Saturday, August 10, 2013

On The Road

A selection of images from The Road - most taken during a recent trip:

The Outjo Maower - this Cool Cat and his Donkeys were nowhere to be seen ...

... he'd probably gone looking for help after suffering a Blowout.

Hmmm, I wonder if I should translate that message?

Ok ... it says "I've got a F#%*ing Reputation" - in other words, he's The Man!

A family of Warthog scramble under a fence, startled by the approach of the car.

Entrance sign at Camp Mara - the Metal Birds depict a species of Parrot endemic to the area.

This Kudu Bull jumped two fences then crossed the road and jumped another ...

... this jumping habit of theirs is especially dangerous at night and results in many road accidents.

Desert Balloon flights - I'd love to go on one but they're way too expensive.

A Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk feeds on roadkill - it has obviously been captured by Researchers at some time - notice the Ring on it's leg.

A Sociable Weavers' Nest forms a Cradle in a desert Tree - makes me feel like singing a Lullaby to them ...

A pair of Bat-eared Foxes warily watch the passing car.

A wreck in the Desert - it looks like the car rolled before catching fire - someones Namibian Vacation in ruins.

Driving on Gravel can be treacherous - especially for the inexperienced.

'World's End' a Guest Farm in the Desert.

'Biltong' is dried meat, similar to American 'Jerky' - Namibia is a Carnivore's Paradise.

A Mad Max type vehicle - it appears to have pumping equipment mounted on the back.

A Cheetah runs away from the Road - it was after Sunset and I only managed a few blurry shots.

Daughter Megan is arriving in Cape Town from London this weekend and I'm fetching her from there - my Internet connection will be sporadic for awhile ...

Take care Friends.


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Kavango From A Car - Pt. 2

More passing images, taken from a Car, on a recent trip to the Kavango region in Northern Namibia:

A young Man drives his Water-sleigh home.

'Welcome Shack Dweller" - I'm not sure what this means ...

Mom and Dad transporting Reeds and Kid a Bucket of Something.

This Building looks like it's collapsing from the middle, inwards.

An old Man walks along a path.

DRC Gearbox Doctor - a business along the Road.

A street scene in Rundu - the biggest town on the Okavango river, bordering Angola

Herding Cattle - Namibia suffered a drought this year and many farmers and crop-dependent people are receiving Aid.

Now this is what I call 'Pink' - Shocking against the dull winter colours.

Water Carriers - even the Kids pull their weight with this chore, except of course, those who are still strapped to Mama's back.

A Village scene.

Need I say more?

Kavango From A Car - Pt. 1


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Mahango Game Park

The Mahangu Game Reserve is in NE Namibia at the start of the Caprivi Strip. The Reserve is located on the Okavango River where the river flows into Botswana's famous Okavango Swamps - it's a tiny reserve and not that well known, even amongst Namibians.

The area is home to many ancient large Baobab Trees.

In Namibia, the Savannah Buffalo is found only in the Caprivi region.

One of the 'Big Five', buffalo have a reputation for being extremely dangerous, especially when wounded.

I think that these beauties are Wattled Cranes - this region is a bird watcher's paradise.

Baby Vervet Monkey - there are a few troops in the reserve, also Baboons.

Bateleur - an Eagle.

A Hippo peers from behind a bush - awesome creatures!

A closer-up shot - just got to love those lips ... :)

A road sign warning to beware of Elephants ...

I told you to beware - this display caused me to flash on a previous Hair-raising encounter with an Elephant.

An African Fish Eagle sits on a branch over the river.

Roan Antelope.

Yellow-billed Egret on a burned tree stump.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

... and in Other News ...

Stretch Moonman visited a few times while I was up North - here he displays a magazine article about him and Namibia's Deadliest Snakes.

Stretch catches a female Boomslang at my home where they are common residents.

A close-up of the Boomslang's large eyes and mouth, showing two sets of deadly back-fangs.

