FROM THE BLOG

Cheeky thieving monkeys

The vervet monkeys in Samburu National Reserve, Kenya are such characters … I love watching them at play – they jump all over the elephant collars on the branch outside, chase each other all over the river bank and swing off tree branches. They’re also opportunist thieves and since I’ve been here, they’ve swiped a banana from my hand, a bounty bar off the table and an entire bacon sandwich from a friend of mine as he was about to take a bite! It’s also not uncommon to find a monkey or two sitting in the wall of your outdoor shower[…]

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David M

My journey to Rwanda – an awakening

This sweet young Rwandan boy pictured above with the expressive eyes and shy glance is David Mugiraneza. David used to love football, enjoyed making people laugh and hoped one day to become a doctor. At the age of ten, he had his whole life before him and was no doubt the apple of his mother’s eye – from all accounts a caring and sweet son. In 1994 before he’d even had the chance to see the world, experience his first love, marriage, have a family of his own, or even pursue his dreams of becoming a doctor, David’s short sweet life came to[…]

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Hyrax: The fang-toothed rock creature related to elephants

In Africa there live a group of curious, fuzzy, squat, rodent-looking creatures called rock hyrax. Also known as rock badgers, rock rabbits and rock dassies (it’s a wonder these creatures don’t suffer personality disorders!) these little toothy guys build their homes in a labyrinth of tunnels and holes in rocky canyons.   And boy are they fun to photograph. They just stare and stare, frozen as if they think you can’t see them, but as soon you blink or look away boom! they disappear like rabbits in a hat. Or badgers or hyrax.  The dassie above, which I photographed near Windhoek in Namibia, was sporting a rather dashing toothbrush[…]

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Meet the colourful and comical birds of Africa

As well as photographing elephants, lions, leopards, cheetah and baboons during my recent trip to Africa, I also managed to take a few shots of the amazing birdlife from honking hornbills to grumpy vultures. In fact the very first photograph I took in Africa was of a yellow weaver bird on a fence. We were having breakfast at the Ole Sereni hotel in Nairobi en route to Diani for the first leg of our travels.  The weaver suddenly hopped onto the fence and kindly stood there in perfect profile while staring out at the national game reserve. I couldn’t have asked for a better photographic subject! Most[…]

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Vaccines to visas: How to prep for a trip to Africa

In three weeks I’m heading back to Africa – to Rwanda this time to photograph the mountain gorillas and golden monkeys in the country’s Volcano National Park. As I start prepping my gear for my next wildlife adventure, my thoughts wander back to my most recent three-month trip to Africa and the amount of time, work and effort it took me to prepare for that trip. I spent hours and hours googling, phoning and wandering the high street looking for the bits and pieces I’d need for my trip (and that’s not even counting the hours of research I did into my photography gear prior to leaving! –[…]

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How I become ‘mother’ to an orphaned baby baboon

I’ve had some great adventures in my life from climbing icy mountains to fishing for piranha in the Amazon, but nothing quite compares to the experience of babysitting a smelly, mischievous orphaned baby baboon in Namibia. During a recent trip to Africa I volunteered at the Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary near Windhoek where part of my ‘work’, alongside food prep, carnivore feeding, game counts and cheetah walks, was to spend the night with a baby baboon, bottle-feeding him and changing his nappy. As my friend Anneli said, ‘good baby practice!” There are currently several orphaned baby baboons at Naankuse  – all bought to the[…]

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Stunning images of Namibia’s Himba tribe

It was with a bit of trepidation that we first met the traditional Himba people of Namibia – an indigenous people of about 50,000 living in Northern Namibia and Angola.  We were on our way back from Etosha and our guide had warned us the Himba were aggressive business people, wouldn’t like being photographed too often and would most likely cover our arms in bracelets and try to get us to buy everything! While the latter was true (and I did end up buying a few bracelets after they covered my arms in them), I found the Himba despite their serious business demeanour to be warm, friendly and[…]

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Fuchsia flamingos of Namibia

Having spent a month in the Namib Desert since my last post with no internet access, temperatures of 50 degrees celsius and the nearest town 200km away, I’ve got very behind in keeping my blog up to date!  In fact I have a tonne of stories and images to post including tales about baby-sitting a tiny baboon for the night, being chased by an Ostrich and searching for Hyena in Kanaan. Firstly though, I have to share some of my favourite pictures from one of the highlights of my visit to Namibia – seeing the incredible Flamingo colonies at the lagoon in Walvis Bay near Swakopmund. There[…]

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Meet the shy clicking San people of Namibia

On my second day in Namibia, I was introduced to a fascinating yet shy group of people called San people. Also known as the bushmen or Basarwa, they are the oldest inhabitants of southern Africa where they have lived for at least 20,000 years. While many San people have adapted to modern ways and no longer live the traditional lifestyle in Namibia,  it was fascinating to learn about their culture and see how they lived off the harsh African landscape and nature.  We listened to the chief of the group speak in the click language ‘Khoisan’ as he showed us how to hunt wildlife in the traditional San way using poison[…]

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Why everyone should become a wildlife volunteer

I’ve spent the past week volunteering at the N/a’an ku se wildlife sanctuary in Namibia – established in 2006 by Rudie and Marlice van Vuuren, with friends Chris Heunis and Jan Verburg, to protect and improve the lives of the country’s people and wildlife. The world famous sanctuary provides a haven and second chance for countless injured, orphaned, and conflict animals. The sanctuary’s goal is to release them whenever possible so that they may be free to live a natural life in the wild. In the sanctuary, they have cheetahs, lions, leopards, troops of baboons, warthogs, meerkats, kudu, a beautiful Hartebeest called Elsa, herds of[…]

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