Mar 282014
 

Llamas have a bad reputation for spitting on people. I can tell you with absolute certainty that that’s a lie, at least where the llamas photographed are concerned. We walked all amongst these guys and they barely batted an eye at our presence.

This is another of my old photos taken with a point and shoot ten years ago. If you look close you can see little pink blobs in the background, those are flamingos. It’s the only place I’ve ever seen a flock of wild flamingos.

It wasn’t long after taking this photo that our guide woke us up at 2 in the morning and ordered us to get packed and ready to leave. We were supposed to fly from Sucre to Santa Cruz two days later, but he had heard there were protests scheduled in Sucre that would prevent us from entering Sucre if we didn’t leave Ayuni immediately.

After loading onto the bus, bleary eyed, we careened along the rough mountain roads, clinging to the cliffs, towards Sucre. Despite our early departure we didn’t make it back before the roads into the city were blocked by the haphazardly placed vehicles of angry bus and taxi drivers. Our guide went on ahead to assess the situation and came back to inform us that we’d have to complete the last few miles into the city on foot.

Apparently we were lucky it was drivers striking and not farmers because it was less likely that they’d throw rocks at us as we passed (That’s less likely… i.e., not completely out of the question). We were still told to stick together and keep our eyes up as we walked through the barricade. As it turned out, the protestors were content to get us off our bus and make us walk with our packs into the city, and we passed through without incident.

It was definitely a situation where using a backpack trumped a rolling suitcase.

Llamas eat grass in front of a snow capped mountain in Ayuni, Bolivia

Mar 052014
 

So, as it turns out, I had one more photo of the female lion from my lion walk in Zambia left. I’m pretty sure this is the last one though.

She looks pretty intense in this photo because one of the handlers was running back and forth to peek her interest. I’m not sure I’d recommend that myself. It kept things interesting though.

I’m going to take a long trip in Sept/Oct. At the moment the plan is South East Asia… but right now I want to go take more photos of lions.

a closeup of a lioness in a tree, concentrating on something in the distance, Zambia.

Jan 242014
 

Once you get over the initial holy-crap-there’s-an-unrestrained-lion-five-feet-away-from-me moment you kind of relax into enjoying your experience walking with lions. Then, the female decides to suddenly burst on ahead and climb 10 feet up into a tree to look down on you and you feel your adrenaline spike again.

If you’re wondering what she’s staring at so intensely, it’s my travel buddy. She works with large animals for a living, but that didn’t stop her from turning her back on the lion up the tree to pose for a picture directly below it. I turned my back on a large cat I was a handler for once, a friendly puma called Gato, and wound up with my hip in its mouth. Thankfully, it only applied light pressure. So, watching my friend turn her back on a freaking lion made me nervous. The guide was fine with it though. He was the one holding her camera.

And yes, this is the same pretty lion I posted a close-up of here.

a lioness up a tree looks down at the animals below in Zambia

Jan 122014
 

While hiking in the mountains in Romania, I walked into a field of leafy plants with a path down the middle. I got about half way across when I realized I was surrounded by thousands of these massive, alien-looking things. Thankfully, they weren’t very active.

Ugly ciccada bug on green leaf in Romania

Nov 032013
 

Today’s photo was taken during a day where we rode elephants and walked cheetahs and lions. The cheetahs are walked on leashes and then you get to watch them chase down a bit of meat, which resulted in this photo. It was an amazing day capped off by coming face to face with the king of the jungle.

We were introduced to two adolescent lions, the female you can see below, and a white male who was starting to get his mane in. Rather worryingly, the guides said that these lions were reaching sexual maturity so would be released onto the reserve soon as they would get aggressive and be too dangerous to walk. The plan is for these captive bred lions to breed in the reserve and produce lions that have had no contact with humans.

Fortunately, for this trip, they were pretty docile, walking along with us a we patted them on the back and held their tails like leashes. The most exciting part was when the female decided to leap into a tree above us. From where she was I’m pretty sure she could’ve pounced on any one us at any moment.

Face of a female lioness up close on a lion walk in Livingstone Zambia

Sep 272013
 

As we drifted down the river in Botswana we came across this guy posing perfectly for the camera. I used to know what kind of bird it was, but now I can’t remember for the life of me what it is. Can anyone provide a suggestion in the comments below?

African darter bird in front of partly cloudy sky in Botswana

Sep 192013
 

The drive to Walvis Bay to the dunes at Sossusvlei is pretty barren. It’s mainly a long flat road, not suited to the vehicle we were in. We bounced along at half the speed limit as giant overland trucks sped past us. Still, it was an exciting drive. Every now and again, dotted across the landscape we’d spot flocks of ostrich strolling about. This group corresponded with a driver change 2 hours into the drive.

Ostiches in the desert in Namibia with a mountain in the background

 

Aug 122013
 

It’s been a while since I’ve made a post.  It’s been a pretty hectic couple of weeks with cupmatch and a stag one weekend after the other. On top of that, my usual laptop decided to stop working on me so I’ve been using my old one, which I was shocked to find still works, kind of.

It may be debatable as to whether or not I can claim this photo. I really wanted to get a good shot of a yawning hippo. While on a booze cruise, I had the camera all set and had been trying to catch it on avail. My travel buddy, Harleigh, asked to look through the camera to get a closer look at what was a pretty inactive hippo. Just as she pointed the camera at him, this happened. Harleigh reacted and held down he shutter button, firing off about a dozen shots. This was the best of the bunch.

Hippo yawning with  big teeth with baby hippo in the water next to it in Zambia