Andrew Bone

Diary entries from Andrew Bone’s 2016 safari – Part 2

Andrew Bone

He knew we were there and was quietly catching our scent (Photo courtesy of Andrew Bone).

Join us as we follow Andrew Bone on the last legs of his latest adventure to study, photograph and record wildlife in Africa.

Bone loves the wildlife of his native country, and sets out himself to capture it on film to use as inspiration for his artwork and conservation efforts. As we reported in our previous post, Bone’s latest adventure was a 2,796-mile (4,500-kilometer) route through South Africa and Zimbabwe. The journey began June 13 and found Bone, his wife and two friends traveling 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 the remaining diary entries and photographs Bone has shared with Park West Gallery.

Entry 4: June 22-23, 2016 – Xakanaxa campsite

The Chobe National Park which encompasses Savuti and Moremi is vast, diverse and undoubtedly 4 x 4 country. The deep sand track that leads us to Black Pools laces through planes of grassland, broken by islands of palms and fever trees.

Buffalo, elephant, giraffe, zebra and impala are in abundance. There is a sense of peace and serenity. Botswana has ceased commercial hunting and the wildlife seems to know that the sound of a vehicle brings only the sound of a camera shutter, not gunfire and death.

Entry 5: June 24, 2016 – Dijara camp in Mababe

We continue our journey northeast towards the Chobe River. Our night stop is as Dijara camp in Mababe – a real gem, rustic but relaxing.

As with many areas in Botswana previous hunting concession have become community run photographic ventures. On our way out we were stopped by a pack of painted dogs, their pups playing in the road. Jackpot! The highlight of my trip so far.

Entry 6: June 25-26, 2016 – Savuti campsite

The Chobe River, an artery of the mighty Zambezi is a haven for elephants and boasts a huge population. With Namibia across the river a lot of time and energy is put into anti-poaching patrols by the Botswana authorities.

The bird life is abundant, we have to negotiate herds of wildlife and Ihaha camp on the river bank is idyllic. This is as far north as we go. Reluctantly we must turn south tomorrow.

Entry 7: June 29, 2016 – Elephant Sands

Our final stop before heading home is Elephant Sands (where elephants rule). After possibly many kilometers of walking, great numbers of elephant find relief at the spring. Once their thirst has been quenched, they spend time getting reacquainted.

We make a day trip to the Makgadikgadi Salt Pan and to our amazement this normally featureless vast plain has transformed into an endless lake. Within months it will once again revert to an enormous and lifeless salt pan thanks to the relentless climate of the Kalahari Desert.

(We had the pleasure of pulling a Toyota 4×4 from the mud. A first for my new Land Rover, but the first of many I’m sure.)

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.