Featured Photo

Featured Photo
Ethiopian Rock Church
My latest images for sale at Shutterstock:

My most popular images for sale at Shutterstock:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Selous Game Reserve

Following on from Zanzibar, we took a light aircraft down to the Selous Game reserve in Southern Tanzania. The Selous is one of the largest reserves in all of Africa, although the northern section is the only part open to safari traffic. While the Serengeti and Ngorongoro crater in the North draw the largest crowds,  the Selous has a magic of its own. Wild and untamed, with areas that you can visit and not see another soul and with two large rivers snaking through. Safari experiences here tend to be both land and water based.


I found some of the game quite skittish and timid,  I suspect due to historical hunting further south. But at the same time, it felt wild and the scenery beautiful and very varied. Further North around Lake Manze the game is more concentrated (as well as the people), and we finally found our lions, who were more than happy to sprawl in the sun and be photographed. On the way back we had to wait for a herd of buffalo 300 strong to pass, hoofing up great clouds of dust. It was like something out of the wild west

I stayed at two wonderfully luxurious Serena properties,  Selous Luxury Camp and Mivomo River Lodge. Selous Luxury Camp falls in the category of what i like to call Pretend camping. This is popular in Africa - basically all mod cons, in this case down to rolltop baths and chandeliers and a hint of Out of Africa colonial charm - but with canvas walls for atmosphere. I did hear a very vocal hippo through my own set of canvasses.  Mivomo river lodge is perched dramatically on the river banks - alltogether less of a bush camp experience, huge suites with aircon, private terraces with plunge pools and outdoor showers overlooking the river.  Whilst enjoying a gourmet lunch we saw 30 or so elephants come down to drink on a distant shore.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Zanzibar

Zanzibar.. The Spice Islands.  The names themselves conjur up exotic travel, Dhows carrying exotic goods from the East blown by the trade winds, Sultans and harems. Zanzibar became the capital of the Omani empire in 1698 and has a rich history with a unique blend of Arab and Swahili cultures. On a darker note it was formaly the centre of the slave trade to the East until Livingstone had a hand in bringing about its abolition.



The capital, Stone Town has a certain faded charm, with crumbling merchants houses and palaces with intricately carved wooden doors and snaking alleyways.


The meat and fish markets make for a colourful and vibrant experience, though not for the faint hearted vegan.












Away from the capital are a host of gorgeous beaches, spice plantations to visit and the Jozani forest with an uber cute troop of Colubus monkeys. These days its a great add on to a Tanzanian Safari to the Selous or the Serengeti reserve 

I first went to Zanzibar for the Millenium, and was lucky enough to pop back on a flying visit hosted  by Serena hotels en route to the Selous Game reserve last September. As the sun has come out in London, I thought it might be time to share these sunny shots of East Africa.





Tuesday, May 22, 2012

London by Night

The great thing about night photography is how the colours come alive. In the daylight you struggle to reproduce what the naked eye can see. In the dark the intensity of of the light in the images seems to be more vivid than in real life.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Boris Biking along the Riverbank

Bless me mighty Interweb for it has been 10 weeks or more since my last blog post.

Meanwhile I have been in South Africa (again), Austraia and Singapore, so plenty to catch up on, as well as some 2011 African adventures to write about

Today though, I'm feeling like Mr Fitness after 2 hours cycling from Mile End along to Bow, and up along the Lea River, past Hackney and Walthamstow Marshes nature reserves, and back through Hackney downs and a latte at 'Elbows' in Victoria Park Village.

On Saturday I cycled from Warren Street in the West End to Islington and popped down onto the towpath, cycling all the way home to Falcon Works along the regents canal.

These green corridors are wonderful escapes. Its great that Im a 15 min tube ride from Londons west end but can walk or ride along the canal.

Im not overly fond of Boris (Johnson...the recently re-elected Mayor)  but I do like his Bikes (even though it was Red Kens  idea to have them in London apparently). Actually on the Mayoral front, being such an amusing baffoon does mean he is one of the few conservatives who dont make my stomach churn, so if were going to have one of his lot in City Hall, may as well be this one. Ken came over just a tad desperate to get back in and the bickering was atrocious.

But I digress... Bikes.... here they are..
Marvelous they are.. The Stations have become much more frequent. You can either sign up to the scheme, or get one ad hoc. Its a pound for 24hrs access. Then first half hour of use is free, after that its not much more than a pound an hour so the cost is negligible. The great thing is you dont really have to plan, you can do it on a whim. Which is mostly when i do.




I did discover rather unfortunately, last week that they dont have stops very far along the
South Bank.  I had a wonderful night ride all along the gorgeously lit up South Side of the Thames last Monday night. I got a but carried away with myself and after Tower Bridge (amazingly lit at the moment pre-Olympics), I ran out of bridges to get back over to the other side. I thought I'd drop the bike and train it but alas...no bike parks over there!.  Had to cycle through the car exhaust filled Rotherhide bleedin tunnel!.


Well as is traditional, here are some pics.. The first being Home Sweet Home, Falcon Works on Spring Afternoon. Then a random shot of a bike stand (acually in Marleybone), and  journey along the Regents Canal and the Lea River, before a Vicky park village cafe

                            

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Medinet Habu Temple, Luxor