The venom is potently haemotoxic and can lead to human deaths if not treated with a specific anti-venom. Fortunately the Boomslang is a rather shy snake and is reluctant to bite.

After Stretch released it, it sped away and disappeared quickly into the long grass.

I ruined a great photo-op because I didn't check my camera settings - a Boomslang swallowing a Chameleon.

After the snake had bitten the Chameleon, the hapless creature turned black and died within a matter of minutes - above is one of the few pics I was able to salvage.

I was amazed when I found this massive spider under a large water tank which I had moved - the first time I've seen one of these creatures.

I placed a matchbox next to it in order to show the size of the Spider - when I'd finished photographing it, I picked it up (with a shovel) and placed it under some corrugated sheeting, safe from predatory birds.

I found this tiny snake on the patio - it's probably about 15cm long (6 inches) - I'm not sure whether it's a Beaked- or a Typical Blind Snake - these snakes spend most of their lives underground and feed on ants and termites.

I loaded some building rubble onto the pick-up and transported it to the dump site near town. When I arrived at the site a group of men, who make a living off the dump, ran up and started unloading the junk, looking for salvageable items.

I heard a commotion from the men who had found this Stowaway amongst the rubble in the back of the vehicle - they were about to kill it but I stopped them, telling them that it was my Friend and that I would take it back home - needless to say, they looked at me strangely as they muttered amongst themselves and shooed it to the front of the Pick-up..

The beautiful stowaway is an Ovambo Tree Skink and when we got home it allowed me to pick it up and transfer it to a safe spot - pics by Nadine.

My blog buddy, Botswanan Author Laurie Kubuitsile sent me a copy of her intriguing book 'In the Spirit of McPhineas Lata and Other Stories'.

Laurie and I had come to an arrangement whereby she used one of my pics, taken from a blog post, on the cover of the book.

I felt so chuffed and proud - almost as if I'd written the stories myself ... :)

Johan Marais - Reptiles Of Southern Africa

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Kavango From A Car - Pt. 1

As a passenger on a recent trip to the Kavango Region, north of my Home, I was able to spend the journey taking pics of the passing scene.

I don't have stabilizers on my lens and, travelling at 100 to 120 kph, it's not easy to capture sharp images - I took a few thousand photos and managed to salvage these, I hope you find them interesting:

Most Dwellings in this area are made of wood and mud, with thatched roofs.

A young boy transports water in a Drum on a cattle-driven sled.

Transporting water is a major hassle and chore for most people in the region, the exercise can take a whole day - water is collected from communal water points, mostly very far from people's homes - lucky are those who live close to the boreholes and wells.

An example of the Nguni cattle breed found in the area. Nguni cattle are known for their fertility and resistance to diseases.

A young Cattle-herder atop his Donkey.

"Best Gloomy House" - one of the numerous Shebeens along the road.

I've got hundreds of pics of the sometimes comically-named Shebeens which are also known as 'Cuca Shops' - enough for a whole separate Post sometime ...

Kids using a net to catch fish in a pond.

Our destination was the Ngepi Campsite on the Okavango River, close to Divundu.

It was great to be amongst old, big Trees again - most people use wood to meet their basic energy needs and  the smell of Woodsmoke is always in the air; sometimes just a faint whiff and at other times overwhelming but, - ever present.

I've never been anywhere outside Southern Africa and I imagine that if I was on another continent, the one thing that would make me totally homesick is the smell of African Woodsmoke ...

Dozens of Thatch-sellers were camped along a length of the road.

Thatch is mostly used for the roofing of rural homes and also for creating Features (Lapas) in wealthier homes, hotels and game lodges.

Three young women stride along the road carrying sheaves to one of the Thatch Dealers.

The harvesting of thatch Grass is a seasonal and often the only source of income for many people.

Mbeyo Baptist Church - the walls are built with a stick frame which is filled with mud.

A young Hunter stalks a bird, catapult at the ready.

Transporting water on a Donkey.

... to be continued ...