2018-05-03: WPC – Unlikely

The photo challenge topic of the weekly is unlikely.  The first thing that popped into mind for me was encountering people I’d met before while traveling in Namibia last April.

My first trip to Namibia was in 2015, with a two night stop in Sossusvlei, and then a two night stop at Damaraland Camp.  At the Damaraland Camp, we had a wonderful guide named Chris.  He was an incredibly thoughtful and knowledgable guide and he took great care to show us the best of the area and share his expertise with us.   At DMC, we also had an amazing host in camp manager Maggie.

My second trip to Namibia, we decided we wanted to see different areas, so we chose the Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp and Ongava Reserve outside of Etosha National Park.  On our arrival at Hoanib, the camp manager told us our guide would be Chris, a recent addition to their staff who had moved over from another property.  At 3:00 we gathered to head out on our first game drive, and saw none other than our fabulous guide from two years previous, Chris from Caprivi.  Almost as far away from home as I could get, and there was a familiar face.

Chris chatting with my Dad during a trip to the coast from camp.  April, 2017.

During our stay in Damaraland, the one thing Chris was absolutely determined to find us was the desert adapted elephants.  It took until lunchtime, but he finally found them in the the rocky hills.  During our stay at Hoanib, Chris was no less determined to find the elephants, but they were much easier to locate.  He often said the elephants living near Hoanib were spoiled compared to the ones living in Damaraland.

The first desert elephants I saw, in 2015.  
Desert elephants seen on my most recent trip.  These ones were not quite as tough to locate as the ones seen in Damaraland.

We had a great time at Hoanib but then it was time to move on.  We arrived early afternoon into Etosha and were settled at the lodge with a drink, chatting with the relief manager that was looking after the property.  She had introduced herself as Maggie but it took a moment to realize it was the same Maggie we had met 2 years previous at DMC, as her flaming red hair from 2015 had been replaced with a more subdued shade.  For the second time in under a week, halfway around the world, I was running into familiar faces.  My Mom pulled up a video on her iPad of Maggie and her staff singing a song to us as we departed camp two years earlier, a wonderful memory for all of us to share.

Maggie and her crew at DMC, wishing us well on our onwards journey.

Thinking about these memories makes me wish I had been more inclined to take lots of photos of people during my travels; that’s definitely something I need to do better with in the future.  I don’t have a photo of Maggie from this past trip, but we do keep in touch now on Facebook; an unlikely second meeting has turned into a friendship 🙂

WPC: Unlikley


2018-04-28: WPC Lines

The photo challenge topic for the week is lines (not the kind you were stuck writing in school if you were misbehaving in class…) 🙂

Here are a few images that I found that I feel have a strong linear element to them.  I hope you enjoy.

A game trail through the desert leads up a hill and around a bend.  Don’t you find yourself wondering what might be just beyond the line of sight?  Namibia, April 2017.
Jagged hills zigzagging into the distance in this aerial shot above the Damaraland region of Namibia.  April, 2017.
Game trails through the desert again, but this time leading us to a lioness heading towards the river for a drink.  Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp, April 2017.
A road through the Nxai Pan leading to the Baines Baobabs.  The image is deceiving, as the tree trunks are as wide as a vehicle.  Botswana, May 2017.
I took this image of the sky while on a sundowner drinks stop; I was drawn to the way the setting sun was illuminating the linear clouds.  South Africa, May 2017.

WPC: Lines

2018-04-10: WPC – Smile

The photo prompt of the week is smile; either an image of a smile, or something that makes you smile.  Since baby animals are a universal crowd pleaser, here are a fewer images of youngsters that have made me smile.

I hope you enjoy!

A trio of cheetah cubs braving a late afternoon windstorm.  Their mother was nearby, definitely ill at ease because of the weather.
Looks at the big full bellies of these lion cubs.  They were going back and forth between the females, greeting each with affection.
A pair of leopard cubs playing amongst the fallen branches in a ravine.  These two were all over the place; there Mom definitely had her work cut out for her.
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The tiniest lion cubs I have had the privilege of seeing.  Their Mom had brought down a giraffe calf, but these two were more interested in playing than feeding.  They were under 3 weeks old.
An elephant calf having a go at the balance beam 🙂  He came pretty close to ending up in a heap on the ground, but recovered from it well.
I don’t think I have ever seen anyone smiling as much as our ranger when we were at this sighting.  To say he was thrilled is a complete understatement.  A dream come true, once in a lifetime moment on safari.
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This is where mama leopard stashed her two youngsters.  The hollowed log didn’t make for the best photo opportunities, but it did make for a very safe spot for these leopard cubs to stay hidden and out of danger.

