Birding jargon explained!

Recently, I was doing a bit of birding with Birding Ecotours guide John Kinghorn. As we wandered along a path in a lovely birding area, I listened intently for any little chatters and chirps around us. It was so peaceful, so beautiful …. and then “PPPPIIIISSSSSSSSHHHHHHH!!!” 

What the heck was that?! The sound was so loud and sudden that I almost jumped out of my pants.

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Okavango River Monsters and other secrets of the Hambukushu people

The sun is just beginning to set as you poll your mokoro along the panhandle of the Okavango. It’s been a successful but long day of fishing, and tonight there’ll be tilapia for dinner, enough for the whole family!  Suddenly, your mokoro [traditional dugout] won’t move. Nomatter how hard you pull, it remains stuck. You notice dust and ripples spreading over the water and then you realise – with horror –  that there is a Dikongoro under you; a huge snake-like monster. Although you’ve never seen it before, you’ve heard about it plenty of times. Your mokoro begins to spin and then the front of it starts to rise up out of the water for the Dikongoro to swallow. Fortunately – and just in time – you remember what to do. Scrambling for your wrist your heart sinks as you realise that you are not wearing a watch today. So you take out your fishing knife and cut through some skin on your wrist, holding your arm out so that blood drips into the water. Dikongoro lowers your mokoro again, what a relief! As he releases you there is no need to paddle as he pushes you with an almightily lurch across the water and up the bank…

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Categories: Botswana, Cultural Adventures, History, Inspiring People, Namibia, Travel Adventures, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lost mekoros, bucket showers and the art of polling

As we set out for our walk that morning, something strange happened – a helicopter flew over us. This little reminder of the outside modern world seemed so outrageously out-of-place, which made me realise what a dream-fantasy I had been living in for the last two days. We were tourists on a two-day mobile safari in the Okavango Delta, but really we were Livingstone’s lost offspring on an intrepid expedition through uncharted Botswana wilderness. You can’t blame me for getting the two mixed up. If you were there, I bet you’d have done so too…

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Categories: Adrenalin Adventures, Botswana, Cultural Adventures, Uncategorized, Wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Brave baby honey badger at Camp Linyanti

We were staying in Botswana’s Linyanti concession, at Sun Destination’s Camp Linyanti  when we had this amazing sighting. Game drives in the area, one of my favourite corners of Africa, are through beautiful mopane woodland. As we came around a corner there were two honey badgers – a mother and baby – right on the edge of the road. Surprisingly, the mother ran off leaving her youngster behind. He was crouching in a small hollow, staring up at us with big adorable eyes and seemed rather shy…

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South Africa in miniature – inspiration from Terra-Lens Photography

I LOVE meeting girls who are as enthusiastic as me about all things wild and free! These fellow bush-lovers are so inspiring. I met Haley about a year ago on a seal snorkelling trip with a mutual friend. Whilst I bobbed around rather awkwardly, the two of them took to the water like mermaids!

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Quad bike craziness in the Kalahari

I’m not quite sure what got into me. Perhaps it was a case of too many hours cooped up in a car, the excitement of arriving at a new place, or simply the untamed Kalahari bush waking up the wild side in me. And there’s a wild side in all of us isn’t there?

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Categories: Adrenalin Adventures, Botswana, Travel Adventures, Uncategorized, Wildlife | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

A Food Safari

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You know there’s magic going on in the kitchen when you’re on a game drive, following a gorgeous leopard padding through an open plain, and then find yourself wondering what’s for dinner… “Huh!? What’s wrong with you Rach … we’ve just had high tea, and before that a big lunch, scrumptious game drive snacks and breakfast almost fit for a lion!”. But I wasn’t the only one having these thoughts. “I’m looking forward to dinner” said Em from the seat next to me. The truth is, we were on a food safari! An Okavango Wilderness Camp food safari!

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Romance in mind at Tongabezi Lodge

So here I am in Livingstone, Zambia. As I write this, I’m looking over the mighty Zambezi river, which, for all it’s might, is very calming to look at. The sun is sinking slowly, and so am I… into a cosy-cushioned couch on the deck of Tongabezi Lodge’s ‘lookout’. Any last little stresses of the day are floating gently away now…

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Waste, worms and baby baobabs

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Most people in the world are beautiful. They are good-hearted human beings doing the best they can to provide for their families and secure a happy future for their children. I’m not sure about you, but sometimes I find it easy to forget this. Being daily bombarded by the awful realities of poverty, poaching and human greed in Africa can leave me feeling rather miserable. And, while I think it’s important to know about these things, I am now (more than ever) determined not to let them paralyse me into apathy. I want to keep praying, keep hoping, and, in my own individual way (which, to be honest, I’m still figuring out), fighting for what’s right. Perhaps one of these ways is to find the good and celebrate it! Beautiful people with beautiful hearts doing beautiful things. And guess what? If you look around, it’s not so hard to find them…

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Categories: Conservation, Cultural Adventures, Inspiring People, Trees, Uncategorized, Zambia | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Girls in the Wilderness: An Introduction

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The opportunity to spend 10 days with Wilderness Safaris in Zambia and Botswana came about quite unexpectedly. A newish friend of mine (without my knowledge) recommended my blog to a Wilderness Safaris guide. Suddenly I was put in touch with their marketing department, pitching ideas and working out an itinerary! It was a case of pinch-me-I’m-dreaming, and, as the trip went on, don’t pinch me because I don’t want this dream to be over!

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Categories: Birds, Botswana, Travel Adventures, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Zambia | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments