African Expedition Magazine Volume 3 Issue 2

Page 1

You cannot eat Money

Time for survival conservation

Underwater Photography

Hunting with an underwater Canon

Heat Stroke

The overlooked killer

Secondary Explosion Effect

The Potential for total destruction


Can you survive in the bushveld?

Walkabout in Hwange

Strangers in the land of giants

Hunter Personal Experience Directory Trigger an information outbreak

Make a Plan

Published by Safari Media Africa Editors

United States of America

Editor: Alan Bunn Associate editor: Galen Geer


Editor: Hans Jochen Wild


Editor: Mitch Mitchell

Financial Thea Mitchell Layout & Design Xtasis Media and Digital Wind Contributors & Photographers A. Bunn, C. Cheney, D. Edgcumbe, G. Geer, L. Grizzaffi (Reloading), Dr. K. Hugo (Medical) D. Hulme, C. Mitchell, Dr. G. Swart (Medical) Advertising and Marketing South Africa: T. Mitchell Phone +27 13-7125246 Fax 0866104466 USA: Alan Bunn (706) 2762608 African Expedition Magazine is an independent bimonthly publication promoting fair, sustainable hunting, a protected environment and adventure sports in Africa. The African Expedition Magazine is published by Safari Media Africa

Disclaimer While all precautions have been taken to ensure the accuracy of advice and information provided, the Proprietor, Publisher, Editor, or Writers cannot accept responsibility for any damages, inconvenience or injury whatsoever that may result from incorrect information. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher or its agents. African Expedition Magazine assumes no responsibility to return graphics unsolicited editorial, or other material. All rights in unsolicited editorial, letters, emails, graphics and other material will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright purposes and material will be subject to African Expedition Magazine’s unrestricted right to edit and editorial comment. All material and/or editorial in African Expedition is the property of African Expedition and/or the various contributors. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the prior written consent of the Publisher.


8 You cannot eat Money Time for survival conservation

20 Underwater Photography

Hunting with an underwater Canon

38 Heat Stroke The overlooked killer

48 Secondary Explosion Effect The Potential for total destruction

63 BushFood

Can you survive in the bushveld?

78 Walkabout in Hwange

Strangers in the land of giants

97 Hunter Personal Experience Directory Trigger an information outbreak

126 Make a Plan Alternative Cooking Methods

131 True North Intended for pleasure


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You cannot eat

Money Time for survival conservation


Cleve Cheney ach profession has a set of fundamental goals. Doctors try to prevent sickness and heal people, engineers design and build, policemen protect people and apply the law, pilots keep aircraft in the sky and try their best to land them safely.


The fundamental goal of conservationists is to preserve and protect habitat. All ecosystems are built on two main building blocks – habitat (soils and vegetation) and climate. There is little - other than have some control over carbon emissions - that we can do to manage and manipulate climate, but we can exert and have a significant effect on habitat. That should be our priority seeing that everything else hinges on it. People readily fund and support projects to save the endangered ..... whatever but we have lost the plot. Species are endangered because spaces are endangered. Endangered species are the symptom - the disease is loss of habitat. It is pointless trying to save an animal species if there is no habitat for it.


It is pointless trying to save an animal species if there is no habitat for it.


We, as conservationists I am ashamed to say, do not practice what we preach about protecting and preserving habitat. There are four and only four reasons for this: We have never been taught or have been misinformed as to what the main aim of conservation is. We have forgotten what our fundamental goal should be and have become sidetracked with other issues. We are afraid of challenging the establishment and the current status quo. We find ourselves in a comfort zone – have a steady job, reasonable salary, medical aid, pension fund and we do not want to jeopardize our situation by confronting what we know (or should know) to be wrong. We could not care less. Every professional conservationist could group him or herself into one of these four categories. Undeveloped habitat should be considered as the most scarce and fast diminishing resource on the planet. Unfortunately areas designated as “protected” (national parks, provincial reserves etc.) are targeted – often by the very custodians and guardians who should be protecting them – for development. The development is usually associated with large scale eco-tourism like the building of lodges, rest camps, roads and all the amenities and infrastructure considered necessary to provide the services expected by eco-tourists.

or less than environmental cancer. Once begun it is unstoppable, relentless and will eventually kill and destroy the system and that is why I am appalled at the way our conservation areas are continually subjected to unsuitable forms of eco-tourism that require significant material infrastructure to support it. I wish to cite a current development as an example of what happens everywhere even in our national parks. There is a reserve bordering on the Kruger National Park which used to be a provincial reserve but has now been handed back to a community. The first thing the community now thinks of is not preservation of habitat but how they can make money from the reserve. This is understandable; it is a poor community with a high rate of unemployment. But now, waiting in the wings are the environmental opportunists like hyaena with their business suits and attaché cases containing contracts that will ensure that they enrich themselves at the expense of the environment, waiting to exploit the situation.

It is pointless trying to save an animal species if there is no habitat for it

It is time to expose the myth that large scale ecotourism, especially when vehicle dependent activities are utilized, is not consumptive. The reality is that it is one of the most consumptive forms of resource utilization because it fragments, divides and destroys habitat. As wildlife managers we are often given reasonably undeveloped wild habitat to begin with. Unfortunately habitat impacting development soon follows, negating the very goal we set out to achieve in the first place – the preservation of habitat. Developing protected areas cannot be considered progress it is regressive. Cancer is a terrible disease. It attacks a single cell to begin with. It then spreads to tissues and organs. Finally systems collapse and the person dies an uncomfortable and oft agonizing death. The analogy is appropriate to developing unspoiled wildland habitat for this is nothing more

It has now been decided that no less than four new luxury lodges with a total of 120 beds are to be built on the relatively small reserve. This is in itself an excessive overkill. After a bit of investigating I discover that the community is offered R7 million rand for the exclusive rights to the reserve – this is how the environmental entrepreneurs market their product to the rich and famous. It sounded reasonable at first glance until I dug a little deeper and discover that it is not R7 million per annum but for a period of no less than 45 years! A quick bit of arithmetic shows that this equates to no more than about R155 000 per year which is to use a rather common term “peanuts”. Even if the community receives additional money from a percentage of gate entry fees that pushes their annual income up by an extra few hundred thousand rands it is still a pittance. This is exploitation of the first order - a new form of colonialism where the naivety of rural people is taken advantage of. It reminds me of a story in the Bible where a young man sold his birthright for a bowl of lentils. The other significant fact is that the resources of the reserve are effectively locked away from the community for a whole generation. SEPTEMBER 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 11

One of the prime world sites for open vehicle game drive viewing to the left of the dotted blue line. To the right of the dotted blue line is the Kruger National park. The yellow lines are gravel roads or bush tracks visible from a height of 6.4km. Hundreds of the smaller bush tracks are not visible from this height and are not drawn in. If this is not habitat fragmentation then what is? Let it not ever again be said that open vehicle game drive viewing is a form of non-consumptive resource utilization. 12 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER 2010

Perhaps the saddest aspect of all will be that the developers will descend on what is a relatively undeveloped piece of wild habitat and will carve it up and fragment it, put in new infrastructure, camps, roads and all the paraphernalia that goes hand in hand with open vehicle game viewing activities. Let it not be said that these activities are not nonconsumptive forms of utilization because it consumes the very thing that we should as a priority be protecting, namely habitat. It is in fact a very high impact form of utilization. And so the cancer spreads. Of course they will conduct their Environmental Impact Assessments. But let it be understood that the decision has already been taken to go ahead. The EIA’s are nothing more than a smokescreen for “business as usual”. Habitat fragmentation is one of the greatest threats to biodiversity worldwide and is considered to have two components: ●● Decrease in habitat type or all natural habitats in a landscape. ●● Subdividing the remaining habitat into smaller, more isolated pieces.

hectares. That means 60 000 hectares of habitat has been lost in addition to the other negative effects caused by road construction and maintenance. Road construction and use apart from the physical barrier it creates may have a number of additional negative effects. A decision to build a new or upgrade an existing road should be carefully considered and the need for critical assessment is especially strong where habitat of threatened or endangered species is involved. In many such instances there is a strong case for preventing new roads from being built and it may also be advisable to close and rehabilitate existing roads. There is an alternative to this high impact type of eco-tourism which could generate far more income for the community per annum, allow them access to resources and which has a far smaller environmental impact allowing habitat preservation to be a viable proposition. What it amounts to is a way of generating high per capita income for the least amount of environmental impact (i.e. preservation of habitat). The alternative is hunting. This reserve bordering on the Kruger National Park has a substantial resident game population but in addition to this has a lot of spillover of animals (including the “big 5”) from the KNP. It is ideally suited to offer real African hunting safaris. All that would be required to accommodate hunters would be one or two small tented safari camps. No additional infrastructure, no additional roads etc. The tented camps could be completely portable – leaving no footprint and having a virtually negligible impact on habitat.

