Tag : Zambezi

Boat trip at Maabwe Bay…

Kariba, a large body of water, can have waves a metre high. Luckily, when I went on the water at Maabwe Bay, they didn’t get THAT big.

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As soon as we were out in the middle of the lake, the wind came up and the smooth water, became these choppy waves. The boat man had a plan to tack, so the motor didn’t keep coming out of the water, but had to avoid illegal fishing nets too!

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I took the above photo for the tree – of course – this is opposite Maabwe Camp on our way to the hot springs.

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I can see all sorts of faces in these rocks!

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I have psoriasis and  always search out hot springs for my skin. This one was jolly hot, but further down the valley (in the next photo) it has cooled down enough I could spread the sulphur mud onto my skin. (Probably mixed with a whole load of cow manure too!!!)

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And then we got back to Camp Maabwe, and what do you know? The wind died down!!!

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Directly into the sun…

I’ve been practicing taking photos directly into the sun, mostly by hiding behind a tree or getting someone to hold a hat so a shadow shields on the lens.

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This was taken fairly close to Binga Resort.

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These two were taken on a pretty rough road near the air strip at Binga town. I had to clamber up a bank to get these shots (there are too many trees on the side of the road.) I came down the bank much faster than I went up!!!

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To get this one, I climbed on the back of the truck. I usually love trees, but along this road, they were getting in the way of my pics!

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I took this one (below) on a sand bank just slightly to the left of the one in the pic above…luckily for 4 wheel drive!!!

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I LOVE the scraggly trees in the foreground!

 

 

 

Fish Eagle…

This fish eagle often sits in a tree directly opposite Mlibizi fishing camp, it’s nest just around the corner. One of a pair, they also feed a juvenile (brown coloured still,) and are probably laying eggs right now in their messy nest.

Our boatman threw a tiddler onto the water with a reed stuck through its gills. After following the bird carefully in its descent, I missed the shot! Luckily, the fish-eagle did too, on his first pass, and I got to record this magnificent bird change direction and swoop down directly towards me.

Wow, what power…

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Swooping down…

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This is where he had to turn in mid air!

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I was told a story about a fish eagle at Mlibizi Hotel. (Pic in the previous post.)

Rescued as a chick, the fish eagle had been brought up at the hotel, probably fed with the scraps from fisherman. Fully grown, it sat in a tree above the pool, as fish eagle are wont to do.

One day, a guy with a bald patch, jumped into the pool and began swimming across! I’m guessing from the birds perspective, his bald patch looked awfully like lunch, shimmering under water!

The fish eagle swooped down and stuck his talons into his scalp! It made quite a mess, I’m told!

 

Mlibizi hotel…

I took this pic from the Mlibizi Hotel (a short distance from the resort where we were staying.)

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Trees in the Zambezi Valley…

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This tree is at the hot spring in Binga

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This one is also in Binga, the lake in the background.

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This amazing tree is at the Mlibizi Hotel.

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And the last one, directly opposite Mlibizi Resort

Mlibizi…

Is a fishing resort on the Zambezi, where the river becomes Lake Kariba. I’m guessing ‘back in the day’ it was pretty rough and ready, since men don’t really worry about creature comforts when it comes to fishing. But now its really civilised, with air-conditioning and two swimming pools! We stayed here when we worked in the area earlier this year, so to spend quality “off-time” at chalet no 16 (which belongs to my sister) was special.

p1220536-001This view (above) is from the jetty. Kariba is very low at the moment and the banks, protruding from the water mess up my photos! This one is taken looking into the sun, so you cant see them.

p1220520These are taken at the swimming pool at dawn.

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The ferry leaves from Mlibizi. I’m told its a magic trip, with game viewing and excellent food, (on my to do list.) If you look carefully in the next pic, you can see the ramp you have to reverse your car up! Mlibizi resort is hidden in that clump of trees behind the ramp.

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p1220518The sunsets (and sunrises) over the water are stunning. I love to just sit on the bank (far away from crocs!) and enjoy the silence and that Zambezi smell, that has to be experienced. I cant describe it. p1220427_hdrThe first time we went out on the water, it was like glass. Totally still, no ripples disturbing the surface and it was hard to distinguish the sky from the reflection. That’s Zambia you are looking at in this pic (above.)

So if you want a fishing getaway for $25.00/day – ask for chalet 16!

Nature’s fragrance…

On our recent trip to Binga area, we based ourselves at Mlibizi (pics already on here someplace,) a fishing camp on the Zambezi river.

Our first day’s work at Nechilibi, was rained off, and the car was a bit of a muddle because I’d had to bring things that usually belong in the back, into the cab.

Our second site was at Deka, also a fishing camp on the Zambezi, about an hour and a half away on a pretty poor road. We set off early, after checking that the Gwaai River was not in flood. You can see from this pic, the low clouds, just waiting to trap us in the car for another three hours!

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This pic (above) is taken from the bridge over the Gwaai River. It had been flooding high the previous day, but as you can see, it went down quickly.

Even before we reached this bridge, I’d noticed a terrible smell. I didn’t say anything, but wished we had not had beans for supper the previous evening! I smelled it again, shortly after, when I slowed down for a cow.

I flapped my hand and got a “Huh? Whats up with your guts?”

MY GUTS??? What a flaming cheek! MEN!!! And like all men, Will has an excellent ‘innocent look.’ I wondered if I should believe his, “It wasn’t me!” story? And it definitely wasn’t me!

It seemed to be worse whenever I slowed down and we eventually decided something must have died in our air-conditioner, or in the panel above the bonnet. I couldn’t work out why it would make a difference when we slowed down, but we had plenty of ideas about air flow etc! I stuck to my theory that he was not as innocent as professed!

