If Pelicans are my favorite ocean birds, then Secretary birds are my favorite land birds. Loooove these guys. Don’t ask me why, I just do.

As a kid I always wondered where they store all the notes they keep as secretaries….

©Mariette du Toit, 2011, The Note Keeper

As pelikane my gunsteling see-voëls is, is sekretaries voëls my gunsteling land-voëls. Ek kan net nooit genoeg van hulle kry nie.

As kind het ek altyd gewonder waar hulle al die notas bêre wat hulle as sekretaresses moet maak.

When any group or bunch of animals stand around the waterhole it looks, well, normal. Not so with the zebra. Something always looks off and I have a funny feeling it is something to do with their stripes…

What do you figure?

© Mariette du Toit, Not Perfectly Aligned, 2011

Sebras langs ‘n watergat is ‘n nagmerrie vir enige iemand met OCD. Mens wil hul net die heeltyd regskuif en in plek kry. Dalk die strepe?? As dit nou olifante was, sou niemand ‘n oogwink gelig het nie!

 

Birding locations are usually associated with thick forests like Brazil or wild coasts like you find along the coast of Isle of Skye. A semi-desert environment can’t really be all that great for birding, right?

Well, what do you know… when it rains in Namibia, the birds come to decorate our skies and trees. A true birders paradise and one of the best spots in Namibia besides the Caprivi Strip and the Epupa Falls is the Etosha National Park.

©Mariette du Toit, 2011, Eurasian bee-eater

Woestyne word nie regtig vir eenselwig met voëls nie. Woude soos in Brasilië of water ryke lande soos Indië is baie meer gewild onder die voël kykers. Maar as dit reën in hierdie woestyn dan versier die voëls ons horison en beblom ons doring bome.

Een van die beste voël kyk areas in Namibië naas die Caprivi en die Epupa valle, is dan Etosha Nasionale Park.

A lot of people, when they visit Namibia, want to visit during the winter because of the cooler weather. But also because when they think wet season, they think European rain… weeks, days of endless down pouring. Grey, dim light and no sunshine. But in Namibia it doesn’t rain like that.

We have one awesome build it up towards rain. Massive big white clouds that loom and just get bigger and bigger. Thunder-and-lightning displays that shoots shivers down your back. And then, when the rain starts hitting the ground; big fat drops that sounds like rocks on the roof. It pours. Sometimes for only ten minutes. Sometimes for three hours or more.

When it stops, the whole earth comes to life. And the smell. Oh my word, the smell. There is no apt word to describe the African earth after the rain. If only I could bottle that smell, I would be a millionaire!

©Mariette du Toit, 2009 – Etosha National Park

Baie toekomstige toeriste maak seker hulle besoek Namibië in die winter wanneer dit koeler is en ek verstaan dit, maar baie besoek ons in die winter omdat die somer Namibië se nat-seisoen is. Buitelanders dink aan reën as weke, dae van grou, nat weer. Reën wat net nooit ophou nie en mens tot die huis verban.

In Namibië lyk die reën ietwat anders. Die wolke bou vir ure op. Sulke dik, wit wolke wat dreig om alles oor te neem. En as hulle genoeg saamgepak het, en die donderweer en weerlig span saam om een van die grootste skouspele ter aarde te gee, dan bliksem die hoendervleis uit my uit. Die druppels wat dan begin val, betree nie die aarde saggies soos ‘n trapsuutjie nie. Die stort soos klippe op die aarde neer en dit maak alles nat van bo tot onder. Dit gooi. (Ons praat ook van dit reën ou tannies met stok kierries, maar hierdie sal net sin maak as jy dit beleef). Soms reën dit skaars vyf minute, soms langer as drie ure. As dit dan sou ophou, kom die hele aarde tot lewe. En die reuk….

Die reuk van Afrika reën. Daar is net mooi geen woord of versameling daarvan, wat dit kan beskryf nie. As ek net die reuk sou kon bottel, was ek dan ‘n millionêr!

As dit net weer wil reën.

I wonder how much there is under the deep waters of the ocean that we have never seen or heard about? When I was a child, the Loch Ness Monster (Nessie) fascinated me. Today I’m more interested in the lurking secrets of the ocean. What I wouldn’t give to have a peek at the undiscovered wonders.

©Mariette du Toit, 2018, Skeleton Coast

Ek wonder hoeveel dinge daar diep onder die water is, waarvan ons nog nooit gehoor het nie, of nog nooit gesien het. Toe ek jonger was, het die Loch Ness Monster my totaal en al fassineer. Maar vandag wonder ek oor die monsters in die see – wat is daar wat ons nog nooit gesien het nie. Wat ek sou gee om te kon uitvind…