The EIAs are nothing more than a smokescreen for “business as usual”

Roads are increasingly being identified as a severe threat to sensitive wildlife and natural ecosystems. Roads block movement of small and some large species of animals, isolate populations into smaller demographic units, and expose large mammals to poaching and harassment.

Road kills of resident wildlife is a problem. In some areas it accounts for the most deaths in medium and large sized mammals not to mention plants and smaller animals that are often killed by off road game viewing excursions. Erosion from roads can lead to siltation of streams and rivers. Possibly the greatest threats from roads is that it encourages further development which leads to more habitat loss. Many species of invasive plants colonize disturbed roadside habitat and can spread and displace native flora. Roads also require extensive maintenance and this results in huge quantities of sand being taken out of riverbeds or the establishment of borrow pits which leads to their own set of environmental impacts. The habitat taken up by eco-tourism road infrastructure in one of our largest national parks is more than 60 000

The community could, very conservatively speaking, easily generate 3- 4 million rand per annum from controlled safari hunting. This may not sound as much as the R7 million being offered by the environmental entrepreneurs to begin with but compare what they offer to what the community could earn over a period of 45 years from hunting. R135 – R180 million as opposed to the pittance being offered them of R7 million? The surrounding community could also benefit from the meat and other wildlife products generated by the hunting. They would be able to enjoy tangible benefits of the natural resources instead of being denied access to them for more than four decades. Money is and always will be an issue but when it comes to conservation it is not the essence. Preservation of SEPTEMBER 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 13




habitat is the priority; not developing tourism and other habitat destroying and fragmenting infrastructure – especially those areas specifically set aside as “protected”. Another stark reality of Africa is that the masses will no longer tolerate natural resources being locked away behind game fences exclusively set aside for the use of high end market eco-tourists to drive around in, viewing wild animals from open game drive vehicles. It is time for us to catch a wake-up call. Of course the animal rights groups would have a lot to say about the “consumptive” utilization of wild animals from hunting. But they are in fact a non-entity. One never hears them say anything about habitat destruction and development of natural wildland and so their bleatings and opinions are pointless and meaningless; it is not that they, like so many people who lay claim to being conservationists have also lost the plot, they have never known what it was to begin with! When will we wake up? One day we might discover that it is too late. When the cancer has spread too far and ecosystems founded on climate and habitat crash. Perhaps only then will we understand what the supposed writer of a letter to George Washington, a native “Red Indian”, meant when he penned the following: “We know that the white man doesn’t understand our ways. One portion of the land is the same to him as the next, for he is a stranger who comes in the night and takes from the Earth whatever he wants. The Earth is not his brother but his enemy; and when he conquers it he moves on. He kidnaps the Earth from his children. His appetite will devour the Earth and leave behind a wasteland. The sight of your cities pains the eye of the red man. There is no quiet place in the white man’s cities.

No place to hear the leaves of spring or the rustle of insects’ wings. The clatter insults the ears . What is there to life if a man cannot hear the lovely cry of the whippoorwill or the argument of the frogs around a pond at night? The Indian prefers the soft sound of the wind darting over the face of the pond, and the wind itself cleansed by the midday rain or scented with pinion. The air is precious to the red man for all things share the same breath: the beasts, the trees, the man. The white man doesn’t seem to notice the air he breathes. Like a man dying for days, he is numb to his own stench. I am a savage and do not understand how the smoking iron horse can be more important than the buffalo whom we kill only to live. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons of the Earth. When the buffalo are all slaughtered, the wild horses all tamed. The secret corners of the forest heavy with the scent of many men, and the view of the ripe hills blotted by telegraph wires. Where is the thicket? Gone. Where is the eagle? Gone. And what is it to say goodbye to the swift and the hunt, the end of living and the beginning of survival. The Earth is precious to Him, and to harm the Earth is to pour contempt on its Creator. Continue to contaminate your own bed and you will one night suffocate in your own waste.” (Letter from Chief Seattle to the American president George Washington.)

When we arrive at that place when all the earth’s wild habitat has been fragmented, developed and destroyed and we are “suffocating in our own waste” – perhaps then and then only will we realize that we needed habitat and that we cannot eat money. Cleve Cheney holds a bachelor of science degree in zoology and a master’s degree in animal physiology. He is a wilderness trail leader, rated field guide instructor and the author of many leading articles on the subjects of tracking, guiding, bowhunting and survival. Cleve has unrivalled experience in wildlife management, game capture and hunting, both with bow and rifle. SEPTEMBER 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 17




Underwater Photography Hunting with an underwater Canon


With its richly colored landscapes and fascinating sea creatures, there are few places more beautiful to photograph than the underwater world Whether you’re scuba diving among sharks or snorkeling along a reef, the photographic possibilities are endless and intriguing. Of course, underwater photography can be a little intimidating since shooting underwater presents unique photographic challenges. But you’ll get immediate feedback with your digital SLR so you can make adjustments when necessary and it won’t be long before you’ll be showing off images of your underwater adventures to fellow divers, snorkelers and land-locked shutterbugs. To help you gear up and grab those once-in-a lifetime shots, here are some guidelines and tips to get you started.


Underwater photography presents unique photographic challenges, but don’t be intimidated -- it just takes a some extra gear (and, yes, some practice) to capture amazing images next time you go diving! (image © Dennis Sabo) 22 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER 2010

Consider cameras that offer Live View, and even EOS HD Video mode shooting options (such as the Rebel T1i camera pictured above) to make the most of your underwater photography experience (LCD image Š Brad Sheard)



Camera Equipment Selection

How to Choose an Underwater Housing

Underwater housings are available for many digital SLRs so if you already own a DSLR, the most While most camera manufacturers do not offer economical way of gearing up is to find a housing underwater housing for their SLR or DSLR cameras for your cur(Canon does rent camera. make underHowever, if water accesyou’re just sories for starting out or most Powerare thinking of Shot models), stepping up to a variety of a new DSLR, third-party make sure companies that a housing do. Many of is made for these specialyour preferred ity companies model. Also offer dedithink about the cated undertypes of imwater housages you want ings, each to shoot and with different the conditions specifications under which and capabiliyou’ll be workties dependThere are several options for underwater housing. The most common materials are ing. ing on the aluminum or acrylic, and generally each housing is custom designed for specific

camera they Perhaps the camera models, such as the examples seen above for the PowerShot G10, Rebel are designed XSi, and EOS 5D Mark II cameras. two most for. Housings important are generally features to constructed of acrylic or aluminum. The former are consider are the sensor size and lens selection. generally less expensive but are sometimes a little If you’re interested in taking fish pictures and macro bulkier than their aluminum counterparts and may shots under well-lit conditions (or with a strobe), be a little less durable. Depending on your camera you’ll be fine with an APS-C sized sensor found in model, you may not have a choice but both materials cameras like the EOS 7D, or the Rebel T2i. are perfectly acceptable. If, however, you really want to concentrate on under- A more important factor to consider is the depth ratwater landscapes, shipwrecks or large marine life, ing. At best, if you take the housing deeper than it’s you may want to consider a full-frame camera like rated, the camera controls won’t work. At worst, the the Canon EOS 5D Mark II so you can fully utilize the housing can leak or implode. Consider that, at the viewing angle of a wide angle lens. One of the goals surface, air pressure is 14.7 psi (pounds per square in underwater photography is to get as close to your inch). Pressure doubles at 33 feet underwater and subject as possible to lessen the amount of water increases by 14.7 psi for each additional 33 feet between camera and subject. of depth. Dive to the bottom of a swimming pool to The camera you choose should also offer a full complement of wide angle and macro lenses since these are the two types of lenses you’ll be using most often.

