Sunday, July 12, 2009

Days of Learning

Beautiful coastline, Eastern Cape South Africa.

Giraffe and leopard in the Chobe National Park.

It was time to gather the force of my one sibling and share some time together! We had given this a bash two days ago, to find that she had come down with the worst flu you could wish for; and our visit together turned into an evening of medicine and remedies, no supper together and so on. So Saturday was sunny and seemed perfect. We managed a quick lunch together at a nice outdoor pub/restaurant, soaking up the warm sun..funny, how hot the sun is in winter when you sit in it with long sleeves or a sweater on!!

I am hoping today to catch up maybe on a bit more time together before I return to work in the Chobe National Park and Moremi Game Reserve next week.

I had the pleasure of spending time also with new friends, young folk who I am getting to know and appreciate. Being a part of their world for this short time has also been eye-opening and a learning for me. One where I have enjoyed what I have done and learnt.

And amongst this, still time to be in touch with (old) friends and share experiences and plans together, to exchange thoughts and feelings with folk through some correspondence. And today, it's also time to make contact and catch up on the news with family I have not spoken to for far too many months.

So, Sunday it is..and a busy schedule ahead. Why, I even have some work to do too!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Winter and it's toll

Full moon setting, Johannesburg, 07 July 2009. 0650
Sunset Johannesburg, 07 July 2009. 1850.

Hi! The subject line is a bit all-encompassing, but anyway. Suffice it to say I am only going to comment on its immediate effect on me and some close friends in the last week! Temperatures in Johannesburg region get pretty low in winter and for folk like us coming from the northern Botswana, mild climate, well..I never seem prepared for it. And I never get sick where I live - ok maybe a day now and again over a couple of years. I consider I have a system pretty well able to tackle anything the outdoors, dust, people, animals etc can throw at me. It seems to work. But not in Johannesburg. Man, someone had a cough and flu and I said don't worry it won't get to me. Yeah, right. Here I am sick and miserable. Nasty bugs they got here. They ain't friendly!There are another 3 around me going through various stages of being sick. No wonder the chemists and medical profession thrives so well down here!

No exscuses. I am going to post a photo I took of the moon in the early morning, and hope it looks as good as it did in real life.

One thing for someone like me who comes from such a small town with very few amenities, in a place like Johannesburg, Pretoria, or whichever city we might be in, we can look forward to a huge selection of good restaurants, bars and shops to entertain us! It's easy, for a while, to not get bored and to enjoy the lifestyle for a while. For a while. Then it's good to be able to get away from it again, not having to live in the bigger cities full-time. Even a break of a few days out, is good.

Friends, family, companions. They make the difference. They are always above material issues such as city life,work, stress, entertainment and so on. Relationships with people are above these things, and will always be more rewarding.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Thoughts of Today

This morning, before getting into any routine of work or whatever, I cast my eyes to the sky (something which I do at nights and early morning especially), and saw a beautiful full moon suspended above the horizon. As I was in Johannesburg (South Africa) a city with pollution and all those things which might spoil this type of scenery, I was especially happy to note that this moon held proud. Venus was there to accompany her and together they lit the western horison. The mornings, when they are like this, are quiet and poignant with the onset of the hustle and bustle which will consume our attention during the coming day. I am sure that even I forget that moon and the vista which I have seen in these early morning hours. Maybe I even lose some of the tranquility which they instil in me for the coming day..but I know I do not lose all of it.

When on safari, out in the wilderness, I am so priviledged to enjoy this time of day. Usually alone, not always (it is possible to have safari clients awake in the chilly dark winter mornings!), I use this time to draw an energy into me from that universe out there. Even if it is make-believe, I make it believe. It is a time when all around you can stand still while you think to yourself and feel for yourself.

This particular morning, I was very happy when a child, whom I saw early in the morning, made the first comment of the day..."Isn't the moon so beautiful? It shone through my window and straight onto my face when I woke up". Yes, I would have to agree that that is beautiful and for anyone to appreciate it, is also beautiful.

I have also spent time with a friend, sharing some quiet moments and thoughts, as we all do. But when you see a friend only occaisionally, you get to value that time together. Interraction and exchanges, this is what we are about, us humans. We have all said it - either to ourselves or to our friends- that we must make time to be, time to enjoy, time to savour the simple things, time to get away. How often to do we try and do all of this, but within the framework of a society or a social stigma which dictates what the "time away" and "enjoyment" shall be? Then we are just caught up again - back in the big cog, the rat race..not free.

If you haven't already got it, find yourself something small, but valuable, which can instil this feeling in you each time you need it. Then use it. It helps.

A day on the river, time out in some aspect of wilderness, anything like this which you have, cherish it. All these are things which you do for yourself. Because when you are better, stronger, less troubled and less complicated, then you are a better companion to your friends, partners and colleagues. We, by ourselves, alone, are not as whole as we can be, if we do not share our strengths with others.

Here's to tomorrow morning!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

What do you do??

A beer on a Zambezi sunset there anything better??

This picture was taken at Leopard Pan campsite in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. What a place!!

At sunset, on a clear day, or a partly cloudy day, are you stuck in an office, or in a building where you do not get the chance to see the setting sun? Let me show you a few..on my days at work, I capture the sunset. On my days not at work, I make an effort to get into my boat and go on the Chobe river to see the sunset. It revitalises the soul, clears the cobwebs of the day and gives you time to rejoice in the simplicity nature's bountiful grace.
Come on and join us!! It's worth it.

What weather

Sunset from my boat, off Sedudu Island, Chobe River, Kasane, Botswana

Boating on the Chobe? Here's the perfect sundowner plan...

Elephants enjoying a mud bath at Savuti, Chobe NationalPark

Marty, (Martini Hill), Jack Russell Springboksupporter. (Or is is just good against the cold?)

It seems strange to us here, since last month,that we should have such extreme weather occurring in our "dry" season, our winter. I was on safari with Tim and Jan Dang, out from the States on their honeymoon, when we experienced two solid days and nights of rain in Savuti. This rain was widespread and heavy - we had recorded 61mm in Savuti by the time we left and on arrival at Moremi Game Reserve the following day, found that they had received 91 millimetres. Unheard of for that month of the year!
And now, a really cold spell with winds at least a month to six weeks early.
I have visited Johannesburg as well, and there it is cold But that's normal for's winter at a higher altitude and Jo'burg is always colder than I can ever be prepared for!
Marty-I would say the greatest Jack Russell boy in the world, but then there will be a million other Jack Russell owners who would vote theirs first (that's going to be one thing, if you got a Jack Russell, you will never have consensus of whose is the best!), well, Marty has his jackets for winter. Since the South African Springbok Rugby team has done honours and won the test series against the British and Irish Lions, there's a pic of Marty at the top of the page in his Springbok jersey.
You know,at the end of each day we reflect on many things..I believe that this is the time when we deserve the solitude, the peace, the tranquility..that moment alone when you can say to yourself what you want to; when you can wish for what you want; when you can come to terms with what will or might be; and when you can close the chapter of today and know that you, and only you, can do more, can be better, can be happier, can make more changes in your life, than what you had today.
Enoy it. Live it.


Interested in camping safaris? Interested in seeing the Victoria Falls, wildlife and scenery in the Southern African Region? This is what I do.. I am priviledged to have a most wonderful 'office' in which to work, and to be accompanied on my safaris by some really interesting people,all keen on sharing the outdoors and nature. Over and above this, my hobbies and free time, allow me to enjoy time with friends, my domestic animals and the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers.

I will send through photos and news and invite you to check outmy website at