Behind the Camera

Encounters of the Third Kind

 

„Aren't you afraid of all the wild animals? “We are often asked when we travel to Africa, with just our cameras and lenses as weapons. Of course we are! Africa is full of danger with lots of bloodthirsty beasts everywhere. However, we know how to defend ourselves. We are always alert and prepared to tackle any enemy that may lie in ambush. Nevertheless, sometimes we do have severe encounters with the frightening and vicious animals of the tropics.

„Make sure you wear light colours and long-sleeved shirts and trousers. Tsetse flies like dark colours, especially blue“ we are told by the tropical doctor, after she has given us the obligatory yellow-fever vaccination. Yeah, yeah, we know. You can read that piece of information in every travel brochure. „You will certainly feel a tsetse fly bite, it is extremely painful. “ Well, at least that's comforting to know. „Do you take any malaria prophylaxis? “ Of course we do. We just paid 370,- EUR for a few pills in a very attractive dusky pink colour (and we are happy to say that at least our health insurance company tells us they are very glad to refund the money). No future for the Anopheles mosquito! „Well, have a save trip then“.

Kilimanjaro International Airport, Tanzania, December 28th, 8:30 pm local time. As soon as the doors of the KLM MD11 plane are opened, the humid air hits us vigorously. Only a few passengers disembark the plane here. Most of them continue their flight to Dar-es-Salam for a relaxing beach holiday. Our aim however, is Tarangire National Park. After a far too short night, we are off again, this time from Arusha Airport to the Kuro airstrip in the National Park. Halifa, our guide, is already waiting for us. We will make a short stop at the camp to toss our things in our tent, prepare the cameras and off we go for a game drive. At temperatures of 38°C in the shade (and where is the shade?), covered in long-sleeved shirts – we do remember, don't we? - we have to admit that it is not our idea of pleasure. However, we are certain of one thing – once we are back in camp, a cool shower will await us. A bucket shower beneath the stars, as it turns out. It's just wonderful! After this shower we'll have another „shower“ with our insect repellent and then it's time for our bush dinner.

MückensticheWe wake up long before our wake-up call because of the severe itching on both our arms and legs. Funny red blotches everywhere. However, how can that be? We certainly followed all the precautions we were told. There is only one explanation; the wonderful shower beneath the stars. Only, in between soaping and washing everything off, we neglected our defence and the enemy hit us mercilessly. Let's just hope the malaria prophylaxis does its job!

Furthermore, what is this palm-sized blotch with the very nice blue ring around it? „Tsetse fly bites“ Halifa tells us. What? We thought the bite would hurt like hell. „Not always“ we are told by our guide. „But don't worry, it's been over 20 years since we had a case of sleeping sickness in this area.“ Ah well... then... why has it become so hard to get up at 4:30 in the morning?

 

 

Archive "Behind the Camera"

Back-up?

Encounters of the Third Kind

No Water in the Boteti River

Full Moon over the Skelligs

Security Check

Take a Seat!