Favorite African Photographs

This week I’m grading 150 term papers. Yup, a 150 of them. My Teaching Assistant, Peggy B, will also be grading aspects of these same papers, so you can imagine that the two of us will be, uh, a tad busy for awhile. That’s why this week’s blog is a compilation of some of my favorite photographs from trips to Africa. It has been great fun looking through my “albums” and remembering the highlights of these trips, and I’m reminded that I want to get enlargements to put on the walls at the farm house. Been meaning to do that for how many years? Here are some of my favorites:

Did I really get up close and personal with a pack of African Wild Dogs in Botswana?

AWD Head & Nap


Did a Lilac Breasted Roller really hover just feet from us while trying to extract a beetle from the windshield of our jeep?

Roller 09

Did I really get to watch giraffes walk, as if in slow motion, right beside our van?

Giraffe from under web

And the lions? Oh my, the lions. Utterly fearless of us and our vans, we watched lions doing everything, from sleeping (and farting so noisily we couldn’t stop laughing) to taking down a baby zebra. Lion populations are struggling, which breaks my heart, but makes me even more grateful that Jim and I got to experience them in such an intimate way.

lion rubs cub 09

I’ll be checking in when I can, but forgive me for getting lost this week in my student’s term papers. There are indeed a lot of them, but they are about fascinating topics (including large versus small dairy farms, biomedical research on animals and the use of captive cetaceans in zoological parks). It will be engaging reading! Meanwhile, enjoy the photographs. I hope, if you have never been, that someday you can take some of your own.




  1. Jan Hankins says

    My husband teaches, too, so I understand how busy grading can keep you. Wonderful pictures. I hope to make it to Africa one day, but for the moment, am content with my own “wildlife” (3 cats and 4 dogs, plus a wild turkey or white-tailed deer or two).

  2. diane says

    The photos made me wonder “Is this a test?” “They can’t be real!” How wonderful for you to experience this.

  3. Erin says

    I wonder if some of your students might be willing to share some of their papers or guest blog about their research topics. Those do sound like fascinating topics.

  4. says

    I was on one I those Africa trips with you back in 1998! We rang in the new year 1999 at the Ark! Wonderful time and so enjoyed your behavior observations! My sister and I have such incredible memories of “living in the discovery channel” for those weeks! Still enjoy your expertise and guidance in the dog training world!!

  5. Claudia says

    my own personal photo from my time in Kruger National park, south Africa: a close-up shot of the wrong end of a giraffe bull, who stood RIGHT in front of (or shall I say, above) my little rental car and mooned me in broad daylight. Hah! Did I show him by shooting my tele lens right up his lanky butt. Weeks later, Upon examination of the shot in close-up, I saw that his butt hole and family jewels were crusted with hundreds of ticks. Oh, life in the glamorous African bush! :)

  6. Trisha says

    Hi Dawn! Great to hear from you. Our New Year’s Eve “rung” in by a herd of elephants joining us was one of the highlights of my life. I’ll never, ever forget it. The memory has made every New Year’s even more special than before.

    To Claudia: I love your “organic” description of being mooned by a giraffe. Things you’d never see on the Discovery channel!

    To all: 42 papers down, 107 to go. (And I’ll ask a few students about sharing their papers. Some of them are truly excellent. As usual, I’m learning a lot, right now about the costs and benefits (to us and them) of keeping cetaceans in captivity.

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