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Walk in Africa Blog - Capturing the Spirit of Africa and Nature
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29 Sep

Dream flowers

Some people to whom I spoke said that this flower season in The Cape was exceptional, while others told me that it was average. Whatever other people's subjective views the flower display has been incredible for me. I have had the opportunity to see flowers from the north of Namaqualand to Cape Town and from the West Coast to The Cederberg. And I have been fortunate enough to visit and revisit some of these places in subsequent months. This season I have had the joy of seeing several species that I had...

16 Sep

Elephant Scrimshaw

Scrimshaw is the intricate engraving artwork done by whalers on bone or tooth. I was just in the sacred Fever Tree Forest n the far north of South Africa. And here I saw the intricate and exquisite 'artwork' done in the bark of these trees by elephants. If you ever get the opportunity to visit this magnificent forest, do not hesitate....

8 Sep

Moving north

The flowers were truly magnificent last week but I really needed some bush time, so I had to move north. I was very fortunate to spend some more time at Umlani Bush Camp, where the game viewing was as superb as it always is  and the walking was even better. I head up to the legendary Lake Fundudzi and walking on the Limpopo next, so please watch this spot....

1 Sep

Riots spread south

Everything was calm at Skilpad nature reserve, until we noticed advancing colours - And soon it was another riot of colour . . . To be honest it was mostly orange. A riot of orange  . . . This dominance by a single species is a result of the land having been disturbed by agriculture in the past. These orange Ursinias are pioneering species and will dominate the spring landscape for a while as the ecology recovers and diversifies. Nonetheless the sight of a brilliant living, orange carpet stretching into the distant hills is...

31 Aug

Riot in Namaqualand

  The annual flower display in Namaqualand is famous, however it is an extremely unpredictable phenomenon. Not only is the extent of the flower bloom dependant on the rains in the preceding season but the display varies from day to day depending on temperature and sunlight. So even in an exceptional year, it is possible to see almost no open flowers. Furthermore if a warm wind blows, the flowers will disappear within days. I have been chasing the flowers for years and finally this year I have been rewarded with an exceptional...

25 Aug

Weird & wonderful

We are definitely on the nicer side of the equinox. Days are longer, spring flowers are blooming . . . and there are more insects around. On a champagne day this week I saw this bizarre Cerambycid (Longhorn Beetle) on a Protea. Members of this large insect family usually feed on dead wood but this one seemed quite tempted by the succulent Protea. I have never seen this species before and have not yet identified it but I really enjoyed seeing it. No wonder science fiction bores me. Our natural...

18 Aug

Supermoons, Superplants & Superstudents

As you probably noticed - I've been battling technical problems that prevented me from posting news of my various adventures over the past weeks! I apologise. I promise that it was not for want of trying to send news. Anyway, I think the gremlins have been banished and I have just returned from another sojourn in "The Klein Karoo". My stay coincided with the appearance of the Supermoon, which is a period when the full moon is at its closest to planet earth and appears enormous and vivid - especially in...

15 Jul

The Painted Wolves

On a cold mist morning on a recent safari we came across a Hunting Dog den. In 1820 these animals were originally named Hyaena picta – the painted hyaena. When it was realized that they are not Hyaenas they were reclassified as Lycaon pictus. In Greek mythology Lycaon was a peasant who was transformed by the god Zeus, into a wolf and so these beautiful colourful animals are now often referred to as “The Painted Wolves”. This is a more descriptive name for these tenacious hunters than the original Cape Hunting...

8 Jul

Stormy Cape Town

Mid-winter has passed and the days are getting longer in Cape Town, but they are also getting (much) colder. It doesn't feel like those looooong hot summer days can ever penetrate this cold. However the winter storms do provide some beautiful sights and I took these photos on the way to start a walk. Here a morning squall flies across Table Bay dropping icy sleet on the city (and a sprinkling of snow on the mountain).   And here is Table Mountain as the pot of gold at the end of a...

23 Jun

Across the velvet plains in a saddle

  I have just returned from a most remarkable safari - 300 km across the Namibian Desert on horseback. We travelled mostly parallel to the Fish River Canyon and the scenery was spectacular beyond description. Nights were spent under the stars - and what a spectacular display of stars there were. It was comforting and companionable to hear and feel the horses close-by on the picket-line  every night. As you know, I love walking - for the pace, the exercise and the sense of belonging to the environment. Well travelling by horse is...