Giraffe at “The Farmhouse,” Matopos

The Farmhouse, is a lovely game park with safari facilities/camping right next door us, in Matopos.

Although just down the road from the National Park, there is little need to travel anywhere, when there are most species of game found, (other than rhino) dotted with kopjies and an amazing lookout with Rhodes’ Grave in the distance.

When I took these photos, the giraffe had just started having babies and there were several adorable youngsters.

The quality of the photo above is poor as it was taken at full zoom, but I wanted to capture a photo of a day old giraffe drinking from its mum.

In isiNdebele, giraffe are called “taller than the trees…” and I agree

Impala at Mana Pools


This photo above was taken very early in the morning – that blue light filtering through the trees.



I went to Mana in October (it was a little later than I would have liked) so there is hardly any grazing around.


This photo (above) has the river in the background and look at the size of the tree!!!


I took the next few later in the day…


That hill in the background is Zambia.


Evening light…



A small stag herd under the canopy, the red sunset filtering through






Hippo at the Long Pool…


I got to the long pool, early in the morning so this hippo was coming back from grazing. Hippo mostly spend the day in the water, grazing at night.


Looks as if she had been in the wars. The oxpecker isnt really helping her healing – I think he is actually picking open the wound on her side.

At the long pool at Mana Pools…

I decided to spend the day at the Long Pools – just watching the world coming and going.


Sitting there, I saw a bushbuck walk along the sand to get water:


Later, I went walking around this pool. Standing near a bank, a bush-buck just walked straight towards me – it was a magical experience – to be so close to a wild animal as beautiful as this one:


She looked right at me, and then just carried on walking, directly towards me!


The greatest thing at Mana Pools, for me, is that one can walk in the park. You have to get a permit and I also paid for a guide! That is not obligatory!


I’m not sure I breathed much while I took those! I was having to pull the zoom into the camera with each step she took



Mana Pools..


I’m told that hippo yawn as a sign of aggression – well, I’m not sure why he felt threatened, but I kept my distance!



There are a lot of hippo in the Zambezi – I always marvel at people who paddle the river in canoes or kayaks – I have a healthy respect for hippo!

Fish Eagle…

This fish eagle often sits in a tree directly opposite Mlibizi fishing camp, it’s nest just around the corner. One of a pair, they also feed a juvenile (brown coloured still,) and are probably laying eggs right now in their messy nest.

Our boatman threw a tiddler onto the water with a reed stuck through its gills. After following the bird carefully in its descent, I missed the shot! Luckily, the fish-eagle did too, on his first pass, and I got to record this magnificent bird change direction and swoop down directly towards me.

Wow, what power…


Swooping down…


This is where he had to turn in mid air!





I was told a story about a fish eagle at Mlibizi Hotel. (Pic in the previous post.)

Rescued as a chick, the fish eagle had been brought up at the hotel, probably fed with the scraps from fisherman. Fully grown, it sat in a tree above the pool, as fish eagle are wont to do.

One day, a guy with a bald patch, jumped into the pool and began swimming across! I’m guessing from the birds perspective, his bald patch looked awfully like lunch, shimmering under water!

The fish eagle swooped down and stuck his talons into his scalp! It made quite a mess, I’m told!



On the Zambezi seems to be a social event and everyone joins in – birds, people, crocs!!!P1160757

Waste water from the fish farm enters the Zambezi here and it seems to attract fishermen of all kinds!

In this video, you can see the fish jump about when the croc moves:

Ive no idea what this bird is, but it sure can stay still for long enough. He was drying himself here after a mini dive!



This little kingfisher sits on an abandoned boat roof.


When Lake Kariba filled, trees were flooded and died, providing great subjects for sunset photography! Also pretty good perches for the many water birds found along the Zambezi.


This poor bird, featured above got caught up in a fisherman’s cast…Luckily for it, hooks are valuable things and the fisherman set it free.

Fish Eagle make the most awesome call – and the swooping, majestic flights over the water. They sit for hours on trees or other vantage points over the Zambezi, waiting for prey. I was told a story by the guy who helped me capture the video below – he said he saw a juvenile fish eagle riding on its parent’s back, learning how to fish! I’d love to catch THAT on video!


This video was taken on the Zambezi – not at Binga – a few kilometres upstream near Msuna..