In The Boudoir With Thembi

Can we do some boudoir photography? Thembi asked me.

At least we gave it a try…

At the pump station – somewhere in South Africa

On our search of a good and cool location for another photo shooting we came across this abandon pump station on a farm. We decided for a rather shabby but sexy look. Maybe a bit like the pin-ups from the 70’s, but darker and less colorful.

Thembi got an old, stained, short trouser and a teared shirt. With her curly hair and a stern look, she posed in front of the huge petrol drum. The gas pipe in the hand she gave a self confident look to the camera.

Despite the serious look, it was all fun and we captured few shots. But decide for yourself…

Fine Art Nude In Pilanesberg

It was in a shopping mall outside Pilanesberg Nationalpark, where i met this young, beautiful lady the first time. The talk lead to photography, more specific to beauty and fashion photography, modeling and so on. Thembi admits she wants to have a photo shoot, but there wasn’t any nice location around but Pilanesberg, the beautiful national park with its stunning landscape. The idea of having esthetic photos from her body in beautiful nature raised.

From the start, Thembi was a natural talent. She felt comfortable with the environment, moved smooth and confident and gave that look of a strong woman to the camera. We had so much fun, visited different locations, where it was not only beautiful, but of course, also safe to leave the car. After hours of photo shoot, we brought home a bunch of really nice, interesting pictures, but see, and judge, for yourself.

However Thembi had so much fun, she asked me for more photo shoots, but that’s another story for the next blog. Stay tuned!

Pilanesberg National Park

It’s a long time since my last update here. However, my journey didn’t stopped, but leaded me further west. At the time i got near to Pilanesberg National Park, i thought it’s worth a visit.

Pilanesberg National Park is roughly three hours drive from Johannesburg. Situated on an ancient vulcanic area, it shows a distinct landscape with many hills, valleys and small lakes and ponds. Although the wildlife is not dense as in other national parks, it has a superb birdlife and the stunning landscape offers beautiful viewpoints.

So, i took my time for birdwatching, explored different corners in the park and climbed up the hills for splendid views. I did not encounter many other people here, except that truck got stopped by a white rhino. You can guess who got the right of way.

After a long, peaceful day in the park i still didn’t get enough from the landscape. That leaded me to another idea, together with a young lady i just met outside the park. A plan to combine her request with my fascination for the landscape in the park started to build up. But that’s another story will be told in my next post. Keep tuned!

May I Introduce You: Tortuga, Tina Tortuga! 

Cars, especially travel cars and camper vans, needs to be named by their owners. I always denied this practice for my vehicles. Officially. But since many years I used to think, and tell in secret, if there’s a name for my beloved Land Rover, it must be „Tortuga“, the Spanish word for tortoise. 

„Tortuga“ is not beautiful, but adorable, slow, but strong, nice green, but colored inconspicuous. 

My friend Christa told me from a lady, who makes stickers for cars. After a few gin tonics and nice talks, I decided to give my motorized travel companion finally an official name. Now it was to find a nice turtle pictogram or drawing to put it on Tortuga as a sticker.  It should be simple, rather cute, but not too childish. I found something appealing, I think. Watch the pics and tell me your opinion on the comments, please.

Marloth Park, the place for the official naming ceremony, couldn’t be better. Free roaming wildlife all over the estate. Lots of green, lush trees and a beautiful riverside to walk or having a sundowner with friends. A spot which means freedom, security and lifestyle at same time. 

My friend Christa honored me to be the godmother of Tortuga for this event. After she helped me with the stickers, we got a bottle of sparkling wine to celebrate that event. From now an, my Land Rover discovering the world with me not nameless anymore, but as 

Tortuga, Tina Tortuga! 


Tina Tortuga (#tinatortuga) is officially named 🙂

The Beach Of Mozambique In Times Of Corona

The waves crashing to the rocks at the shore. Uninterrupted, everlasting energy of mother nature. It’s the first sound I hear when I wake up. The cool breeze brings me to the sandy beach. A tractor is pulling a boat for a fish trip to the sea. Those fishermen are early birds too, or are they called ‚early fish‘ then? 

At the end of the beach the sun rises between the rock and the ocean. Very slow and deliberately the first rays hit the rocks, caress the waves and finally warm my skin. Beautiful colors unfold and pushing the dark of the night aside. The day started just now.

