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A Photographic Diary of #Okavango14

Wilderness. By definition it is an uncultivated, inhospitable region, uninhabited by man. A place without artificiality. A place free of the constructs of our societies. It is where the prophets of some of mankind’s great religions were said to go for understanding. It is a place where every step has a consequence, and everything is in balance. And it is where I find myself perched on a termite mound, contemplating a troop of baboons preparing for their evening roost in Botswana’s Okavango Delta. I wonder how many of us have had the privilege to have experienced true wilderness… to touch its bark, taste its water and smell its sage. Our wilderness is disappearing, this we know, and for those of us who have been swept up in the delirious clutches of its beauty, this we feel. But it is not our despair that will help these wild places, it is our hope.

May these images from one of Africa’s last remaining great wildernesses fill you with hope. If you have never been to the wilderness, I ask you to seek it out. Once you have breathed its air you will understand that preserving our wildernesses is akin to preserving ourselves.

These are mokoros, the traditional dugout canoes of the baYei people. They are piloted from the back using a long pole known as a ngashi fashioned from the branch of a silver cluster-leaf  tree. This is our chosen method of transport through the waterways of the Okavango. They are quiet and move through the channels with very little disturbance, allowing us to monitor the wildlife without the impact of an engine powered boat.
These are mokoros, the traditional dugout canoes of the baYei people. They are piloted from the back using a long pole known as a ngashi fashioned from the branch of a silver cluster-leaf tree. This is our chosen method of transport through the waterways of the Okavango. They are quiet and move through the channels with very little disturbance, allowing us to monitor the wildlife without the impact of an engine-powered boat. (Photo by James Kydd; rangerdiaries.com)
Kgalalelo Mpetsang (KG) recognizes a landmark. Trees and termite mounds form an integral part of baYei navigation.
Kgalalelo Mpetsang (KG) recognizes a landmark. Trees and termite mounds form an integral part of baYei navigation. (Photo by James Kydd; rangerdiaries.com)
Goitseone Basiamang (Tom) enchants us with his swororo, a bow-like instrument traditional to the baYei, the people of the Okavango Delta. The swororo is made of the branches of the brandy bush and the young leaves of the real fan palm. He runs a stick up and down the base of the bow with one hand, while gently blowing and sliding a finger along the leaf. The music seems to fit perfectly with this Eden we find ourselves in. As I write this a pod of hippos have assembled in the water just in front of our campsite, roaring in seeming annoyance at our fire. Perhaps fifty meters behind us an elephant is siphoning the fruits of an ebony. A chorus of crickets and frogs are competing for the airwaves. Steve Boyes is fortifying the production tent after hearing the first hyena, while Jer Thorpe uploads a recording of Tom’s music to @intotheokavango
Goitseone Basiamang (Tom) enchants us with his swororo, a bow-like instrument traditional to the baYei, the people of the Okavango Delta. The swororo is made of the branches of the brandy bush and the young leaves of the real fan palm. He runs a stick up and down the base of the bow with one hand, while gently blowing and sliding a finger along the leaf. The music seems to fit perfectly with this Eden we find ourselves in. As I write this, a pod of hippos has assembled in the water just in front of our campsite, roaring in seeming annoyance at our fire. Perhaps fifty meters behind us an elephant rumbles softly while collecting the fruits of an ebony. A chorus of crickets and frogs are competing for the airwaves. Steve Boyes is fortifying the production tent after hearing the first hyena, while Jer Thorp uploads a recording of Tom’s music to @intotheokavango. (Photo by James Kydd; rangerdiaries.com)
“In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence.” - Robert Lynd. Image by James Kydd (rangerdiaries.com)
“In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence.” – Robert Lynd. A flock of Meyer’s parrots, the subject of five years of Dr. Steve Boyes’ research, take to the air. (Photo by James Kydd; rangerdiaries.com)
