Wednesday, July 23

On safari in an African winter

Winter is strengthening its dusty grip on the South African savanna :-

Waterholes are shrinking;

Bare tree branches silhouette against hazy skies;

Herds of zebra, wildebeest and giraffe roam the eastern basalt plains;

Hippos heap on every available patch of warm sand;

Elephants crowd the river reed banks; 

 Predators lurk close to water.......

Kruger is amazing at any time of the year, but winter produces the greatest number of large animals that anyone could wish to see!

These are all photos taken on safari over the last 4 weeks..........

Views from the high-level bridge over the Sabie River.

Over one weekend we saw three different buffalo herds, and for the last two weeks we have found zebra everywhere - quite a change from summer!

At one special waterhole on the eastern plains we (and the wildebeest) watched these nine giraffe all come down for a very cautious and quick drink!

African Wild Dog
Lions everywhere over the last few days!

Greater Kudu

Some of the other animals that become a lot more visible in the dry winter bush...

A cold winters dawn at Lake Panic bird hide, one of my favourite places in Kruger, winter or summer!

Friday, July 11

Road tripping Western Australia (2)

A road trip is all about the journey.... I visited some amazing destinations which I will post about separately, but this particular road trip was about seeing Australian landscapes.......

For part one of "Road tripping" click here

Here are just a very small selection of my favourite photos taken whilst on the road.....

1) The relatively lush and tame farmlands between Perth and Geraldton

2) Cloudy skies leaving Shark Bay Heritage Area

3) The endless skies, dunes and road of the Gascoyne and Coral Coasts

4) The Pilbara Region.........
Still on the North West Coastal Highway, between Burkett Rd and Nanutarra Roadhouse

one of the few seasonal rivers

Now on the road to Tom Price - 300 kilometres of amazing country.

entrance to a remote Station

an iron ore mine, the regions main activity

It's quite a challenge to take a "selfie", whilst driving and only 1 hand to hold the rather heavy DSLR camera!

Mt Bruce, between Tom Price & Karijini

Road tripping Western Australia (1)

Over two weeks on the road, heading north from Perth up the West Coast of Australia and including a side trip into the Pilbara region to visit Karijini National Park - meant many, many hours behind the wheel(s) of my rented camper(s).
(This is my third posting on Australia - you can read the previous two posts at An African Guide in Australia and Aaaahhh... the birds)

I've done a lot of solo road trips and through sheer necessity have acquired the not-quite-so-safe "skill" of taking photographs whilst driving....... If I had to stop every time for a photo I would never get anywhere! So, yes, I do take some care - the road has to be relatively empty and sort of straight before I risk picking the camera up. I have it set on the highest shutter speed possible, and it's quite amazing how good  a few of the photos turn out to be. More important, I have a visual record of my journeys.

Some of that road journey through the magnificent Western Australian landscape I would like to share with you now......

It didn't take many days for me to realise that there were 3 main types of road user, with a small variation in types of vehicle used.....

The largest and most intimidating were the Road Trains. These thundered up and down the highways at a steady 110+ kph, and as a result I got overtook by many.......

Then there were the "Grey Nomads" - retired Australians spending the winter (or more) on the road, in their caravans, sometimes with boats.

my campervan for week 1

my "camper" for week 2

And of course there were the "Travellers", people like myself, mostly foreign, and in an assortment of rental campervans (although I saw so many Apollo Campervans I thought I was being haunted by them!)

Over the two weeks I came across 3 or 4 sets of amazingly brave cyclists.....

Thorny Devil - amazing camouflage!

As I mentioned in a previous post, once I got further north I saw very little animal life, but apart from the birds I had these two amazing lizard sightings and I got quite close to cattle a few times although they tended to be very skittish if you stopped.

The Thorny Devil doesn't move much, and this particular one I was able to stop and move him off the road.

A large Goanna crossing

On the way up the coast I stayed in a string of caravan parks, but on my trip into the Pilbara I also camped a night in a roadside rest area and another at Bullara Station.

24hr roadside Rest Area
next to the beach

on the Station

A road trip is all about the journey.... I visited some amazing destinations which I will post about separately, but this particular road trip was about seeing Australian landscapes.......  read my very next posting to see some of my favourite