Telling The Story-Another Kalahari Chapter

25th November 2012
Just like with other forms of art, there is meaning concealed in every photograph and every image tells the story behind it. We often wonder what makes a great photograph…These days there is great demand on photographers-a so called "great image" should supply an expression of emotion, information, it should speak to us directly or indirectly, there should be sharpness and blur, action or contemplation (sometimes both), colour or the absence of it, all leading to a certain discourse that should be altogether stimulating and intriguing for the viewer. Techniques change constantly and the contemporary photographer changes with times. He no longer has boundaries, he experiments with light and shadows and practices indoors or outdoors. The curse of the photographer these days is that he has to seek meaning not only in light but also in the absence of it, speaking a language where there is no room for the individual who does not own a DSLR. The photographer has always been a traveler and a seer, whose curiosity can be compared to a huge question mark against the world's landscape. Where does his pleasure come from? At times from the flash of the camera in the dark, which is supposed to reveal rare moments. Other times from the awe one experiences when facing the powerful or the sublime: landscapes, thunder, lightning, a sandstone valley, red dunes, the crescent Moon. In our case it is often that emotional connection we have with the Kalahari, which provides us with an awareness of limitation and gives us alternate feelings of power and powerlessness.

In October 2012 the Kalahari opened its hand to us again, this time with more generosity than ever before. The three of us - myself, Andre, and our special guest and friend Allan-were the fortunate receptacles of amazing scenes on a daily basis, from dawn to dusk. We were blessed to see again the clear blue skies and red dunes adorned with clumps of golden grasses and solitary trees. We enjoyed starry nights filled with the music of barking geckos. We also witnessed stormy skies and a downpour of heavy rain. In the evenings it was so dark in the camps that we could hardly see the silhouettes of lions passing through…At times we spotted wild creatures half-hidden in the tall grass nearby - foxes and jackals. The resident pride of lions joined us from day one at Rooiputs, and we captured on our cameras amazing interactions between the members of " The Rooiputs Clan". The young lions were playful and inquisitive and delightful to watch. Two adult females killed an eland almost every day so food was plenty for every one, including a number of jackals and brown hyaenas.

According to Allan we had eight wild cat sightings during the entire trip, while Andre counted eleven Cape Cobra sightings. At Rooiputs one late morning we had just returned to the camp for breakfast - Andre was busy making toast and scrambled eggs. I remember sitting on the ammo box and washing dishes from the previous night, when I lifted my eyes and saw a Cape Cobra passing by behind Allan. After warning him of the potential danger I rushed for my camera but unfortunately the snake made it for the bushes before I got close enough to take a shot.

For various reasons we have missed a photographic opportunity every now and then, and one instance worth mentioning is a cheetah chasing springbok near Mata-Mata. Heat haze and light reflected by the sun-drenched sand also hindered our chances of a good image, especially with birds landing at waterholes during midday. The glare from the cloudless sky is often unbearable when shooting birds in flight. We perspired under our hats as we sat for hours in the overheated Landrover watching the sun climbing the sky - that is the time of the day when the Whitebacked Vultures, Bateleurs and Secretary Birds come to drink and bath.

Sadly, a number of waterholes had no water because the solar pumps were out of order. Yet we were lucky again and again, for we discovered a Cape Fox den and then a Spotted Hyaena den within short distance of each other on our last drive ( about 20 km North of Polentswa). And have I mentioned Rosetta yet?Also known as Safran, this beautiful young female leopard graced us with her presence for about an hour or so, and we have photographs to tell her story…

We invite you to spend a few minutes browsing through our galleries…Enjoy, and kindly grace us with a comment or two…

Gabriela and Andre


Photo comment By Leo: Wonderful ! ! ! Beautifully told story and awesome photography ! Wish you all the best Gabriela and Andre !

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