Emerging Explorer Gregg Treinish learns to pole a mokoro in the baYei tradition. There were times moving through the mazes of papyrus that I imagined try to pole through these channels on my own, without the navigational guidance of the baYei, and immediately a wave of claustrophobia would wash over me.
Emerging Explorer Gregg Treinish learns to pole a mokoro in the baYei tradition. There were times moving through the mazes of papyrus that I imagined trying to pole through these channels on my own, without the navigational guidance of our baYei comrades, and immediately a wave of claustrophobia would wash over me. (Photo by James Kydd; rangerdiaries.com)
This is our production tent, a place where technology and wilderness meet. We have endeavoured throughout this expedition to share as much of the experience as possible in the hope that it will aid in the preservation of this magical place. The night sounds around the campfire, heart rate spikes from encounters with hippos, bird population counts, water quality samples and images of the journey were all uploaded in real or near-real time via a solar powered portable satellite modem and open-source hardware and software. We answered tweets, instagrammed, and even hosted a Google hangout. All of the expedition data and the route of our journey was pubIished on an interactive website so that researchers, classrooms and interested followers around the world could join in on the adventure. Image by @jameskydd (rangerdiaries.com)
This is our production tent, a place where technology and wilderness meet. We have endeavoured throughout this expedition to share as much of the experience as possible in the hope that it will aid in the preservation of this magical place. The night sounds around the campfire, heart rate spikes from encounters with hippos, bird population counts, water quality samples and images of the journey were all uploaded in real or near-real time via a solar-powered portable satellite modem and open-source hardware and software. We answered tweets, instagrammed, and even hosted a Google hangout. All of the expedition data and the route of our journey was published on an interactive website so that researchers, classrooms and interested followers around the world could join in on the adventure. (Photo by James Kydd; rangerdiaries.com)
Hippos, gatekeepers of the channels.. Of all the challenges we faced, the encounters with hippos were certainly the sternest. There is nothing quite watching like being at eye level with the approaching bow wave of a charging hippo.  My lowest point of the trip was falling out of my mokoro while poling past a submerged hippopotamus. But the luck I experienced escaping from that encounter pales in comparison to what happened a few days later. We were following a hippo path and could clearly see the disturbed mud of a hippo that had recently walked in front of us. We pulled the mokoros to the side just as the hippo turned on the path and came back past us. Relieved to have the bull behind us we pressed on, presuming he had turned due to the thick papyrus we were now entering. Dr. Steve Boyes and Giles Trevethick in the lead boat were pushing a path through the reeds when Giles looked down and noticed he was about to plant his paddle into the exposed back of another bull hippopotamus, the reason the first bull had turned, right underneath their mokoro. They slid over its back only a moment before Chris Boyes and KG in the second mokoro did the same. KG, with all of his years of experience was overcome by his fight or flight instinct and jumped off the mokoro into the water. Steve whispered a sharp instruction to his brother “COME NOW!” as the hippo began to move. KG clambered back and Chris poled past the beast to safety as the rest of us fanned out into the surrounding reeds. I still do not understand how they emerged unscathed. Was the hippo sleeping? Was it badly injured and trying to hide? Neither of these possibilities resonated with me. Perhaps the Mother Okavango had decided to spare the lives of a few of her conservation ambassadors. Image by @jameskydd (rangerdiaries.com)
