In June this year we celebrated our ten year wedding anniversary and decided to head back to the country of our honeymoon – South Africa. Only this time we didn’t seek luxury – we sought solitude, big skies and big cats, so we packed our bags and headed off to South Africa’s Northern Cape to explore the Kalahari Desert.
We had an amazing 8 nights in Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park (KTP), a haven for birds of prey and big cats. We were fortunate enough to witness a host of spectacles – from fluffy, curious cheetah cubs exploring dry riverbeds, barn owls chicks exploring their new world, tree climbing mice, mating leopards and cheetahs chasing and killing a wildebeest before our very eyes. We caught a lot of this on camera. I’d like to say it was sheer luck but it was more a product of hard work! We spent a lot of time tracking and observing animals to capture the behaviour we wanted to photograph, gambling on whether or not situations we anticipated would unfold.
We stayed in some of the most incredible accommodation, courtesy of SanParks who never fail to exceed expectations. From isolated dune cabins offering endless vistas night and day, to permanent tents with baths and braais ideally situated to view the endless milky way each evening. It’s the stuff stressed out managers dream of. Nothing but you, nature and a pace slower than anything you’d ever experienced before. Days turn into weeks, nights into months. You can easily lose yourself stargazing each evening as the dazzling stars overtake the blackness of the night. You watch satellites and shooting stars fly overhead with a cold beer / glass of cape wine in hand and reflect on the beauty and wonder of mother nature. You then awake in the dead night by owls, hyena or jackals howling outside your door, and you snuggle deeper into your thick pile blankets with a smile on your face and a longing for daybreak so you can explore some more.
To help spread the word about the incredible beauty of the Kalahari we have released the first batch of photos from our trip – more is yet to come – but we didn’t want to delay their release any longer. I hope that they give you a feel for life in this arid region and give you some sense of the desolute beauty of the place and the incredible animals that call this home. The Taraji Blue Kalahari photo gallery is available here.
(If I click my heels three times and declare “Home. Home, Home,” can I go back?!)