Up the sharp-end without a scope!

By some quirk of fate, we found ourselves in the company of others facing an unpalatable truth. We'd left the spotting-scope on the lee-side of chaos, two fuel-stops further west. Reduced to mayhem, our only option was to scan the wetland - ID the common folk - dismiss these from the assembly - & move on to others with more potential. We were squinting against failure & the stakes were ...

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A big cat diary

Over the years we've nailed our share of Big Cat sightings to our totem. We've seen them in action too; a fast-tracked byte to the protein bar. Even so, 2017 was an exceptional year for spectacular sightings / start-to-finish kills. In no particular order of grab-'n-go dining: - a leopard at Phinda [See it here]; 2 cheetah & a wildebeest calf near Babalala [Kruger](read here); a leopard [see below] at Engelhard Dam ...

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Off-road safari

We enjoy letting our hair down once in a while & the best way to do that [in our world] is on a 5*-safari. This silver spoon doesn't come cheaply - punters need deep pockets & a shallow outlook. It's a topsy-turvy, unbalanced world.. Safari-by-numbers has its limitations, of course. This is important. The cornerstone of an African bush experience is the anticipation of what comes next. Why? Luck plays a part ...

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To the trees!

Once a year, every year, I celebrate a birthday; another ring on what is becoming a trunk rather than a stem. It's a collection of hoops Methuselah hisself might envy, quietly of course. This year the family obliged with a surprise, self-drive, busman's holiday to the mistforest & bushveld biomes of South Africa's Limpopo province. Alisha's passion, [she's a Reiki Master (btw.)], resides in the esoteric; an alternative form of common sense & a ...

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Please, sir, I want some more!

Oliver to Tankatara's twist, we went down for more. Joined by a twitching doyen we flew on *Mango from Johannesburg [JHB - ORT] to Port Elizabeth (PE) for another crack at the Tankatara Pans where a potential giga lurked ... in plain sight. [*Alisha's a cracker ...] Fortunately we were delayed at ORT for 30 minutes; the pilot stalling for discharge papers or his license. I can't be sure but I was smug anyway. The 3pm ...

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Birding – an on-demand generation

Weaned on rarity reports, has birding become the outdoor poster child for an on-demand generation? It's pay-per-view reporting - pick & choose - get there - tick it. Load it - boast it & confine the field-clip to a binary yes or no. Life's an adventure: a paper-bag of water - seeping madness. It's also sweeter on the soul running uphill against time. Keeps us chirpy. Is there anything more annoying, less-relaxing even, than the chime of ...

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Rhino – Africa unite

There are two schools of thought on the future of Africa's wildlife. In their purest forms the first is the preservation of wild animals in non-consumptive wilderness / sanctuaries; i.e. - reservations designed and managed to give wildlife free-roaming access & / or with minimal interference from people. The funding for the management of these sanctuaries is externalised or collected at the entrance gate / green lodge etc. People who find this school ...

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Africa update – Lions

Moral-decrepitude is the non-negotiable, basic premise on which the South African captive-bred lion 'hunting' industry relies. The 21st century has its challenges. Existential issues confront humanity across a broad front. The media's focus on suffering, particularly children, is usually more than meets the eye. Ineffective leadership, graft, health, energy, the status of women, religious intolerance & racial division are current, calamitous & in urgent need of redress. Global ethics, therefore, especially w.r.t anthropogenic ...

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Namibia – journey under stars

Disagreeing with the women in my family is a hierarchical threat designated code orange. Get to red & blood flows. Yellow, I know. Pareidolia, for those who don't know, is the phenomenon of seeing faces in inanimate objects. Mea culpa - I'm a sufferer & a tulpamancer too. Here's how I saw it. Them girls didn't, couldn't or wouldn't. Predictably their tulpas are shtum. No imagination... Königstein is the Brandberg Intrusion's highest ...

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Crime – Africa’s wildlife

The Guardian's proposed poll on whether South Africa should shoot rhino-poachers on sight is an absurdity. The answer is NO. Quite frankly and let's be fair, the insinuation that Africa's rule of law is flawed and as a result reliant on the bullet, is distasteful if not derogatory. The article smacks of predisposed geographical superiority; an ambition which history records differently. It gets better... Mid-way through the article ethnicity or race ...

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