Hippos, gatekeepers of the channels. Of all the challenges we faced, the encounters with hippos were certainly the sternest. There is nothing quite like being at eye level with the approaching bow wave of a charging hippo. My lowest point of the trip was falling out of my mokoro while poling past a submerged hippopotamus. But the luck I experienced escaping from that encounter pales in comparison to what happened a few days later. We were following a hippo path and could clearly see the disturbed mud of a hippo that had recently walked in front of us. We pulled the mokoros to the side just as the hippo turned on the path and came back past us. Relieved to have the bull behind us we pressed on, presuming he had turned due to the thick papyrus we were now entering. Dr. Steve Boyes and Giles Trevethick in the lead boat were pushing a path through the reeds when Giles looked down and noticed he was about to plant his paddle into the exposed back of another bull hippopotamus right underneath their mokoro. This was why the first bull had turned! They slid over its back only a moment before Chris Boyes and GB in the second mokoro did the same. GB, with all of his years of experience, was overcome by his fight or flight instinct and jumped off the mokoro into the water. Steve whispered a sharp instruction to his brother “Come now!” as the hippo began to move. GB clambered back and Chris poled past the beast to safety as the rest of us fanned out into the surrounding reeds. I still do not understand how our friends emerged unscathed. Was the hippo sleeping? Was it badly injured and trying to hide? Neither of these possibilities resonated with me. Perhaps the Mother Okavango had decided to spare the lives of a few of her conservation ambassadors. (Photo by James Kydd; rangerdiaries.com)
Here in the midst of Botswana’s Kalahari Desert, the Okavango River forms one of the largest inland deltas in the world. Dr. Steve Boyes and Giles Trevethick make their way towards a potential campsite. (Photo by James Kydd; rangerdiaries.com)
Even though this water has passed through three different countries it is some of the purest and most delicious water I have ever tasted, having passed through a gigantic filtration system of sand and reeds. Emerging Explorer Shah Selbe’s tests confirmed this quality throughout our expedition. We would simply dip our cups into this Kalahari life force whenever our thirst needed quenching. This combination of pure water and wilderness accounts for an explosion of life. Image by @jameskydd (rangerdiaries.com)
Even though this water has run through three different countries it is some of the purest and most delicious water I have ever tasted, having passed through a gigantic filtration system of sand and reeds. Emerging Explorer Shah Selbe’s tests confirmed this quality throughout our expedition. We would simply dip our cups into this Kalahari life force whenever our thirst needed quenching. This combination of pure water and wilderness accounts for an explosion of life. (Photo by James Kydd; rangerdiaries.com)
We drifted through thousands and thousands of water lilies, glowing in the sunlight like the floating lanterns of a Diwali festival (Image by @jameskydd (rangerdiaries.com)
We drifted through thousands and thousands of water lilies, glowing in the sunlight like the floating lanterns at a Diwali festival. (Photo by James Kydd; rangerdiaries.com)
Fiery-necked nightjars, coppery-tailed coucals, Angolan reed frogs, Pel’s fishing owls and the rumbles of elephants formed the choral backdrop to our evening commune around the fire. Many of these sounds were recorded and shared on the Twitter feed @intotheokavango. (Photo by James Kydd; rangerdiaries.com)
National Geographic Emerging Explorers Gregg Treinish and Jer Thorpe, together with Lelamang Kgetho, catch their breath and prepare themselves for the next twenty metres. To access the heart of the wilderness via mokoros we had to take a route known only by a couple of old baYei whose fathers had used the passage for hunting in the 1950's. Our GPS was of no value here, and we relied entirely on a secret mind map to navigate our way through the labyrinth of hippo channels that took us to the lost island of Madinari,  ffcv vd dv v v VCR l of paradise, the place the baYei spoke of in hushed tones. It was a gruelling day of dragging the fully-laden mokoros on foot through sludge and muck, flicking off leeches and pulling sharp reeds out of our feet. It felt as if the Okavango was testing our resolve, questioning why we were here. I cannot describe the feeling of joy  half a day later when the reeds opened up onto flowing water and the vast floodplains of Mombo teeming with wildlife. There was hardly a dry eye amongst us. Image by James Kydd (rangerdiaries.com)
