Our family amp to camp … not that we’re inherently good at it. I remember us setting off with reckless abandon, caravan in tow, for campsites across the length and breadth of South Africa. We had all the enthusiasm in the world, but when it came to setting up, and configuring our campsite in such a way that we’d be comfortable for the next ten odd days, it always seemed to fall apart at the seams (of the tent).
But the outdoors nature that is so intrinsic to average South African families kept us exploring more. Rallying around the “African TV” on a frosty July evening in the Berg, or flipping the Coleman’s to a kitchen table on a warm December at the coast, camping is a core part of our culture. It’s not like we even have to travel far from our comfort zones; the best campsites in South Africa can be found within mere hours of major cities; and swapping the suburbs for sleeping bags will, as always, be a way of life this summer.
On assignment in the wilderness of Botswana, photographer and videographer Kevin MacLaughlin came across one of the most ferocious predators in Africa. Guillotine-like teeth, powerful claws, and a death rattle like a Dementor, the honey badger certainly keeps its enemies at bay.
With a name as innocent as ‘honey badger’, one wouldn’t assume this short and stout carnivore is after anything more vicious than bees, but one shouldn’t let the interpretation of its ancient, scientific name (Mellivora capensis: Mel meaning ‘honey’ and voro meaning to ‘devour’) get in the way of one’s understanding of this beast. Sure, its natural ability to sniff out honeycomb and tolerate the stings of thousands of angry bees makes it pretty tough, but its skin is just under a centimetre thick and it can withstand the venom of a cobra.
The Masai Mara is undoubtedly one of the greatest wildlife destinations on the globe and the spectacle of the Wildebeest crossing the Mara River is truly magnificent.
Wild Eye has been running hugely successful safaris here since 2011 and have throughout this time set ourselves the goal of being respected as the best photographic travel company that operates in the area.
The immensity of Botswana and Namibia’s wide open spaces means the journey between destinations is the real highlight of driving this region. Time to enjoy the arid beauty, reflect on the place you have been and imagine the place you are going to. To add to this, the region has one of the lowest population densities in the world. As empty as it seems, its wonders are innumerable and the highlights below are but a small selection chosen simply for their ability to lure you back to discover more.
I asked the Meesers about how they came to be the much-loved hosts at nDzuti, and I uncovered tales about hand-built reed huts, horseback in the bush, rhino monitoring programmes, and the initiation of some well-known safari establishments.
Bruce and Judy Meeser have been heading up safari operations in South Africa for the last 30 years before coming to settle at their beautiful ‘place in the shade,’ nDzuti Safari Camp. Their expertise comes from practice and passion, and they have got a lot of both!
Read some of our questions and answers and learn how truly serious Bruce and Judy are about Africa and the wild world they call home.
Tell us about the various safari operations you have established and run since the 1980s after you guys got married and ventured into the safari business