Tag Archives: Game Reserve

A gift that keeps on giving…

Big thanks to the lovely ladies at Well Designed Journeys for featuring a two-post interview with Dave on their beautiful blog, sharing his advice on wildlife photography: Wildlife Photography Tips for Travelers on Safari: Interview with Dave Estment and Wildlife Photography Tips for Travelers on Safari: Part II

This passion has blessed us with countless incredible trips into the African bushveld. It’s one of those gifts that keeps on giving. In fact, we’re off to Madikwe Safari Lodge again tomorrow, courtesy of their head ranger, Marc Lindsay-Rae – a fabulous friend and fellow photographer, who has just won the 2010 Africa Geographic/Canon Photo Competition for rangers and safari guides (with an awesome shot of a mother and calf black rhino charging him). Way to go, Marc! Here he is, with his winning photo (for the month and year):


MARC LINDSAY-RAE with his winning wildlife photo!

For those who don’t know, black rhino’s are endangered, which makes that pic all the more exceptional. We were treated on a previous visit to Madikwe to a spectacular sighting of three together, and a pack of endangered wild dogs on the hunt. It was too dark for decent photo’s, but regular readers of this blog will have seen plenty more wildlife pics in the past. Some stunning ones of Dave’s are included in those two posts at Well Designed Journeys, and here are a few other highlights just for fun:


AMARULA HOT CHOCOLATE – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa


MORNING BREAKING – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa


BREAKFAST FOR TWO – Madikwe Safari Lodge, South Africa


MARC, CLAIRE & GREG ENJOYING SUNDOWNERS – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa


AFRICAN SUNSET – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa


HEAVENLY SUITE – Madikwe Safari Lodge, South Africa

. . . and a quote from another photographer (as well as actor, artist and writer):

“I have never been in a natural place and felt that was a waste of time. I never have. And it’s a relief. If I’m walking around a desert or whatever, every second is worthwhile.” – Viggo Mortensen

Wishing you all a wonderful few days, until we return with more wild magic to entice you to visit the bush soon too 🙂

Continue reading

Advertisements
Posted in Messages, Musings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 39 Comments

African Elephants getting Wet & Wild!

Londolozi Game Reserve, South Africa.
Afternoon game drive.
16h30

The trumpet and splash of Africa’s giants halts us in our tracks. Forget sundowners, these two have our rapt attention, as well as Dave’s lens trained on the action. This one is his Nikon 200-400mm F4 baby, lovingly hand-held 🙂 We’ve seldom come across elephants tussling in water. Seldom enough that I couldn’t select a single image, so decided on a sequence. It’s impossible to tire of the bushveld’s spontaneity – delivering unlimited, unexpected, unparalleled enchantment. Hope you enjoy!

Continue reading

Posted in Musings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Celebration

Celebration ↔ Smiles


WINE BOTTLE WITH GLASSES – Welgevonden Game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa

It’s nobody’s birthday or anything like that. Just an exquisite evening in a beautiful lodge on a gorgeous game farm. African style. That’s reason enough for a special occasion. This one comes with grateful thanks to Dave’s brother and his wife. ‘Cheers, Mike and Lisa!’ Chinking of glasses mingles with the music of vibrant voices. Smooth Cabernet caresses tongues, tinted with friendship and the mouth-watering aroma of roasting lamb. A humming log fire inspires reveries as it swallows time. Warmth swirls around relaxed bodies, casting a glow across familiar faces. Smiles adorn mouths, hinting at the Celebration happening inside. When all is said and done, does life really get any better than this?

