Jamie Oliver triumphs at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge; true wilderness on the edge of serenity, Christmas 2018

Jamie Oliver triumphs at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge!!

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We wait on the edge of true wilderness, Gonarezhou, for life giving rains that will fill our Save River, as in this photo from last year..

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Meanwhile, we wish we had had Jamie in person – (Maybe next year?!)….but our chefs did an amazing job of creating his Nan’s Christmas pud!!

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Rum n Raisin delight…Perfect!

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What a feast, for the stomach and the eyes…

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Our waiting staff created table decor using our indigenous, edible Crossandra flowers…and cloth from Mozambique..

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I am tickled that our Crossandra flowers match the Pantone Colour of the year for 2019, “Living Coral” !!

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Waiting for the Rains in Gonarezhou, with a prime, fat Lion and a beautiful Tusker!

Hot weather greets every sunrise, no rain to speak of yet in Gonarezhou, mostly scattered showers and we wait eagerly for the real thing!

sunrise from the deck at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge

Even the small rains we have had are enough to create green grass galore,

elephant bull after wallowing …

Travels through the exquisite landscapes of Gonarezhou are a symphony of emerald and sap green combinations,

with brooding skies above Tembwehata Pan

As we roll along I spot a glorious sight, hiding under a tree and panting in the heat- a fat lion in his prime, full golden mane and yellow lion eyes staring at us….

He has killed a female wildebeest, and eaten much of her hindquarters, as a white backed vulture waits in the trees above.

Spot the lion! and his kill…

In fact the presence of the vulture was what made me look more closely for a predator in the first place…leaving him in peace, we arrive at the pink and cloud-dappled Chilojo Cliffs,

And with the fresh look, I realize how I need to finish my painting: it needs elephants!

Mirage, Chilojo Cliffs, acrylic on loose canvas, 79 x 206 cm

Elephants such as this magnificent tusker who graces us with his gentle presence

gorgeous gentle bull

Elephants such as these tired and hot ladies hiding their babies in the shade of a welcoming baobab  ….

cow elephants resting in the shade

Everywhere we go, fresh and steaming evidence of the wonderful elephants abounds, much to the dung beetles’ delight…

Dung Beetles at work

Back to the Save River crossing, a fullish moon rises and greets us…

a fullish moon rises over the Save River

… a gentle end to a HOT day

a quiet contemplation

Flowers always get my attention..

datura flower

the last rays of the sun fade…

last rays

and reflections are inspiration…

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Posted in abstract art, adventure travel, Africa, African flora, African Safari, african wildlife, art, beauty, bio diversity, Chilo Gorge, Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge, chilojo cliffs, clive stockil, conservation, eco-tourism, elephants, endangered species, full moon, gonarezhou national park, great limpopo transfrontier conservation Area, landscape, Lin Barrie Art, lions, photography, predators, prey, Rainy. Season, Rivers, runde river, safari, Save River, serenity, travel, Uncategorized, wetlands, wilderness, zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Parks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Gogo Olive Animals adorn my wire baobab Christmas Tree; Fierce Hunters adorn my mantelpiece and Hearth!

My beloved Wire Baobab Christmas Tree is made by local craftsmen, and I use it every year in my African bush house, standing in front of our huge fireplace…​

This year I have used extra special Gogo Olive knitted animals….

they add real delight to the tree….

surrounded by family, our jack russell dogs and Christmas stockings hanging ready, a carved Painted wolf by a local artist on the lintel…

Oh…during the festivities the naughty wild Jack Russells decide that a rock Hyrax, one of the dozens eating my garden flowers, needed to go the way of their Christmas lunch!

Nature in the raw..beware graphic content….Christmas greetings from me, the African wild dogs and the Jack Russells in the Zimbabwean Bush!

‘Art by Lin Barrie’:

Wallpapers by Lin Barrie:

Posted in adventure travel, Africa, African child, African flora, African Safari, African wild dogs, african wildlife, art, baobab, beauty, childrens art, christmas, Christmas tree, dogs, eco-tourism, endangered species, family, flowers, gardens, gardens and flowers, Gogo Olive, hunting, interior decor, interior design, love, Painted Dogs, painted wolves, predators, safari, sculpture, Senuko, sharing, tradition, travel, tree decoration | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Painted Wolf Pups in the Save Valley Conservancy

The Mbungo pack of “Painted Wolves” (as BBC’s David Attenborough and Painted Wolf Wines would call them!)