National Geographic Emerging Explorers Gregg Treinish and Jer Thorp, together with Lelamang Kgetho, catch their breath and prepare themselves for the next twenty meters. To access the heart of the wilderness via mokoros, we had to take a route known only by a couple of old baYei whose fathers had used the passage for hunting in the 1950′s. Our GPS was of no value here, and we relied entirely on a secret mind map to navigate our way through the labyrinth of hippo channels that took us to the lost island of Madinari, gateway to paradise, the place the baYei spoke of in hushed tones. It was a grueling day of dragging the fully-laden mokoros, each weighing over 200 kg, on foot through sludge and muck, flicking off leeches and pulling sharp reeds out of our feet. It felt as if the Okavango was testing our resolve, questioning why we were here. I cannot describe the feeling of joy half a day later when the reeds opened up onto flowing water and the vast floodplains of Mombo, teeming with wildlife. There was hardly a dry eye amongst us. (Photo by James Kydd; rangerdiaries.com)
Khunowa Mathare (Chaps), a sixty-two year old baYei gentleman, is our go-to man when we lose our path. His ability to recognize pathways amoungst what sometimes seemed like impenetrable fortresses of sedge and reed was uncanny. He showed a particular dislike towards hippos, and when I asked him about it he told me that one had had sunk its teeth through the chest and arm of his son,  who somehow survived the encounter.
Khunowa Mathare (Chaps), a sixty-two year old baYei gentleman, is our go-to man when we lose our path. His ability to recognize pathways amoungst what sometimes seemed like an impenetrable fortresses of sedge and reed was uncanny. He showed a particular dislike towards hippos, and when I asked him about it he told me that one had had sunk its teeth through the chest and arm of his still-surviving son. (Photo by James Kydd; rangerdiaries.com)
Throughout my life I have encountered trees in the wild that seem to pulse with. Some strange energy. This ancient baobab, estimated to have lived over three millennia, was one of them. There was a sense of unease amongst all the expedition members and we pitched our tents much closer to the fire than usual. Just after I climbed into my sleeping bag the chaos began. First a nearby troop of baboons went into a screaming frenzy, clearly distressed by the presence of a predator. Then the hyenas began to howl, at first just a couple but soon there was the crescendo of a large clan. I heard the loping footfall of one running through the camp. It paused at my tent and ran its nose along the flaps, sniffing close to my head as I cursed myself for not having the sound recorder on me. The howling turned into maniacal laughter followed by the guttural snarls of a pride of lions defending their kill. It was a long and thrilling night. Image by James Kydd (rangerdiaries.com)
Throughout my life I have encountered trees in the wild that seem to pulse with some strange energy. This ancient baobab, estimated to have lived over three millennia, was one of them. There was a sense of unease amongst all the expedition members and we pitched our tents much closer to the fire than usual. Just after I climbed into my sleeping bag the chaos began. First a nearby troop of baboons went into a screaming frenzy, clearly distressed by the presence of a predator. Then the hyenas began to howl, at first just a couple but soon there was the crescendo of a large clan. I heard the loping footfall of one running through the camp. It paused at my tent and ran its nose along the flaps, sniffing close to my head as I cursed myself for not having the sound recorder on me. The howling turned into maniacal laughter followed by the guttural snarls of a pride of lions defending their kill. It was a long and thrilling night. (Photo by James Kydd; rangerdiaries.com)
