Last February found us in the heart of the rainy season on an epic safari with Ed, Carroll, Anne and David from Vancouver.
We explored up the channels of the Okavango Delta, into the Chobe River, and finally through Nxai Pan and the Central Kalahari. These diverse habitats and remote places meant some digging and chopping to find a good path, amazing game and, of course, some amazing adventures. // read more >
The other evening, while on a safari through the Savute Marsh in Northern Botswana, we set up our camp for a few nights along the channel at the base of Kudu Hill.
This is one of my favorite campsites and the evening sounds kept us aware of the incredible concentration of game in the area.
On our first evening, an impala was killed, just behind our camp by one of two roaming male lions that are encroaching on the coalition of five young males in the north of the marsh. // read more >
I am sure that I share this feeling with many people: memories of staring at the glossy pictures in a National Geographic as a child and hearing stories of the legendary Dian Fossey. I could only dream of seeing the mountain gorillas.
In February earlier this year I was fortunate enough to be able to lead a safari into the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.
I will never forget the musky smell of the silverback or his gentle grumbling to us, letting everyone know that all was ok.
The small baby, no more than four months old, climbing through the web of wild celery towards my foot, ever curious, looking for something to play with.
The pictures give you some idea, but needless to say I cannot wait until my next gorilla safari. // read more >
“There is more meaning and mutual understanding in exchanging a glance with a gorilla than any other animal I know.”
Botswana is flat – very flat. For all of its beauty, vast mountain ranges and rolling hills are not amongst them.
We refer to a hill as something that you can gently lean against while watching the sunset and rest your drink on. Basically a large white termite mound. So imagine the difference of arriving in Rwanda from Botswana. // read more >
When you manage to save a gorilla’s life, you truly feel you are doing important work for your country. The mountain gorillas contribute to peace here.
– Andre Bauma
Andre Bauma looks after orphaned mountain gorillas in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
This video, beautifully filmed by Orlando von Einsiedel and featured on the New York Times website, tells the story of how the conflict has affected – and continues to affect – the mountain gorillas. In the past 15 years, more than 140 park rangers have been killed trying to protect the gorillas.
They do so, not just for the love of the animals, but also because, as Bauma explains, the gorillas are so important to the stability of the area.
Towards the end of the month, Michael will be going to see the mountain gorillas. He will be sharing this incredible experience on the blog and newsletter in February, so keep an eye out for these letters from the bush.
Watch the video on the New York Times site here.
[Feature image still taken from New York Times video]
There are few places in the world where you can enjoy the beauty of nature in its absolute purity, its beautiful desolation and wildness.
Imagine an area the size of Switzerland with fewer people than you might find inside your average Starbucks. Where the land stretches out to the horizon with nothing to obscure your view in 360 degrees. An open saltpan where the curvature of the earth unfolds in front of you, surrounded by a sea of grassland dotted with small islands of trees.
Imagine all of this – on horseback. // read more >
After spending three days in the Central Kalahari on a mobile safari, we had been spoilt with lion, cheetah, and leopard sightings and were rushing to make the airstrip in time to greet our incoming bush plane.
Heading through the rolling vegetated dunes of the Kalahari, we were greeted by this male, busy patrolling his territory.
Our presence – and travel plans – were of little concern to him as he strode down the track marking his territory.
A mobile safari, in my opinion, is one of the best ways to experience the bush. To feel that you are truly amongst the elements, tracking game and letting the sounds of the night to dictate your plans for the following day.
We had just had one of those days where the game always seemed to be elsewhere – like there was some grand event to which we hadn’t been invited. While the scenery and sundowners were appreciated, we were keen to be where the action was. // read more >
On the Khwai River last June, we visited a den site that has been occupied by the local hyaena clan for the last few years.
They would have taken this over from an aardvark, warthog, porcupine or other smaller less dominant mammal and all females raise their cubs here. As they share the responsibilities of cub rearing, this provides them with the protection and shared babysitting of the clan.
We saw one older female looking after these four cubs as they wrestled and played relentlessly.
While early morning coffee by the fire as dawn breaks, an abundance of game, beautiful lodges, sundowners and great food, are the things that most guests associate with being on safari. There is of course, an immense amount of work that goes on behind the scenes into the organisation; and these things don’t always work out exactly the way that one would like… // read more >