A little over 2 weeks ago I arrived in Johannesburg, and met up with my travel companion for the first 3 days, Andy Goodman, whom I got to know through his beautiful wildlife photography on Flickr (A.M.G.1). Of course it’s a little weird to go on a trip with someone you don’t know at all but I was pretty sure we would get along just great. I truly believe that you can read a lot of a person’s character by looking at their photography.
A bottle of red further and it was as if we had known each other for ages already.
The next morning we took off for Botswana. After about a 6 hour’s drive we arrived at the border and after crossing the (almost dry) Limpopo river we were in Botswana. Mashatu Camp is located in a vast private game reserve and after arrival we immediately headed off for the first game drive, accompanied by our ranger Elvis (he’s alive and lives in Botswana!!) and tracker Morgan.
The land was brown and dry and Elvis told me that they hadn’t had rain for about 6 months. Everything and everyone was waiting for the first rains to come. (till today I haven’t been able to get that great Toto song out of my head “I bless the rains down in Africa” and I guess I was one of the few guests over there that really hoped for rain).
By the way, have you ever seen that fantastic acapella version of Perpetuum Jazzilee?.
Fortunately, the first rains of the season fell the next day, immediately changing the landscape and covering it with a promising sheen of green.
On the first game drive we passed a den and to my enormous surprise two of the cutest pink ears you ever saw peeped out of there. Aardwolf!! 20 years I’ve been visiting Africa now and I had never seen one before! When it saw us it immediately went back inside so I didn’t get a chance to photograph it. I wanted the photograph so badly I kind of forced Elvis and Morgan to pass that den every single day of my stay at least twice to see if it would pop out again, but no such luck. I thought that this one glance would be all I got from this cute little fellow, until the very last day of my stay in Botswana (I had extended my stay with another 3 days since I liked it there so much) before I would be leaving for South Africa's Mala Mala.
As usual we took the road where the den was located and sure enough, when we got there, no aardwolf. This being my last game drive in that gorgeous area, we decided to wait a litte longer at the den. What a thrill it was when after a short while those adorable pink ears popped out of the den!!
20 years and still the continent manages to enchant me every time again.
I've started to update the wildlife diary on my blog. Progress is slow as I simply love to go out on drives as often as I can here in Mala Mala, so there is little time to spare, but I promiss you, I'll do my best to catch up and there'll be some nice shots on there shortly!!
ps. to go on the internet, I have to carry my laptop to the restaurant where there is a hotspot. As not to block other guests from using that spot I can only use it a short while and only so often. So please don't be angry with me when I don't comment that much on Flickr at the moment.