We tried to make land around three o’ clock each day. This gave us many afternoons exploring the islands. As part of the wilderness experience expedition members were encouraged to venture off on their own. I found myself lost in a wonderland of life, lured deeper and deeper into the forest by her treasures. I followed a woodpecker on its exploration through the leadwood trees. Further down the path the golden light on a dragonfly’s wings caught my attention. I traced the footprints a mongoose left in the soft sand. Before long I was a mile from camp. Suddenly I heard the crushing of leaves as something ran in my direction. A baby elephant appeared in the clearing, further away from the herd than it should have been. We stood frozen for a moment, considering each other, before it returned to its mother without alerting her…. our little secret. Image by James Kydd (rangerdiaries.com)
We tried to make land around three o’ clock each day. This gave us many afternoons exploring the islands. As part of the wilderness experience, expedition members were encouraged to venture off on their own. I found myself lost in a wonderland of life, lured deeper and deeper into the forest by her treasures. I followed a woodpecker on its exploration through the leadwood trees. Further down the path the golden light on a dragonfly’s wings caught my attention. I traced the footprints a mongoose left in the soft sand. Before long I was a mile from camp. Suddenly I heard the crushing of leaves as something ran in my direction. A baby elephant appeared in the clearing, further away from the herd than it should have been. We stood frozen for a moment, considering each other, before it returned to its mother without alerting her… as if it were our little secret. (Photo by James Kydd; rangerdiaries.com)
Sunrise with mayflies. For some organisms living here today, like the boababs, this wilderness  was home before the existence of some of mankind's great religions. Some, like the elephants, will experience this place in a lifetime similar to our own. For these mayflies this will be their first and only Okavango sunset. Image by James Kydd (rangerdiaries.com)
Sunrise with mayflies. For some organisms living here today, like the boababs, this wilderness was home before the existence of some of mankind’s great religions. Some, like the elephants, will experience this place in a lifetime similar to our own. For the mayflies dancing above the grass blades, this will be their first and only Okavango sunset. (Photo by James Kydd; rangerdiaries.com)
Steve and Chris Boyes poling past an island on the Boro channel. (Photo by James Kydd; rangerdiaries.com)
Almost every night we fell asleep to the piping calls of thousands of tiny Angolan reed frogs. (Photo by James Kydd; rangerdiaries.com)
Emerging explorer Jer Thorpe surveys one of the islands from a termite mound. Jer is the brainchild behind the intotheokavango.org digital experience, and is changing the way research data is presented and shared.
Emerging explorer Jer Thorp surveys one of the islands from a termite mound. Jer is the brainchild behind the intotheokavango.org digital experience, and is changing the way research data is presented and shared. (Photo by James Kydd; rangerdiaries.com)
In the early 19th century an estimated twenty seven million African elephants moved across the continent. No one really knows how many are left, speculation puts the numbers between four and seven hundred thousand. We are currently losing one of these magnificent giants every fifteen minutes. The Okavango Delta supports the largest of the world's elephant populations. We must protect this wilderness for their sake.... and ours. Image by @jameskydd (rangerdiaries.com)
In the early 19th century an estimated 27-million African elephants moved across the continent. No one really knows how many are left; speculation puts the numbers between 400,000 and 700,000. We are currently losing one of these magnificent giants every fifteen minutes. The Okavango Delta supports the largest of the world’s elephant populations. We must protect this wilderness for their sake… and ours. (Photo by James Kydd; rangerdiaries.com)
Gobonamang Kgetho (GB) searches for a way through the reeds. GB is the spokeman for the baYei we are with and an ambassador for the preservation of their culture.
Gobonamang Kgetho (GB) searches for a way through the reeds. GB is the spokeman for the baYei we are with and an ambassador for the preservation of their culture. (Photo by James Kydd; rangerdiaries.com)
Emerging explorer Gregg Treinish surveys an island for a suitable campsite. Image by @jameskydd  (rangerdiaries.com)