Other considerations when selecting a DSLR for underwater photography include video capabilities, if you like to shoot both still and video and Live View (see below for information about Housings and Live View).

about 12 feet and you’ll feel the pressure difference in your ears. That gives you a hint about how much pressure your housing needs to withstand to operate at depth. If you’re only going to snorkel, you should be able to get away with a depth rating of about 33 feet (as long as you don’t do any deep free diving). Many DSLR housings have a depth rating of between 200-300 feet, which is deeper than most scuba divers dive but provides a good safety margin


for the housing. After depth rating, perhaps the most important aspect to consider is which controls can be operated when the camera body is in the housing. Check out several different housings to see which one best meet your needs, especially if you plan to use many of the camera’s manual or advanced features. Get some hands-on time with the housing if you can or examine a diagram to see how the controls are positioned. You want control positioning that falls naturally within reach while your hands remain on the housing’s handles. With the advent of Live View, underwater photographers have another option for composing a shot. Keep in mind, though, that autofocus isn’t as fast with Live View but it does make for easier composing. If your camera is equipped with Live View, test it out to see whether it works for you. Otherwise, you can easily use the camera’s optical viewfinder. Although your eye is separated from the optical viewfinder by the housing and your mask, most housings come with a

built-in optical system that provides increased eye relief. This magnification allows you to see the entire image in the viewfinder. You’ll also need to decide what type(s) of ports to purchase for your housing. Each manufacturer has slightly different specifications and provides a list that matches ports and lenses. Generally, though, you’ll need a dome port for wide angle lenses and a flat port for macro lenses.

Lenses For wide angle lenses, the rule of thumb is get the widest angle lens you can afford. Again, you want to limit the amount of water between the camera and the subject. If you’re shooting with a full-frame camera like the 5D Mark II, check out the Canon EF 14mm, and the EF 15mm fisheye, lenses. Full-frame shooters will 26 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER 2010

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also make good use of the Canon EF 16-35mm, f/2.8 L II lens. The Canon EF-S 10-22mm is a good alternative for cameras with APS-C sized sensors; keep the zoom as wide as possible to counterbalance the cameras’ 1.6x crop factor. On the macro side, you also want to position the camera as close to your subject as possible, so the Canon EF 50mm, the EF-S 60mm, or the EF 100mm macro lenses will work well. Of course, you don’t want to scare away a tiny fish or get too close to anything that can harm you. A friend once had a small octopus grab onto her strobe and rip it off the housing—not a common experience but something to keep in mind when approaching wild life of any kind. Another diver found the strobe later that day, abandoned by the curious octopus.

Underwater Housing Tips Before you make your first dive with a housing, be sure to check it for leaks. The best way to do this is to take an empty housing on a dive with you. Yes, it’s a waste of a good dive but it’s better to find out that the housing leaks or you didn’t seal it properly before you put your camera in it. Pay attention to the manufacturer’s instructions about checking, cleaning and replacing O-rings. Even a little speck of sand or a strand of hair can break a seal and allow water to enter the housing and potentially harm your camera. Be sure to maintain your equipment on a regular basis. . Thanks to large capacity media cards and excellent battery life, your camera will be good to go for at least a full day of diving (and maybe a night dive, too). But when you need to take the camera out of the housing in between dives, be sure to wipe the housing dry before opening it up so you don’t get drips of water on the camera.

Strobes You’ll also need to budget for one, preferably two, external strobes and a set of strobe arms for each. One option is a self-contained underwater strobe, which requires no extra housing and, depending on the strobe, may be more economical than purchasing and housing a standard strobe such as the Canon Speedlite 580EX II.

When you’re traveling, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to fit all your underwater photo gear into a carryon bag so be prepared with a hard-cover case with TSA-approved There are a couple of diflocks. Most hard cases ferences, other than price, come with customizable that should be noted. ObviFor lighting, you can use purposebuilt underwater foam interiors or padded ously, you can’t use the strobes, or else invest in waterproof housing for Canon divider system for protecunderwater strobes above Speedlite flash units such as this Fantasea model tion. If you’re concerned water (okay, theoretically about checking everyyou can but they’ll be inthing, carry your camera credibly heavy) so it might and lenses on board and check the housing, strobes, make more sense to house your current flash(es). strobe arms, and other accessories. At least you’ll Another downside is the lack of E-TTL in some exhave a topside camera if your luggage gets delayed ternal strobes, so examine the specs carefully or be on the way to your island vacation. sure you’re well-versed in manual strobe exposure. Self-contained underwater strobes have a major advantage, however. They cover wide angle lenses while housed strobes do not so unless you plan to only shoot macro, you should opt for a self-contained model. 28 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER 2010

Lighting Lighting is key in all photography but takes on an even more critical role underwater since light waves are refracted and absorbed as they travel through the water. So, unlike land photography, the best time

With the Canon EF 15mm fisheye lens, you can get close enough to the shark to “hit” it with a splash of strobe light. Just be sure to know your shark species before approaching. Proper angling of strobes—versus lighting straight on over the lens—helps avoid backscatter, where the light bounces off naturally occurring particulates and results in snowstormlike spots (image © Brad Sheard)


to shoot underwater is between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on a sunny day for the brightest ambient light possible. Also keep in mind that color effectively disappears underwater, with red vanishing at about 15-20 feet and other colors progressively dissipating the deeper you go. Sure, you can get great images using ambient light but in order to capture the full bloom of color underwater, you need to use strobes. As we mentioned earlier, two strobes are better than one because, just as in studio lighting, multiple light sources provide more even coverage. And, because strobes are mounted on adjustable arms, you can easily position them at the appropriate angles for different shots. Straight on lighting, especially with a single strobe, is usually unflattering under any circumstances but causes a phenomenon unique to underwater photography: backscatter. Even the clearest water contains particulates and if you point the strobe straight ahead, the light will hit these tiny floating objects and reflect back into the camera. Rather than a beautiful underwater scene, your image will resemble a snowstorm. So go with dual strobes if you can and watch your angles.

Shooting Tips Before you start shooting underwater, be sure you’re comfortable with your camera—you don’t want to try to figure things out when you’re at depth. Also become familiar with the camera’s full complement of manual exposure modes since you may need to adapt your settings to changing environments. ●● You might want to start out in aperture-priority or shutter speed priority (if you’re using manual settings on your strobe, be sure the shutter speed is set to sync with the strobes). If you want to capture an image of a rapidly swimming fish (or diver), be sure your shutter speed is at least 1/100th-1/125th of a second to stop motion. And if you’re diving shallow on a windy day, up the shutter speed to help correct for water motion that may be bouncing you around. ●● Exposure metering depends on the subject you’re shooting, of course. But it’s safe to use center-weighted average or evaluative metering, especially if you’re shooting an elusive (and moving) subject. ●● Autofocus generally works well underwater but if you want to play it safe, get manual focus gears for your housing so you have the option to switch from AF if the scene is too low contrast for AF to work effectively. Canon lenses with their full-time manual focus (no need to switch between AF and MF on the lens) are very good for this dual focus option. Again, you can try Live View although it’s probably best for static subjects like coral rather than schools of fish. ●● While every underwater photographer has his or her own preference for white balance settings, to have the most flexibility, it’s best to shoot in RAW (or RAW plus JPEG). 30 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER 2010

Perfectly angled dual strobes provide even lighting for this macro shot, taken with a 60mm lens. A single strobe can work for macro shots but dual coverage is better (image Š Brad Sheard)

Utilize fill flash to illuminate your main subject while maintaining a well-exposed ambient light background. You can either underexpose the background by about a stop or expose for the background and cut strobe power anywhere from about 1/8th-1/2 (image Š Brad Sheard) SEPTEMBER 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 31

This over/under shot was taken with a Canon 5D Mark II and Canon EF-15mm fisheye lens using a dome port. Since the focus points are different below and above the water line, it’s best to stop down the lens to get good depth-of-field (image © Brad Sheard)

White Balance may be perfected while editing, if you shoot in RAW. However, if you prefer to shoot JPEG images try using the ‘Cloudy’ or even ‘Shade’ WB presents, which eliminates some of the overly blue light.


Try to include a diver in your shot when photographing large marine life to provide scale—it’s much more impressive when you see the size of this Manta Ray. Shot with ambient light, this image was converted to black and white in post-processing in order to keep the color original on file for possible future use. (image © Brad Sheard)



We have to say, though, that auto white balance on the Canon 5D Mark II actually works quite well. Also try the Cloudy white balance preset, which helps cut down on blue casts or bring a small white diver’s slate with you to set a custom white balance.