It’s weekend and since Maputo isn’t too far away from Ponta Do Ouro, many weekend visitors are expected. Loads of pick-up cars with picnic-families, sun-seekers and partygoers falling into town and beach. There’s just one obstacle: the beaches are closed for swimmers and sunbathers due the covid pandemic. It is allowed to walk on the beach, though. 

Couples, families and groups of friends are moving along the beach. Among them are police forces watching no one steps into the water or even dare to swim. As soon a few dove their toes too deep in the water a sharp whistle brings them back to dry sand. But this is not stopping them from chitchatting, playing in the sand and making photos from each others.

With my camera in hand, I notice the gazes of three friends making selfies. Do you want me to take a photo of the three of you, I asked. A quick answer confirmed it. And so begins the first of many spontaneous photo shoots. There are kids, jumping around, friends want to immortalize themselves in the picture, families enjoy an image as souvenir. Other photographer showing proudly their camera, while girls showing me their best beach poses. I can’t tell when I saw last time so many smiling faces, so much laughter by jumping for the photos. 

Only when the sun sets, the last light was fading, the beach emptier from the day visitors. The silhouettes of the last group disappears in the dark and the hidden crabs taking over the beach again. In the distance party music echoes across, but soon even this ends due the curfew. The last thing I hear are waves crashing to the rocks. Uninterrupted, everlasting.


Lions Family Life, Krugerpark, South Africa

Early morning along a main road in the Krugerpark. A white sedan stopped beside the road. When I approached that car slowly, I saw a serious lens out of the window. Looks like there is something interesting to see, I said to myself. The lady in the car was pointing to a lioness in the bush and a small cub just disappeared in the back. 

That car went on and I was alone with the lioness, who stood up and went to the scrub. When she start to eat, I noticed that kill from this morning lying there, a zebra.

Another young lioness got there, and when I looked closely more lion heads popping out of the bush.

It needed Kenny to come, who pointed out the big male with a beautiful mane. He stopped his car bit further down and gave me a wink. As we changed a few words, two young lions stepped onto the road, slowly walking down to unknown destination. That’s rather peculiar , said Kenny, and start to follow them. Indeed, they’re too young to step away of the pack too far. But they’ve been looking very confident how they went down the empty road. 

A hundred meters or so, then the lion youngsters left the street. Just a few meters in the bush to a pond of water. Obvious they’re thirsty and started immediately to drink. Occasionally they lift their head to see what’s going on, as more cars arrived. 

From now the road gets packed with spectaculars who noticed the young lions on their going-out. Even lion teenager can’t go out for a drink without people watching them closely. So, when they had enough, or maybe felt too disturbed, they crossed the road and sneaking slowly trough the bush, back to their herd. The lioness meanwhile, was standing up and searching for their youngsters. I guess family are always the same 😉 

Tanzania, Safari at Lake Natron, in Serengeti and Ndutu Conservation Area

After my safari trip i went to the coast, where in Daressalam my entire photo equipment, laptop and external HDD with all my photos got stolen. It was stolen out of my locked hotel room just an hour after check-in. A common thing in Tanzania, as i found out, that some hotel owners working together with police, who is protecting the thieves when they steal cameras, laptops and cash from their own customers. I actually chose that hotel to sort out and edit my safari photo. Unfortunatly the hotel owner and his son from the „Daisy Comfort House“ (aka „Saadani Tourist Centre“) was quicker by stealing my stuff before i could upload on my cloud. However, i found some pics and vids on my iPhone and cut some simple video together….

Wanderung auf den Berg Nyonyane

Im Mlilwane Naturpark gehört die Wanderung auf den Berg Nyonyane zum Highlight. Der Berg wird weitläufig auch „Execution Rock“ (Hinrichtungsfels) genannt. Diese Bezeichnung kommt aus der Zeit als Verurteilte gezwungen wurden dort hoch zu steigen und sich selber die steile Felswand hinunterzustürzen. Ein Hauch dieser dunklen Zeiten scheint noch über den Gipfel zu wehen als ich mich morgens dem Ausgangspunkt der Wanderung nähere.

