Category: Travel

Off to Madikwe!

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 […]

Hands, feet and faces

Rob is in Toronto, squaring up to face the damage to our house from the recent ice-storm; I leave tonight for London, to spend a weekend with Jonathan and Hayley and the impish Gabriel, before heading down to Kent to spend Monday night with Mike Hanson. Tuesday, I fly out from Heathrow to join Rob in Canada. All of which means that normal blog service will be disrupted. To leave you not entirely bereft over the next fortnight, here are some photos of Tom Tjasink – hands, feet, smiles and bums.

Skittering across the water – the (un)Common Moorhen

Marievale Bird Sanctuary is a small area of wetland, bounded by farms, distant dwellings, power pylons, a highway, about an hour’s drive east of Johannesburg, and – despite its size – home to an astonishing variety and number of birds, waterfowl in particular. The last (and only) time I had been there was about ten years ago, when my daughter Eve and I had ventured forth in the Landy, and spent a happy day in bird hides and in open country, watching and photographing the coots, cranes and other birdlife. On Easter Friday, Rob and I made a return visit. […]

On Hout Bay Beach

We went for a walk, one evening in Cape Town, along Hout Bay Beach. The sun was flaring out behind the mountain, the sea was calm, and a pale mist enveloped the walkers. Here are two images. For those who are interested, both were shot with the Leica D-Lux.

Of penguins and travel

We have been up and down the country, Rob and I, over the past two weeks – two weeks ago we were in Cape Town, on business, and last weekend we drove a rented car up to the Marakele National Park, near Thabazimbi in Limpopo Province. Cape Town was gorgeous, blue skies, sunshine – and of course no rain. The water situation is critical. Every sip and drop precious. We stayed with my mom, and over the weekend took her out for lunch at The Cellars restaurant at the Hohenort, where we took in an exhibition of Ardmore ceramics. This […]

Photographing rhino

Photographing rhino, in my amateur experience, can be a challenge. Mostly the problem is finding them in the first place, and when you do see them they tend to be just standing around, galumphing great hulks, or snoozing in the shade of a tree, where the light is awful. If you’re a pro, you wait for the right moment – and waiting can mean a long, long time, before something interesting happens. When you’re not a pro, just someone like me, you’re either driving, with limited time at your disposal, or you’re on a game drive, which means someone else […]

The crocs of St Lucia

As I have mentioned, there are crocs enough in the St Lucia Wetlands to form a walkway across the water, Crocodile Dundee-style, should anyone want to make so bold. Or be so foolish. But these images are not from the wild, they are from the Crocodile Centre located in the reserve, instead. We were lucky enough to come across one female, in a state of suspension, trance-like, humped over a shallow hole she had dredged in the sand, and watch as her body periodically arched, while she dropped into the hole one soft, glistening crocodile egg after another.

St Lucia ‘seconds’

One of the things about St Lucia that makes things a little tricky for the photographer is the vegetation – dense, lush, green, all too often in the way of a clear shot, especially for the traveling amateur or tourist who does not have the luxury of lying in wait, sometimes for days or weeks, to make that definitive image. These images are definitely ‘seconds’, not the first quality – but I share them because of the moments they capture: a giraffe, with an ox-pecker or tick bird over one eye, a clutch of zebra resting on one another’s rumps, […]

Kudu coquette

This young kudu bull, posing beside a tree in the St Lucia Marine Park, seemed almost coquettish as he looked at me looking at him through the lens of my camera. [In the original version of this post I made the embarrassing error of referring to the bull as female – I fear the coquettishness had me tied up in knots!]