Composition Tips One of the coolest specialty shots is an over/under shot, with half the image underwater and the other half above the water line. The easiest way to achieve this type of image is with a fisheye lens and a dome port (you can use other wide angle lenses as well, but we think the fisheye lens works best). Check to make sure there are no water droplets on the top half of the port when you’re shooting. (Some underwater photographers use Rain-x or Pledge on the port beforehand to help prevent water drops.). The Canon 5D Mark II’s evaluative metering works well for the over/under shots, although you may want to stop down the lens to increase depth-of-field to compensate for the difference in the over/under focus points. There’s also a more complicated version that entails using a split neutral density filter to balance the over/ under exposure and a diopter to compensate for the different focus points. But unless you’re going to specialize in this type of image, you’re better off experi-

menting with the gear you have. Try to include a diver in photographs, especially to give scale to large marine life, reefs and shipwrecks. If you’re shooting up towards the surface, use the exposure compensation feature found on all DSLRs to underexpose the shot (bracket if possible). Underexposure can also be used to silhouette a diver or a school of fish against a bright background. Fill flash is particularly useful underwater. To highlight a coral head or reef against the ambient light background, underexpose the background by about 1 stop and shoot with the flash at its E-TTL (or manual) exposure setting. If that doesn’t work for you, try the reverse—expose for the background and cut the strobe power by 1/8th-1/2. You’ll get a brightly colored foreground against a beautiful blue (or green, depending on where you’re diving) background. Underwater black and white images can be as beautiful as their color counterparts but it’s always best to convert them to black and white after the fact. You’ll still have the color image and you have more control over the monochrome effect in post-processing. To see what’s possible with underwater photography, look online and through magazines to see other photographers’ work. Most importantly, get in the water and have fun! With practice, you’ll soon be capturing consistently beautiful images . © 2010 Canon U.S.A., Inc. All Rights Reserved




Heat Stroke The overlooked killer



our PH woke you before dawn with coffee, the time when the jackals called for the last time and the birds started to move. The open Land cruiser took you to the start of the kudu track the tracker reported the previous day. You remember zipping up your warm hunting parka against the predawn chill. The tracker was a master and brought you within sight of the bachelor herd after 2 hours of tracking. “Take him, the big one on the left”, the PH whispered. You were too excited and your shot pulled up high and to the right. The kudu bull swung around and disappeared into the bush. “Crap!” Your PH looked away and you could see him clench his jaw muscles. Now, 6 hours later, you are still on the track. Everyone is tired and your PH is irate. It is hot and your parka does not help.



You have a headache and you are tired. You have not had a drink of water in 4 hours. You feel like a fool for wounding an animal that you know you will have to pay for even if you do not find it. Your heart is beating like a drum in your ribcage. Suddenly everything becomes absolutely still. You stop and stare incredulously at your beautiful .375 Holland & Holland as the barrel very slowly starts to bend and droop like melting wax in the heat. You remember that the rifle was a $70,000 gift from your wife and you start to panic. You shout at your stupid PH to bring ice but he screams back that he already has your money so you can bugger off. “If only the barrel was still straight, I’d shoot you in the ass for your insolence” you mumble to yourself. Cuddling the rifle lovingly in your arms you sit down slowly and tears flow unashamedly from your closed eyes over your cheeks. You feel a touch on your shoulder and look up. “You OK?” You hear your very worried PH ask as the trackers come and help to carry the crazed mlungu (white man) back to the Land cruiser. You have just experienced heat stroke – and it is one of the bush killers that is often overlooked. Hyperthermia is an elevated body temperature due to failed thermoregulation. Hyperthermia occurs when the body produces or absorbs more heat than it can dissipate. When the elevated body temperatures are sufficiently high, hyperthermia is a medical emergency and requires immediate treatment to prevent disability and death. Heat stroke is the most severe form of hyperthermia and is a life-threatening emergency. It is the result of long, extreme exposure to the sun, in which the heat-regulating mechanisms of the body eventually become overwhelmed and unable to effectively deal with the heat, causing the body temperature to climb uncontrollably. It is a condition that develops rapidly and requires immediate medical treatment.

Causes Our bodies produce a tremendous amount of internal heat and we normally cool ourselves by sweating and radiating heat through the skin. However, in certain circumstances, such as extreme heat, high humidity or vigorous activity in the hot sun, this cooling system may begin to fail, allowing heat to build

up to dangerous levels. If a person becomes dehydrated and cannot sweat enough to cool their body, their internal temperature may rise to dangerously high levels, causing heat stroke.

Symptoms Heat stroke presents with a hyperthermia of greater than >40.6 C (105.1°F) in combination with confusion and a lack of sweating Symptoms may include: ●● headache ●● dizziness ●● disorientation, agitation or confusion ●● sluggishness or fatigue ●● seizure ●● hot, dry skin that is flushed but not sweaty ●● a high body temperature ●● loss of consciousness ●● rapid heart beat ●● hallucinations

Precautions 1. Avoid substances that inhibit cooling and cause dehydration such as alcohol, caffeine, stimulants and medication. 2. Wear light, loose-fitting safari clothing will allow perspiration to evaporate and cool the body. 3. Wear a wide-brimmed khaki hat to keep the sun from warming the head and neck and block the powerful radiation from hurting the eyes. Vents on a hat will allow perspiration to cool the head. 4. Postpone tracking until after the heat of the day if possible. 5. It is important to recognize that humidity reduces the degree to which the body can lose heat by evaporation 6. Drink plenty of liquids to replace fluids lost from sweating. Remember - thirst is not a reliable sign that you need fluids. A better indicator is the color of urine. A dark yellow color may indicate dehydration. It is debated whether water or sports drinks are more SEPTEMBER 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 41

Lunar landscape near Swakopmund, Namibia




effective to regain fluids; however, drinking only water without ingesting any salts will lead to a condition known as hyponatremia, or low sodium, which can cause sudden death from heart attack. By sweating and urination, humans lose salts, which need to be replaced along with fluids.

Treatment It is important for the person to be treated immediately as heat stroke can cause permanent damage or death. There are some immediate first aid measures you can take while waiting for help to arrive. ●● Get the person to rest in a cool, shaded area with their feet slightly elevated ●● Give cool fluids such as water or sports drinks (that will replace the salt that has been lost). Salty snacks are appropriate as tolerated. ●● Loosen or remove clothing. ●● Apply cool water to skin. ●● Apply ice packs to the groin and armpits. ●● Do not use an alcohol rub. ●● Do not give any beverages containing alcohol or caffeine. Remove clothing and gently apply cool water to the skin followed by fanning to stimulate sweating. Intravenous fluids are often necessary to compensate for fluid or electrolyte loss. Bed rest is generally advised and body temperature may fluctuate abnormally for weeks after heat stroke. SEPTEMBER 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 45



Secondary Explosion Effect The Potential for total destruction


Terry Blauwkamp


econdary Explosion Effect, or S.E.E. seems to occur when a “slow” powder is used and the powder charge reduced to below 15% of max. This will cause the powder to detonate rather that burn at the prescribed rate. I get lots of phone calls about “IT”. Everyone seems to have a different theory on its cause, but there is no doubt what the effect is if “IT” happens. Total destruction is the standard result. However, as I have stated many times; no one really knows why S.E.E. happens, and it cannot recreated upon demand. The most interesting call was from a powder company ballistics laboratory technician. He really only called to say that I was correct. All the possible reasons for S.E.E. are only “theories”, just as I stated. A few years ago, one of the major powder companies set about trying to create S.E.E. They loaded, and then loaded some more, and nothing happened. They tried up to 25% reduction in max loadings, and still nothing. SEPTEMBER 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 49


They tried powder tipped forward in the case; they tried it tipped back to the rear of the case. They tried standard primers, and they tried magnum primers; and they still could not make “IT” happen. Then, while they were doing the tests, they got a call from a customer who had just blown up his gun, with only an 11% reduction of powder. They tried the same identical recipe that he used to blow up his rifle, and nothing happened. The only conclusion drawn was that S.E.E. can happen, but there is just no way of knowing when or at what point it will happen. He had another thing to add, and that was that S.E.E. does not just occur with “slow” powders, but can and does occur with fast powders as well. His experience has been with “Cowboy Action Shooters”, who are loading small charges of fast powder. Apparently, when even small charges are loaded into relatively large cases like the .45 Long Colt etc. these charges will “detonate”. And that is what S.E.E. really is, “detonation” of the powder charge rather that burning. Another thing that was causing guns to blow up was in those large cases with light charges, they could be “double-charged”. There is enough room to get two charges in the case and not really know it. So, when seating the bullet, no undue problems are encountered in bullet seating. But when fired, the gun comes apart. On a further reloading note, the reloading of METRIC cartridges should not be neglected. Metric designations are of European persuasion, and it is just how they name their cartridges. There are a real host of them, but the most popular ones are, the 6.5 Jap. 7.7 Jap., 6.5x55 Swedish, 7x57 Mauser, 7.65 Argentine Mauser, and .303 British. Along with the ever-popular 8x57 Mauser, 8x60S, 8mm-06 (Wildcat), and several of 9.3 cartridges, there are plenty of metrics to work with. The 6.5 (.264 dia.) and the 7mm (.284 dia.) are certainly the most popular. All the major bullet companies make a great selection of bullets for them. The new .260 Remington, which is a 6.5 (.264 dia.) bullet on a .308 case, has put even more light on the metric 6.5 calibers. The 7mm group of cartridges is one of the worlds greatest. From the old 7x57 that Karamojo Bell shot elephants with clear up to the new 7mm STW. Just pick and choose the one you want, and load anything from 100gr. to 174gr. bullets. Our American 7mm

