This waterhole in Pilanesberg National Park is a haven for birds, and that is why we had parked our car there. Suddenly, all the birds flew up. I looked around, and there she was: a female leopard coming for a drink. What a magical moment! We sat in awe, my hands slightly shaking from the excitement. Fortunately I did manage to capture the moment before the leopard walked away again!
Today is World Giraffe Day. Did you know that? I didn’t until I read it on Facebook. The shortest day for the longest-necked animal – it’s kind of fitting. Let’s pause and think about this beautiful and strange animal that is in danger of extinction today!
Photo taken in Pilanesberg National Park, South Africa
When we were living in the Netherlands, we loved to go to the zoo and watch the weaver birds making their nests. Now that we live in Africa, it’s a blessing to see these birds in our garden! This picture, however, was taken in the National Zoological Gardens in Pretoria, South Africa – we still love going to the zoo.
Driving through the beautiful, changing scenery of southern Africa feels extraordinary – I still, after more than five years feel I need to pinch myself to check that I’m not dreaming, that it’s really me driving here…
The sun shines brightly, but in the mornings and evenings it gets chilly. No wonder that Zambians are stocking up on their winter’s clothes. In this roadside stall the main item for sale are gloves. Who would have thought that there is a thriving market for gloves in Zambia?
Last weekend, a colleague found an owl hanging in a tree. It was strung up by its wings. Later in the day it was gone. Yesterday, we discovered this barn owl sitting in a tree. It was obviously weak and its wing was hanging by its side. Fortunately we got in touch with a someone with some experience in rescuing birds. He was able to catch it and take it to his home to care for it. After drinking and eating, the owl looks much better. Its wing is still hurt, but doesn’t seem to be broken. We hope that with rest and care the owl can be released back into the wild!
I’m happy that we were able to do something for this animal. But a concern remains: Why would someone hang a living owl up in a tree? That just seems very cruel. This situation reminded me of a quote by Albert Schweitzer that a teacher in religious education once taught me: “I am life which wants to live amidst of lives that want to live.” Let’s treat both people and living creatures with reverence!
God bless Africa
Guard her children
Guide her leaders
And give her peace
Prayer for Africa