Sunday, January 15, 2017


It was only a little over a month ago but looking back, it’s all a blur.  I’m still not sure what I think of Botswana.  I spent five days in the country and yet I feel like I don’t know a thing about the place.  

There was a kind of solitude and rawness to the whole place. 

It often takes a while for a place to settle in with me.  It’s like the feeling you get on arriving to a new and strange destination.  Kind of like the “I can’t believe I’m actually here” feeling.  

Botswana never really settled with me, it didn’t have time to.  After all, five days isn’t nearly long enough to experience such a large country, especially when two whole days were spent driving up the country and then back down again.  

I don’t really feel like I’m qualified to write about the country.  

Even though there were others around me the entire time, I felt strong feelings of seclusion the whole trip.  Quietly driving through herds of animals seemed to intensify the aloneness I felt.  I tend to process images to fit a specific mood or prejudice I had prior to taking them.  These photos ended up almost entirely in black and white.  Colors have strong moods associated with them, if you don’t believe me just try and paint a room in your house red.  The lack of color in the following photos help the composure, texture, and light depict the mood, rather than the images colors.  

Luckily I had my cameras with me or my memories of this trip may have faded in a few weeks time.  This is what happens when you fly through such a vast place.  

I’ll share the brief story with you.

We spent three days traveling through Chobe National Park in a Toyota Land Cruiser, kitted out to carry 10 passengers. 

The truck incorporated an open air plan and the rain wasted no time in drenching its occupants.  In spite of this, the general group consensus was in favor of rain over extremely high temperatures.   

We drove countless miles throughout the park in search of animals.  

There are no fences around any parks in Botswana.  All of the animals are free to come and go as they please.  

The fact that there are no fences around Chobe National Park turned out to be both a blessing and a curse.  After all we didn’t travel all the way to Botswana to cruise through an over glorified zoo, we came for an authentic safari experience.  As it turned out, the experience we were after required lots of driving to seek out the animals in their natural environments. 

Let me tell you, the authentic safari experience was well worth the effort, effort in the form of sitting in a seat for hours on end that is. 

While the days were spent driving around the park, the nights were spent in tents, in the middle of the park, and also with no fences.  You may notice the zipper is broken open towards the bottom.  Melinda managed to pop the zipper off its track the very first night.  Here we are in the middle of leopard territory and my girlfriend decides to make a doggy door leading right to my bed roll.    

I’ll spare you any more chatter and just get on with the photos.



- Joel


  1. Were you fascinated by the leathered skin of elephants?? Seeing the mama elephant with the baby made me think of a John Wayne movie from way back called Hatari!
    Anyway, as always, the pictures were enjoyable!

  2. Of all the animals we saw, I liked the elephants the most. They are incredibly interesting creatures in the wild. They have so much texture, it's unusual for a mammal.

    I really enjoy John Wayne movies and I could have sworn I'd seen them all but I've never heard of that one.

    Thanks for your support. Looking forward to seeing everyone in May.