Zimbabwe

Somewhere over the rainbow

rainbow over Victoria Falls
rainbow over Victoria Falls

Somewhere over the rainbow

Way up high,

There’s a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby.


Somewhere over the rainbow

Skies are blue,
and the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true
.

Victoria Falls from helicopter view
Victoria Falls from helicopter view

This best sum up my feeling as our helicopter flew over Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe early one morning. Taking off from a nearby field it was just a short flight to Victoria Falls but we were all very excited about flying over the falls after seeing it at ground level a day ago. A colourful rainbow embraces the huge falls and at time we can even see 2 rainbows together. The small helicopter seats 4 with 1 person in the front with the pilot and 3 persons behind. While I have taken aerial photo from previous assignment back in Malaysia this time it’s very much different as we have only about 10 minutes to circle over the huge Victoria Falls. We don’t have much options for angle and composition as we flew pass the falls. At certain angle we see the rainbow but it disappear once the helicopter make a turn. Some of us were practically pressing the shutter release the moment the helicopter is off the ground and didn’t stop till it came back. It was quite a challenge shooting through the small opening and through the windows.

Victorial Falls
Victorial Falls

Shooting on the ground level is very much different as we have a few viewpoints to choose but then these are also packed with other tourists who jostled for prime spot. As it’s dry season the water volume is consider low but we were still drench with fine spray of water as strong wind brought the water down on us in fine droplets. Some of us have raincoats and umbrellas that help a bit but it was troublesome taking pictures holding an umbrella. The first few shots I took were spoilt by tiny raindrop on my lens. After that I have to wipe my lens in between shots and every time the wind came I have to cover my camera with my jacket. We started from the left of the entrance once we enter and it took us a few hours to reach the end on the right side, which by then the sun is almost slipping over the horizon. At every viewpoint you get a different perspective but the rainbow is not visible at certain part of the falls depending the time of the day. It took me longer then expected due to the rain and huge crowd of tourist as at time I have to wait for minutes to have a clear view of the falls.

sunset at Victorial Falls
sunset at Victorial Falls

After Victoria Falls we went to Hwange National Park, which is the largest game reserve in Zimbabwe. Hwange National Park is a very huge game reserve, which requires a considerable amount of time in order to get some good game pictures. While the road is well tar we were delay by numerous roadblocks and arrived at the park after lunch. We also wasted precious time while waiting for the park transport and were rather anxious to get going as we have only a few hours before the park closes at sunset.

elephants bathing time at Hwange National Park
elephants bathing time at Hwange National Park
vultures feeding on a elephant carcase that was killed by lions in the park
vultures feeding on a elephant carcase that was killed by lions in the park
Giraffe drinking water
Giraffe drinking water

There were many close encounters with herds of elephant, zebras and giraffe as we drove deeper into the park. We saw in a distance a group of vultures herded together on the ground tearing at something dark and huge. As our jeep get nearer our ranger told us it is an elephant carcass that was kill by the lions a couple of night ago. We could still see the elephant legs in the black leathery mass as the vultures keep tearing at it while we kept a safe distance away. The African elephant is among the big five game consisting of rhinoceros, buffalo, lion and leopard. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see all five.

Driving into Hwange National Park
Driving into Hwange National Park
zebras roaming in the park
zebras roaming in the park

 

Our last stop was at a platform to observe the herds of elephant at a watering hole. It was an amazing sight seeing so many wild elephants at such a near distant. They were playing in the muddy water as we quietly shoot away from an elevated platform.

children from a village in Zimbabwe
children from a village in Zimbabwe
zimbabwe currency as souvenir omly
zimbabwe currency as souvenir omly

After everyone has got theirs favourite shots of the elephants we make our way back to the park entrance with the sun setting fast behind us in a fiery orange hue. And as the song goes ‘dream really do come true’, and it does come true for some of us.

sunset at Zimbabwe
sunset at Zimbabwe

 

 

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