Tag Archives: Hills of Africa Travel

Blogging Date to Diarise

It’s a red letter day: June 15, 2011 – at least for bloggers, and more specifically those who would like to grow their readership and maximize their marketing efforts.


BEAUTIFUL LADY CONTEMPLATING BLOGGING

Our wonderful friend Michelle Salater, who has grown her own (Copy Doodle) and other blogs to phenomenal levels of success, is hosting a free webinar on June 15, 2011 at 1pm ET / 10am PT or 7pm here in Johannesburg.

With Copy Doodle recently listed #17 on Technorati’s 100 Best Small Business Blogs, Michelle is well qualified to advise. We have also witnessed the growth of the elite Hills of Africa Travel blog, which she has developed and manages for another special friend of ours, Sandy Salle, CEO. One of the powerful things, among others, that Michelle achieves is to attract media and key influencers via the blogs.

Don’t miss this exceptional opportunity to learn from her first hand via her free webinar, which you can sign up for here: How to Increase Profits and Exposure with a Business Blog. During the webinar, you’ll get an exclusive sneak peek of Love Your Blog, her “new step-by-step system that will show you how to create a business blog that pulls prospects into your sales funnel, saving you time, money, and headaches”.

Despite mine being to date a personal blog, Michelle inspires me to explore improving it, if only to share photography and ideas with a wider audience. I’ll be joining her for sure to find out more, so please stay tuned for something fresh soon 🙂

P.S. While photographing our lovely friend Juanita in our studio, Jina hopped up and settled on the laptop – in her favourite position, right across the touch pad 😀


JUANITA & JINA CHECKING OUT WORDPRESS

P.P.S. Just in case you’re wondering how the screen is so legible and clear of reflected light, it’s with the help of a little Photoshop magic (sorry, purists ;-)). Of course, I had to select the Wordpress sign up page, being such a big fan of this fabulous platform! Continue reading

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Saving a Turtle

Another big thank you to Hills of Africa Travel – for being simply the best! Today, they’ve featured the second part of their interview about my novel (chick-lit/romance) on their blog: Out of Air: A Story of Sheer Inspiration – Part II.

In case you’re wondering about the book’s title, a fellow writer and student on my first novel-writing course, Leilani Basson, suggested it during a brainstorming session. This followed a discussion about the inspiration, which includes scuba diving. Dave is a long-time instructor, and introduced me to it almost twenty years ago.

We shared an amazing experience once, when he saved a giant leatherback turtle from running out of air. It was held fast to the sea bed by three fishing lines, attached to triple-hooks in its mouth. Wedging his diving knife handle into the huge beak, Dave gradually worked the hooks out, freeing the turtle to come up for air. Through it all (15 – 20 minutes), it seemed to relax into a kind of trance, as if realizing he was there to help.

This is one of my most special underwater memories, contributing to certain key scenes in Out of Air, as well as the title. Metaphorically, it relates to Gina’s breathless state of being as she strives to navigate the storms of her search for true love.

I don’t have a photo of the leatherback, but here’s a loggerhead sea turtle instead:


EYE TO EYE WITH A TURTLE – Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Mozambique


LOGGERHEAD SEA TURTLE WITH SCUBA DIVERS – Mozambique

My sincere thanks to Leilani, and especially Dave. Without him, Out of Air would not exist – for countless reasons.

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Gift of Love

Just a quick note to say HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY, everyone!

Here’s a pic of Dave’s gift. I Hope you’re being treated too 😀


VALENTINE GIFT – OV&P Studio (www.ovpstudio.com)

Also, a HUGE CYBER HUG to our fabulous friends at Hills of Africa Travel, for featuring an interview today about my novel: Out of Air: A Story of Sheer Inspiration . . . MWAH! Continue reading

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A Novel Valentine

Sincere thanks to the stunning team at Hills of Africa Travel in the USA, for requesting an interview about my novel for their blog. This has been the catalyst for creating the website www.outofair.com – artwork by my gifted stepson:


OUT OF AIR website – Home page screen shot

The article will take the form of a two-post series, the first on Monday 14 February, which is Valentine’s Day. That also happens to be the day the story begins. If you’re not familiar with it, take a look at Chapter 1 to discover Gina’s Valentine surprise – not what she had in mind for her romantic dinner à deux!

