This Land: Namibia


Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge for this week asks us to find a theme in the second and third verses of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land”.

In 1999 my family and I went on a camping trip to Namibia. Three weeks and seven thousand kilometers later I was convinced that country is one of the most beautiful places on Earth, and I’ve selected a few of the pictures I took for my contribution.

NOTE: These are scanned copies of photos I took with my ancient Canon A1, before I owned a digital camera (had they even been invented then?). Unfortunately the quality is not great (and I am completely clueless when it comes to picture enhancing programs like Photoshop) but hopefully you will get an idea of the grandeur and beauty from the few I have chosen for this post.

As I was walking that ribbon of highway

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I saw above me that endless skyway

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I saw below me that golden valley

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This land was made for you and me

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I’ve roamed and I’ve rambled and I followed my footsteps

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To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts

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And all around me a voice was sounding

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This land was made for you and me

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Colourful Cape Town


I’m a week late for entering Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Vibrant Colours but that’s because we were lucky enough to have been able to take a much-needed week’s break in one of Africa’s (and perhaps the World’s?) most beautiful cities – Cape Town.

Unbelievably I forgot to take my camera – I was so annoyed with myself! So some of these pictures I took with my phone (I’ve still not mastered that skill) and the rest are from our trip to Cape Town in January.

We stayed in an apartment at Whale Watchers in Muizenberg where the views from our bedroom window were breathtaking.

Muizenberg - looking across the bay towards Simons Town and Cape Point

Clouds rolling in to Muizenberg – across the bay from Simons Town and Cape Point

A clearer, warmer day

A clearer, warmer day

I could wake up to this every morning

Oh to wake up to this scene every morning!

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So bright and colourful and cheerful

So bright and colourful and cheerful

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Also seen in Muizenberg

I love all the small shops and alleyways in and around Kalk Bay.

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Intriguing

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Of course a visit to The Brass Bell in Kalk Bay is compulsory – the view, the ambience and the cocktails are superb.

Cocktails at Kalk Bay

Cocktails at Kalk Bay

Elephant Alley


We pump our irrigation water from the Zambezi River and the clearing where the pump house is situated also serves as our boat launching site. We are not the only ones who use the narrow, winding and bumpy road that makes its way through the forest to the pump house — we also share it with elephants, who make use of it mostly in the evenings, when they need to drink after a thirsty day in the sun. If we happen to both be on the road at the same time we will stop the vehicle and let them pass before proceeding and it is usually a civilised affair.

Late one afternoon Piet received a call from the pump house attendant; one of the motors was making a strange noise and he had to go there to see what was wrong. Sarel was away on leave at the time so we were dog-sitting his Jack Russell puppy Benji, who jumped onto Piet’s shoulders, delighted at the chance to go for a ride.

About half way to the river Piet heard the unmistakable sound of elephants breaking branches and then saw about 20 elephants lumbering along ahead of him, some on the road and a few scattered among the trees. He stopped and waited for a few minutes until thought the road was clear before slowly continuing, Benji trembling with excitement on his shoulders.

As they rounded the next corner Piet realised not all the elephants had moved on; there was a large cow, young calf in tow, standing on the side of the road and she was not pleased with him being so close to her child. It was too late for him to stop and reverse, so his only option was to dash past her and hope for the best. By this time Benji was beside himself with excitement, growling and whimpering, his sharp little claws digging into Piet’s shoulders. As they drew alongside the cow she thrust her trunk out, almost into the open window, and bellowed.

All hell broke loose: Benji scrambled down to the floor between Piet’s feet, howling and sobbing, the elephant continued bellowing and Piet, unable to work the foot pedals, yelled at Benji to move out of the way as the vehicle skidded forward out of reach.

It was only once he reached the relative safety of the pump house, heart racing and hands shaking that Piet noticed the dreadful stench – Benji had lost control of his bodily functions, down the back of Piet’s neck, along the front of his shirt, on the floor, on the pedals, on the seat! Understandably, the pump attendant kept his distance during the repairs.

It was a long time before we could persuade Benji to go for a ride with us again.

Elephant Alley

Elephant Alley

Mosi-oa-Tunya


Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

This is our last week of the Five Elements/Seasons series and today our topic is Water or the Season of Winter.

The World’s largest sheet of falling water, the Victoria Falls (or Mosi-oa-Tunya, meaning The Smoke that Thunders in Tokaleya-Tonga) is listed as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World – and it falls almost in my front garden!

The Victoria Falls

“…scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight …” – David Livingstone

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Zambia on the North bank, Zimbabwe on the South. The Zambezi River stretching Northwards as far as the eye can see

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The Smoke that Thunders

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Water water, everywhere

Irrigating with water from the Zambezi

The Mosi-oa-Tunya providing a dramatic backdrop to our irrigation – all water is pumped from the Zambezi River

Cees Fun Photo Challenge