June 2018
A  den in Deep mopani  woodland on senuko- camera traps have shown a pair of lions investigating and digging at the den entrance. I am in dread that they may have excavated the babies….
yay! When I visit the den north of Senuko Lodge, I spot about  10 pups – 9th June ay  5 pm  -I estimate 5/6 weeks old -the alpha female refusing to suckle them with warning growls -pack seemed intact.
12th June 5 pm -2 whitebacked vultures flew from trees in  the den area, as I approached – two pups seen at den entrance – one with « cabbage ears » chewing a lump of gristle and  a dark male dog (Jupiter- he who we took a horrible snare off the year before? Or alpha male?) on guard- ragged right ear and tattered mostly black tail …brown strip over his rump.
Dusk falling, a hooded vulture lands clumsily in a tree over the den and at 5,30 pm I hear faint twittering briefly  in the mopani woodland -other dogs are out there, but the  guard dog does not respond.
A few days later I return to the den and am astounded, 13 fabulous pups bounce all over the den mound and come close to stare at me!
I am in heaven, sketching and watching over the weeks,  as they grow and thrive.

Pups I, acrylic on canvas board, 41 x 61 cm

The den is a safe haven when other predators threaten

Mother and Pups, acrylic on canvas board, 61 x 76 cm

Not many young things have the big-eared impossible cuteness of wild dog pups!

I will NEVER tire of painting these little beings…

Pups II, acrylic on canvas board, 41 x 61 cm

Posted in abstract art, adventure travel, Africa, African child, African Safari, African wild dogs, african wildlife, animal rights, anti poaching, art, beauty, conservation, conservation education, David Attenborough, eco-tourism, education, endangered species, landscape, Lin Barrie Art, painted dog conservation, Painted Dogs, painted Dogs, Painted Wolf Foundation, Painted Wolf Wines, painted wolves, photography, Poaching, predators, pups, Save Valley Conservancy, Senuko, travel, wild dogs, wilderness, wolves, zimbabwe | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Elephant in the Shower…

The Elephant in the Shower

A tented shower on the edge of the steep bank of the Runde River, hoisted upon a carpet of gold, under a Cordyla Africana tree in the wilderness of Gonarezhou, Zimbabwe. This ‘place of the elephants’,  is probably not the wisest place to be when a hungry bull elephant wants to eat the multitude of fallen yellow Cordyla flowers….
This hot afternoon I was delightfully alone in camp, sketching, ruminating and at peace. Everyone else except the camp staff had departed on a game drive, and the staff had wandered down to the river bed to wash and collect water for our camp. Relishing  the thought of a refreshing bathe,  I entered my shower, which was fully charged with lovely warm water by the camp staff, and happily soaked my hair and body. In the back of my mind was the knowledge that perhaps the gentle bull we had seen yesterday eating fallen flowers at this same tree, would return to do the same this afternoon…so I was listening and was half-expecting the sound when it came.  Wet, and with hair just rinsed of shampoo, encased in the flimsy canvas of the shower cubicle, I suddenly heard a long drawn out sigh, a breathing-out of warm air down a long grey trunk. I had company. No footfall had warned me, this quiet giant had arrived in silence, save for his breathing….
What to do? He was there, in my space and very real. I coughed once to let him know that the shower was not as empty as he perhaps presumed…and slowly peeped my head around the canvas edge to see what I was dealing with… Oh my goodness, there he was, as close, and as immense as I had anticipated. He was frozen still, poised in mid-step, pondering my cough! My mind bounced- should I stay or retreat…. staying would not be clever , caught like a fly in a canvas fly trap…a flimsy canvas fly trap! But retreating was a challenge – he was so close upon me that no matter which way I exited the shower I would be literally under his nose and might startle him into challenging the space between us. Quick decision and I prepared my escape…wrapped my tiny towel around me, (forget spending precious moments trying to put clothes on) and crept out on the far side, keeping the canvas between him and me so he did not see my exit, and straight down the steep bank into the river bed I went, no shoes on so I could move more quietly and prepared all the way to throw my toilet bag behind me for him to stumble over if he came after me! It worked, I managed to disappear from his space without alerting him and when I climbed the bank again into our camp area and looked back he was still standing there thinking about my cough….
I felt remorseful when sitting relaxing on the bank later, watching those incredible Chilojo Cliffs in the late afternoon sun……
…..he had disappeared, had politely trundled off, his sweet flower meal forgotten because of my intrusive presence, my cough, the smell of shampoo ….
I had had my shower but he did not get the meal he had probably been thinking about all morning. Sorry Mr. Nzhou!
Posted in adventure travel, Africa, African child, African flora, African Safari, african wildlife, animal rights, beauty, bicycle rides, bush camps, Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge, chilojo cliffs, conservation, eco-tourism, edible plant, elephants, flowers, food, gonarezhou national park, great limpopo transfrontier conservation Area, Rivers, runde river, serenity, travel, Uncategorized, wilderness, zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Parks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Lin and Clive, Art and Conservation!

