Suburbia in Zambia

Just a few miles out of Kabwe we stumbled upon this unlikely scene: rows of terraced houses with carports and small gardens. So different from the usual bungalows on walled plots. It could almost have been the Netherlands. Who lives there? What do they make of their suburban dream home? Is this the new Zambia?

Dream tree

When we had just moved to Zambia, people often asked us: What is it that you miss most? The presumed answer – I guess – was ‘my family’ or ‘that the power stays on’ or ‘pindakaas’. What I used to answer, however, was trees. I missed the trees I grew up with. Trees here, they have another shape. Their leaves are just not right. Their bark is different. Maybe that’s why I like to play around with my photographs of trees: to highlight the sense of not-belonging that they give me.

Otherworld

What would it be like to live in another world? A world with different laws of nature, or different moral codes? I’ve always been fascinated by books that explore this question – fantasy, science fiction, utopias and dystopias. I think these books have prepared me, maybe more than anything else, to live and settle in a different culture.

Photo taken somewhere between Kafue and Mazabuka, Zambia

Painted dogs

African wild dogs, also known as painted dogs, are among Africa’s most endangered species. There are probably around 6,000 animals left in the wild. It’s therefore always a blessing to see them, like here at sunset in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia.

Photo taken in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

Elephant on the road

This morning, according to the news, a herd of eight elephants on the loose near Pretoria are being led back into the game reserve they escaped from. I can’t imagine the sight of a herd of elephants trudging to the suburbs…

We met this bull on a recent visit to Pilanesberg National Park. In the bushes on either side of the road there the herd with several baby elephants was foraging. The aggressive bull would not let any car come close, let alone pass. We didn’t even attempt to get nearer. Elephants are said to be ‘gentle giants’, but to me they are the most scary animals one can encounter on a safari!