Photo Friday – Another African Experience

Africa seeps into your soul somehow.  We have been lucky enough to travel through several African countries and each one has given us a new insight into the heart of this fascinating continent. For me it is always watching the animals.  Sitting quietly observing the daily habits of wild creatures is endlessly fascinating.  Many times I have been scared out of my mind, others I have been enchanted by the antics of baby elephants, tiny lion cubs, frolicking antelopes and the hilarious little warthogs.

One day, however, is imprinted in my memory.  We were in Chobe, Botaswana and had watched literally thousands of elephants day in and day out.  This particular day we decided to observe them from the Chobe River and watch their water play.  It was with some anxiety that I stepped into a little aluminium dinghy with two outboard motors and two African crew.   They were going to show us some unusual sights deep along the river where “no one goes” they told us.  Just what we wanted – watching quietly from another vantage point.  Or so we thought.

After about twenty minutes, we stopped in the middle of the river and watched a herd of elephants coming down to drink.

ele watering

Before long a couple of big males swam towards us, using their trunks as snorkels.  It is one thing to be on land and close to this enormous creature and quite another to be in a small boat feeling very vulnerable!


Ele 01

ele watering02However, it seemed they only wanted to play and so long as we left them alone, they were happy.

The river was also full of hippos – and these animals kill more people in Africa than any other, so we are told.


By now I was feeling a little apprehensive but had faith in our two African guides.  Then the unthinkable happened. The motor in the boat stopped and the worried faces of our guides told us this was totally unexpected.  We began to drift towards the hippos….

hippo02“Don’t worry, we will fix this,” they said and they fiddled around before getting the oars out and started to row towards the little sandy beach.  Just then I saw a huge crocodile slide into the water from the opposite bank…


Really feeling a panic now, I decided the safest thing would be to get out of the boat and onto dry land and maybe someone could drive out to pick us up.  The sharp African eyes suddenly alerted us – on the seemingly deserted beach, under a shady tree, lay two lions having a snooze with one eye on us!lions hidingAt first I couldn’t see them.  Then real panic set in – we had elephants swimming and frolicking near us, a lot of hippos in the middle of the river, a huge croc on the opposite bank and two lions on the beach – and a broken down boat!

croc02When it became obvious that the Africans didn’t know what to do, and there was no phone reception, we took the matter into our own hands and looked at the fuel lines of the boat.  Fortunately years of owning boats in Australia had made us comfortable with the mechanics and the first thing Richard did was to check the fuel lines.  They were blocked! After some rudimentary repairs, we got one motor going and slowly chugged back to our point of departure.

If you go to Africa, expect the unexpected and remember “Africa is not for Sissies” !


It’s Friday again – time for another photo and for me to keep to my routine!

Let me introduce you to a magnificent old lion we called “Duncan”.  We came across him on a morning drive in Zambia.  He was reclining in the shade with his bevy of females and a few cubs.  It was hot and they had just finished feeding on their kill earlier so were lying around just like household cats very full and very satisfied.

Duncan was keeping watch and as we approached he just looked at us with a mixture of curiosity and disdain.  The first feeling I had, being so close to this wild creature, was one of terror, after all what was to stop him leaping into the vehicle which was completely open?  Then I looked into his eyes and saw trust and immediately I felt drawn to this lovely old boy.


Then he began grooming one of his females – look at the ecstasy on her face


In the evening we went for another drive, it was getting dark and we could hear what sounded like a cough.  It was Duncan making his roar to the wild, letting all the other creatures know he was there and this was his kingdom.

Even today I think of him often and hope he is still around but the bet his he has been replaced by a younger, more virile lion and left on his own.  Sad – but that is Mother Nature.

Random Thoughts on a Journey

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Journey.”

One of my favourite quotes is by the well known travel writer, Paul Theroux – “Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travellers don’t know where they are going”  It’s all about the journey whether that be in the travel sense or in life.  There are times when I sit and ponder on where life is taking me and I wonder at the turn of events.  They say that everything happens for a reason but many times we don’t know why.  I have had cause to seriously question fate and the lessons we have to learn.

Let me begin by saying I have been a traveller since a very young age.  Travelling the world has been part of my life since the age of 2 years and travelling through the vagaries of life is always there, in all of us.  Life is a journey.

Not long ago I embarked on another journey with my husband – to Africa.  It is often said that Africa weaves its way into your soul like nowhere else on earth.  It is certainly true for us and we have visited the continent several times in the past decade.  We loved it.  I use the past tense because now I am not sure if we will ever return.

Our wonderful holiday turned into a nightmare which grew worse day by day until fate decided that maybe we had endured enough and it was time to go home.  Today I am sitting at my desk looking at a calm and sparkling sea.  The sky is clear and blue.  Everything is calm and serene and I know I am lucky to be living in this peaceful part of the world far from recent events which have terrorised Europe and the world.  However, I cannot think of Africa in such light again and now know that we were meant to be on that particular journey for a reason – which I have yet to figure out.

Mother and baby