In the south  east of Zimbabwe, Africa, lies the Save Valley Conservancy, (SVC), a wildlife reserve of nearly one million acres. A semi-arid wilderness of spectacular granite kopjies, golden savannah, ancient leadwood forests and monolithic baobab trees, this tantalizing territory is home to endangered Black and White rhinos, African hunting dogs, elephants, buffalo, lion and a host of other species. As an annex to the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (GLTFCA) which comprises Kruger National Park, Limpopo Park and Gonarezhou National Park, this lowveld area is also home to artist Lin Barrie and her life partner, Clive Stockil. Lin and Clive share each others lives and are committed to the conservation of eco-systems, endangered wildlife, and community livelihoods and cultures.

Expressing herself with found objects, palette knife and paintbrush, Lin Barrie believes that the abstract essence of a landscape, person or animal can only truly be captured by direct observation. She immerses herself in her subjects, whether observing African night skies,  sketching rhinos drinking at a favourite waterhole, watching African wild dogs and their pups, or capturing the mood of an abstract landscape or traditional dance…

She is fascinated by the synergies between elements of landscape, people and animals, such as the flow of water which becomes fish, the texture of baobab skin which so closely resembles that of elephants’ limbs, the shapes of monumental rock outcrops which take human or animal forms, plants which echo human parts, animal totems and people….

Lin says, “Whether we are humans living in sprawling cities or traditional villages, or dung beetles rolling our food stores; whether we are monumental baobab trees thousands of years old or whales birthing our young in cold currents; each of us has a vital role to play as strands of the greater web of life. Diversity and linkages between people, plants, animals and their environment are insurance for the future of our earth.”

She states: “I feel an intimate connection with the natural world, and I love travelling to the wilderness outposts of our world.  From my field sketches I create works on canvas,  using oils and acrylics.  I enjoy the immediacy and abstract quality of my preferred tool-a treasured old palette knife inherited from my father, to create expressive strokes. In the field, pencil, oil pastel or charcoal sketches are my first step. I love the intense colour, the smell and the sumptuous texture of oil paint, but I often use acrylic, oil bar and mixed media as I find these are perfect mediums to do quick sketches in situ, in the field. When I have to travel with my paintings, between bush camps, acrylic is practical as it dries fast.”

Biology was a passion for Lin during her school years. Plans to enter the world of science were superseded only by the radical decision to pursue the lonely path of an artistic career! After completing a Fine Art Diploma in print making at Durban Technikon in 1980, she  gained experience as a textile designer, travelling extensively to Europe and the Far East for business and pleasure. In 1991 Lin returned to Zimbabwe from Singapore, having completing courses in Chinese brushstroke painting and Indonesian batik.

Lin Barrie’s work is in various collections worldwide.

Part proceeds from her artworks benefit the conservation/community initiatives that she and Clive support, such as Save Valley Conservancy, Tusk Trust UK, African Wildlife Conservation Fund, Painted Dog Conservation, Painted Wolf Foundation, Painted Wolf Wines,Tikki Hywood Trust, Miracle Missions wetlands initiative and Birdlife Zimbabwe.

Lin collaborates with her daughter Kelli Barker, a professional Make Up Artist, to create exhibitions combining her canvas artworks and Kelli’s body paintings.

Lin Barrie contact:
Email: linbarrie@gmail.com
Mobile: 0772922148

Lin and Clive

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A woman in vulture conservation: Katie Fallon

Turkey Vultures are fascinating..endearing scavengers who clean up our world…

Big Birdie


Katie Fallon is a remarkable non-fiction author. She has authored two environment and conservation related books, children’s environmentally educative books along with articles for countless publications and journals in the United States. She founded the Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia with her husband who is the resident vet there and they live in West Virginia with their two daughters who also help at the center. She is a powerful, influential and inspiration educator and a woman in conservation.

1.You published Vulture: The Private Life of an Unloved Bird last year. Briefly tell us what it is about.

katie fallon book

My book, Vulture, tells the story of one of the world’s most widespread and abundant scavenging birds of prey: the turkey vulture. Turkey vultures can be found throughout most of North, Central, and South America in a variety of habitats—they’re a bird that unites people across the Americas. Where I live, in the…

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