Southern Africa, 2010

Picture titles

Click on an image to view it at the current resolution.
The numbers refer to the full set of 121 images.

1.  

Okapuka Lodge, Namibia, just north of Windhoek. Our sleeping quarters (spacious bedroom with en suite), a short walk from the main lodge. Trees are bare because they are deciduous. This building is a duplex; in the other lodges they were fully detached.

2.  

Warthog. Photographed near our room in the grounds of Okapuka Lodge, Namibia.

3.  

Warthog. Photographed near our room in the grounds of Okapuka Lodge, Namibia.

4.  

Warthog kneeling to graze. Photographed near our sleeping quarters in the grounds of Okapuka Lodge, Namibia.

5.  

Greater Kudu female. From our evening game drive at Okapuka Lodge, Namibia.

6.  

Young common waterbuck. Antelope from our evening game drive at Okapuka lodge, Namibia.

7.  

Common waterbuck youngster feeding from its mother. Antelope from our evening game drive at Okapuka lodge, Namibia.

8.  

Adult male common waterbuck. Antelope from our evening game drive at Okapuka lodge, Namibia.

9.  

I haven't been able to identify this antelope that we found on our evening game drive at Okapuka Lodge.

10.  

Wildebeest. Antelopes found on our evening game drive at Okapuka lodge, Namibia.

11.  

Springboks. Gazelles found on our evening game drive at Okapuka lodge, Namibia.

12.  

Oryx, possibly a male and female; the female is smaller but has similar horns and markings. Oryx are apparently particularly well adapted to desert conditions, of which Namibia has plenty. These were found on our evening game drive at Okapuka lodge, Namibia, in relatively arid but not desert conditions.

13.  

White rhinoceros in the Okapuka Lodge reserve, Namibia.

14.  

White rhinoceros in the Okapuka Lodge reserve, Namibia.

15.  

White rhinoceros in the Okapuka Lodge reserve, Namibia. You can see how the wide mouth can 'mow down' the grass fast enough to feed this massive herbivore.

16.  

Windhoek, Namibia. This small but bustling capital city appeared to be developing rapidly giving rise to fascinating colors and patterns.

17.  

The diesel train that took us to southern Namibia and elsewhere, at a lonely unimproved stop in the southern desert where we transferred to the buses that took us to Fish River Canyon.

18.  

Fish River Canyon, Namibia, the second largest canyon on earth. We walked along the rim for a while; not as large or colourful as the Grand Canyon in Arizona and much more arid but a better view of the bottom of the canyon, as seen here, than you get from the rim of the Grand Canyon.

19.  

An open forest of unusual trees in southern Namibia.

20.  

Nest of sociable weaver birds. We saw many of these nests each housing a flock of small sociable weaver birds. (There are some weaver birds, not necessarily exactly the same, in image 42 below) They were usually in trees but telephone poles along the train track or the road were also used. This one is a bit larger than most of those we saw but all were impressive for their size. The people are from our group; we very rarely saw anyone else in southern Namibia outside of the Sossuvlei area and the small towns or villages we visited.

21.  

The sand desert in southern Namibia. Compared to other sand deserts and sand dunes we've seen, the most striking aspect is the bright red colour of the Namibian sand.

22.  

A lonely live tree in the southern Namibia desert.

23.  

The photographer is Bruce Hodge who was also the tour doctor and one of the tour escorts. Bruce is seemingly unaware of the dead tree that seems to be creeping up on him. This was actually a rather creepy place called Dead Vlei. It used to fill with water in years of heavy rainfall but moving sand has diverted the flood water leaving permanently arid desert. The trees that originally grew here died when the water stopped coming but their skeletons are preserved by the very dry climate.

24.  

Dead Vlei: tree skeletons in a former lake bed. Sossuvlei region, Namibia.

25.  

Wind waves in the sand, Sossuvlei region, Namibia.

26.  