Rem Mag and the 7mm-08 are direct descendents of the early 7mm cartridges. The 7x64 Brenneke continues popularity to the point that now Speer Nitrex is even loading a 160gr. Grand Slam for it along with a Federal loading a 160gr. Nosler Partition. Also, our .280 Remington is a direct American version of the 7x64. The 7.65 Argentine Mauser is on the 1909 Mauser Action, which is prized by many custom gun builders. I have shot the 7.65 possibly more, than any of the metrics, except maybe the 8x57. In fact, I have one particular 7.65 that shoots so well and consistently, that I took it to Zimbabwe for use on plains game. It absolutely loves the Hornady 174gr. bullet, and I took impala, warthogs, and even kudu with it. That 174gr. bullet at 2,500 fps, worked just fine. The .303 British uses the same .311 or .312 bullets and it is a very popular cartridge. Hornady loads it in their Custom Ammo and also loads it in a “Light Magnum” load. Federal Cartridge must agree, because they now load it in a “High Energy” 180gr. Bonded Bear Claw at 2590 fps. The 8x57 Mauser is fun and easy to load as well, now that wee are finally getting some “good” bullets for it. Most of the original 170gr. round nose bullets offered for years are too fragile for anything bigger that a small antelopes, and the factory loads are really under loaded. If you want to try something unusual, try some Remington 185gr. Pt SPCL bullets that are available from various mail order catalog companies. Load those in your 8x57, or 8x60S. They are made for the 8mm Rem Mag, but work perfectly at the slower nonmagnum velocities. We have had particularly good success in the 8x60S on plains game. The 8mm-06 is a very popular conversion, and really makes the 8mm into a fine hunting round. With the great bullets available now for it, like the 200gr. Speer, 200gr. Nosler, and the various Barnes X bullets, it will do anything the 30-06 will do and a bit more. If you want to make a short belted magnum out of it, try an 8mm bullet in a .338 Mag case. Remington is now loading a 200gr. Swift in their 8mm Rem Mag., which is exactly what that cartridge needed. The 9.3‘s are a great BIG game round. You can shoot those .366 bullets in a 9.3x57, 9.3x62, 9.3x64, and the 9.3x74. Speer makes a 270gr. Semi Pointed Hot Core; Barnes makes a 250gr. and 286gr. X BulSEPTEMBER 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 51


let, and a 286gr. Solid Round Nose. Nosler must think that the 9.3 is the new hot ticket, because they just came out with a 286gr. Partition. Getting dies is not a real problem, as RCBS and C-H Tool, seem to make them for about every caliber ever conceived. They are a bit expensive, but worth the fun you can have. When loading ANY of the METRICS, be extra careful of the gun you are going to put it in. A lot of those are on old military actions, and you should not try to ring out the last little bit of velocity. Really, you just load them just like any other common cartridge. They need nothing special except the proper dies and bullets. All of our common powders work just fine along with normal primers. So if you come across a special gun, or a just want to load one you already have, don’t be timid‌ go for it just like any other cartridge. Feel free to write to Terry at if you have any questions or comments.

Terry Blauwkamp is a lifelong hunter and a veteran of many African safaris. His reloading expertise extends beyond the standard American calibers to metric and classic African calibers. SEPTEMBER 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 53




Help us stop those poaching bastards. Donate quickly and securely with PayPal

The BorderLine Walk is in support of antipoaching efforts for Black Rhino in the Savè Valley. Initiated by Hunters for Zimbabwe, the walk will be 3066 kilometers long: 813 kilometers along the Botswana border, 797 km. along Zambia, 225 km. along South Africa, and finally 1231 km. along the Mozambique border. The BorderLine Walk will be widely covered by the media and progress will be published on the African Expedition Magazine and tracked on Google Earth.

The BorderLine walk will support anti-poaching efforts to prevent this from happening again: a young black rhino caught in a poacher’s snare. This baby died a few days after this photograph was taken. 56 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER 2010

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David Hulme is a Zimbabwean writer and professional wanderer who spends most of his time searching for new stories and country, never staying too long in any one place.’



Support Hunters for Zimbabwe by buying David Hulme’s great new book, Shangaan Song. Proceeds from the sale of this book will be used to support the BorderLine Walk – a foot journey of approximately three thousand kilometers along Zimbabwe’s border. The BorderLine Walk is an initiative aimed at raising awareness for Hunters for Zimbabwe, an organization whose primary objective is the advancement of Zimbabwean people and wildlife.

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JimmyJimmy and Anne Whittall on the day I found him 58 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER 2010



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Food Can you survive in the bushveld?


he time may come when you have to survive in the African Bushveld by yourself. One of the major factors is food, and sometimes animals are difficult to trap or hunt. Bushveld survivors know exactly what is edible in the bush - and so should you. What is edible - and how do you establish which plants are poisonous and which are not? This is how you do it


Animals cannot serve as an absolute guide to what you can eat and drink. Many animals eat plants that are toxic to humans.


The Edibility Test

Common Edible Trees and Plants

1. Inspect

African Mangosteen - Garcenia livingstonei

Try to identify the plant. Make sure the plant is not slimy or is worm-eaten. Do not test plants that are wilted, withered or old.

SA 486 Zim 716. 2-10m, Stiff with rigid branches at an acute angle. Occurs in low altitudes, open woodland and riverine fringes. Bark is grey to black and rough, all parts exude a pale yellow sticky sap. Leaves elliptic and in whorls of 3, leathery and glossy green above, paler green below. Flowers are sweetly scented, cream to greenish-yellow, borne on slender stalks in groups of 5-15. Fruit spherical, 25mm and yellow to orange-red when ripe. Delicious to eat and used for brewing beer. November to December.

2. Smell Crush a small portion of the plant. If it smells of almonds, peaches or has a white latex - discard it.

3. Skin Test Put some of the sap or juice on a tender part of the skin, like the upper arm. If there is a rash, discomfort or swelling, discard it.

4. Mouth Test If there was no irritation in steps 1, 2 and 3 do the following, waiting 15 seconds between each stage: 1. Place a small portion on the lips

Brown Ivory – Berchemia discolor

2. Place a small portion on the corner of the mouth

SA 449 Zim 620. Evergreen, 7-20m, occurring at low altitudes, in riverine fringe forest or open dry woodland, often on termite mounds. Bark is dark grey, rough and fissured. Leaves are smooth, alternate and

3. Place a small portion on the tip of the tongue 4. Place a small portion under the tongue 5. Chew a small portion In all cases, if any discomfort is felt like burning, sore throat, numbness or burning, discard it

5. Swallow If all the above steps have been gone through without problems, chew and swallow a small portion and wait 5 hours. Eat or drink nothing else during this time.

6. Eat Only if steps 1-5 have been gone through without problems, the plant may be considered safe to eat. Let one person eat after all the tests and allow the rest of the party to eat of the tested plant only the following day. ●● If the person doing the test has stomach problems, let him drink lots of hot water. Do not eat again until the pain has gone. ●● If pain is severe, induce vomiting by tickling the back of the throat. ●● Swallowing crushed charcoal will also induce vomiting and absorb some of the poison. ●● White wood ash and water paste will help for stomach pain.

elliptic, shiny dark green above and much paler below. Flowers are small, greenish yellow and borne on slender stalks. Fruit is oval, fleshy and yellow to light orange when mature and sweet and delicious to eat. Also used to brew beer and for flavoring porridge. January to May. SEPTEMBER 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 65

Baobab Tree – Adansonia digitata SA 467 Zim 684. A short but fat tree, 10-15m. Occurs at low altitudes in hot dry woodland. Bark is pinkishgrey or coppery, smooth

and heavily folded. Leaves are alternate and have 3-9 leaflets. Flowers are white and have an unpleasant smell. Fruit is oval and woody, 120mm and longer and covered with grayish velvety hairs. Seeds are embedded in an edible white powdery pulp The seeds are roasted and eaten as nuts and young leaves can be cooked to make spinach. The fruit is eaten raw or used to make a refreshing drink. April to May.

round, 15mm, edible but not tasty. Fruit turns shiny russet-red when ripe, often remaining on the tree until the leaves fall.

