SAFARIS: OFF ROAD, OVER BUSHES & UP CLOSE
Our adrenalin filled safaris took place in private game reserves where our knowledgeable and skilled drivers and trackers located the best sights for photographing wildlife!
- Lazing in the early morning sunshine
- Feeding on a buffalo kill
- Strutting their muscular bodies within a couple of metres from our jeep
- Spotted in daylight relaxing on a fallen tree
- After our chase through the woods and over bushes the leopard in pursuit tired and rested in an open sunny area to pose for photos within a couple of metres from our vehicle.
- A jaw-dropping experience this was! A mother cheetah and one young were feeding on a fresh springbok kill just a couple of metres away! Sounds of cracking bones and sights of bloodied faces had our cameras working on rapid fire to capture their every movement!
- Although nocturnal mother hyena was nursing and caring for her young cubs in a wide open field in the morning sunshine
- While we were dining by candlelight under the stars in the bush a hyena was attracted to the aroma of our dinner! He made his presence known vocally until our guide shooed him away!
- It's their world - gracefully walking within reach of our jeep!
- Breaking branches and stripping bark for their huge appetite
- Drinking & cooling off at water's edge
CULTURE; VIVACIOUS, MUSICAL & TRADITIONAL CUSTOMS
- Zulus - A world unchanged and unspoiled by modern technology and customs!
- No electricity, no household water taps and dependent upon vegetables from their little garden patch!
- Traditional ceremonies are practised today - Sangoma Healing ceremonies, Coming of Age - bridal showers
- Enjoy evening Zulu performances of dance & song to the beat of the drums!
SCENIC - ENDLESS BEAUTY - OCEANS, MOUNTAINS, VINEYARDS & GARDENS
- Zulu territory offers vistas of hilly terrain with golden maize and fields of green where cattle and goats graze
- Oceans outline the edges of South Africa, home to penguins, whales, yachts & fishing boats
- Mountain ranges throughout the Cape area provide picturesque landscape wherever one looks!
- Ubiquitous vineyards throughout the Stellenbosch and Franschhoek area make for interesting sightseeing of beautifully appointed wine estates!
- A morning walk through Kirstenbosch Gardens to photograph indigenous plants and several varieties of the showy protea.
- A four course gourmet dinner paired with one of Stellenbosch's best wines while the view from our window displayed a vineyard at the foot of a mountain range. A truly wonderful South African experience and one not to be missed!
NAMIBIA, BOTSWANA, OKAVANGO DELTA & ZAMBIA
SAFARIS: ANIMAL KINGDOM - NOTORIOUS NATIONAL PARKS
LION - Etosha National Park
- Resting around a waterhole we saw two male and one female lion basking in the sunshine, one male with his legs in the air possibly to cool off! The other male lion walked around the waterhole and rested alongside another lion presenting us with a wonderful photographic experience!
LION - Chobe National Park - Botswana
- Mother lion with her young were seen under a tree in the late afternoon. After feeding on some of her fresh kudu kill she walked past our vehicle and headed to quench her thirst at the river. Our vehicle was the only one present enabling us to photograph her in clear view and even her reflection in the water!
LEOPARD - Chobe National Park - Botswana
- Our keen driver/spotter noticed a mature leopard stretched out on a limb in a tree! Sometimes limbs pose a problem for photographing but this sighting thrilled us just the same and gave us a challenge with our various camera settings!
- As it was getting late and the park due to close soon we heard a leopard in the bushes enjoying its kill and the cracking of bones. Although we could not see the leopard we had a plan to visit the park early next morning!
- Morning came and our plan was successful! There was mother leopard with a cub under a tree. We waited until mother leopard moved from under the bush to rest in the warm morning sunshine at which time our cameras were in overdrive!
WATER EXCURSIONS: Chobe River - Botswana
- Spending most ot the daytime in shallow water they appear lazy and docile but don't be fooled as they are very aggressive and love to intimidate you! The Chobe River is full of hippos and upon our leaving after our sundowner trip we counted thirty-three heads just above the water's surface!
- The Chobe River is home to many bird species that are close to the riverbanks for their easy feeding of fish. Here you will see kingfishers, bee-eaters, egrets, herons, fish eagles, vultures and storks to mention just a few. Our RARE sighting was a purple heron that had caught a water snake for his lunch. Now he had a problem as this could not be swallowed all at one time!
OKAVANGO DELTA - BOTSWANA
After an hour long flight in a small aircraft to reach our upscale lodge in the bush we were met by the lodge staff and taken to our bush chalets and then invited to a scrumptious lunch in an open verandah! Our land excursions were in open jeeps along dirt paths where we had the thrill of going off-road to get closer to the animals/birds to photograph!
- Determined to get the green foliage at the top of the tree we actually saw the male elephant pushing against the tree to break a huge limb off the tree! Soon we heard a very loud CRACK then saw a dense cloud of dust and the male elephant looking so proud of his feat as if to say "Did a great job on that"! Another experience in the wild and another reminder that you are in their world!
- Meet George ... a big male elephant who grazes near the lodge! George got closer and closer to the lodge and started to dig with his big foot along the edge of the boardwalk! Realizing that he was going nowhere here he then showed his frustration by knocking the rail posts from the walkway down! We stood by in utter amazement as George continued to destroy the railing. what did George want? Apparently he remembered he got berries from there and this time there were no berries for him so he would try harder to locate them! Poor George was shooed away and stomped off along another path taking some branches from a bush with him! Next day the air was filled with the sound of hammers repairing George's damage!
- There in the warm sunshine was mother hyena and young cubs! Mother looked like she was going to burst from a swollen tummy as she lay on her side while her young played nearby. An opportunity to photograph hyena both in the sunshine and up close was truly a hit.
CULTURE - Livingstone, Zambia
- David Livingstone Museum provides an in depth historical account of Livingstone's ambition to find the source of the Nile as well as all his hardships in pursuing his dream. Here you will see letters that he wrote, the names of politicians at the time and how living conditions were in that period of time.
- Mukuni Village in Livingstone introduces you to how people still live today, having eight or nine people under one small thatched rondavel, how they cook over open fire with the simplest of cookware but remain clean, well dressed and happy! The men are skilled wood carvers and attend their own and another local market to sell their carvings. Be prepared to barter!!
- Victoria Falls - a helicopter ride over the falls is the best way to view the falls. In October the Zambian side is completely dried up and the only falls flowing is on the Zimbabwean side.
These tours are both filled with adventures into the "Real Africa" - South Africa providing more culture and landscape as well as truly great safaris with up close excursions into the animal world and the Namibian, Okavango Delta and Botswana tour concentrating more on the animal kingdom!
Please join me in experiencing the wonders of Africa in 2014! Maximum 12 guests!Regards, Joan Gerber - Tour Escort/Travel Counsellor affiliated with Nexion Canada