the situation doesn’t get better in that war-torn country, thanks to the lousy corrupt and incompetent leaders. The staggering number of 1.5 million refugees has been hit, out of a population of 12 million!
You can’t expect much hope from a government that forcibly recruits child soldiers…
But people there, well mostly women, seemed to be hoping for peace, to live a normal life considering the effort put in fashion and hairdos.
You’ve got to pinch yourself sometimes when those stunning creatures come out of the middle of shitty nowhere… High heels were common sightings.
and some guys were quite into fashion too.
This girl couldn’t be my copilot, my flying precision would have suffered as a result…
Some old analog pictures from my early years in Tanzania.
When I was a child in the 70’s I remember a short movie about flying in a canyon, maybe the Grand Canyon, on a half sphere screen. That was in the leisure park Phantasialand in Germany… The field of vision was nearly full of the movie! That movie made a big impression on me obviously. Ok this is not the Grand Canyon but my field is full…
Anti hyena planning aka acacia branches. The tyre sent attract those beasts.
Nearly a combined landing in the bush.
Sometimes spare tyres are not really worth being used…
Decent oil leak on a C206.
My first week in Tanzania, my 2nd airtrip in the Ngorongoro Highlands. When one is fresh out of flying school, this airstrip looks impossible at 1st. Atmospheric engine, rough surface, a gulley on one side, 6500 foot elevation, 400 meter long only, 11% slope, that means a highly no way out in case of a go around because this strip lies on the slope of a crater. Even after many years, one still shows respect for it.
A soft airstrip made of sand can be challenging and result in a propeller strike.
How many airstrips in the world can boast such a spectacular approach before landing?
Rumours were all about insurance scams after a coupla belly landings within the same company and this in a short time…
White paint and fences are luckily not always available in the bush to limit an airstrip.
Disease or burn mark, I haven’t got a clear answer yet.
The ugly marabou stork keeping distance with the lioness.
Late afternoon, a hamerkop (une ombrette) caught a fish.
That was a perfect way to start the year, well maybe not on a railing… the picture is a bit blurry because it is taken though a mosquito net. The pair wouldn’t like to be interrupted (the act is already short enough, safe sex in the wild means not being eaten)
Not necessarily the best pictures…sometimes it was just a first moment of something, sometimes just a beautiful moment I tried to render through the pictures, sometimes a strong burst of happiness.
My 1st male African Paradise flycatcher, the female doesn’t show off such a long tail.
The joys of flying in the bush. Not the best picture as it was shot more than one km away through the reverberated heat.
A recurrent scene in some rivers but never had I enjoyed such a close action. An African skimmer.
How can one get bored of this? I’m asking because I’ve witnessed some punks who preferred staying glued to their smartphones or won’t look twice, like “been there seen that”…
Selous river, a piece of art…
A rare flight over the southern part of lake Tanganyika, Kipili Bay.
My best leopard show since 1999.
Some of the most colorful birds in Tanzania. Above a regular performer: the lilac-breasted roller (rollier à poitrine lila) and below a rare southern carmine bee-eater, rare at least in the areas I travel to, one sighting in Mombasa years ago, and this one in Tanzania… (guêpier écarlate)
I had been walking outside camp when I noticed these ox peckers on a massive rock, so I had walked closer for a better picture, what else, when I realised quite late, 20m away, that the said rock was a hippo! Luckily it was a placid dude…but the electric jolt in my spine was not placid.
First time I had flown in the far southern part of the Selous reserve which is huge at 55.000 sq km, twice the size of Belgium! Not much for a country but for a reserve…Here is the Luwegu river and its beautiful sand banks. And hippos as in many rivers in Africa.
A mangrove around Mafia island.
I had been stalking these elephants up to 40m when that beautiful roller flew between them and me.
Not the smartest idea to let wild animals pass between you and your safe place, I know but what a thrill. Nowhere to run except up a tree.
Finally the year I got these little divers caught in action. A pied kingfisher hovers over the river for a few seconds then dives in the water and hopefully catches a fish, Here I caught it just when the beak enters the water. Next picture just shows a splash… (martin-pêcheur pie)
Another first for me, a crocodile catching a prey.
As opposed to the kingfisher, this swallow doesn’t dive but tries to skim briefly the water. Apparently this is a fail since only the beak should barely touches the surface… the swallows survive easily these numerous fails.
