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Weekly Photo Challenge: Journey

I love the word journey. It suggest so much more than a trip, tour, travel or visit. Each place I visit is a new journey, a new opportunity to explore and learn something about the people who live there, their language, culture and way of life, etc.

Because journey is such a strong word, I knew that it had to be part of my blog name, InsideJourneys. And when I saw that it was the theme for this week’s Photo Challenge at WordPress, I had no doubt that I’d have plenty of suitable photos to choose from.

Bus at Robben Island

Weekly Photo Challenge: Journey - Bus at Robben Island

This bus got it right: We’re on this journey together.

Virgin airline

Weekly Photo Challenge: Journey - Virgin airline

A journey of a thousand miles….

Weekly Photo Challenge: Journey

Weekly Photo Challenge: Journey - Ships in Montego Bay

Canoes in Falmouth, Jamaica

Weekly Photo Challenge: Journey - Canoes, Falmouth, Jamaica

Life is a journey.

End of the journey, Zimbabwe

Weekly Photo Challenge: Journey - End of the Journey, Zimbabwe

This is my entry to the Weekly Photo Challenge organized by WordPress.

Travel Photo Thursday: Elephants

There are more than 30,000 elephants in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe so it’s not a matter of whether you’ll see a few elephants when you go game watching, but when.

We first saw this mother’s baby at the side of the road and stopped to take it’s photo when we heard the unmistakable sound of an elephant on our right. When I turned round, I noticed her ears were fully open — elephants use this technique to frighten other animals, and us. She was so close, I’m not sure how we didn’t see her first but glad I didn’t fumble the shot.

Lone Elephant, Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

Lone Elephant, Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

We were very lucky the day we watched as a herd approached a watering hole. The baby got there first and began drinking right away, totally oblivious to our presence.

Baby elephant at a watering hole, Hwange National Park

Baby elephant at a watering hole, Hwange National Park

Soon more came and they drank, played, squirted water on their backs, rolled around in the mud and had a good ole time.

Elephants taking a mud bath, Hwange National Park

Elephants taking a mud bath, Hwange National Park

Elephants playing at a watering hole, Hwange National Park

Elephants playing at a watering hole, Hwange National Park

We were very fortunate to catch this scene — several hundred cape buffalo near our camp. As we sat quietly watching the buffalo, we saw a herd of elephants approaching. From the corner of my eye, they looked like a dark shadow but the day was clear so I began looking more intently. Then I saw them. For animals that can weigh up to 7,000 lbs., they are astonishingly quiet and nimble on their feet. Soon, about three or four herds joined buffalos, zebras and impalas at the watering hole. It was a beautiful sight.

Elephants and Cape Buffalo, Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

Elephants and Cape Buffalo, Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

A lone bull elephant, Mbisa, Zimbabwe

A lone bull elephant, Mbisa, Zimbabwe

Towards the end of the day, we caught this elephant slowly making its way as if he’d had a hard day at work and was on his way home. I hoped that where ever ‘home’ was, it wasn’t too far away.

This is my submission to this week’s Budget Travelers Sandbox Travel Photo Thursday series. Be sure to check out other photo and story entries on their website!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Wildlife

I took these photos last year in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park. The experience of watching wildlife in their natural habitat was life changing.

I knew that animals are intelligent, compassionate and caring but watching them interacting with each other or with other species and taking care of their young was heartwarming.

Zebras and Impalas

Zebras are incredibly beautiful up close. And almost every time we saw them, impalas were not far away.

Giraffe

Despite their height, giraffes are stately and gentle animals.

Lioness at rest

We watched this lioness for about 20 minutes. She was so full after a kill the previous night, she hardly moved.

Buffalo and elephant

As we watched this herd of buffalo — there could easily have been 100 of them — we noticed several herds of elephants approaching. Despite their size — they’re the largest land animals in the world — they’re incredibly quiet. You hardly ever hear them coming!

Elephant

We were watching a baby elephant on one side of the road and didn’t see her mother standing a few feet away. I was so shocked, I’m glad I didn’t scream or fumble the camera.

Enjoy!

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Shooting an Elephant

I haven’t seen the video and I don’t plan to. But I’m outraged that Go Daddy‘s Bob Parsons even thought of

Hwange Elephant up close - Photo Marcia Mayne

creating one glorifying his recent shooting of an elephant in Zimbabwe.

The arguments he and others like him use to justify this act are old and well worn.

Ditto the arguments the Zimbabwean officials use.

There was so much hope, so much promise in the newly independent Zimbabwe. Instead, it has been saddled with a government that for more than 30 years has been sucking the life out of it. All the economic indicators have fallen and continue to do so. In 2009, when hyperinflation had so devalued its currency, it was forced to stop using it in favor of the South African Rand, UK Pound or the US Dollar.

To use an African saying, “When two elephants fight, the grass suffers.”

Unfortunately, the elephants are now caught in the fight between people, like Parsons, who have deep pockets and corrupt government officials, like the ones in Zimbabwe, that’ll do just about anything to line their own pockets.

Hwange National Park Elephant

It is against this backdrop that Parson has seen fit to pose, wrapped in his suit of arrogance and sense of entitlement, his foot atop the carcass of the elephant he just slaughtered.

That arrogance, that sense of entitlement bothers me because that’s what drive men like Parsons to kill elephants and other animals.

It is that same arrogance, sense of entitlement and unbridled greed that drive Mugabe, and men of his ilk, and cause their own people to suffer needlessly.

Sadly, between the two of them, the elephants won’t have a change. They will continue to be slaughtered.