Andrew Bone

Diary entries from Andrew Bone’s 2016 safari – Part 1

Andrew Bone

Photo courtesy of Andrew Bone.

Andrew Bone doesn’t just paint and conserve wildlife, he goes into the field to study, photograph and record his subjects, which can lead to incredible encounters.

Bone’s latest adventure found him on a 2,796-mile (4,500-kilometer) route through South Africa and Zimbabwe. Starting on June 13, the trip took Bone, his wife and two friends through the Kalahari Desert into Botswana.

“As a wildlife artist, I realize how privileged I am to be able to participate in adventures such as this, which enables me to replenish research materials that are critical for the authenticity of my work,” Bone said in a Facebook post.

Below are some diary entries as well as photographs Bone has shared with Park West Gallery.

Entry 1: June 16-18, 2016 – The Kalagadi-Mpanyathulwa campsite

It has taken 3 full days of hard driving to finally reach the Kalahari Desert. Our first camp is devoid of any creature comforts, save the shade of a magnificent camel-thorn acacia.

Our base at Mpayathulwa campsite lies on the eastern boundary of the Kalagadi National Park. Everything needed to eat or drink has to be brought in. It is a desolate and unforgiving place, and a little unnerving to spot the fresh spoor of a large lion where we planned to pitch our camp. A vast empty pan lies before us.

The day has been hot, the night – beneath an almost full moon – promises to be bitterly cold.

Entry 2: June 20, 2016 – Kang, on route to Maun

Apart from a small man-made waterhole on the edge of the pan, the area appears to be a waterless wasteland. However this desert is anything but devoid of life. Meercats, brown hyena, squirrels and gemsbok have all adapted to the harsh conditions. Sand grass and doves by the hundreds share the spring with wildebeest and springbok.

We were fortunate to be visited in the night by a large lioness, and in the morning by a magnificent male strolling through our camp on the way to the pan.

Entry 3: June 21, 2016 – Audi campsite, on route to Moremi

It has taken two days of driving to head north with overnight stops at Kang and Maun. Finally we have arrived at Moremi game reserve in the Okavango Delta.

The Okavango is the largest land Delta in the world and home to abundant wildlife and bird species. I have spotted my first Red Lechwe, the national animal of Botswana.

This is the most beautiful part of Africa, comparable to the Victoria Falls in natural beauty and bounty.

Wildlife artist Andrew Bone is the founder of Forever Wild Foundation, which works to provide in-kind services and resources to conserving African wildlife. Park West is proud to support his foundation through the Park West Foundation.