Visiting Zimbabwe – All Work & No Play

I go home to Zimbabwe at least once a year, partly to visit friends and family, partly for a holiday and partly for “work”… and when I say work, there is a whole lot to do – you see for another website that I run (The Safari Guide), it is vital that I have as many good quality bird and wildlife photographs that I can lay my hands on and I can’t think of a much better place in the world to get them than in Zim.

Travel

So every year I “have” to travel all the way across the globe to one of the best places in the world to view birds and wildlife and then whilst I’m there, have to load up the Landrover with all my gear and drive all around this stunning, beautiful country.

Terrible I know!

Patience

But that is just half the “job” done, the next bit is to capture the images and this is where the real “work” begins. Photographing birds and wildlife takes loads of patience as you usually “have” to spend hours and hours relaxing waiting in stunning wild places like Kariba, Hwange, Inyanga or on the Zambezi for the perfect moment to arrive so that you can then take a few photographs of the wildlife you have come to see.

A few examples of this “toil” include the many, many times that I have spent hours and hours on a boat in Kariba in the boiling heat with only cold beer, a fishing rod and my camera to keep me going whilst waiting for the perfect opportunity to photograph a Fish Eagle, Kingfisher, Swallow or an Elephant.

Or there are the times that I “had” to camp in Chirundu or down the river at Mana Pools to get some more Elephant, Buffalo, Wild Dog and Little Bee-Eater shots.

Then there was the trip to Vumba and Inyanga where I spent the cold evenings curled up in front of a log fire in my cabin to keep me warm, just so I could go out in the morning and get the chance to photo a Samango Monkey, Blue Duiker, a Purple-Crested Lourie (or Turaco as they are now called) or even a Redfaced Crimsonwing (Cryptospiza reichenovii).

Ogh and not forgetting the trips all the way to Hwange and Victorial falls for those all important Ele, Giraffe and Trumpeter Hornbill photos.

I also distinctly remember spending hours in Hwange National Park watching and waiting for a lioness and her cubs to get up from under the shade of a tree so that I could get a decent photograph of her walking through the long grass.

But wait, there was also the time in Matopos, with the Rhinos…

I think you get the idea, it’s a tough job and I have to do it!

Equipment

To get really great close-up photographs of wildlife, especially birds means I have to play with use loads of toys complicated equipment – things like cameras, tripods and binoculars, which are incredibly mentally demanding…

Ok, ok…I think I have to stop there as I can’t keep this up any more. Visiting Zim is something that I really look forward to every year and my wish plan is that one day soon… I will stop having to visit and will spend all year round in such a beautiful country.

Until then… my next visit is in a few weeks time. I have a few incredible trips lined up whilst I am there and a whole bunch of new equipment toys to play with, on top of that I am taking my four month old daughter to visit her grandparents for the first time and to spend some quality time with friends and family and I can’t wait!

For those who are interested – I have a shiny new camera to play with and hope to come back with a whole bunch of new Elephant, Hippo, Imapa, Kudu, Crocodile, Hornbill, or any other birds and animals that will hang around long enough for me to take their portrait! You can read my Fujifilm FinePix HS20EXR Review here.

You can also take a look at a few of the photos I took last year: Beautiful Zimbabwe – March 2010

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  • Did you take these phots with that camera? Nice! Makes me want to ditch my disposable and get a decent camera after all.

    Enjoyed reading your posts.