Emerging explorer Gregg Treinish surveys an island for a suitable campsite. (Photo by James Kydd; rangerdiaries.com)
#Okavango14 expedition members Kgalalelo Mpetsang (KG), Gobonamang Kgetho (GB) and Lelamang Kgetho (Snaps) are smoking a harvest of tiger fish and tilapia from the Mother Okavango, as the baYei refer to her. People have been living here for over 100000 years deriving a livelihood from its resources. GB, who has fished the same stretch of river before, expresses with a note of concern that this year took them two hours to catch what they had caught here previously in twenty minutes, and suspects the commercial fishing licenses introduced upriver. Fellow expedition members and National Geographic Emerging Explorers Shah Selbe and Jer Thorpe are monitoring and recording water quality parameters along the journey to better understand aquatic conditions across the delta and drive the design of water sensors which will be deployed in 2015. The fish was eventually mixed with a paste made from the rhizomes of water lillies and made a very welcome change from rice and beans. Image by @jameskydd (rangerdiaries.com)
#Okavango14 expedition members Kgalalelo Mpetsang (KG), Gobonamang Kgetho (GB) and Lelamang Kgetho (Snaps) are smoking a harvest of tiger fish and tilapia from the Mother Okavango, as the baYei refer to her. People have been living here for over 100,000 years, deriving a livelihood from its resources. GB, who has fished the same stretch of river before, expresses with a note of concern that this year took them two hours to catch what they had caught here previously in twenty minutes, and suspects the commercial fishing licenses introduced upriver. Fellow expedition members and National Geographic Emerging Explorers Shah Selbe and Jer Thorpe are monitoring and recording water quality parameters along the journey to better understand aquatic conditions across the delta and drive the design of water sensors which will be deployed in 2015.
The fish was eventually mixed with a paste made from the rhizomes of water lillies and made a very welcome change from rice and beans. (Photo by James Kydd; rangerdiaries.com)
Dr. Steve Boyes and his brother and fellow conservationist Chris enjoy the peace of an Okavango evening while surveying a floodplain. They have shared years of experiences in the delta and are committed to enforcing its world heritage status.
Dr. Steve Boyes and his brother and fellow conservationist Chris enjoy the peace of an Okavango evening while surveying a floodplain. They have shared years of experiences in the delta and are committed to enforcing its world heritage status. (Photo by James Kydd; rangerdiaries.com)
If we are to use our tools in the service of fitting in on Earth, our basic relationship to nature - even the story we tell ourselves about who we are in the universe - has to change. -  Janine M. Benyus. Image by @jameskydd (rangerdiaries.com)
If we are to use our tools in the service of fitting in on Earth, our basic relationship to nature—even the story we tell ourselves about who we are in the universe—has to change. – Janine M. Benyus. (Photo by James Kydd; rangerdiaries.com)
Amidst the great expanses of water, reeds and sedges we would seek out our evening shelter on islands. Dense stands of lala palms would usually indicate land  large and flat enough to camp on with reasonable shade and good wildlife. They would tower over us like sentient guardians of the islands they had stood on since the nineteenth century. We would  fall alseep to what sounded like a distant waterfall as the wind caressed their leaves, only to wake up to the explosive shaking of their trunks by large bull elephants and the subsequent rainfall of their palm nut treasure. Image by @jameskydd (rangerdiaries.com)
Amidst the great expanses of water, reeds and sedges we would seek out our evening shelter on islands. Dense stands of lala palms would usually indicate land large and flat enough to camp on with reasonable shade and good wildlife. They would tower over us like sentient guardians of the islands they had stood on since the nineteenth century. We would fall alseep to what sounded like a distant waterfall as the wind caressed their leaves, only to wake up to the explosive shaking of their trunks by large bull elephants and the subsequent rainfall of their palm nut treasure. (Photo by James Kydd; rangerdiaries.com)

