Saturday, November 19, 2011

Are we right?

How many times have you asked yourself if you are right in a choice you are making? Nearly 99% of the time you have asked yourself whether your decision is right or not.
How many times have you turned your back on an issue, turned a "blind eye" to something that you know should be addressed?
How many times have you stood by while knowing that something is happening and should not be happening, or can be changed for the better?
I ask whether we are right to stand back in silence because we are 'afraid' (not scared, just politely holding back) of facing up to something which we consider to be bigger, better, more powerful, more authoritative or more 'acceptable' in the public eye.
I said it yesterday as well - we have the right to voice our feelings and our opinions. If we believe in something enough to think it is important,we have the right to voice it aloud. We have the right to stand up against those that we consider to be more powerful or stronger than us. In fact, we have a duty to do so.
Our world in southern Africa is facing a multitude of pressures on its wildlife conservation. There are many (many, many actually) who are working flat-out to help and try to stem this present onslaught. I am just saying that we, the majority - the silent majority actually - (and I include myself in that) have got to stand up and say to our 'leaders' "enough is enough". We are a voice, we are a power and we have to be heard and we have to have action taken positively to stop or intervene in the slaughter of animals and the loss of land - both to humankind and animal.
My concern lies with animals. Rhino, elephant all the way down to the smallest creature is being poached illegally by people who simply do not understand, or wish to learn, the impact in the future of their actions today.
I abhor the actions of officials who don't have an empathy to see the real circumstances in which the society around them lives. Education is better than slaughter. But once something is killed, it is dead. DEAD. Gone. We cannot sit around and pontificate about whether it is right, wrong or justifiable - we have to act on the words that we have spoken, of the goals and principles we have set. That unfortunately applies to governments and their organisations as well. You cannot say things and then fail to see that they are carried out by your representatives. It is NOT up to the private individual to correct the faults of government all the time..the citizens of a country have given their government the mandate by their support, they have given and continue to give the government the support financially by taxes et al.
Support the organisations in your community and your country who are striving to help the poor, the underprivileged, animal welfare. But do it knowing that you have the right and the duty to speak out against officials and official organisations who do not do so. As a human on this little orb, it is in fact our duty to do so.

Friday, November 18, 2011


Don't ever try to type and post something when you can't see the key board properly!
I have just lost a deep, emotional comment for here and I am not going to re-do it now. Suffice it to say that we have to really look into ourselves to know and appreciate what and who we are.
Your daily "things" which do not do much for you as an individual (strength and growth wise) are ok but they are NOT that important. Too often we let them be exactly that- too important- and we start to mold ourselves into a personality which is not us.
All over, for years, we have heard that we should "love yourself" and then you will be better off. Well, it is true. But it's a hard lesson to learn. 'Cos I reckon that's got to be one of the hardest - to love yourself. You can "believe" in yourself, you can know that you are doing ok and so on. But love yourself? We know that we have far too many faults in ourselves that we have to address before we can love ourselves!
Wrong. Loving yourself is actually just coming to terms with all that you are - what you have done and want to do - and then learning that probably, we are not only individuals but have to have the strength to be with others around us. Any bit of sharing and compassion, empathy or daring that we show, makes us understand "ourself" better. At the same time it gives us more confidence that we can partake in this thing called life and society knowing that the bit we have just done has benefited "ourself". Honesty to others and yourself is a big part. Never let yourself down nor do anything which will lower the standards you have set for yourself. Never be too harsh to judge others who might not have that ability yet.

Its hard and I know that there must be millions of people that never look into their lives anywhere like this. True love, I believe, is an understanding, a feeling followed by actions, which then turns your REAL life into happiness, comfort and a prosperity for those who are with you. Thereby you gain and are more fulfilled - and so are those around you, because your calmness does reach them and they benefit from that.

If we, individually, are not doing "bad things", then we are helping each other. If you have something to say about the people and the world around you, then say it. But not in such a manner that it is not heard by the world or the people affected.

Later ......


Friday, July 8, 2011


I am awake, but I am tired; I close my eyes but not my mind; I live for now yet have lived for years; I eat to stay alive and alive I am.
That's true for most wildlife - a bird, a tortoise, an elephant and an impala. Right across the board. What sometimes we humans perceive as challenges in our lives, they live with each day and night. We have come a long way, ourselves, in our evolution, since the times when we survived like that. Lucky us...
Our 'normal' lives are now so complicated by all the improvements, modernizations, progress and so on, that these basic tenets of life are forgotten by most of us in our day to day trappings. Are we that lucky?
I am privileged (not the only one by any means) to be able to work most of my days in the field, the bush, the veld, Nature surrounds me, I learn from, feel, see and hear it. Most of the time when I am 'out there' I recall times on each safari when I think of the lifestyle I or friends of mine have or have had in the towns, cities where we live. I cannot and will not put it all down..that's silly. But I know that we overdo it..even those of us who slow it all down to savour the nature, or peace and quiet we can find near us in the civilized world.
I like to be amongst the animals and nature, to share some of their sanctuary as well as their concerns. Somehow, when I have my tent and my bed to sleep in, when I have some food in me and some to look forward to tomorrow, I am happy knowing that around me life is as complicated as our bustling cities, yet is lived without our shortcomings. From that alone I can gain some peace.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Giraffes Rule OK! Chobe River Runs

