouldn’t be any more of a success than an angleworm is” – Josh Billings

Just because it’s beautiful, here’s another pic of that Kalahari sunset, closer to complete . . .


AFRICAN SUNSET – Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana

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Awakening

Awakening → Awe


BEE DRINKING FROM WATER LILY – Khwai River, Okavango Delta, Botswana

AWAKENING

Enticed
by Morning’s
first
Caress

her Heart
swells
to embrace
the Sun

Warmth
from without
Light
from within

She is
all at once
immersed in
Radiance

Quotes to consider:

“We are near awakening when we dream that we dream.” – Novalis

“If every day is an awakening, you will never grow old. You will just keep growing.” – Gail Sheehy

“I would have the studies elective. Scholarship is to be created not by compulsion, but by awakening a pure interest in knowledge.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Creativity comes from awakening and directing men’s higher natures, which originate in the primal depths of the uni-verse and are appointed by Heaven.” – I Ching

“The poet knows himself only on the condition that things resound in him, and that in him, at a single awakening, they and he come forth together out of sleep.” – Jacques Maritain

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Khwai is calling, battling Hippo’s and all . . .

Selecting a calm, open spot along the winding Khwai river in the Okavango Delta, we loll beside our vehicles while Danie fires up the gas. He’s a master at the art of the skottel braai, tossing bacon and eggs like a ninja with a nunchaku. The aroma is enticing as the air is crisp, and we’re starving. It’s around 8:30 am, but we’ve been awake for ages, catching the best of the light ever since sunup.

Hippo’s blast lazily every so often, reminding me of Jeremy Mansfield’s brilliant impression. He had us in stitches one morning on Highveld Stereo, transporting us right here to one of our favourite places. The snorting intensifies, trapping our attention on two large beasts, intent on one-upmanship. Their teeth clack together for a good twenty minutes, against the lively orchestra of splashing water.


HIPPO CONTEST – Khwai River, Okavango Delta, Botswana


HIPPO CONTEST – Khwai River, Okavango Delta, Botswana


HIPPO CONTEST – Khwai River, Okavango Delta, Botswana


HIPPO CONTEST – Khwai River, Okavango Delta, Botswana

They’re still at it by the time we’ve wolfed down breakfast, so we mosey further along and drift into the day. Swinging past later on our afternoon drive, we find the pool more peaceful. That’s not to say there’s little to photograph. Game is abundant, but Dave is diverted by a branchful of Bateleurs. Climbing from the car, he creeps closer, avoiding heaps of dung while relishing the freedom of this stretch of land.


DAVE AT PLAY – Khwai River, Okavango Delta, Botswana

The raptors oblige, perching long enough for him to capture their beauty:


ADULT BATELEUR – Khwai River, Okavango Delta, Botswana


JUVENILE BATELEUR – Khwai River, Okavango Delta, Botswana

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‘A Feathership of Partners’ for Birdlife SA

While on the subject of conservation, we have some special photo’s to share. I posted these last September, but the sequence is so exceptional that it bears repeating, particularly since WordPress have introduced their great Gallery feature! Over the years, … Continue reading

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