Governor’s Plum – Flacourtia indica SA 506 Zim 739. Usually 3-5m but up to 10m. Bark pale grey and smooth

Buffalo Thorn – Ziziphus mucronata SA 447 Zim 618. Medium-sized tree, up to 9m, occurring in a wide variety of habitats. Bark grey to dark grey and fissured. Leaves broadly oval, shiny green and slightly paler below. Three-veined from the base. One curved and one straight spine. Flowers small, yellowish and inconspicuous, often producing much nectar. Fruit almost 66 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER 2010

becoming mottled dark grey and flaking showing pale orange patches. Leaves partly toothed, light green, elliptic to almost circular and thin and leathery. Colors to brilliant red




to purple-black early in autumn. Flowers greenishyellow with dull red flush. Fruit dark red to purplish berries, edible but sour, 25mm. January to June.

Black Monkey Orange –Strychnos madagacarensis SA 626 Zim 886 Widespreading Tree up to 6m, Deciduous,. Prefers

Simple with single midvein and opposite with smooth

Fruit green, Yellow when mature, borne February to November.

An annual with creeping stems radiating from the woody stock. The flesh is greenish and translucent.

Jackal Berry – Diospyros mespiliformis SA 606, Zim 857.Mediumsized tree with buttressed trunk. Bark dark black-grey with deep longitudinal furrows.

Bushveld, sand forest, coastal bush, often sandy soils. Bark light grey and smooth Leaves

edge. Flowers August to December, green/yellow and trumpet-shaped.

Horned Cucumber – Cucumis metuliferus

Leaves smooth margin, elliptic to oblong, dark and glossy above, paler green below, turns yellow in autumn. Flowers greyishcream, solitary in leaf axils. Fruit almost spherical, 25mm, turns yellow or purplish when ripe. Delicious when eaten fresh, can be stored and used for brewing beer. 25mm. April to September.



Jacket Plum – Pappea capensis SA 433 Zim 605. 7-13m, occurring in open woodland and riverine fringes, often on termite mounds or among rocks. Bark smooth and pale grey to brownish. Leaves dull green above, pale green below leathery and tough, alternate and toothed, oblong to almost circular, frequently crowded at the end of branches. Flowers small, pale yellow or greenish with 5 petals. Fruit is a furry green capsule 15mm in diameter which splits to reveal a shiny black seed which is completely enclosed by a brilliant, shiny red and jelly-like fruit. Delicious sweet flavor. Seed oil is edible and can be used to oil rifles. February to July.

Lowveld Milkberry – Manilkara mochisa SA 599 Zim 843. A shrub or spreading tree 15m in height with branches arching downwards. Bark dark, almost black, and rough. Heavily marked with leaf scars. Leaves are very characteristic, tight rosettes on the tips of branches. Flowers greenish-yellow 10mm on slender stalks of 10mm.Fruit ovoid and fleshy, 10mm, yellow when ripe with red flesh. January to March.

Marula – Sclerocarya birrea SA 360 Zim 537. Up to 15m. Occurs in open woodland and bush. Bark is grey, rough and flaking in patches. Leaves are alternate, compound, smooth and crowded near ends of branches. Flowers borne on unbranched sprays. Fruit fleshy, almost round, 35mm. Yellow when ripe, the delicious yellow fruit is high in vitamin C. In Southern Africa, Amarula liqueur is made from the fruit. The nuts are also edible. February to June.

Lala Palm-Hyphaene coriacea SA 23 Zim 16. The fibrous outer layer of the fruit sweet and the fluid in the seed looks and tastes like coconut milk.

October to September.



Mobola Plum – Parinari curatelifolia SA 146 Zim 166. Evergreen and spreading, up to 13m. Occurs in open deciduous woodland. Bark dark grey and rough, young shoots densely covered with yellowish woolly hairs. Leaves alternate, elliptic to oblong. Leathery, dark green above and velvety when young. Densely hairy and grayish below. Flowers small, white and sweetly scented. Fruit russet yellow with yellow flesh, oval to round, grayish and scaly and pitted. 35mm. October to January.

Shepherd’s Tree-Boscia albitrunca SA 122 Zim 130. Small tree up to 7m, Semi-deciduous. Found in semi-desert areas and bushveld. Bark Smooth, white/grey. Leaves Simple with single midvein and alternate, margin smooth. Coffee and porridge made from powdered roots. Leaves browsed by antelope and giraffe. Pounded roots used to brew beer or cut in thin sections and roasted with brown sugar as coffee. Flowers spiky and yellow, borne August to October. Pickled and used like capers Fruit is a berry, yellow when mature. October to December.

Raisin Bush – Grevia flava SA 459 Zim 649. Shrub or small tree up to 4m. Occurs in dry deciduous woodland or bushveld. Bark dark greybrown.

Stamvrug – Englerophytum megalismontanum SA 581 Zim 838. Mediumsized tree, up to 10m. Grows on rocky outcrops. Bark

Leaves elliptic and coarsely toothed. Flowers yellow. Fruit almost round and 2 lobed. Yields a thin layer of sweet flesh. 8mm, red-brown when ripe. Also used for brewing beer. Branches are straight and are used for bows and arrow shafts. December to April. grey and smooth, slightly scaly.


Leaves oblong to elliptic, glossy dark green above with silky golden-brown hairs below, often crowded on near ends of branches. Flowers brownish-pink and strongly scented. Fruit is red and ovoid, 20mm and is and borne on the trunk. Makes excellent eating. 25mm. December to February.

Sourplum – Ximenia americana. SA 102 Zim 92. A shrub of up to 4m. Occurs in thorn bush, sandy open woodland and dry stony slopes. Bark is grey and smoothish to rough. Leaves are oblong and folded upwards toward the midrib. Fruit is oval, 25mm, refreshingly sour but edible. December to January.

Transvaal Red Milkwood – Mimusops zeyheri SA 585 Zim 841. Shrub or tree up to 15m, occurring in low hot, low altitudes. Bark 74 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER 2010

grey-brown to blackish, smooth in young trees becoming

rough. Leaves oblong to pointed, thick and leathery. Young leaves and twigs covered by dense rusty hair which are lost with maturity. Flowers star-shaped and creamy white. Fruit ovoid and fleshy, 4-seeded, 25mm, yellow when ripe. Good tasting with high vitamin C content. April to October.

Tsama Melons – Citrillus lanatus A creeping annual herb with hairy stems and three-lobed leaves. The edible pale greenish flesh is edible and the roasted seeds are considered a delicacy. A person can survive for 6 weeks on an exclusive diet of Tsamma.

Wild Bramble – Rubus rigidus A widespread sprawling shrub with hooked thorns on long branches Leaves are hairy, toothed and white below. Flowers are pink. Fruit are red berries that become purple when ripe.

Wild Peach - Anclobotrys capensis

Wild Fig – Ficus sycamorus

A climbing shrub with milky latex. Grows in a clump of 2m/6’ in diameter. Tough skin with tasty orange fruit pulp.

SA 66 Zim 65. A spreading tree, 5-25m, often along river banks or part of a riverine thicket. Bark smooth and a distinctive yellow, trunk may develop large buttresses. Leaves large dark green

and oblong to almost circular, sometimes

Waterberry – Syzgium cordatum SA 555 Zim 798. Medium-sized tree, 8-15m. Occurs in riverine forest and always along watercourses. Bark is dark brown, rough and fissured. Leaves borne near the ends of branches, successive pairs at right angles to each other. Flowers creamy white to pinkish, sweetly scented and produces abundant nectar. Fruit is ovoid, 15mm long, purple when ripe and bland-tasting. November to March.

Wild Date Palm – Phoenix reclinata SA 22 Zim 14.3-10m, often multistemmed from the base. Occurs along river banks in low grassland. Leaves are palm-like, 3-4m long. The lowest leaflets reduced to sharp spines. Flowers glubose and insignificant. Fruit oval, 15mm, green becoming bright orange when ripe. Resembles the fruit a commercial date palm but are smaller. Sweet when ripe. February to April.

toothed. Fruit Yellowish to reddish when ripe, up to 30mm. Eaten fresh or dried for storage. Some trees bear any time of year, normally July to December.

Wild Medlar – Vanguera infausta SA 702 Zim 1096. A small tree, 3-7m. Occurs in wooded grassland, among rocks and on sand dunes. Bark is grey and smooth. Branchlets are covered with short hairs. Leaves are elliptic and densely covered with short tawny hairs. Flowers are greenish white to yellowish borne in small branched groups. Fruit is almost round, 30mm, yellowish when ripe, pitted and segmented. January to April.