When we arrived at Deka, I checked under the bonnet, and stuck my nose on all the carpets – nothing.  I left the guys doing the survey and took a drive along the Zambezi, looking for photo opportunities; did a little fishing with some kids I came across.

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Their back yard!

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I didn’t notice any smells when on my own, and began to wonder if Will was having me on! He must have squeezed one out each time I slowed down, knowing it would confuse the issue.

I collected the survey team, (and by the way, this hole was drilled and it had lots of lovely water.) We headed off to Kenkando, the second job of the day, 60km away (unfortunately, this hole was dry!) and the smells came back as soon as Will got in the car.

Eventually, after about twenty kilometres, stopping to take this pic:

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I noticed these flowers, growing on a bush close-by, were very fragrant.

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So I picked a whole stack of them (the guys sniggering on the back!) and put them in the cab – anything to cancel out that foul smell.

It didn’t work that well!

Arriving at Kenkando, and removing the resistivity machine (from behind Will’s seat) we discovered the MIA lunch (beef stew) from Thursday! Eeeew! It had got wedged under his seat; stray shoes and fire extinguishers pushing it out of sight! Every time I slowed down, Will must have leaned back, squashing the tupperware, lid forcing it to fart!

Phew! Were we glad we solved that one!

A few pics taken along the road:

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This is baobab country – just one doesn’t usually have the back drop of clouds when coming across them!

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Teak tree blossoms, I’m told (above.)

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This lady was collecting water – a laborious process – she wasn’t making sand castles!

Fishing…

On the Zambezi seems to be a social event and everyone joins in – birds, people, crocs!!!P1160757

Waste water from the fish farm enters the Zambezi here and it seems to attract fishermen of all kinds!

In this video, you can see the fish jump about when the croc moves:

Ive no idea what this bird is, but it sure can stay still for long enough. He was drying himself here after a mini dive!

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This little kingfisher sits on an abandoned boat roof.

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When Lake Kariba filled, trees were flooded and died, providing great subjects for sunset photography! Also pretty good perches for the many water birds found along the Zambezi.

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This poor bird, featured above got caught up in a fisherman’s cast…Luckily for it, hooks are valuable things and the fisherman set it free.

Fish Eagle make the most awesome call – and the swooping, majestic flights over the water. They sit for hours on trees or other vantage points over the Zambezi, waiting for prey. I was told a story by the guy who helped me capture the video below – he said he saw a juvenile fish eagle riding on its parent’s back, learning how to fish! I’d love to catch THAT on video!

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This video was taken on the Zambezi – not at Binga – a few kilometres upstream near Msuna..

Dumb Blonde moments…

We woke very early at Binga Hot Springs, hoping for good sun rise shots. I took the camera to the hot pool and waited…and was disappointed. The sky, with all the clouds about, was gun metal grey! Eeeuw – not the colour one commonly associates with the Zambezi.

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And then…suddenly, the light changed…

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I rushed for my keys, camera and wrap and charged off. I wanted to get to the water’s edge before I missed the colours I could barely see from up on the ridge.

Roaring along the road, I spied a track (although that term is probably also an exaggeration!) heading off towards the water, only wide enough to contain the car, but not the rear view mirrors! I burst out of the thick scrub, maybe 200m later onto what would normally be underwater. White boulders dotted about, hiding sharp sticks and driftwood. I barrelled over this, trying to get as close to the water as possible. I didn’t want to miss the light, sweeping across the water…ok, Ill stop with the yak – have a look at the photos:

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The water is low right now, and the sticks form lovely fishing spots.

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Cattle don’t seem to mind it!

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I messed with this pic (above) rather! The cloud, building up behind me, added to the dramatic early morning light.

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The place I had come out at was where the water from the fish farm enters the lake. Everyone was fishing there! Birds, crocs, people!

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I pulled a stick of imfi off the back of the car, and sat chewing it (for those of you who don’t know: its a kind of sugar cane, but softer, easier to peel and chew.) Simply peel it with your teeth, then bite off a chunk, chew it, spit it out!)

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A Kapenta rig chugged past us, then another one went in the other direction

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…and then I got hungry. I’d been sitting for nearly two hours with only a few bites of sugar cane, and so decided to go back to the resort for breakfast!

Now for the blonde moment! I couldn’t find the opening to the path! I’d been in such a hurry to get to the water’s edge, that I’d not looked anywhere but the road (or ground rather!) immediately in front of the car. I’d jigged and zagged around boulders, sharp sticks and holes, but with my eye on the target – the water! Much more sober now, I couldn’t see my tracks and didn’t feel quite up to driving around looking for the road. Walk you say???  Not a chance! I pretended I wasn’t lost – taking some more pics, further from the water’s edge!

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In the distance, I saw a building. I thought: “building – road to building!” and headed that way. Eventually I found my way to a road, thence to a lush garden with cute little lodges, all facing towards the water….to a locked gate! A pretty angry man came to open it for me, but seemed to accept that I was a dumb blonde who had talked the security guard into opening the gate for me to take pics, he simply wouldn’t believe that I’d managed to drive so far along the river’s edge.

 

Fish Eagle…

Early August found us on the Zambezi, our client 40km from Musuna Island. We were asked to find water for the cook at Musuna, at his rural home up in the hills. Not an easy task when the surrounding area is 170m lower!

Neither of us are great fishermen, but we decided to give it a go, since we were on the Zambezi. We headed off, and tethering at a bream fishing spot, I saw this guy sitting in the tree directly overhead.Fish EagleThe man manning the boat, threw in the bream bait, then threw some chunks of bait out for the tiger fish and this glorious bird swooped down and picked it out of the water, right in front of the boat! Fish EagleSo of course, I had to ask the boatman to try it again so I could capture it with my cameraP1090739