Schon kurz nachdem ich das Camp im Mlilwane Park verliess sehe ich in der ferne Zebras und Antilopen vorbei ziehen. Dies macht der Reiz dieser Wanderung aus; man kann hier herumstreunen ohne Gefahr zu laufen, von einem Raubtier angefallen zu werden. Nur das Krokodil im See äugt etwas zu gierig ans Ufer hoch. Dann aber verschwindet der Wanderweg erst durch dicctenen Wald, bevor es stetig aufwärts geht und den Blick über das Königreich von Eswatini freigibt…

Incwala – Die Königszeremonie in Eswatini

Ein Schritt nach links, ein Schritt nach rechts, und jeder vierte wird gestampft, begleitet mit „shh-shh“-Geräusche. Die meisten Krieger gucken ernst nach vorne, doch als ich zögernd in ihre Reihe trete, machen sie bereitwillig Platz und erklären mir den simplen Ablauf der Schritte. Der junge Swazi rechts von mir will wisssen woher ich komme. Aus der Schweiz, antworte ich. „Ahh, Xhakaaa…„, grinst er mich an. Erstaunt nehme ich war, dass er deutlich mehr über diesen Schweizer Fussballer weiss, denn ich selber. Ein älterer Herr in der vorderen Reihe guckt ernst zurück und wir konzentrieren uns wieder auf die monotonen Tanzschritte.

Ich befinde mitten in der Incwala, einer der heiligsten und grössten Zeremonie des Königreich Eswatini. Der Höhepunkt des mehrtägigen Festes findet im Innern eines grossen Kraals mit bestimmt 100 Meter Durchmesser und drei Meter hoher Zaun aus dicken Holzästen und Stämme statt. Auf der einen Seite reihen sich die Swazi Krieger in ihren traditionellen Kleider auf. Dazu gehört das mit Stolz um die Hüfte getragene Leopardenfell, aus Kuhschwänze fabrizierten Umhang, ein Schild aus Kuhleder, ein Kopfschmuck mit kostbaren, bunten Federn und dunkle Stöcke, die übern Kopf geschwungen werden.

Auf der gegenüber liegenden Seite des Kraal stehen bunt gekleidete Frauen in Gruppen, ebenfalls tanzend und singend. Statt eines Stockes balancieren sie einen hellen Zweig in der Luft. Nach und nach betreten auch barbusige Frauen und Mädchen den Kraal, nur mit einem sehr kurzen Rock bekleidet, und tanzen auf die Männer zu und zurück.

Eigentlich ist es Ausländer nicht gestattet sich innerhalb diesen Kraals aufzuhalten. Und eigentlich wusste ich noch vor einigen Tage nicht mal über die Existenz dieser Zeremonie. Doch dann brachte mich Ellen, eine Reisefreundin, hier her und machte mich auch noch mit einigen Leuten bekannt. Neben dem Tourismus-Minister und einigen Presseleute, begegnen wir auch einem Piloten der königlichen Familie und dem königlichen Hoffotografen. Schnell lernen wir, dass es nicht nur im heiligen Innern des Kraals ein Fotoverbot herrscht, sondern auch nur diskret direkt vor dem Kraal Aufnahmen gemacht werden dürfen. Was wiederum kein Problem darstellte ist das Fotografieren auf dem Platz rundum, wo sich Frauen und Männer auf die Zeremonie vorbereiten oder auf ihren Einsatz warten.

Trotz generellem Verbot werden einige Ausländer in den Kraal zugelassen. Das geht aber nur mit einer Bewilligung. Auch einige akkreditierte Fotografen dürfen sich für eine kurze Zeit darin bewegen und Fotos machen. Der Hoffotograf bemühte sich für Ellen und mich um eine solche Bewilligung, was aber zeitlich zu kurzfristig war. Immerhin erreichte er, dass Ellen, auf der Frauenseite, und ich bei den Krieger, in den Kraal gelassen werden.

Es wird Zeit für den König von Eswantini, Mswati III, der in seiner ganzen Pracht und mit riesigem Schmuck die Szenerie betritt. Im Schlepptau seiner persönlichen Leibgarde, ebenfalls in traditionellem Kriegsgewand, schreitet er den Kraal ab, reiht, nur etwa 20 Meter von mir entfernt, sich bei seinen Krieger ein und stampft mit. Das geht über mehrere Stunden weiter, ohne dass sich wirklich grosse Variationen oder gar Aktionen erkennen liess. Dann, als sich die Kriegerschar in das Zentrum gestampft hatte, wurde ich höflich, aber bestimmt, gebeten, wie alle anderen Ausländer auch, den Kraal zu verlassen. Draussen fand ich Ellen, die ebenfalls aus ihrer Frauentanzgruppe ausgeschlossen wurde. Zusammen verlassen wir den königlich-heiligen Platz und nehmen eine reiche Erfahrung mehr mit. Und auch einige fotografische Impressionen…