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!

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! 

#tinatortuga

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.

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Kasenda Crater Lakes

The landscape around Kasenda is scattered with old craters. Many of them filled with water. Some are hidden behind thick bushes and forests, other ones open with fields to their shore. Hiking and traveling around the area gives new stunning views almost behind every corner.

Coffee Plantation

On the volcanic soil, coffee grows better and is tastier than where else, they say. So, i visit a coffee plantation near Kisoro to proof it. The friendly people here explain the entire process from the seedlings to green beans to the ripe red ones, from harvest to the inner beans and drying process, from stamping off the skin to roasting over the fire. But best of all, the coffee tasting at the end. For the next weeks i know exactly where my coffee was grown.

Pygmy Village

The pygmy people, they call themselves Batwa, used to live in the forest, where they survived as hunters and gatherers. As the forests became national parks, the Batwa got relocated without access to new hunting and collecting areas. Lost in a strange environment, many became addicted to alcohol and start with begging too. They get abused as cheap labour, survive from the leftovers of other ones or get some income from dancing and performing for tourists.

Neza, who works for an organization, which takes care for the Batwa communities, explained me the difficulties of their life. I got interested to see the real life of these people rather than visiting a tourist performance. I’m invited to join a meeting, but was expected not to come barehanded, since the Batwa rely on food and goods coming from outside. A 25 kilo bag of maize flour was my ticket to the community. But first i met a few people in the office of the organization UOBDU and got introduced to several people, as a lawyer, accountant, shop keeper of the souvenirs and the head of organization. With her i had a longer talk and learned more about the misery of the Batwa people. In short; the government neglect the Batwa, the local people don’t care, but abuse them as cheap labour and many Batwa refuse to work at all, since their culture were hunting and gathering, what is now forbidden to them. UOBDU is trying to reduce the suffering and bring them education, it got explained to me. What’s the goal for the future, i asked. Good question, was the thoughtfully reply, but still lacking the answer.

A new dirt road leads up to mountains, passing many small villages and little farms. Here in the valleys lives the Batwa in neighborhood with Hutus and Tutsis, i learned. But it seems they don’t help each other out. We arrived a tiny farm. Now we had to wait till the word spread in the neighborhood, that the members of the organization arrived. Everyone who joins the meeting had to put the name on a list and either gives a signature or a fingerprint. Then started a three hour teaching with loud words, many gestures, big laughters and role play. The topics, as i learned later, were about violence between neighbors and within family, the right of education for children and young marriages. At the end of the meeting the people gathered around the vehicle of UOBDU. Everyone who attended and signed the list for the meeting got a soap bar and some food. What was the real motivation for people to join the meeting, and will be a constantly flow of donations from foreign organizations the real future of those people? i asked myself when i passed the majestic volcano behind Lake Kayumbu.

Hike Around Lushoto

The Usambara mountains offers stunning views from their cliffs. Definitely a must for a hike or two. But also the small villages along the edges are worth a visit. Here some photo impressions…

Lushoto – Arriving At Irente Farm

Something different after those weeks at the coast. A nice, cool place with fresh air and green, lush forests. A quite, peaceful spot with great view over landscape. The Irente Farm just out of Lushoto has the perfect reputation for that. After a friendly welcome, i parked my Land Rover at the grassy campsite, took a fresh breath and got already a taste of the famous dishes with garden fresh vegetables. Back to my car, it was surrounded by big group of teenagers, playing and screaming. Oh Lord, why have these school class from Germany to be here on this week? They visited a partner school here for a project. However, it turned out pretty fun when they started with drum lessons and dance schooling. If i needed some breaks, i headed for a walk and chased bugs or chameleons with my Nikon.