The Self-Isolating "I Miss Africa" Thread

Old Mar 23rd, 2020, 05:39 AM
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The Self-Isolating "I Miss Africa" Thread

While we're all stuck self-isolating and wondering when our next trips to Africa may be, I thought it would be neat to share some favorite memories from Africa. Not necessarily the ones that rock your socks off but maybe just a thought or two that are keeping you going while we all wait to be let out of our houses and back on safari again....

Mine are...

A gin and tonic sundowner while watching a storm cross the Mara.

Met this little girl while we attended a church service in a village near Ngorongoro; she was fascinated with seeing herself on my camera screen.

I am a sucker for big cats, especially when they look right at me. These two sub-adult males seemed so at ease

No one forgets their first leopard. Fig in the Mara is something of a rock star.

Who doesn't love a lion cub in the gorgeous morning light?

The first lion pride I ever saw, and still the largest I've seen. There were 19 under this tree in the Serengeti.

A lion waterhole shot, the stuff of dreams!

Ok, who's next??
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Old Mar 24th, 2020, 01:47 AM
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Amazing photos Amyb. Thankyou for sharing

A few from our time in Sierra Leone back in 2007.

My "assistant " Ibrahim. Crippled with Polio and barely able to speak, he would come to my office every day to play and help. Not once did I ever see him without that massive smile on his face. A great inspiration in today’s trouble times.

My walk to the office in Bo. Beats the hell out of hours on teh London Underground!

Shopping was a lot more fun then than it is today!

Concert at the British Council in Freetown. The best drumming I have heard since seeing Ginger Baker play at a Cream concert. And a few from our most recent trip to South Africa:

Hilltop Camp Hluhluwe-iMfolozi NP in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa

Amorous eles outside the gates of Hilltop Camp

Nyathi Camp in Addo NP

This guy got us trapped for an hour by pulling down a tree across the road.

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Old Mar 24th, 2020, 04:32 AM
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Lovely Crellston! The first thing that caught my eye was that infectious smile. What a sweet boy. Funny how our perspective on everything like commuting and shopping has changed now! Wonderful sighting of the mating elephants and then another one causing a natural roadblock. That's Africa!
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Old Mar 24th, 2020, 08:03 AM
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If you look through this Flickr album you will see 30 of my favourites taken in Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana.

Last edited by Heimdall; Mar 24th, 2020 at 08:52 AM.
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Old Mar 24th, 2020, 08:37 AM
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Rather than wildlife, I'm going to post a few pictures taken by my late sweetie on her various trips to Kenya and Uganda while she was helping to fight another pandemic, AIDS, and while she was starting her own charity targeting Burkitt's Lymphoma, the most common pediatric cancer in equatorial Africa - one that is eminently treatable, but only if care is administered early in the course of the disease, and only if the recipients can pay for the widely-available drugs, which sadly many in these countries can't. Before she passed her little charity had overseen treatment to almost 1000 children, probably saving 80% of their lives.

These images still give me hope and joy, even in these grim days.

At-risk and HIV-positive nursing mothers' education meetings, western Kenya

Viewers of "street theater," used for AIDS education

HIV-positive prisoners, Kenya low-security prison

Hospital dedicated by (then Senator) Barack Obama

(President Obama's grandmother)

AIDS-impacted fishing village, Lake Victoria

(Seattle inside joke - where your T-shirts end up)

AIDS orphans, Nairobi slum orphanage

The ones we're trying to save

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Old Mar 24th, 2020, 10:01 AM
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Amyb - yes, what a smile. Every time I am feeling a little sorry for myself, I take a look at that photo and appreciate how lucky I am.

Heimdall. Your photos have confirmed that there is so much of Africa I haven’t see and that when all this crap is over, Africa is likely to be my first flight out.

Gardyloo, what can I say, truly inspirational photos! Although an Englishman, I really wish that Obama was still leader of the free world in these difficult times.
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Old Mar 24th, 2020, 10:15 AM
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Crellston, I was tempted to include a link to show the wonders of Cape Town and the Western Cape, but many of the photos in my albums are of weddings, daughter and granddaughter, and my son-in-law’s family. I’ve had the privilege of living with locals there, and seeing Cape Town through the eyes of a resident. I’ve been to Cape Town four times now, and like it more each time.
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Old Mar 24th, 2020, 11:18 AM
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Heimdall, you should include that link. Weddings, family’s , living with locals, we could all do with the diversion! As you are probably aware I was a little disappointed with Cape Town, but will return and will likely stay in some of the beach suburbs.
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Old Mar 24th, 2020, 11:53 AM
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I was booked to go to Africa for 3 weeks , starting April 1st ……….. canceled now.
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Old Mar 25th, 2020, 01:12 AM
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EDIT: FODOR'S HAS DONE IT AGAIN! The below links have mixed the other Flickr photos in my photostream with the photos in the albums I meant to show you. Click on the photos, and before anything else click on "back to album" in the upper left hand corner. That will bring you back to the album header, and from then on you should see only photos in that album.

Crellston, I'll add a couple more Flickr links, but warn you they are more family photos than sightseeing, and will give you an idea of what life is like for the more fortunate South Africans. My daughter and son-n-law were married in a registry office in England, but wanted a religious ceremony with their family in Cape Town. In the meantime their daughter Cara (my granddaughter) was born, so she was there for the religious ceremony.

The first album was in October 2017 when we came to Cape Town for Cara's baptism and for the wedding of my SILs brother. The Mar-Apr 2018 album was when we returned to Cape Town for the wedding, and my brother and his family from Wisconsin joined us. Usually I stay with in-laws in Oranjezicht, a district overlooking the city bowl at the base of Table Mountain, but when my brother came for the wedding I stayed with them at an AirBnB in Camps Bay, and were treated to beautiful sunsets every evening.

