This African buffalo is calm, content, almost insouciant in the afternoon sun, by the water, snuffling in the deep mud for whatever it is that buffaloes snuffle for. Tough as nails, too, these animals – no easy prey for a predator.
The African wild dog doesn’t always get a good press – it hunts its prey in packs, tirelessly chasing until the animal stumbles in exhaustion, and has the somewhat repulsive reputation of ripping it to shreds, even whilst its victim is still alive. The wild dog moreover has the fearsome jaw, and sharklike rank of serried white teeth, that nightmares conjure. Yet it is also beautiful, social, intelligent – and endangered. These images, a mix of black and white and colour, convey, I would like to think, something of the quite profound ambivalence – fear, revulsion, admiration – I felt […]
It is hard to describe our experience at the Madikwe Game Reserve up near Botswana – Rob and I have been on many other game-viewing trips, in the Kruger Park, the Pilanesberg, Marakele, the St Lucia Wetlands and more, but never anything like this. Two examples will suffice, at least for now. On one of the afternoons when we did not go on a game drive, we were entertained for hours at the waterhole right in front of our (unfenced) lodge at Mooifontein, by buffalo, giraffe, impala, kudu and – most thrilling of all – a standoff between a rhino […]
So this is what you do when you are about to head off to Madikwe, the private game reserve close to the Botswana border where every year your grown-up daughter and son-in-law and their friends go to play: you spend the morning before departure finishing your shopping; packing; buying booze; the afternoon checking your bins (binoculars), cameras, lenses, batteries and assorted other gear; and then in the evening heating through the confit duck legs you have bought at Woolies, gingerly opening and carefully decanting the 2006 Meerlust Rubicon you have kept perfectly cellared for over a decade (for those of […]