Wild Plum – Harpephullum caffrum SA 361. 6-10m, occurring in riverine forest. Bark dark brown and rough. Leaves dark shiny green, the midrib well to one side. Compound and alternate, SEPTEMBER 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 75


crowded at the ends of branches. Flowers small, whitish to yellowish green in small branched sprays near end of branches. Fruit thinly fleshy, oblong and about 25mm. Red when ripe. August.

Weeping Boer Bean – Schotia brachypetala SA 202 Zim 255. Up to 16m with rounded crown. Occurs in open, deciduous woodland and scrub forest. Bark is browngrey and rough. Leaves oblong and wavy.

deep red with slender, pink petals

Flowers, borne September to October, are

The flowers secrete excessive copious nectar which is nutritious and excellent for quenching thirst. Seeds are roasted and eaten. February to May. Courtesy


Walkabout in Hwange

Strangers in the land of giants



t was the sound of a calloused hand softly stroking a leather briefcase, and it was directly behind me and very, very close. I instantly recognized the sound and realized the extreme danger I was in. I slowly turned around. The massive bull elephant had stopped less than 3 meters behind me. Its incredible grey bulk towered over me and blocked out the late afternoon sun. Standing absolutely still, I felt the gentle breeze on my face and my heart tuned cold as ice as the tsunami of adrenalin washed over me. Any sudden movement or sound would be catastrophic. The bull raised the tip of his gigantic trunk and uncertainly sniffed the air, moving it slowly from side to side like a cobra hypnotizing a rat. SEPTEMBER 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 79

In the silence and slow-motion of an action replay, I looked up at the thick twin columns of ivory, stained by time and tree sap to the caramel of a chain-smokers’ fingers. Like a mouse before a Rottweiler and only my Canon in my hand, I stood facing an unpredictable granite mountain of muscle and bone - and I felt the chill of fear. It was the soft scrape of the bull’s front sole on the red sand that alerted me. My two friends, oblivious of the impending danger, were sitting in the vehicle behind me, busily taking photos of the other elephants playing in the waterhole.

Nata Pans We had come to Hwange through Botswana’s via Nata pans and the Pandametanga border gate. Every year a couple of friends and I go to a place where the last bit wild Africa still can be experienced. We go to Moremi, Savuti, Linyanti, Caprivi, Chobe, Magadigadi - the places with the magical names and wild freedom from email, work, cellphones and other responsibilities. This year it was Kobus, myself and Herman. We have one inviolable rule: what is said in the bush stays in the bush. So we talk about sex, money, God, family, careers and life - but not necessarily in that order. We go to get our perspective back and we come back stronger - more focussed and even better friends. The three of us camped at Nata lodge (20° 13.514’S 26° 15.942’E) with hot showers and good facilities for one night for P186. Diesel was P6.36 per liter in Nata. Entry to Nata Pan was 60 Pula. It is an endless expanse of shallow, briny water with thousands of flamingos patrolling for small crustaceans and diatoms. Every year, as if by magic, the flamingos know conditions are right and they begin to arrive by the thousands within days of flooding. Approximately 30,000 breeding pairs of greater and lesser flamingos turn the surface of the pans a deep pink. The high salinity and the abundance of nutrients brought in by the rivers provide highly productive conditions which causes algal blooms. Some of the algae provide food for the small invertebrates, other80 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER 2010


er into

the L

o riv impop




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Pa l and


The cam pm at Masum anager a Dam


wise known as shrimps. These shrimps hatch from eggs that can lie dormant in the dry pans for years. Greater Flamingo predominantly eat crustaceans such as fairy shrimp, various species of seed shrimp and water fleas. Lesser Flamingo specialise in feeding on microscopic algae and diatoms, which they filter with unbelievable precision. With an abundance of food flamingos take the opportunity to reproduce. The pan provides good nest building material on a site that is completely isolated and undisturbed by land predators. Numbers breeding on Sua Pan often exceed total estimates for southern Africa, estimated to be approximately 47,000 Greater and 26,000 Lesser Flamingos. These additional birds may be coming from East Africa. The origin and migration routes of these flamingos were, until recently, a mystery. In July 2001, the first satellite-tracking project on flamingos in southern Africa was carried out at Makgadikgadi in an attempt to uncover some of the mystery behind flamingo migration. A highly dispersed movement was observed over a 6 month period, with destinations including sites in Namibia, South Africa and Mozambique. Migration was recorded only during the night which supports the theory that flamingos migrate in darkness. Entrance to the pans was 30 Pula per person.

Pandametanga The border post at Pandametanga (18° 31.554’S 25° 39.776’E) was clean and the staff were friendly and helpful on both sides. On the Zimbabwe side an official without uniform submitted our vehicle to a friendly but very thorough check. There was one other vehicle at the border post with us, two couples on their way to Mana Pools Once through, we drove slowly on the dirt road, following our GPS.

Hwange Once the royal hunting ground of the Zulu warrior King Mzilikazi, the park was proclaimed in 1929. Named after a local Nhanzwa chief, Hwange National Park is the largest Park in Zimbabwe occupying 14 650 square kilometers in the northwest of the country and not far from the Mighty Victoria Falls. Hwange has one of the highest diversities of mammals for

any National Park in the world with over 108 species and over 400 types of birds including 50 raptors. Hwange is considered for inclusion in the 5 Nation Kavango - Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area.

We arrived at Robins camp after 2 hours to a smart salute from the gatekeeper. We filled in the book and to the 11 kilometer dirt road to Robins camp. We had booked through the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority. Our initial booking was handled by the super-efficient Christina Mhuriro ( We paid our dues (US $20 per person per night, US$15 for the vehicle for each day and US10 for who knows what) at Robins Camp and got on the 45 kilometers or so to Masuma Dam.

Camp Masuma Dam Masuma Dam (18° 43.843’S 26° 16.849’E ) is a small fenced campsite with a permanent ranger, two clean flush toilets and a donkey shower. The best feature is a large thatched lapa overlooking the waterhole. From here we photographed the hippos and many elephants which started arriving at dusk. The came by the hundreds, the large herds taking turns to drink. We estimated that about 1,000 elephants came to drink on the third night we were there – and with an estimated 40,000 elephants in Hwange it is hardly surprising. There were only three camps including our own. We met up with Michael and Pamela Boul, two Americans from Vancouver, Washington. They come to Hwange every year for a month - and they probably will hate the mention for fear that thousands of Americans will swamp their favorite getaway. When I saw her the first time, Pamela was busy doing her washing and actually smiling. “We love to get away from it all, and washing clothes is part of the fun!” I didn’t get it. In the third camp Charl Badenhorst of Sanctuary Retreats made his bed on top of his Land Rover and scared away all the predators with his ear-splitting snores. The camp manager brought us wood and made the fire each night - free. Talk about service. The camp manager told us of the time that a lion came into the camp and stayed over in the lapa for a night or so. He preferred to avoid cleaning the lapa during that time.








Mitch Mitchell is a hunter, outdoorsman and the author of several books on African wildlife and survival.

Jambili Our second camp in Hwange was Jambili (26° 16.849’E 26° 53.219’E). We were the only people in the camp. The camp manager made our fire, brought wood and was a general help. We visited Dopi Dam 18° 50.892’S 26° 55.678’E and saw baboon, kudu, crock and zebra. But we constantly returned to our elephant waterhole (18° 57.621’S 26° 51.377’), and this is where I now stood, transfixed and in imminent danger. I knew the vehicle was not far behind me was still 2 meters from the vehicle and I knew I would have to move slowly and quietly. Still staring the bull in the eye, a slowly retreated until I could feel the half-open door behind me. My nerve not holding, I turned, got in the car and closed the window. Fat lot that would help if the 7 ton bull really wanted me. My photographic travel companions paused irritably as their cameras moved slightly with the vehicle, barely looking up from their cameras. I noticed that the bull moved closer, the tip of it’s trunk now above the roof of the vehicle. “Let’s go now”, I said in the most neutral voice I could manage. The only response was the rapid clicking of Kobus’ Canon 550 shutter. I touched his shoulder and SEPTEMBER 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 91




He feverishly tried to disable the vehicle’s immobiliser with his violently trembling hands, but to no avail. I tried to take a photo through the window but the bull was too close and my camera would not focus. We watched the elephant relax, lazily swing his massive trunk and slowly walk past the front, almost touching the front bumper with his leg. We looked at each other in stony silence with deadpan faces for a second and exploded with uncontrollable nervous laughter. Maybe it’s better to stay in the vehicle like the reserve

rules say after all.