WPC: Smile

2018-03-27: WPC Favourite Place

The topic this week and last are very similar for me.  Last week, I told you that I’d rather be on safari and this week I’m going to tell you that my favourite place is being amongst the elephants in the African bush.  I must admit, I don’t really like the concept of a favourite place per se, because it feels like it discounts so many amazing experiences over the years.  But, I have often said if I could only limit myself to traveling to one place the rest of my life (and even so far as if I had to choose only one animal to spend the rest of my days with) it would be in Africa amongst the elephants.

There is just something about being in the proximity of elephants, feeling their rumbles, listening to their calls, watching them interact and go about their days that fills me with such peace and joy.

I hope you enjoy my selection of images this week.

Elephants playing in the Boteti River in Botswana.
A large bull elephant at Nxai Pan in Botswana.
A pair of bull elephants at a small waterhole on Phinda Game Reserve in South Africa.
An elephant family drinking at a broken water pipe on Londolozi in South Africa.
Pushing on the tree to shake down fruits in the Okavango Delta.
Part of a larger herd that I spent time with one morning on Phinda Game Reserve.
A desert adapted elephant seen near the Skeleton Coast in Namibia.

WPC: Favourite Place

2018-03-20: WPC: I’d rather be…

There’s a simple answer to the question posed in this week’s photo challenge “Where would you rather be?”.

I’d rather be on safari!

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I’d rather be watching the sun set over the bush with a glass of wine in hand, and great company to have a chat with.
I’d rather be watching the birds from the shade of a lodge veranda.
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I’d rather be looking out at the vast expanse of the universe, listening to the sounds of the bush at night.
I’d rather be taking the opportunity to discover new cultures.
I’d rather be out learning and experiencing different ways of life.
I’d rather be looking at this view over lunch, than working away on my computer. 
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I’d rather be dealing with this type of traffic while out for a drive.
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And of course, I’d much rather be hanging around with elephants.


WPC: I’d rather be

2018-03-06: WPC – Out of this world

The photo challenge topic of the week is out of this world.  I’ve chosen to share a stitched panorama image that I shot while exploring the Skeleton Coast in Namibia.  We flew to the coast from camp for a day of exploration, and as we were driving through the dunes we came across this beautiful oasis in the middle of vast tracts of featureless sand dunes. It truly was an out of this world landscape to see.

WPC: Out of this world

2018-02-20: WPC: Sweet

The photo challenge this week was to show something, or someone, sweet.  If that isn’t an invitation to share photos of elephants, I don’t know what is.  Or maybe that’s just me.  🙂  So here are a few images featuring some adorable baby elephants seen last year on my trip through Southern Africa.


This little one was struggling to climb out of the river bed, and got a helpful push from Mom. Hoanib Camp, Namibia. April 2017.
Partially hidden behind Mom, this little elephant was very curious about our group. Botswana, May 2017.
Another inquisitive youngster seen in the Okavango Delta. This one was busy watching a nearby group of baboons. Botswana, May 2017.
A young elephant getting a drink from a broken landscape pipe. This was one of the youngsters that thrilled me by repeatedly visiting me at my vehicle while his Mom stood by.  South Africa, May 2017.
A young elephant sneaking a quick suckle whilst Mom grazes on devils thorn. Hoanib Camp, Namibia. April 2017.


WPC: Sweet

2018-02-01: WPC – Beloved

I could have gone two ways with a topic of Beloved for the photo challenge of the week.  And since I try my best not to post photos of my dog all the time, I went with my most beloved animal of the African bush, the elephant.  Now, anyone who has followed my blog for a while knows that I love elephants, so this should come as no surprise.  They are my favourite animal to spend time with (besides my dog, of course!).

I selected the images below because they represent all ages and a variety of different habitats that elephants make their homes in.  I hope you enjoy.

A herd of desert adapted elephants in the Hoanib River in Namibia.  April, 2017.
A bachelor herd of elephants in the Boteti River in Botswana, May 2017.
Mama, Auntie and a precocious little baby seen in the Khwai concession of the Okavango Delta.  May, 2017
A couple of youngsters wrestling alongside a waterhole at Phinda in South Africa, May 2017.
A moment that I will treasure in my heart forever.  Being inspected by a baby elephant whilst on a morning game drive.  Londolozi, May 2017.


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WPC: Beloved

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