Archive for the 'Chobe National Park' Category

08
Nov
10

Landscapes of Africa – Best Photos

Nothing is as evocative of Africa as the  landscape: the physical territory with lots of long shots, sunsets, sunrises, oceans and deserts. Why it should be so, evocative that is, is a bit of a mystery. But when  I  look at these photos, they cry out, “Africa!” and no other place on earth that I’ve been.

Red soil, red sand, champagne glass shaped trees form the setting for the furry creatures most people go there for: but the most evocative, single thing about the continent for me is the land, ancient and worn, new and untested, puzzling and yet strangely familiar. Hope you enjoy them!

Sunset over Serengeti waterhole

 

To be included in this “best-of” there should not be animals or people or at least not the focus of the shot. Getting hoards of people, usually kids, out of the photo is an issue for  being included in this post but not for taking pictures.  In Africa,taking photos, I hardly ever thought, “wait till that kid gets out of the shot”.

On the other hand, if there were a tubby tourist with a blue and cream flowered Hawaiian shirt and skin tight, orange Bermuda shorts wearing new silvered Nike’s on the feet, I’d have no trouble waiting. Anybody wearing cameras and/or snapping photos (yes, like I was) also meant I waited or pointed the lens in another direction.

Here’s  what I found in the photo folder one year later thinking “landscapes, yes, they were striking”.

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08
Nov
10

Birds of Africa – Best Photos

From the hoopoe in Namibia to the crested cranes in Tanzania Africa was a place of marvelous birds and birds very different that the ones we are used to seeing in North America. Only the greater and lesser egrets, gulls (though different ones) and the great blue heron come to mind as birds we are used to seeing here that crossed our path somewhere in the nearly 2 months in southern Africa.

From the Okavango delta to the plains of Serengeti to the Chobe river banks Africa was chock-a-block with peeping, flapping, chirping, kindom animalia, phylum chordata, class aves.

In Africa it’s easy to focus on the big, furry, nursing mammalians but when we got back, there were a surprising number of photos of our avian friends: Africa is a great place for birding. Birders (the real honest-to-goodness fanatical types like Harry and Ted) know this, of course but we novitiates thought only of the hairy things like lions and tigers and bears. Here are the feathered creatures that stayed still long enough to clap a lens on during our seven week trip between Oct. and Nov. of 2009. Hope you enjoy them!

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08
Nov
10

Reptiles, Plants & Miscellaneous of Africa – Best Photos

This is a catchall post from our Oct. to Nov. 2009 southern Africa trip:  those photos that didn’t belong in one of the big 4 categories.  Where do you put a spitting cobra, e.g.?  Or a tse-tse fly or a termite mound or Mr. and Mrs. Dung Beetle? Well, they just don’t belong with mammals or bird or landscapes, I can tell you that!

Still these are pictures worth looking at (IMO). Hope you enjoy them.

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08
Nov
10

People of Africa – Best Photos

Aside from the furry, nursing, large and small mammals, we went to Africa to meet and see Africans at home and at work. With varying degrees of success, we did just that between Oct. and Nov. of 2009. Here are the (IMO) best photos of the people we traveled with and the people we encountered. Enjoy!

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08
Nov
10

Mammals of Africa – Best Photos

Mammals: big and small, furry and nurse their young, our close relatives in the animal kingdom. Unless I miss my guess, mammals are the reason people travel to Africa. Here are the best (IMO) of the previously blogged mammals of Africa taken between October and November of 2009. Hope you enjoy them!

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04
Sep
10

Chobe National Park – Botswana

Chobe National Park is one of the fabulous game parks of Africa. We spent too little time there in the absolute worst camp ground that Africa In Focus visits – and they are well aware of it. Will (the driver and boon fellow) said that, yes, it’s awful but all the other campgrounds at Chobe are the same. It was like camping in a dry, desolate grove of thorns. You definitely wanted to watch your step and not get raked. The rooms in the lovely lodge only emphasized how wretched campsite.

Val - Chobe Camp

Must say a word about some totally bizarre insects that fill the niche of hummingbirds in the western hemisphere: the humming bees.  The bird expert from Norway (he was driving his pickup truck slowly from Norway to South Africa) identified them. The look much like a hummingbird and hover convincingly like the avian model but are attracted to lights in the evening like moths. Quite large, maybe 2″ long (5 cm) and they are attracted to and feed on flowers. Check the link for a really beautiful photo (I couldn’t get within 20′ of them) or look at this blurry effort: fascinating little critters.

Humming Bee Sipping Nectar - Chobe Camp

The campsite, to be fair, was located on the Kavango River, next to a very nice bar where all sorts of wildlife (including the bizarre humming-bee you can see in the pics). We took a great evening cruise on the river the first evening and went on a game drive the next morning: both great and made the suffering absolutely worth the view. Wonderful animals along the river from the side of the campsite and from the other side. Saw a nice herd of Cape Buffalo (our final animal in the big five, I believe) along the road about to wander into town.

Waterbuck Females - Chobe River

Then we were off to points east: Victoria Falls.

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