Dead Vlei: tree skeletons in a former lake bed. Sossuvlei region, Namibia.

27.  

Dead Vlei: tree skeletons in a former lake bed. Sossuvlei region, Namibia.

28.  

Yes, this is a popular tourist spot. Sossuvlei region, Namibia.

29.  

Sand dunes, Sossuvlei region, Namibia.

30.  

A daunting prospect. The 'Matterhorn of Namibia' or Spitzkoppe is nearby. This was a stop on our train journey from Swakopmund, on the coast, to Etosha National Park in the north.

31.  

Impala at a water hole, Etosha National Park in northern Namibia. The pair locking horns were not fighting seriously but appeared to be young adults learning the 'tricks of the trade'. Unlike most of my photos of game, this one was taken with the EF70-300mmf/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM lens because we were in the coach before we reached our lodging and my 400mm prime lens was inaccessible in the luggage. This particular image was taken at 1/1250 sec at f/8, 400 ISO.

32.  

Blue wildebeest. This was taken with the 400mmf/4 prime lens and a 1.4x adapter that made it into a 560mmf/5.6 telephoto lens. In Etosha, we were viewing game in a National Park where we were not allowed to drive off-road so we didn't usually get as close to the game as in the private reserves. I found the 560mm useful in Etosha but I didn't use the 1.4x adapter elsewhere and found the basic 400mm was a good compromise most of the time. The game vehicles didn't usually have anywhere to support the lens when taking photographs, so camera shake was always an issue, especially when the focal length was longer.

33.  

Blue wildebeest, Etosha National Park in northern Namibia.

34.  

Lion,Etosha National Park in northern Namibia. There were two lions near a large waterhole. Antelopes and other game were hovering nearby, not too close, waiting for the lions to leave, which they eventually did. I was very glad to have the 560mm focal length here; even so this is cropped significantly.

35.  

Impala and blue wildebeest, Etosha National Park in northern Namibia.

36.  

Banded mongoose, Etosha National Park in northern Namibia.

37.  

African elephant, Etosha National Park in northern Namibia. Apparently, the ears so clearly displayed here have blood vessels close to the surface that help keep the elephant cool.

38.  

African elephant browsing on grass and leaves, Etosha National Park in northern Namibia.

39.  

African elephant, Etosha National Park in northern Namibia. Looks like it swallowed its trunk.

40.  

African elephant, Etosha National Park in northern Namibia. It appears to be resting its trunk on a tusk.

41.  

African elephant, Etosha National Park in northern Namibia.

42.  

I think these birds are red-billed quelea. They belong to the 'weaver' family that build mass nests (see image 20).

43.  

This elephant surprised us by putting out his penis to urinate and then wandering off with it dragging on or near the ground. The guide said this was not particularly unusual but it seemed weird to us.

44.  

Kirk's dik-dik. This small antelope is ultra-cute even by antelope standards.

45.  

This stern, handsome, impala male was checking out our game-viewing vehicle from a safe distance. Taken with the 400mm lens and the height cropped from 3744 pixels to 2451 pixels. The fuzzy green spots in the front are out-of-focus foliage betwen me and the impala.

46.  

A water-hole in Etosha National Park, northern Namibia. This young giraffe is not too sure about the greater kudu sharing its drinking water. It's common to see multiple species drinking together at a water-hole.

47.  

Mother is getting ready to drink while junior is checking out the kudu and its beautiful horns.

48.  

Proud giraffe posing with her off-spring. A water-hole in Etosha National Park, northern Namibia.

49.  

Time for a drink. Note the two strategies for getting down to the water. This is a dangerous time for giraffes because they can't take off quickly from these positions. Happily, there were no predators to be seen this time.

50.  

And then there were three. Giraffes at a water-hole in Etosha National Park, northern Namibia.

51.  

On the run. I don't know what got this group of giraffes moving but it was great to see them running. Etosha National Park, northern Namibia.

