Tag Archives: Lodges

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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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!

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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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Exuberance

Exuberance = Elixir

Quotes to consider:

“Exuberance is beauty.” – William Blake

“Saints have no moderation, nor do poets, just exuberance.” – Anne Sexton

“Exuberance is better than taste” – Gustave Flaubert Continue reading

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Indecision

Indecision can be dangerous.


ZEBRAS IN ROAD – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

Quotes to consider:

“Indecision is the seedling of fear” – Napoleon Hill

“The risk of a wrong decision is preferable to the terror of indecision.” – Maimonides

“Indecision is like a stepchild: if he does not wash his hands, he is called dirty, if he does, he is wasting water.” – African Proverb
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Taste

To taste is tantalizing.

AFRICAN ELEPHANT - Timbavati Private Game Reserve, South Africa
AFRICAN ELEPHANT – Timbavati Private Game Reserve, South Africa

Taste, like all senses, is worthy of ongoing appreciation.

Quotes to consider:

“For each mouth, a different soup.” – Portuguese proverb

“Cinnamon bites and kisses simultaneously.” – Vanna Bonta

“Everyone eats and drinks, but few appreciate taste.” – Confucius
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Connection

Nothing means anything without connection.

LEOPARDS IN THE GRASS - Londolozi Game Reserve, South Africa
LEOPARDS IN THE GRASS – Londolozi Game Reserve, South Africa

Quotes to consider:

“When we get too caught up in the busyness of the world, we lose connection with one another – and ourselves” – Jack Kornfield

“Our life is composed greatly from dreams, from the unconscious, and they must be brought into connection with action. They must be woven together.” – Anais Nin

“Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success.” – Paul J. Meyer Continue reading

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