Weak from hunger and thirst, the elephant struggled to reach a pool of water in this African wildlife reserve. But the majestic mammal got stuck in the mud surrounding the sun-baked watering hole, which had dramatically shrunk due to a severe drought. Eventually park staff freed the trapped elephant, but it collapsed and died. Just yards (meters) away lay the carcass of a Cape buffalo that had also been pulled from the mud, but was attacked by hungry lions. Elephants, zebras, hippos, impalas, buffaloes and many other wildlife are stressed by lack…
Severe drought in Mana Pools is affecting elephants and other wildlife – a photographer shares her images and thoughts.
The most threadbare word in travel would surely be “paradise”. But what exactly do people mean when they over-use this descriptor? The simplest manifestation of a traveller’s nirvana is a magnificent location. But one person’s notion of beauty is another’s monochrome.
Deserts or big-sky plains could be heaven to some, alarmingly unstructured to others. Mountains and forests are one person’s spiritual home, another’s claustrophobia. Thickly peopled cities, with their weight of history and culture, are the essence of civilisation or its betrayal. Even the ocean and its salty associations, though commonly accepted as the apotheosis of paradise, has its critics.
Paradise is more a state of mind – not simply a beautiful place but an emotional condition, a spiritual epiphany, a sense of serendipity or accident of fate where perfection collides – or all of the above. Paradise is highly personal, because it’s where you feel happiest.
At its most complex, it could be a yearning for something unique, pure and mystical, for perfection in a flawed world. It might relate to our happy childhood places.
Read more from source: The most beautiful places on Earth
From giant flat-screen televisions to 3D 12-channel surround sound IMAX, the technology now exists to bring the wonders of the natural world to our living rooms and cinema screens in ever more realistic ways. Hence the appeal of Blue Planet II, the most-watched television series in Britain last year – so popular in China that it slowed the internet.
But however advanced the gizmos, nothing can match the visceral thrill of witnessing animals in the wild. Whether it is swimming with a whale shark on Australia’s Ningaloo Reef, or coming face-to-face with a silverback gorilla in Uganda, nature has a way of reminding us how insignificant we are.
Everyone has their favourite animal. For me, it is any of the big cats – and I’ve been lucky enough to witness everything from the mating rituals of leopards to a tigress playing with her cubs. I’ve even been charged by a lion on a walking safari in Zambia. Happily everyone in our group remembered the golden rule: “Whatever you do, don’t run!”
Finding myself working for Wilderness Safaris in Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools seems less by coincidence than by appointment at the right time as my forefathers lived in the area around Mana Pools long before it was inscribed as a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site in 1984. My father was born somewhere in the Zambezi Valley in 1922 and lived here with his parents until they were moved out and settled in the Hurungwe area as chief and headman in the new area. The chiefs then were Mudzimu, Dandawa and Nyamhunga.
Every time I make it down the escarpment from Makuti I have a sense of homecoming. This is what makes my time at Ruckomechi Camp so special because I feel the reconnection with my ancestors.