And a last exceptional sighting: a mongoose carrying a cub like a lioness would do. I had not only never seen that action, I had never heard of it. The whole group and her were running away from an unidentified danger, not from me.
Some of the idyllic spots where I happen to spend many nights. Here my airplane will rest in Mtemere, Selous.
More birds to add on my list since I got a 600mm lens. Here an good old fish eagle (pygargue à tête blanche)
Some of our 8 airplanes (including a helicopter and a jet) at Safari Air Link, the best little company in Tanzania and beyond. My dear boss might be reading this…
When there are no passengers on board, we are allowed a close inspection of each other…
Our latest Caravan after a shower, Zanzibar.
One picture that made some people, let’s say envious, criticizing my tan (or lack of)as a cheap revenge….haha. Here in the Ruaha river.
Another great sighting, a first even, a palm tree and a lion. I can’t help linking a palm tree to the seaside, not to the far away savannah.
A gerenuk (gazelle de Waller)
A male greater kudu ( un grand koudou)
Egyptian geese and gosling. Just in front of our Ruaha camp, a troup of baboons attacked another goose family and ate up all goslings in front of the helpless parents. Sad.
I was standing under a tree looking for birds when a small noise made me jump. it turned out that black-backed jackal hadn’t seen me either till late, like 20m from me. I think it was our regular resident because he didn’t show any sign of nervousness… still quite a sighting that close when you’re on foot.
The air forces in 2015 had only that aircraft, rented from Uganda. But then they had those stealthy Mil 34 or 35. They had arrived just days before I fled that charming country. This is my last picture, stolen as usual, there.
A common scene, a crazy bigot…
Same scam everywhere…
Civilians with AK 47’s. This man looked in charge of some bodyguards so I felt half safe but sometimes you get the tramp with blood shot eyes asking for favors…
I’ve lost count on how many different uniforms I spotted there. There 954 generals in the country. For 12 millions citizens! That’s more generals than all the US forces combined.
Santa in South Sudan…sometimes it got funny out there.
An African skimmer offered its incredible show barely 20m away which is quite a feat…
and caught something.
The same skimmer later passing by a crocodile, which I hadn’t noticed while shooting, and an egret.
A female waterbuck is teasing the male. She never ran away, just walked a bit, seemed to wait a little bit, then just at the crucial moment, walked again. And so on…damn, where did I see this pattern before? (cobe en français)
Big boy in the mud.
Stealthy hippo looking for coolness in the river. That’s all there was to see, the nostrils. I wonder if I couldn’t be spotted through the murky water…
This giraffe seemed to perform semaphore with its ears. It also looks like a toothless old man.
There was some water a bit further but it might have been too brackish so these elephants typically dug holes in the sandbank and drank from the fresher water coming up.
A Verreaux’s eagle-owl. I swear I didn’t add that trashy make up on the eyelids. It reminds me the glorious disco years of the 70’s. (grand-duc de Verreaux)
Pied kingfishers hover a few seconds, then dive vertically in water for fish. It took me a while but finally I had a great day last week and got a few of them in action, like this diver here just emerging from the river. (alcyon pie ou martin-pêcheur pie)
African spoonbill (spatule africaine), a rare bird with a flat beak.
African pied wagtails, 2 young females and one young male haha (bergeronnette pie)
Rare beauty, a northern carmine bee-eater (guêpier écartalate)
More common tough hard to get a picture in flight, they’re so quick so I’m reasonably happy with this picture. Little bee-eater (guêpier nain)
Yellow-throated longclaw (sentinelle à gorge jaune)
Red-billed oxpeckers (piqueboeuf à bec rouge) singing on what appears to be a rock. Well I guess I was victim of target obsession as described in the air force because that rock was just a sleepy hippo and placid, lucky for me since I was on foot only 20m away...dumb me. With my spine tingling big time I humbly moved back. Too much focus on the birds and voilà.
Another picture I’m really pleased with. This African skimmer (bec-en-ciseaux d’Afrique) does that fishing exercise on a few dozens meters with a stunning stability all the time but never too close, at least on that river. Except that time, it did its impressive feat 20m in front of me! The muscles on the neck must so strong. I couldn’t do that with my aircraft (nose wheel type that is, tail wheel aircraft can skim with their main wheels).
The same skimmer at a usual distance. I didn’t notice the crocodile till I opened the picture on the computer! Target obsession again.