Last edited by Heimdall; Mar 25th, 2020 at 02:09 AM.
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Old Mar 25th, 2020, 03:54 AM
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Oryx in Namibia 2016

Wild dogs in Kruger SA 2017

Rescue chimp at Chimp Eden in SA 2017

Last edited by Ian; Mar 25th, 2020 at 04:06 AM.
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Old Mar 25th, 2020, 07:10 AM
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Now more than ever I hope we can get there next year (or the year after, if necessary to wait). Wonderful photos.
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Old Mar 25th, 2020, 11:15 AM
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If you look at the Mar-Apr 2018 album with the Bo-Kaap photo in my post #10, near the end are some photos taken at the Castle of Good Hope. I moved into the album an earlier photo taken in January 2015 of the same guide when he wore dreadlocks. When we came back for the tour in April 2018 I didn't say a word, just held my phone so he could see the photo. When he saw the photo his jaw dropped, and he wanted to show it to everyone else in the group.

We became good friends that day, and he entertained us with the clicking sounds made in the Xhosa and Khoisan languages of the Cape. If you've never heard the clicks yourself, you would be amazed at hearing them in the middle of a sentence! I've tried to make the clicks myself, and find them impossible to emulate.

Last edited by Heimdall; Mar 25th, 2020 at 11:18 AM.
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Old Mar 25th, 2020, 11:51 AM
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Great shots Heimdall. Looked like a fun wedding! Loved the ones around Chapmans Peak, Houts Bay Etc. Seems like a very long time since we did that drive. Re the Xosha tongue clicking, I saw a South African Stand Up, Trevor Noah incorporate that into his routine once - mesmerising!
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Old Mar 26th, 2020, 04:30 PM
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We have only made four trips to Africa. Morocco. South Africa & Namibia. And then two trips to SA for Kruger with a few days in eSwatini. Each time I felt some immediate connection, one that I have never felt in any other country or continent. Iíll have to give Johnny Clegg the credit. And in these strange times, the peace we felt in a remote camp in Kruger is extremely enticing.

Kruger 2017 She is watching . . .

Proof that elephants need respect.

Betty's Bay SA 2016. Penguins can read!

Off the beaten path. Lost in the souks of Marrakesh.
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Old Mar 27th, 2020, 04:54 PM
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My first solo trip to Africa in 2003 was to South Africa with a guide who was recommended by a lady I met on the internet. My family thought I was crazy.

I was ​​​​​ told they had been seeing an aardvark (anteater) and a porcupine at one place I was going. I really wanted to see the porcupine (still do!) but look what I saw! I was totally new to photography and really had no idea what I was doing but I was super excited when this turned out.

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Old Mar 27th, 2020, 10:12 PM
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So that’s what an aardvark looks like
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Old Mar 28th, 2020, 02:03 AM
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Sundowner, you were very lucky to see one of those rare animals, and that is an excellent photo!

I can't recall anything like that in my experience, and have never seen wild dogs, either, an animal on my wish list. One story I have to tell was when I saw my first serval, a small spotted cat. Some of you reading this thread will say you've seen them lots of times, but it was an animal I longed to see, and hadn't before, until a long layover at Nairobi Airport. We had a 12 hour layover between a flight from Kigali and another flight home to London, and couldn't bear the thought of spending all that time in the transit lounge, as we had already done on the way to Rwanda.

The other three in the group had never been on safari, so we decided to hire a driver for the day and go to Nairobi National Park, a little gem just outside the city. My expectations weren't high, but it turned out to be a very good day. Looking in one direction you can easily see the skyscrapers of Nairobi, so it isn't exactly out in the bush, but NNP has a diverse population of animals. We saw buffalo, giraffe, rhino, and various species of antelope.

We stayed rather late, and were in danger of not getting to the gate before it closed for the day. As we were rushing back to the park entrance a small cat started crossing the road, then stopped. Our driver, who was more used to urban Nairobi, stopped the van and said, "Look at the leopard!". It seemed too small to be a leopard, and suddenly I realised there was my serval! It stopped in the middle of the road, looking as if to say: "What are you doing here? You should be gone by now!" By that time the light was fading and I couldn't get a good photo, but we made it out of the park before the gate closed.

My daughter, who is married to a South African, began the relationship with her husband on a year-long overland trip in a Land Rover, nicknamed "Charlie", from London to Cape Town. I said at the time if they can survive a year together in a Land Rover they are made for each other, and so it has proven to be. Most of the trip was in Africa, where they stopped at many game parks on the way. One of the highlights of the trip was their time spent in Namibia, where they teamed up with two professional photographers who had a permit to visit the Himba people in an authentic tribal village.

During the trip they updated their blog, with my daughter doing the writing and son-in-law taking most of the photos. The blog is very long, but divided in into segments by date, so you can skip over the parts you aren't interested in. They arrived in Egypt in November 2012, and the segments before that were in Europe. At the end of each segment are thumbnails of photos, so you can skip over the writing if you only want to look at the photos. I warn you, there are hundreds of photos!

Last edited by Heimdall; Mar 28th, 2020 at 02:19 AM.
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Old Mar 28th, 2020, 07:01 AM
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A few from around SA -

Sunrise, Plettenberg Bay

Along the Garden Route

Zulu village, central Drakensberg

Three Rondavels, Panorama Route


Spring in the Winelands

...and at West Coast National Park

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Old Mar 28th, 2020, 09:11 PM
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Wow. These are all stunning photos.
I'm hopeful that my September safari will not be cancelled. In the meantime, I am up close with these rare Hawaiian wildcats that I am fostering...

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