In the Karoo somewhere…

I jammed on my brakes when I saw this view – hell, it was time to have a break anyway!

KarooLook at that sky!
KarooAnd not much further on…

KarooLooks like a Western Movie backdrop, doesn’t it?Karoo

This hill overlooks the Gareip Dam off ramp…Karoo Karoo

So please excuse the road in the above pics – imagine what it must have looked like before the highway!

Karoo

Or power-lines!Karoo

 

 

 

 

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Vultures in flight…

I’ve not yet managed to get a decent shot of a bird flying – so this post is simply a chronicle of my journey…VulturesYeah yeah, I know his feathers are blurred…Vultures

These vultures don’t appear to be too accommodating to new arrivals. We watched them fly in, eat a little, have a scrap with another vulture and fly off again to the other side of the pan.
VulturesEven flying against the fairly strong wind, this vulture pictured above is a ropey looking creature. It appears getting off the ground with a full stomach isn’t easy.

VulturesThis guy is beating up another vulture (I think…I can’t imagine he would be getting friendly on top of a dirty stinky carcass!) I love the little white spot on his wings.

 

 

 

Waterberg…

I took these photographs of the Waterberg, on our way through Limpopo Province…

 

WaterbergUsually we drive on a road on the other side of this range of hills and have always wondered about a place called Vaalwater. There are so many signs heading there…we wanted to know what Vaalwater looked like!!! So now we know.Waterberg

I love the colour of the grass and the mountains repeating themselves into the distance. I took these two pics at about lunch time, the light pretty strong.

 

Pied Babblers…

These birds are alot less shy than the arrow marked babblers. They happily hopped about in the trees and on the ground, posed for me! Pied BabblersThey make a very similar noise to the arrowmarked babblers – one which always reminds me of my family – noisy, gregarious, numerous

Pied BabblersThese pics were taken in the Khama Rhino Sanctuary, Serowe, Botswana. I have never seen them in Zimbabwe, but I’m told we do get them.

Pied Babblers

 

Rhino…

Pushed for time, at the Khama Rhino Sanctuary, we thought we had once again missed out on the opportunity to see a Rhino in the wild. Driving all around the pan, I took photos of Zebra, Ostrich….well all sorts, but not the animal we wanted. Then, far way in the distance, I saw what could be a huge ant’s nest…it was the right colour and shape. I thought it was too big for a Rhino…

Rhino

The above pic is where I used the camera as bino’s…and yup, definitely a Rhino, but many kilometres away and with the strict “remain on the roads,” rule in the Khama Sanctuary, had no idea how we could get close to it. So we decided to go back to the pan where we saw the dead animal and photograph the vultures. I’m really bad at capturing birds flying – I thought slow moving vultures may be the only thing I would get that day…

RhinoWe arrived at the pan to find these two…one wallowing in the mud! RhinoSo chuffed we had finally got the shots we wanted, we sat there watching these huge animals drinking, wallowing, living their lives. They appear to be gentle creatures, ignoring the throngs of vultures, the timid jackal and the warthogs. About to drive off, we saw this in the distance…strolling towards the pan.

Rhino Rhino

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the second pair were about a hundred metres away, the first two just walked off…

Rhino

 

 

 

Click on any photo in the above gallery, and it will open in full size. Watching them approach the pan, we wondered how they would react to the vultures and the other animals drinking at the pan. We wondered if they, like elephants often do, would bash their way through…they didn’t. The approached steadily, taking munches of grass, skirted the main group of vultures and without any fan-fare, drank, wallowed and drank again.

I am certain they posed for me: Rhino

before also strolling off…Rhino

And why did they move off? Because in the distance, the pair I had photographed earlier were moving to the pan…they even stopped and had a conflab!

This was even better than we had even dreamed of…the mummy and baby spoke to the other two pairs, and made their way to drink…

RhinoPosed for me…Rhino

And went ahead to drink. The little guy mucked about in the mud, playfully bumping the warthog, and the mother didn’t spike it with that incredibly long horn…Rhino

Rhino Rhino

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m sorry there are so many photos in this post – but I just couldn’t choose which ones to leave out and I wanted to share this amazing experience with you…This place, Khama Rhino Sanctuary is a place I would recommend for anyone who wants to see Rhino in the wild. Elsewhere on this blog I have photos of the campsites – I would not like to drive in a little car here though, I was in four wheel drive most of the time and the “middle-manejie” was fairly high.

www.khamarhinosanctuary.org.bw

 

 

Telephone wires and transformers…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“Cultural Interference” is what I usually call telephone wires and pylons. I can hardly take a photo these days without a cell phone tower intruding somewhere. But I feel in the above pic, that the telephone wires enhance the impression of distance. Its so very hard to show the endless straight roads we drive on in Africa.

Telephone wires and transformersThe above pic was taken in the late afternoon, looking directly into the sun…and Im surprised the camera managed to do anything at all with all that light…our big problem was the “cultural interference!” No matter where we went, there were cables…I eventually hid behind the plant on the right, and only one wire…The pic below was taken shortly after…

Telephone wires and transformers

 

The sun on the left in the above photo…I also managed to hide behind a tree to take it…

And in the photo below…it hasn’t come up at all (hey, I’m allowed to boast when I get out of bed before sunrise!)

Telephone wires and transformers

The wind farms in the Eastern Cape are pictured above. Each tower is fitted with a red flashing light that doesn’t bother me that much – I was brought up in an age when a red flashing light was a helicopter or something exciting like that!