52.  

It looks like they were just jumping for the fun of it. Giraffes in Etosha National Park in northern Namibia.

53.  

Impala grazing on tree leaves. Etosha National Park, northern Namibia.

54.  

This impala male looks rather unfriendly. Taken with the 400mm lens; just slightly cropped at the top and a bit off the sides. Etosha National Park, northern Namibia.

55.  

Our guide said that the older impala, on the left, was teaching the young one how to fight. On another occasion, we did see impalas rushing at each other with their heads down and horns ready for action but this image shows a more gentle scene. Etosha National Park, northern Namibia.

56.  

Implala males eyeball to eyeball. Etosha National Park, northern Namibia.

57.  

Zebras were not uncommon and always fun to see. The pattern of stripes is apparently unique to each individual. Etosha National Park, northern Namibia.

58.  

Kori Bustard. Etosha National Park, northern Namibia.

59.  

Giraffes again; junior scampering back to mum. Etosha National Park, northern Namibia.

60.  

Giraffe suckling. Etosha National Park, northern Namibia.

61.  

Various creatures sharing the grassland, including wildebeest, warthog, ostrich and kudu. Etosha National Park, northern Namibia.

62.  

Eagle in flight. Etosha National Park, northern Namibia.

63.  

Flamingos. Etosha National Park, northern Namibia.

64.  

Another giraffe with spread legs having a drink. Etosha National Park, northern Namibia.

65.  

Impala male at the waterhole. Etosha National Park, northern Namibia.

66.  

Hippopotamus. More human deaths are attributed to this animal than to any other in Africa. We saw this one in the spotlight on our way back to the lodge in the dark at the end of a game drive. Kanana Lodge, Okavanga Delta, Botswana. Kanana was the most comfortable of the lodges and hotels we stayed at this trip.

67.  

Monkey. Kanana Lodge, Okavanga Delta, Botswana.

68.  

Sundowner. As the sun went down, the game vehicles collected together and out came the glasses and gin and tonic etc. which we enjoyed as the sun set. This was in the reserve at Kanana Lodge but the same traditon was observed in Sabi Sands. After the sundowner, the vehicles split up again and returned to the lodge by different routes, looking for game with a spotlight.

69.  

Lilies and reeds in the delta, seen on a boat trip. Kanana Lodge, Okavanga Delta, Botswana.

70.  

Sunset. Kanana Lodge, Okavanga Delta, Botswana.

71.  

Sunset over the delta. Kanana Lodge, Okavanga Delta, Botswana.

72.  

Hornbill. These fairly common birds, with the large yellow beak, were known locally as 'flying banana' according to our guide. Kanana Lodge, Okavanga Delta, Botswana.

73.  

Looks like a bush-shrike, probably a back-crowned tchagra. Kanana Lodge, Okavanga Delta, Botswana.

74.  

Warthog. Kanana Lodge, Okavanga Delta, Botswana.

75.  

Warthog. Kanana Lodge, Okavanga Delta, Botswana.

76.  

Warthog. Kanana Lodge, Okavanga Delta, Botswana.

77.  

Zebra suckling. I think mum feels this has gone on long enough. Kanana Lodge, Okavanga Delta, Botswana.

78.  

Young zebra. Kanana Lodge, Okavanga Delta, Botswana.

79.  

Young boy. We toured an old area of Maputo where people still lived in corugated iron huts left over from colonial days. Although the living conditions were cramped with major problems for sanitation and water supply, the area was better kept than many other parts of Maputo that had large homes and businesses. Maputo, Mozambique. I used my 70-300mm-f4.5-5.6 DO lens for this excursion. It's quite small and non-threatening for its power.

80.  

We were introduced to this resident who appeared to be a leader or elder of the crowded poorly serviced area we walked through in Maputo. We were allowed to walk through the area, in return for a donation to improve their facilities. This man may have been responsible for arranging that with the residents as a whole. I wonder what his life has been like through all the upheavals and now independence for Mozambique. Maputo, Mozambique.