Remember to 1. get your Zimbabwe vehicle insurance beforehand. It can be obtained from any reputable travel agent in South Africa 2. put stickers on the front and back of your trailer according to Zimbabwean traffic law 3. stick to the speed limit, especially in Botswana 4. take Rands and Dollars for extra fuel in Zimbabwe and Botswana 5. take a head net for the Mopani flies 6. stay in your vehicle in the park


pointed as he looked around at me. It took a second for his eyes to focus and Herman also turned in the back seat. I knew I had their undivided attention as I saw Kobus’ eyes widen and his face turn pale.


You have heard it a hundred times: Joe saves up for years for his dream hunt and books years in advance. He checks out the outfitters’ web site which shows a gallery of successful hunts and lists only the good comments from previous clients. He pays the required deposit to RipYou Safaris and looks forward to the adventure of a lifetime. You can see it coming. As soon as he steps onto the plane, it starts. He does not get the right seat and the service is crappy. After many uncomfortable hours, he arrives at the airport and his PH is not there to pick him up. Undaunted, the intrepid hunter presses on. The service he paid for in advance to get his guns through customs is incompetent. His rifles are released after a few hours. He calls the guest house for a ride. They arrive to pick him up after 2 hours’ wait. Also, the guest house looked much better on the internet. In reality, the


rooms are small and grubby and are next to a noisy railway. The next day, confident that his client will endure what it takes to make sure he does not lose his deposit, the PHs arrives 3 hours late. “Africa!”, he smiles jovially and stuffs Joe into the back seat of a battered Isuzu pickup with 2 other hunters. After 8 cramped, sweaty hours’ drive, they arrive at the PHs home which doubles as a hunting lodge. Jannie the PH tries to make up for the bad dinner with lots of booze and far-fetched hunting stories. Joe is not impressed. Joe finds out he will be sharing a room with Mike, an overweight accountant from Atlanta. He finds out later that night that Mike has a serious snoring problem. He gets very little sleep. The next day, the PH tries to convince his clients to hunt on his overexploited farm. They drive around but the few animals are very skittish from being overhunted and panic at the sound of the pickup

Hunter Personal Experience Directory Trigger an information outbreak

approaching. The PH encourages Joe to shoot a scrawny impala from the truck to make a couple of easy dollars. And so on: very little game on the concessions, poor service, trophies lost or exchanged by the taxidermist, expensive shipping, promises not kept. Joe’s experience is not the norm, but every African hunter has had some good and some bad experiences. Our poor service is legendary. If only Joe had known about hunters who travelled with Sardine Airways, hunted with RipYou Safaris before or used ChanceIt taxidermists, he may have been able to avoid getting ripped off. All this is bad for the professional hunters who are passionate about their profession. They often have to carry the can for other outfitters. We believe the hunting industry is under enough pressure without being sabotaged from the inside. And this is where the new Hunter Personal Experience Directory comes in.

truth told by hunters like you who have the necessary ground zero experience. We are creating a tool to put information into your hands. This is how will work: 1. HunterPX will list all the outfitters, services and products we can find in Africa. 2. You rate your experience with your outfitter, a specific product you used or a service provided to you. 3. Your views and ratings are read by the hunting world and used by other hunters to make informed hunting choices, ensuring a successful hunt and save money in the process. It is time for the truth to come out. Give your input: trigger an information outbreak CLICK HERE to check it out or go to www.hunterpx. com

We want to help hunters like Joe to get the truth about African outfitters, services and products – the SEPTEMBER 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 97






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For easy and hassle-free gun permits or go to SEPTEMBER 2010 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 125

Make a Plan

Here in Africa, we Boers are pioneers and survivors - and we always make a plan. We got Wallace to share come of them with you. He continues his new series.

Hints and advice are given in good faith to be of help in emergencies. The writer as well as the publisher, personnel and agents concerned does not accept any responsibility for any injury, accident or damages that might arise from the use of any of the hints. 126 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER 2010


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Alternative Cooking Methods

If you are driving the whole day and there is not time to stop or to prepare food, you can use the engine heat to prepare a meal. Even sausages and chicken can be prepared on it. • Use thick tinfoil, about an arm’s arm length, fold it double with the dull side on the outside. Wrap your food inside in a firm parcel. Tie the parcel with a piece of wire on a suitable place near the exhaust manifold of your vehicle. • Drive then until you guess your meal is ready or when you get the smell in the cab. It is not a definite process – you will have to experiment, but when you get to know your recipes and the use of your engine oven, you will, without much trouble, prepare a delicious meal. • Eggs can be prepared in different ways. In a spade, kettle or if need be on the bonnet or on a warm rock. You can also bury eggs in the warm sand next to the fire to be baked in the shell. • Another way for eggs is to sharpen a stick, the point should be as thin as possible and must be longer than the length of the egg. Very carefully make a small hole on the one side of the egg, thrust the stick through and cautiously out on the other side. Hold the stick with the egg over the coals, rotating the stick until sufficiently cooked. Then there is still that trick that always succeeds to impress the ignorant – to boil water in a paperor plastic bag. • Make two holes at the top of the bag and push a stick through it to serve as handle. Pour water in the bag up to the holes. The holes must be thus situated and formed that the bag cannot tear. Then hold the paper kettle over the coals Dr Wallace Vosloo until the water boils. is an Engineer and • A plastic shopping bag with grips works better. Just Scientist by profesmake sure, in all cases, that no flames or excessive sion. His family has heat can burn those parts of the bag that is above the lived in Africa since 1696 and he has water-surface. The principle that prevents the burna deep love for the ing or melting of the bag, rest simply upon the fact continent. He is a that the water cools down as quickly in the inside of practical outdoorsthe bag as that heated up by the heat on the outside man and loves traditional hunting, axe and knife throw• A plastic Coke bottle can also be used as a kettle. ing, longbow shooting, black powder Remove the stopper to prevent pressure building up rifle- and cannon shooting, salt and fresh in the bottle while heating and do not fill the bottle water fly fishing and tracking. The art of completely seeing that the plastic shrinks a little and survival is Wallace’s main field of interest the water at the same time expands during the boiling and his passion is to transfer these old forgotten skills to young hunters. process


Your African hunting safari is a unique experience. Now you can document your hunt day by day and revisit those exciting times for years to come. 31 Full days of journaling space with vital information: ●● safari clothing ●● personal item checklists ●● health and first aid ●● mammal identification information with photographs, tracks, dung and SCI and Rowland Ward qualification minimums.


Know how to administer CPR. Deal with dangerous animals up close. Identify and treat bites from snakes, spiders and scorpions. Know the right emergency numbers to dial in an emergency – it’s all there. A must-have item for every serious hunter. Sturdy PlastiCoil binding for durability and easy opening, 110 pages, 6.0 x 9.0 in. Full color covers and cream interior printed in black and white.


John Eldredge


True North Intended for pleasure

Doesn’t Christianity condemn desire - the Puritans and all that? Not at all. Quite the contrary. Christianity takes desire seriously - far more seriously than the stoic or the mere hedonist. Christianity refuses to budge from the fact that man was made for pleasure, that his beginning and his end is a paradise, and that the goal of living is to find Life. Jesus knows the dilemma of desire and he speaks to it in nearly everything he says. When it comes to the moral question, it is neither simply yes or no to desire, but always what we do with our desire. Christianity recognizes that we have desire gone mad within us. But it does not seek to rectify the problem by killing desire; rather, it seeks the healing of desire, just as it seeks the healing of every other part of our human being. “Two things contribute to our sanctification,” wrote Pascal. “Pains and pleasures.” And while we know that our journey is strewn with danger and difficulty, “the difficulties they meet with are not without pleasure, and cannot be overcome without pleasure.” Where do you find Jesus saying, “The problem with you people is, you want too much. If you’d just learn to be happy with less, we’d all get along just fine.” “My commands are for your good,” he says, “always.” Something has gone wrong in us, very wrong indeed. So wrong that we have to be told that joy is not found in having another man’s wife, but in having our own. But the point is not the law, the point is the joy. Need I say more than this: Modern Christianity has brought an entire group of people to the point where they have to be told that sex is, in the words of one book, “intended for pleasure.” God is realistic. He knows that ecstasy is not an option; we are made for bliss and we must have it, one way or another. He also knows that happiness is fragile and rests upon a foundation greater than happiness. All the Christian disciplines were formulated at one time or another in an attempt to heal desire’s waywardness, and so by means of obedience, bring us home to bliss. Walter Brueggemann suggests that faith on its way to maturity moves from “duty to delight.” If it is not moving, then it has become stagnant. If it has changed the goal from delight to duty, it has gone backwards; it is regressing. This is the great lost truth of the Christian faith, that correction of Judaism made by Jesus and passed on to us: The goal of morality is not morality - it is ecstasy. You are intended for pleasure! (Desire 46, 47)

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