photo of the week
Every week I'm on the road I choose a photo of the week. Sometimes it's a fantastic photo, other times it's all about what that shot meant to me. Be sure to let me know what you think.
Rwanda is a stunning country that is completely committed to ensuring its national pride is always both on show and protected. Every month for 3 hours on a Saturday the whole country stops and spends that time doing community based projects. Rwanda is pristine clean with not a spec of rubbish anywhere but its the natural countryside that truly takes your breath away. This is the view over the twin lakes of Lake Burera and Lake Ruhondo, near Musanze. We spent an amazing day with our lovely local guide Ferdinand on these lakes and villages under the shadow of the volcanoes.
This whole trip started based around me trekking into the remote Ugandan forests to see the wild Mountain Gorillas. THIS WHOLE TRIP WAS BASED AROUND ME DOING THIS. Unfortunately I just couldn't work Africa in on the first year without it costing me a bunch more money so I missed doing it for my 50th sadly. When I did start my African journey I didn't realise that we would be in Uganda around this time, so when Geoff our fearless leader told me we would be doing Gorilla's around 30th June or 1st July I may have done the "OMG I'm going to the gorilla's on my birthday" dance. It seems very appropriate that I got to have this magestical (yes that's a word) experience on my birthday. Spending an hour in the jungle with these stunningly handsome, intelligence and tolerance creatures was just what my heart desired!
Sometimes on your travels it is very important to remember the people on earth who did not win the life lottery like you did. This weeks photo is the shanti towns in Nairobi. Over 3.5 million people in Nairobi live like this. Worth taking a step back, re working your budget and maybe help someone else today.
Do more, consume less
Make life your success
We stayed at Meserani Snake Park in Tanzania as a jump off point to get out to Serengeti. This is a well established overland camp run my "Ma" of which profits go to the local womens clinic they have built. This massai gentlemen was our camp guard and was watching us make our breakfast this morning. I loved the colours of the huts, the tree growing up and his bewildered expression at our "eggy bread" making.
Serengeti provided us with some stunning moments, none more than this amazing pride of 5 lionesses and 14 cubs! Yup 14! We were coming to the end of the day and were on our way back to camp when Tom and Nick spotted a lioness in the grasses to our left. It soon became clear she wasn't on her own and we were so excited about the possiblity of cubs that we stopped and just waited for them, hoping that they would cross the road in front of us. They did - and it soon became obvious they were a HUGE pride. Such an incredible experience to sit and watch the cubs playing and chasing each other while mums tried to rest. They were so excitable that this was the only shot I managed to get with them all in the frame. An incredible way to spend the last 45 mins of our day.
We were on Zanzibar during Ramadan, which was actually pretty cool. While Zanzibar is stunning, it's the local kids who are worth watching. This young boy was practicing his back-flip in the water. You can see he's misjudged it at least once and smacked his head, but unperturbed, he gets up and has another go. Love that attitude and despite the crystal clear water, the amazing snorkeling and the cute hotels, this image says Zanzibar to me louder than any other.
I know hair should not define a woman but its hard not to think it does after seeing the girls from the Himba tribe in Namibia. They mould their hair encased in clay and then tease the bottom edged to make this amazing caramel cached locks. Its amazing as is the rest of their dress. This young lady was showing us the "smoking" ceremony and while the photo isn't exactly crisp it does capture her stunning beautyl
This weeks Photo Of The Week is an elephant having a mud bath on the Chobe River. What are the chances of seeing that?? It was so incredible and if you listen you can hear us all groan in conjunction with him when he gets down.
The Mandela Capture Site is something that I wasn't expecting to get much out of, however it surprised me in the quality of the information in the museum and the honesty of that info. By far however the best part was this amazing sculpture of Mandela's face. From front on you see this, but alter your view slightly and its just a bunch of metal bars stuck in the ground. Very very clever.
After Kruger, we didn't expect a lot from Hluhluwe Imfolozi national park. Not because there isn't anything to see, we just thought we had been so very fortunate in Kruger that we wouldn't have that luck twice. Turns out we are the wildlife whisperers...
This young Giraffe calf spent a good 20 minutes checking us out. She kept coming closer to the jeep, checking where mum or dad was and then freaking out and sprinting back (yes I saw a running Giraffe again), only to slowly creep back towards us.
She was so cute and so inquisitive and to be amongst a herd of Giraffes for half an hour was extremely surreal. This was a day of babies but this adorable girl stood out.
Kruger was so very kind to us with wildlife sightings. We saw the big 5 on the first day along with Giraffes, Zebras, Warthogs, Birds and then... the very elusive Leopard.
We had just been looking at a lion resting under some trees next to the Giraffe he had killed overnight (actually I think it was her now I think about it) which I thought was pretty special. You always like to think that these national parks are non interference, but you are never really sure - until you see a lion with his giraffe. We were driving off and BOOM! Mr leopard just stepped out in front of us and went for a stroll down the gravel road. This is such a cliche'd photo but its my fave. He just strolled along for about 200 metres, turned, waited for us to creep closer, growled and stepped back into the bush.
Once again its nature that blows your mind.
Unfortunately my trusty Sony camera decided that the dust, sand, handbag bouncing and electronic torture it has received over the last year and a half was just too much for its delicate sensibilities.
So I hit the most interesting part of our trip with no camera. Cest La Vie - memories it is...
Not long after aforementioned failure, I had to bolt home for a family emergency anyway so sadly I missed the last part of West Africa.
However - in the non Shining sense of things - "I'm Back!!"
We were in Guinea for Christmas at Tinkissu Falls, and while its not something I ever celebrate, I was on cook team that day so we did try to do a bang up meal with the limited supplies we had. I was so tired this day though and I was completely shattered so imagine what an amazing surprise it was when the security guard told us that there was a Hippo in the damn. SO EXCITED. Our first Hippo, on Christmas Day! BOOM - Africa Bitches!
We crossed into Senegal and IMMEDIATELY noticed a change in the people. They are so very friendly and the local dress is just stunning. So amazing to see colour and smiles after Mauritania's more subtle style. These markets in St Louis and a thriving hub of colour and characters. Loved Senegal and this first market we saw prepared us for bigger and better ones to come.
Sadly I took this with my phone so the quality is rubbish, but I LOVE the content. You can see Bruce taking a photo out of the truck and in the distance you can see a camel about to cross the road in front of us. Wish it was better quality but that's not to be and guess what? A year on the road, I'm in Mauritania, still going, loving it. Happy Travel Birthday to me!
Crossing Western Sahara and Mauritania is miles and miles of flat desolate country. This day we were lucky to have new bitumen, althought for whatever reason it wasn't wide enough so every time a truck passed us we both had to get two wheels off the road. I Love how the black highlights the distance and also how desolate the landscape really is.
When you see the sunrise photos from Africa they have this giant glowing orb that looks so spectacular. In practicality the glow is dust. Its just an unclear sun rising, however the sunsets always seem much clearer and way more dramatic. I'd forgotten how amazing sunsets on the west coast of anywhere can be and Africa is no different. This was from a bush camp in Western Sahara after the sun had dipped below the horizon, but as you know, in the west that's the time it gets really great.
Jenny - photography lover but someone who hates lugging around HUGE camera's so my images are all from my Olympus OMD or my little Sony digital.