81.  

More children from the crowded area. What will their future be? Maputo, Mozambique.

82.  

The Portugese brought soccer to Mozambique and it has taken off, especially with the FIFA World Cup about to start in neighbouring South Africa. Who would have thought that New Zealand was about to draw with Italy in that competition? Maputo, Mozambique.

83.  

The women, and girls, stood very straight because they carried burdens, especially water, on their heads from an early age. The most I saw a man carrying was a briefcase. This young girl's T'shirt says 'It's a small world ...'. Maputo, Mozambique.

84.  

More children. We were all fascinated by the hairdo; many of the girls had complex hairdos in spite of their cramped living quarters. Maputo, Mozambique.

85.  

Eagle. Kirkman's Camp, Sabi Sands, South Africa. Sabi Sands is an area or game reserve bordering on Kruger National Park. Kruger Park and the surrounding private lands, like Sabi Sands, are managed together and make a huge reserve area. In Sabi Sands, each lodge has its own area where only it's guests can search for game. This makes for a very private experience without lots of other vehicles clutering the landscape. Unlike in the National Park, we were able to be driven off-road which better vantage points for viewing and photographing the game. Nevertheless, the drivers and guides were clearly operating within strict rules related to the welfare of the wildlife and our safety.

86.  

Lion. A couple of days before we arrived at Kirkman's Camp a pride of lions had killed a large giraffe and were now spending a few days near it to feed and keep scavengers away until the lions had finished. Killing such a large animal is not common apparently but the group of lions was large enough to overpower the giraffe. Our guide speculated that the giraffe may have been an old one. Apparently a giraffe can kick with deadly effect in all directions, making it difficult prey. This image was taken with my 400mm lens and cropped from 5616x3744 pixels to 2255x1382 pixels; so we were quite close, in the game viewing vehicle, but not close enough to disturb the lions.

87.  

Another member of the pride of lions near the giraffe they had killed. According to our guide all the adult lions, male and female, in the pride would have participated in the attack on the giraffe, although it is usually females, like this one, that take down smaller game. Kirkman's Camp, Sabi Sands, South Africa.

88.  

Lioness near the giraffe she and others had killed. Looks as though she had just been feeding on the giraffe. Kirkman's Camp, Sabi Sands, South Africa.

89.  

The following day this vervet monkey was keeping an eye on us while chewing on a root; quite a contrast to the lions and their giraffe. Kirkman's Camp, Sabi Sands, South Africa.

90.  

This vervet monkey was feeding on the grass adjacent to the main lodge buildings. I photographed it from the verandah of the lodge, using my 400mm lens. This image is cropped from 5616x3744 pixels to 4065x2671 pixels so the monkey was not very close and it kept its distance. The grass made great uncluttered surroundings though. Kirkman's Camp, Sabi Sands, South Africa.

91.  

The same monkey looking back up at the tree it came from. Kirkman's Camp, Sabi Sands, South Africa.

92.  

The monkey has now found something to eat. Kirkman's Camp, Sabi Sands, South Africa.

93.  

This is image 92 further cropped to 1489x972 pixels. Expressive eyes for a monkey! Kirkman's Camp, Sabi Sands, South Africa.

94.  

We drove over this rickety old wooden bridge after the driver has walked across to check it out. Yes, there is a river beneath the reeds. Kirkman's Camp, Sabi Sands, South Africa.

95.  

Another way to cross. This ford crosses the Sand River that flows through the middle of the Kirkman's Camp part of the reserve. Kirkman's Camp, Sabi Sands, South Africa.

96.  

Hippopotamus. This was quite far away (the image is heavily cropped) but it was good to see one in daylight. Kirkman's Camp, Sabi Sands, South Africa.

97.  

Hippo. Kirkman's Camp, Sabi Sands, South Africa.

