Sunday, June 13, 2010

Do you know the way to Duma Tau?

Elephant - Loxodonta Africana
Clean, sweet water is vital to the existence of elephants.  Gregarious and extremely loyal, elephants live in family groups led by an adult female with her offspring.  The bulls form temporary herds of their own, joining up with the females during mating season.  Peacefully they browse and graze, plucking grasses and leaves with the delicate tip of the trunk, keeping cool by fanning themselves with their enormous ears.  In spite of their size, elephants are capable of standing eerily still, while they test the air for danger with their trunks.  A herd on the move walks steadily in single file creating well worn paths, a feature of elephant country.

Our last drive at Vumbura was a great opportunity to get close-ups of elephants when we came upon a large herd on each side of the trail.  Mothers with babies were not too happy being disturbed, and for a while our vehicle was surrounded on all sides by these magnificent animals.

This was the angry mommy showing her dislike of us but really just protecting her baby.

Leaving Vumbura Plains camp..........................what time did you say our helicopter would arrive?

The Brits saying goodbye to ST (a charming, knowledgeable guide who introduced me to the wonders of his beautiful Botswana), and getting back into Annie's helicopter as the water was rising and the airstrip still flooded, so this was the only way out.

Note:  Received an e-mail from ST this week - fears that Vumbura would be closed, due to the possibility of the camp being flooded, is over - the water level is now dropping and all is well.

By now even dear Babs felt like a 'chopper pro' as we made a dash for it, then flew off to meet up with our next plane at a dry airstrip.

Elan's Cessna Caravan arrived and when I asked if I could sit behind him he invited me to sit beside him!  OMG, me a co-pilot - can't you almost see my knees knocking here as I looked at all those dials.............

.........fortunately his young, healthy heart kept beating for the 45 minute flight and I didn't have to 'save the day' while flying at 7,000 ft. above sea level!

View from the cockpit - you really can't see over the high dash, have to look out the side window which made thoughts of having to take over the controls even more frightening!
But have to admit, once up and away it was an awesome flight in the front seat...........and Elan was a 'dishy' pilot who chatted the whole way sharing valuable information about the spectacular landscape below. 

Flying over the watery Okavango Delta toward our second Wilderness Safari camp, Duma Tau ("Roaring Lion") - still in Botswana. 

Next time - the delights of a slightly more rustic camp.  "Darn, no hairdryers", but a large floor fan worked in a pinch.  More impeccable service, and surprises in the beds!


  1. Those elephants are so beautiful. They are such gentle, wonderful, intelligent creatures. How lucky you were to be up close and personal with them!


  2. Mary,
    Your pictures are so good, that i think you should print a book of your adventures. I will be a customer if you do. I cannot believe you got so close to the elephants. Now you must have been a great co pilot.

  3. Oh My Mary! You have such wonderful pictures of your trip to Africa. Hubby and I have been checking out your posts and are marveling at your photos. I could never fly in that plane. You are very brave! Keep the photos coming!

  4. Oh my! I can't wait to see the next camp. Carla

  5. Welcome back!

    Your photos are just outstanding! I feel like I'm there too!


  6. Oh Mary...these are totally awesome, thank you so much for sharing.......

    xoxo Gert

  7. Exquisitely beautiful! Breathtaking!

  8. Oh Mary - your photography is so beautiful. What a thrill your trip must have been. Will check in again soon to see if there are any more posts.
    Thank you so much for sharing this with us all.

  9. Thank you for taking me along on this fantastic trip. The photo's are wonderful and I hope you are enjoying the trip as much as us bloggers. Thanks Yvonne

  10. Grandma, you take such amazing pictures. FAR better than any professional I've ever seen. I wish so much that I could've been there with you in Africa. Hopefully we will all be able to visit again sometime.
    I love you,
    Jasmin ♥

  11. I so enjoyed this up close and personal images of the elephants! Oh dream to be there as you are!

  12. Hello dear Mary, in the midst of all the preparations for grandkid's week I finally have a few minutes to view all of your amazing photos. I am so impressed with your absolutely gorgeous photos. I just read from the top down to here. I will comment on all of them. Love the elephant and the photo of all of you. I enlarged it. You look so cute in your Africa gear. I know you girls had the time of your life. I would have been scared to ride in the small airplane too. As the co-pilot you did an admirable job. Smile. I am proud of your bravery.
    enjoying this time with you.

  13. Glad to hear that they did not have to close the camp due to flood waters. Such a beautiful place it would have been a shame for the next person! Seeing all the water with little spots of land makes you realize you certainly hope the plane won't go down!!
    Take Care!


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