I just returned from a wildlife photography trip to Zambia. It was an awesome time and, as much as I like to use the written word, I find it difficult to describe the experience. I’ll discuss highlights in future posts. The hosts for trip were the incomparable Marsel and Daniella, aka Squiver. I can’t say enough about their tours. If you’ve been on one, only then will you know what I mean!
The trip preparations pushed me right to my breaking point. International travel is never easy, but the added burden of COVID testing and questions around safety created more fear and anxiety than I’ve ever experienced. Will our test results be accepted in Zambia or will they force us to quarantine? How are we going to get tested for the return home? Changing rules and regulations in today’s crazy world create great uncertainty. That’s an understatement, but in the extreme case, you wonder if an unexpected policy change will prevent your return home. Then there is the big question…what if I get sick? What if I get a COVID variant? Finally, I worried about family and friends, most of whom I’m sure thought we were insane to go to Africa in the middle of the fourth wave.
In the end, my fears were unfounded and I’ve never felt safer to travel. Sure, wearing a mask for 24+ hours within airports and airplanes was uncomfortable at times, but at least all travelers were in the same situation. Everyone, and I mean everyone, in South Africa and Zambia wore masks in public places. In some ways, I actually felt safer traveling abroad than I do in my local grocery store. Of course, the amazing Ashley came along and together we handled all the obstacles that travel to Africa could throw at us.
In terms of photography, wildlife was a new challenge for me. I struggled with simple stuff like framing and focus, but I learned a ton and had a fantastic time doing it. Thanks again go to my friends at Squiver. Before my journey, the only images I had visualized were close-up views of elephants. I envisioned portrait-like images of elephants with almost a graphic art quality. During the trip, I completely fell in love with elephants. I think they’re also quite glamorous. I hope you do too!