98.  

African buffalo. Another of the 'Big 5' that we were supposed to see. We had already seen elephant, lion and rhino. After the buffalo we still had leopard to go. The following day we struck lucky. Kirkman's Camp, Sabi Sands, South Africa.

99.  

Afican buffalo. Kirkman's Camp, Sabi Sands, South Africa.

100.  

Hornbill. Kirkman's Camp, Sabi Sands, South Africa.

101.  

Rhinoceros. That front horn looks awfully sharp even though it's not quite in focus. The eyes are in focus but at f/7.1 there is not quite enough depth of field for this huge animal. I was using the 400mm-f/4 lens, 1/400 sec, ISO 800, hand held. Kirkman's Camp, Sabi Sands, South Africa.

102.  

Rhinoceros. Kirkman's Camp, Sabi Sands, South Africa.

103.  

Sunset during our sundowner celebration deep in the bush. Kirkman's Camp, Sabi Sands, South Africa.

104.  

Leopard at last. This one has just woken up. We saw it asleep beside the track and parked and waited for it to wake. Still looks a bit dosy doesn't it but we were keeping very still in our game-viewing vehicle parked the regulation distance away. Kirkman's Camp, Sabi Sands, South Africa.

105.  

Now its woken up! This yawn was pretty terrifying. The leopard completely ignored our vehicle, as if it were a tree, thanks to 60 years of preservation efforts in the greater Kruger region. This image was taken with the 400mm lens and is not cropped except for a little at the sides. The leopard came so close that I couldn't see it for a while because I was sitting on the other side of the vehicle (no, I was not allowed to move). Kirkman's Camp, Sabi Sands, South Africa. This was shot at 1/160 sec f/6.3 ISO 800 handheld. Thank goodness for image stabilisation.

106.  

This apparently cuddly creature is a hyena. Kirkman's Camp, Sabi Sands, South Africa.

107.  

Hyena. Kirkman's Camp, Sabi Sands, South Africa.

108.  

Guinea fowl. Kirkman's Camp, Sabi Sands, South Africa.

109.  

Hopeful vulture. This is one of many hanging around the giraffe that had been killed by lions a couple of days before. The lions were still there so the vultures had to wait. Kirkman's Camp, Sabi Sands, South Africa.

110.  

Lion cub. Near the dead giraffe. Kirkman's Camp, Sabi Sands, South Africa. This and the next two shots are different exposures of the same animal.

111.  

Lion cub. Near the dead giraffe. Kirkman's Camp, Sabi Sands, South Africa.

112.  

Lion cub. Near the dead giraffe. Kirkman's Camp, Sabi Sands, South Africa.

113.  

Family group near the giraffe they and their companions had killed. Kirkman's Camp, Sabi Sands, South Africa. Taken, by Iris, at 70 mm focal length on her Canon 450d. Cropped from 4272x2848 pixels to 3546x1928 pixels.

114.  

Male lion, one of the pride that had brought down the giraffe. Kirkman's Camp, Sabi Sands, South Africa.

115.  

Lion feeding on the giraffe he and others had brought down a few days before. Kirkman's Camp, Sabi Sands, South Africa.

116.  

Lion not about to share his giraffe. Kirkman's Camp, Sabi Sands, South Africa.

117.  

Lion and giraffe. Most of the inside has been eaten and the lions are now working on the tougher parts. Kirkman's Camp, Sabi Sands, South Africa.

118.  

Eagles on a dead tree. Kirkman's Camp, Sabi Sands, South Africa.

119.  

Banded mongoose appearing warily. Kirkman's Camp, Sabi Sands, South Africa.

120.  

Waterbuck. Kirkman's Camp, Sabi Sands, South Africa.

121.  

A vervet monkey saying goodbye. Kirkman's Camp, Sabi Sands, South Africa. Later that day we flew home via Johannesburg, Sydney and Auckland.


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