If you have any questions about the Okavango Delta, our experiences, its wildlife, or how to visit it, feel free to contact me at james@rangerdiaries.com. Also, check out our Twitter page at @rangerdiaries.

Special thanks to photographic sponsors outdoorphoto.co.za and World of Heroes at Gopro (@wohza).

Read More From the Okavango Expedition

Comments

  1. Kathy Mylet
    Surrey, United Kingdom
    September 10, 3:49 pm

    James the photography is absolutely fabulous. The description of what you are seeing is so detailed I feel the vibes.
    Excellent work!

  2. jorge enrique vega linares
    septiembre 9/2014
    September 9, 11:47 am

    your are a grads mens, cingratulecions

  3. jorge enrique vega linares
    pereira colombia
    September 9, 11:45 am

    your are grand mens, congratulecions

  4. Sarah Duff
    South Africa
    September 8, 6:08 pm

    Incredible photos and beautifully written captions. I really felt like I was there (which I will be someday).

  5. Michael Job
    Greater Makalali Private Game Reserve
    September 8, 3:38 am

    Amazing Pics

  6. Simon Bellingham
    Cape Town \ South Africa
    September 8, 2:51 am

    I love the words of Kim Lisa Taylor – “Glad to see that this group has taken up the cause of both preserving the wilderness and informing the world about what it contains. Too often, preservationists seem to have the attitude that they are preserving nature from mankind and strive to keep people out. It is only by knowing what is precious in the wilderness that we will understand its importance and seek to protect it even if we, ourselves, may never go there.”

    So nice to see that people around the world are waking up to the value of conserving our environment – the green revolution is here!

  7. Gae McFarlane
    British Columbia Canada
    September 8, 1:05 am

    James, you are a wonderful photographer and writer! You brought us with you on an incredible adventure. What a delight to join you in this way! Greetings from family in Canada.

  8. Alf Stevens
    Civilisation
    September 7, 3:20 pm

    Hi James,
    The images you present bring back great memories of our trips (under Peter I) when we Old Bulls were younger. Your Dad accompanied us on shorter trips. Keep well and enjoy.
    Regards, Alf.

  9. Ian Collier
    Knysna, South Africa
    September 7, 1:29 pm

    Beautiful photography. Very envious of you James.

  10. Chaity
    Bangladesh
    September 7, 12:34 pm

    Stunning pictures……thank you for the wonderful posts about Okavango.

  11. Paddy Balsdon
    South Africa
    September 7, 12:21 pm

    Fantastic James. Thanks to ML and Doug for sharing.

  12. Ella
    Devon, England
    September 6, 7:50 pm

    Wonderful

    Take me with you!

  13. Kim Lisa Taylor
    Northern Idaho
    September 6, 12:11 pm

    Glad to see that this group has taken up the cause of both preserving the wilderness and informing the world about what it contains. Too often, preservationists seem to have the attitude that they are preserving nature from mankind and strive to keep people out. It is only by knowing what is precious in the wilderness that we will understand its importance and seek to protect it even if we, ourselves, may never go there.

    • James Kydd
      September 7, 2:17 pm

      Kim, you have hit such a giant nail on the head here. I couldn’t agree more. Thanks for your comment.

  14. Michael Lentz
    Garner, NC, USA
    September 6, 6:19 am

    Great photojournalism. Wonderful story presentation and photography !!!

    • James Kydd
      September 7, 2:18 pm

      Thank you so much Michael

  15. conrad hennig
    South Africa
    September 6, 4:35 am

    So proud to be associated with these incredible people whom I am privileged to call friends. Incredible guys, just incredible. …..

  16. Carol and Mike
    London just now and SC
    September 6, 4:17 am

    Fascinating article and photos, James! You and your colleagues keep a world open that many of us can’t explore but can know through what you all do! Thanks for that! Carol and Mike

    • James Kydd
      September 7, 2:18 pm

      Thanks Carol and Mike!

  17. Ashleigh
    Cape Town
    September 5, 3:39 am

    Incredible images, talented photographer.

  18. Chege
    Nairobi
    September 5, 12:33 am

    Wow, astounding, looking forward to exploring someday

    • James Kydd
      September 7, 2:19 pm

      Hi Chege: it is such a different part of Africa to your own, you must give it a visit.

  19. Lanfairya
    September 4, 10:45 pm

    Wow! Amazing photography!

  20. Joseph C Lawrence
    South Africa
    September 4, 5:24 pm

    Absolutely sublime

  21. hazel
    al ain abu dhabi
    September 3, 3:42 pm

    a very inspiring piece of an art.. I was taken to the place…