There is a fine line between bravery and stupidity, a line that has been precariously negotiated by my family on many occasions. My Mum once said (although Mum is known for her slight exaggerations) that we (Dad, my siblings Caiden and Beth and I) would not be alive if it weren’t for her. On second thoughts – perhaps it’s not that far from the truth. Between leaping off high rocks and from aeroplanes, swimming in croc infested waters and going for midnight bush walks, I reckon we are a crazy bunch. But, luckily we have Shannon Lang, my wonderful Mum, to look out for us.
I’ve visited Victoria Falls quite a few times in my life so far, but this time was different. Perhaps because I am grown up now and able to see more deeply into the smaller things. The memories I have of my first visit, at about 7 years old, are of being preoccupied with keeping my younger brother and sister in check! I remember being terrified that one of them would fall off the edge of the falls as the rocks can be quite slippery in places (clearly I took my role as older sister quite seriously!). But I was now free to explore on my own terms, and it was truly wonderful…
Relentless heat, exceptional bird-watching and uncontrolable laughter don’t let you forget. During Eco-training‘s week-long birding course, we (fellow bush-loving friend Lauren and I) laughed until our stomachs hurt, doubled our bird knowledge, and showered three times a day to keep cool.
1) Reading the right books will enrich your safari experience (and life)
In the African bush there is so much more than what meets the immediate eye. Every inch of Africa has a unique essence – a soul if you like – of it’s own, carved from journeys, shiftings of continents, local legends, bloodstains of man and animal and footprints both old and new.
My little sister Beth loves the bush – but it’s not so much the animals or birds that she’s interested in – it’s the family time and the peaceful atmosphere, the sipping of g&t’s as the sun goes down (with the essential Instagram selfies) and the chance to wear a pretty new hat. One can never have enough hats.
Two large inquisitive eyes stared up at me like big black buttons fixed to a rather scruffy but adorable face. It’s been a while since I’ve been this close to a hyena cub, I thought. I’d forgotten just how delightful it is in their presence! We (photographer Em Gatland and I) were in the Okavango Delta, on a game drive with Luke, our ranger from Wilderness Safari’s Vumbura Plains Camp.
“I always aim to be inventive” says professional photographer Will Burrard-Lucas. This seems almost an understatement! Will’s photos must be some of the most innovative that I have ever come across! On a quest to find a new perspective to capture the wild animals he loves, Will developed remote control buggies or BeetleCams – contraptions allowing his camera to get up really close to his subjects. He then founded Camtraptions and developed a whole range of inventive gadgets including flying Copters.
Although Will is from the UK, his love of Africa is rooted in early childhood memories…
I recently stayed at beautiful remote Haina Kalahari Lodge in Botswana, thanks to Sun Destinations. One of the novel experiences offered by the lodge is an overnight adventure to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, which has to be one of the most unique biodiversities in Southern Africa. For me, this was an absolute highlight!
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.