Monday, March 18, 2019

Game drives from Kwafubesi Tented Camp. Limpopo Province


Sunrise...
And that can only mean one thing when I am in the bush...
Game drive time!
Heading out in the early morning darkness
and getting to witness the birth of a new day.
A humbling and emotional moment.
There will be prey species that have not lived to see this.
They will have become a meal that will allow others to survive and thrive.

Somewhat disheveled as I had forgotten my razor at home.
But neither the other guests nor the wildlife seems to mind.
It may seem strange, but I try to mentally prepare myself before each outing.
I need to be focused to try and record "that image"
that I will later share with my readers

There had been a LOT of rain just before one of the drives.
Splashing through the muddy water was such fun.

And speaking of mud...
This Red Hartebeest was using the mud as "war paint"
It was his attempt to spruce up for the females.

Time for the afternoon exercise class?
This Zebra walked into the middle of the road and literally fell over.
Using the dust to clean itself of a variety of persistent parasites.
It rolled around for awhile and then strolled off into the grass to feed.

There is no image as powerful as the sight of a lion walking towards a vehicle!
This fellow was scent marking his territory after the rains
 had dissipated his earlier markings.
Single minded in his task he walked within 2m of the vehicle
without breaking stride or making extended eye contact.
Once past, he veered off the road and vanished almost instantaneously.
It was so quick that the vehicle coming in behind us never got to see him.

Doing what Hippos do best...virtually nothing.
I was waiting for the youngster on the left to yawn,
but it was not interested in "posing" for me.
Hippos are amongst the most dangerous animals on the African continent.
The most dangerous being...
The Mosquito.

With the exception of Red-billed Queleas,
I have never seen birds in a swarm like this.
These Swallows were drinking on the wing
and in droves. Quite a spectacle.

The Desert Oryx or Gemsbok stands majestically and watched as we drove past.
The one on the left only had one horn. Was it an African Unicorn?
A common occurrence I was told, as the males tend to fight for dominance. 
More suited to the high desert temperatures, the herd here had adapted really well.

Well SOMEONE has to move it...
A Dung Beetle rolling a dung ball.
The job falls to the males. They present the ball to the females
who then lay their eggs inside.
This provides both food and shelter for the youngsters as they grow,

This was an unusual sighting for me.
Normally when I find Nile Crocodiles they are pretending to be logs.
At least this one was out on a bank with its mouth wide open.

A female Warthog checks me out as we drive by.
Disney has a LOT to answer for, 
but I have noticed that the guides no longer refer to them as "Pumba".
Although it is a prey species, with their razor sharp tusks,
they are able to defend themselves and often survive predator attacks.

This large male White Rhino bull was marking his territory.
All the while the younger, more submissive males waited patiently
for him to finish spraying and move off.

A Wildebeest and a Warthog engage in their bush version
of the 100m dash.

Mom and calf.
Young White Rhinos always walk ahead of their mothers.

Baboons seem to have anger issues.
They also have hierarchy issues that tend be resolved with 
the baring of teeth and LOTS of noise.
Youngsters are disciplined vociferously by the adults in the troop.
In this instance it was two junior members resolving their own differences.

Wrinkles and erosion...
The contrast between this elephant and its environment is starkly represented here.
Just one of the small herd that can be found in the private game reserve.

Just to show how easy it is to stumble upon a lioness in the tall grass.
If it had not been for an ear flick, we would not have seen her at all.
Not a mistake that you want to be making while on a walk.

Welcoming the new day.
An Impala ram that made it through the night.
I am in awe of how they go about the daily business of just being an Impala.
They don't want to be a Kudu or a Buffalo,
they are content with who and what they are.
Perhaps humans could take a lesson from nature?

What better way to end off a successful safari.
Standing out in the middle of a vast open area, 
sipping a cool beverage and saying goodbye to the day.

There nothing quite as special(or spectacular) 
as an African sunset.

Once you report to the main reception at Mabula,
a field guide will come to collect you to transfer you to the camp.
It is situated about 15-20 minutes away,
and as the road goes through the game reserve
who might be in for some surprise game viewing.
And by the way, Google maps still has not rectified their directions.
If you are going to follow them , then use "Bela Bela" as you destination.
Once there you can enter "Mabula" to get you to the correct car park.



A big thank you to each of these brands
 for coming on board.

This has been my constant travel companion 
for the past several years.
It might look worn,
but that represents the kilometers/miles
we have shared together.
From Kilimanjaro to the beaches of India.
To coach trips across Europe and Vietnam
and to a variety of game lodges and road trip destinations
 in South and Southern Africa.
BEST SUITCASE EVER!
Check out their Facebook page:

This torch has been turning heads!
The Olight SRS2UT Intimidator.
Marketed locally by:

My camera brand of choice for more than 4 decades!
Photo:

Photo:
When it is time to print out my special images,
this is the company that I rely on to do that.



Bush gear to make me blend in...
in comfort and style.



I have worn the orange Veldskoen in the jungles of India
and on the beaches of Croatia.
Not to mention, many game reserves in Africa.
They are probably the most comfortable pair of shoes
that I have ever owned.
Now to try out the rest of the colours in the range.

Photo:
When I get home. I rely on this ISP
to provide me with high speed fibre connectivity 
to enable me to get my postings published in record time.

Photo:
This Powerbank is my constant companion
 while I am travelling.
It can do up to 4 full re-charges of my phone before
needing to be charged.
Supplied by...


When offered an option...
ALWAYS be Batman.
My constant travelling companion.
To find out more about the collectible Funko range of figurines,
visit:

I could not do without this awesome laptop bag from Solo.
Padded for protection and with enough pockets to keep
almost everything INCLUDING the kitchen sink in,
this is definitely an stylish addition to any business presentation.
Be it in the boardroom or the bush.
This bag can also be worn as a backpack. 
There are straps in a hidden compartment that can be deployed
when you need both hands for other purposes.
To find out more about the stylish Solo range,
visit:


This locally made product was indispensable when using a long lens.
The ball and socket might look simple...and it is, 
which is why it should be in the gear bag of every serious photographer.
This locally made, deceptively simple device is ideal 
for tracking birds in flight or animals in motion.
The base can be used on a beanbag or a tripod,
with the ball being fitted to the camera.
The simplicity of the device allows to to move from supported
to hand held in a fluid motion.
There is also a version that can be used on a car window.
To see more about the product, 
visit their Facebook page:
Or order directly from:


To see who else were winners in 2018, visit:


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and may not be used without permission