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Zimbabwe Archives - Walk in Africa
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3 Aug

Dark Safaris

I conducted two special safaris in July. One was to Uganda and the other was a "rite of passage" hiking trip through big-game country with my twin boys. I promise to post more about these wonderful safaris soon, but you may already know that I contracted malaria. The doctors in Cape Town refused to believe me that I had malaria and insisted on proof from a blood test. The blood test for malaria is notoriously inaccurate and my results came back negative, so the doctors would not treat me for...

18 May

Back in my element

I have just returned from another extraordinary safari. Whenever I first arrive in the bush after an absence, I experience a wave of tremendous emotion - perhaps a sense of home-coming.   We had great sightings of Painted Dogs hunting as well as of Lionesses with playful young cubs but I think that this handsome gentleman won the hearts of many. However it always the elephants that seduce me. Most of the time they leave me feeling very calm.   And I love the artwork that they create and leave everywhere. Here is just one...

15 Dec

A country of contrasts

On a recent journey to Zimbabwe I was exposed to the stark contrasts of this country, that was once my home. The rains had come and many of the trees were in flower. I found a Sausage Tree (Kigelia africana) in bloom, flaunting its satin, seductive crimson flowers. These flowers produce copious amounts of irresistible nectar that attracts and provides for many diverse species. On this particular day the ants were indulging themselves. Later in the day I attended a christmas party for children orphaned by AIDS. This is part of a...

29 Jul

The sweet smell of fresh water

Elephants have a remarkably well developed sense of smell. In fact the acuity of their sense of smell is beyond our comprehension and it is only through observing them in the wild that we can begin to imagine how sensitive is their olfactory ability. They also have a preference for fresh water and their remarkable sense of smell allows them to detect where the underground water is closest to the surface. In order to reach the sweet sand-filtered subterranean water they regularly dig holes in dry river beds. The length of...

22 Jul

The problem with being tall

Those of us who have grown-up watching Giraffe don't realise it, but they really are weird looking animals. Most of us have been told since childhood that the incredible height of a giraffe (up to 5.5m or 18 feet!) is an adaptation to allow it to reach food material beyond the reach of other browsers. Personally I'm not convinced that this was the driving selective force for that great height. I think that excellent vision combined with great height provide giraffe with their best predator-avoidance mechanism and it is this advantage...