A Taste of Africa - Recommendation for Short Trips near Maputo and Gaborone
Over the past several months, I had the opportunity to fly to two places I probably wouldn't have gotten to visit otherwise: Mozambique and Botswana. While the trip was for business, of course I also brought a camera... and used the relatively free weekends to get a taste of the place. This short post should give you an idea of some things to do there, if you have a day or two off, and there are some photos in the Africa galleries.
In Mozambique I stayed in Maputo, which gave me easy access to Inhaca - a small island about 30 Km off-shore. Inhaca has some beautiful isolated shores, on which you can take a stroll without being disturbed by a living soul. Nearby, there's the small Portuguese Island (ilha dos Portugueses) which is completely uninhibited.
To the trip in Moz I brought only a small pocket camera. While walking on the shores of Inhaca, I could imagine so many images fit for long exposures or playing with the DOF... however, having only a small camera, with no filters or a sturdy tripod, had the challenge of trying to pass the impression using a more "standard" photo.
In Botswana, I stayed in Gaborone. And while the main nature reserves (including the Okavango Delta) are in the north of the country, there are some small game reserves just outside Gaborone - just fit for several hours out of the city on the weekend. The two reserves I have visited are Gaborone Game Reserve and Mokolodi which is 10 minutes away from the city (that's thanks to my dear host - Fritz!).
Photographing wildlife in these reserves was a different experience than in the U.S.. In Yosemite and Yellowstone, you could get out of the car, and meet these lovely creatures face-to-face (while keeping some distance away). This allows you to vary your shots. However, in the reserves near Gaborone - you are strongly advised ( or must...) stay inside the car, for your own protection, since some of the animals can get real close.
Still, it's really impressive to see these animals in their (semi) natural environment. You can just turn off the engine, sit in the car and enjoy watching the antelopes graze. Definitely a recommended visit to those who come to Gaborone and have a short time off.
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