Wow..just you comes something you did not expect. I have been on a few safaris recently (? of course) and many many times have I been along the Chobe River section of the Chobe National Park. In this month, with our guests, we have seen more giraffes than I have ever encountered along this stretch of the Park.
Giraffes? They have always been there. Yes of course. But in such numbers that when you drive from the entrance at Sedudu Gate, once you start to encounter them, you do not stop seeing more and more.
"There's a giraffe", goes the shout in the vehicle. But oh no, each time we stopped or drove slowly past, we counted 3 then 5 then 7 and more - up to 14 a time. I honestly reckon that we saw from 240 individuals upwards.
The buffaloes were also getting into full swing - herds and herds and herds. Many scattered individual and small groups, marvelous bulls and plenty of young calves.
Amongst all this 'big' game, we cannot forget that one of the most impervious, dominating and influential characters along the river-front, is the Impala. They never be there, to glow, to shine and prance, to jump in their magnificent display - high prancing and happy!Survivors and one of our most attractive symbols in the region. So too the Kudu - wow, are they doing well along this section of the Park! Wesaw so many young, so many females in herds and some wonderful mature bulls.
Then there are the elephants. They will never cease to be there and to entertain us. And to teach us. I have a story which I will tell later..about the most fantastic "whispering" experience one could have with these wonderful creatures. I am going to wait for the comments on my Facebook page, my own writings there and those of the people who shared that experience with me.
Believe me..I don't care who is the 'expert' on this..that expert and I have more than something in common then. I believe in what I know and have experienced and that particular encounter merely cemented what is fact and what I have learnt from past experience.
Check out Facebook toff hill and ultimate africa safaris. If you care.
When we give our hearts, our mind and our feelings to nature and are prepared to share that with nature, we are the ones who learn something new. We are NEVER learned.
Hoping to hear your views and experiences too....

Sunday, May 1, 2011

March travels

Between mid-March and mid-April, I traveled with some wonderful people. We were on safari, at first in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve of Botswana and then in the Sankuyo Community area of Santawani, which borders on the Moremi Game Reserve in the Okavango Delta region.
We spent two weeks in the Kalahari, transversing the central and northern area - a group of five adults and 3 young children. All five of us learnt a lot from the three! They were amazing - captivated, interested, studious, full of fun and laughter and games amongst all the nature and wild animals around them. Genuinely a pleasure to share the time with. I think back fondly to the marvelous safari we had with Bill and Susan Oliver in this place, and wonder at how the Kalahari keeps on delivering the same peace and rewarding experiences to all whom I take there.
Two of my guests were from Belgium. They had traveled with us on a tour during October last year and wished to come back to the Kalahari - and did not waste any time about it either. What lovely, pleasant and happy people.
I am blessed with being able to share my times pout in the bush with such folk. I can barely recall guests who have been with me who have not been a pleasure to share the experiences with.
Marti, my dearest little friend and side-kick, waited patiently in Kasane for some time, but was spoilt enough to be on Ntwala Island at the lodge (Ntwala Lodge, with Kiddy for just over two weeks of this time. He does real well as the lodge dog and mascot! Loves 'meet and greet" and going out to the jetty when the guests arrive or leave. He is unobtrusive in between and very polite! His stay was earned by hunting rats - one of his absolute favourite past-times! Now he has his dad back with him (which is where I belong, of course!), he is happily sprawled on the couch(es), chairs, bed..all his normal spots. His toy collection is well looked after - he still has several of his tennis balls intact (one from August last year in Kenton)and he is a joy to have with us.
Here are a few pics...I have not had much chance to get out on the Chobe and Zambezi rivers yet and must do so - the rivers are at the fullest now and offer a spectacular day's outing. But work looms - safaris starting in 2 weeks' time and a busy June and July ahead, as well as August, September and October. Great! I love my work.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Phew 2 months...

You would swear that nothing can keep you from what you have to do and what you know you should do. But that's a lie. 'Cos most of us succumb to that, don't we?(I say this. And I say as well.." I hope..") because I have no exscuses for the times when I didn't do what I should or could have.
That said, how have you been? I have spent two months of this year doing and feeling some of the most amazingly sad and deep, happy and shallow, feelings that I would ever think I should. But I have opened myself to the fact that if I cannot go throught this, then what the heck am I even trying to be. I cannot say that I have the answer for myself, but I can say that I know myself and understand myself a lot - a LOT - more than I have done for a long, long time.
Look at the few pictures I have posted again. I have got some of the most wonderful pictures from the time I spent in the Kalahari with Izaak, Rene, Annekarien and Bianca during December 2010. Stunning stuff. You will not believe unless (or until) you have been there yourself. Then there is Marti - a most faithful,loving dog - but not just that. He is and will be, an inspiration of happiness and simplicity to me - never wake up that you are not happy or ready to smile, and give a kiss and a hug to whom you are with (OK OK! there are exclusions!!:)) and make life a game, never want to argue or fight, just enjoy and live responsibly.
If you have not spent some time in the last 2 months alone, if you have not sat and watched the sunset or the sunrise, again alone within yourself, if you have not sat quietly on a river (or at the sea) and seen the peace around you - and let it include you - and if you haven't found something like this in your week for yourself, where you are, then do it. It is worth the time, believe me.
Sayings like "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" are cliches. There is no substitute - EVER - for what you know and believe in yourself. And most of the time you are right. And if you are wrong, you have the knowledge, inside of you, that you are right to say "I am wrong".