Hills of Africa Travel are also the reason behind the penguin pictures on the website, because it was while documenting their magic Soul Safari 2009 that we visited Boulders Beach in Cape Town. Here’s a snippet of video we created from the encounter. If you watch closely, you will spot the camera in Dave’s hands 🙂
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Pending Trip of a Lifetime with Hills of Africa Travel!

Soul Safari 2009
Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

‘Thank you, Amy, for your excellent suggestion!’ Because of it, we’ve become a group within a group. Threaded together through our shared passion for photography, we’re allocated our own vehicle. Oh, the lush abandon of unreserved agreement to linger with wildness! Indulgence permeates our journey like French perfume. We’ve barely left the lodge when we spot our first subject. My heartbeat accelerates. This is unusual. Sitting a seat away from Dave, I feel his same response. All hands on board close around cameras.

The Martial Eagle rests on a bare branch, eyeing our every move. Marc manoevres the Land Cruiser so that the sun bathes our backs. A flurry of whispered questions fires from the back, fielded by him and Dave in the front. Brand experts both, they support Canon and Nikon respectively. Not that the raptor cares. It perches just long enough to allow an explosion of shutter clicks, like popcorn passing its eruption point. Huge wings unfurl for a preliminary hop. Then with a mighty flap, the bird is airborne, becoming a small speck on a distant tree. Never to be erased from memory, digital or otherwise.


MARTIAL EAGLE ABOUT TO TAKE OFF – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa


MARTIAL EAGLE ABOUT TO TAKE OFF – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa


MARTIAL EAGLE IN FLIGHT – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa


MARTIAL EAGLE IN FLIGHT – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

Here’s the group of photographers, brilliantly guided by Marc, with Dave fooling around! Amy is the lovely lady second from right 🙂


PHOTOGRAPHERS – Soul Safari 2009, Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

. . . and the whole happy tribe!


SOUL SAFARI 2009 – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

That raptor sighting was one of countless magical moments on Hills of Africa Travel’s Soul Safari 2009, with Oprah-featured psychic, Ainslie MacLeod. Dave and I were fortunate to be the official photographers, documenting what was truly a trip of a lifetime. Perhaps this video clip of Day 3 explains it more fully, starting with the eagle taking off:

NOW FOR THE GREAT NEWS: Our friends at Hills of Africa are planning another dream adventure for Sep-Oct 2011, also including Madikwe and Cape Town. This one will feature personal participation with Dr. Jonathan Ellerby, the ‘Spiritual Program Director for the acclaimed Canyon Ranch Health Resorts and an esteemed expert of holistic healing, spiritual counseling, and integrative medicine’. Read about all the AWESOME details here: Awakening Inspiration Safari – with our heart-felt recommendation!

To summarize in Dr Ellerby’s words: “At the end of this amazing safari, participants will be culturally enriched and spiritually inspired to live a life they love.”

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Serving humanity on Mandela Day

Nelson Mandela turns 92 today. What better way to honour his contribution to the world than by participating in Mandela Day, declared ‘Nelson Mandela International Day’ by the United Nations last year. People across the globe are performing 67 minutes of community service today, in tribute to the over 67 years that Madiba devoted to public service and striving for social justice.

It was awesome to see him attend the World Cup final here in Johannesburg, along with Morgan Freeman, who portrayed him masterfully in the movie Invictus. In the words of this iconic actor: “Madiba doesn’t want a day of celebration. He asked that we spent 67 minutes on that one day in service of humanity.”

Still in South Africa, Morgan Freeman waved off a group of motorcycle riders on Tuesday, at the start of their road trip in support of Mandela Day. Although not riding himself, he is taking part in the event, which has traversed South Africa, from the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg all the way to Cape Town. This is the final day, being spent erecting a fence at the AIDS Response centre in Khayelitsha, convening at the Cape Town City Hall, followed by a press conference at the One&Only Hotel at the V&A Waterfront.

To set the Mother City scene for you, here’s a photo showing the One&Only Hotel (marked in red) in close proximity to the Greenpoint Stadium, which has been the setting for much World Cup jubilation over the past few weeks!

TABLE BAY, CAPE TOWN, including GREENPOINT STADIUM & V&A WATERFRONT Continue reading

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Nature’s Art

SO much to be grateful for today, starting with the exquisite view when we awoke. Here’s a sliver of Autumn art on one of the trees that we gaze at from our bed:

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