Quotes to consider:

“Fly free and happy beyond birthdays and across forever, and we’ll meet now and then when we wish, in the midst of the one celebration that never can end.” – Richard Bach

“Tolerance and celebration of individual differences is the fire that fuels lasting love.” – Tom Hannah

“The thing about performance, even if it’s only an illusion, is that it is a celebration of the fact that we do contain within ourselves infinite possibilities.” – Sydney Smith

“Think of the magic of that foot, comparatively small, upon which your whole weight rests. It’s a miracle, and the dance…is a celebration of that miracle.” – Martha Washington

“The Olympic Games are the quadrennial celebration of the springtime of humanity.” – Pierre de Coubertin

To help set the scene, here are two more pics of the lodge by day:


LODGE VIEW – Welgevonden Game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa


LODGE VERANDAH – Welgevonden Game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa Continue reading

Posted in Thought for the Day | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

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?

Continue reading

Posted in Thought for the Day | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Grace

Grace = Gift


KALAHARI SUNSET – Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana

We call it ‘Big Sky Country’, the Central Kalahari. Somehow the horizon seems more expansive. Parked alongside a pan in Passarge Valley, we contemplate the meeting point of Heaven and Earth. Mesmerized, we forget to sip our nicely chilled drinks and nibble on the cashew nuts. Regal Gemsbuck drift nearby, quietly crunching the rough grass. Further away, a Ground Squirrel family frolics above its burrows. We’re done filming them. That was exclusive to Golden Hour. Maybe they’ll humour us again in the morning.

Light lingers solely in the sky, gone from the sand. The first rumble of far-off roaring reaches our ears. Warm up for the hunt. Anticipation tingles through the evening air, tempered by a peculiar peace. ‘I have a theory,’ Dave murmurs. ‘It’s almost as if the animals enter a trance-like state, accepting that one of them will go down.’ He’s right, I muse. Predator and prey appear to share a primordial pact. Premeditated panic knows no place here. Only Grace.

Quotes to consider:

“I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief… For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.” – Wendell Berry

“Grace is available for each of us every day – our spiritual daily bread – but we’ve got to remember to ask for it with a grateful heart and not worry about whether there will be enough for tomorrow.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach

“We cannot go faster than grace…If God will not go ahead with us, we must wait and go with God.” – Marcia Hollis

This is how the Gemsbuck looked a little earlier:


GEMSBUCK HERD – Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana
Continue reading

Posted in Thought for the Day | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Journey

Journey = Joy


‘GEARBOX’ – Welgevonden Game Reserve, Waterberg

‘Gearbox’. Not for nothing is it named that. Gnarliest road on the reserve, it snakes steeply up the side of a spectacular valley. As we approach, I engage my core, calling on my inner yogi to straighten my spine. It’s one of the ways I maximise the pleasure of being in the bush. Along with breathing deeply. And looking for little things among the magnificent. Pulling aside to let another vehicle pass, we spot a Chameleon. The feather touch of its feet feels like love on our skin.

Further on, a Kudu bull leaps across our path, the heaviness of his horns tilting his head. Chattering Monkeys peep from treetops, sending a Warthog bolting from beneath. It kicks up the scent of faintly bruised bushes. As we stop and start, warm air contrasts with cold wind on our faces. A mystical moon begins to rise. The main gift of the game drive is its focus on the moment. There is no destination. Instead we return to the same place we started, each experience unique. All the Joy is wrapped up in the Journey.

Quotes to consider:

“Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.” – Matsuo Basho

“A journey is best measured in friends rather than miles” – Tim Cahill

“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” – Greg Anderson

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end” – Ursula K. LeGuin

As an afterthought . . . here’s a pic of the little guy:


CHAMELEON – Welgevonden, Waterberg, South Africa
Continue reading

Posted in Thought for the Day | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Leisure

Leisure renews life.

Welgevonden Game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa

Quotes to consider:

“Leisure is the Mother of Philosophy.” – Thomas Hobbes

“All intellectual improvement arises from leisure” – Samuel Johnson

“We give up leisure in order that we may have leisure, just as we go to war in order that we may have peace” – Aristotle

“Leisure is time for doing something useful; this leisure the diligent man will obtain, but the lazy man never” – Benjamin Franklin
Continue reading

Posted in Thought for the Day | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment