Queen of the Hunt

Dit najaar wereldwijd te zien bij National Geographic Wild

We zijn momenteel op safari maar kort voor ons vertrek kwam deze prachtige natuurdocumentaire van Jochem van Rijs in beeld. Kans om de Cheeta opnieuw in het zonnetje te zetten.

Jochem van Rijs maakt al 20 jaar natuurfilms. Queen of the Hunt is zijn derde cheetafilm. In een oude omgebouwde landrover 200 reed hij Lees meer

kalahari desert South Africa by Morkel Erasmus

Silent watchers of the plains

There is something about cheetah. Something I do not see nor feel with leopard or lion. Meeting them brings immediate silence inside me. cheetah meditatie 2 I am fascinated by their observative appearance. They are like statues in the landscape, without movement for a long time, just watching, totally alert. Maybe it is my meditation mind, recognizing total presence in their bodies and their eyes. And I know what happens with a living creature, being present and with attention for many hours in the now. Something alive and sweet will enter, not hindered by distractions, anxiety, fear or boredom.

And yes there is a sweetness in this preditor, something vulnerable in their charisma. Also looking at their young brings a kind of tenderness in my heart. Vulnerable but totaly alive, funny and naughty will make you want to nurture them. Lees meer

Iworry “One every 15 minuts”

Every Safari we meet Elephants; small ones, huge ones; Elephants alone or in groups; peaceful or tense Elephants. Elephants meeting Lions and challenging them. Elephants playing and splashing in the river. Elephants getting extatic when they jump in the waves at Sea. Elephants silently passing a Campsite by night, majestic and peaceful. Elephants protecting Lees meer

Do animals grief?

A few days ago I found a short video on my facebook. It showed a dog that was rescued together with her pups. And I found myself touched and agitated while watching, because after this dog has been rescued big, round tears came out of her eyes. She truly was crying and I never saw or heard of this phenomenon before. Someone responded to this movie with another video. This one shows another dog that is lying on the grave of his caretaker. And this dog is intensely sobbing. And his lips are quivering like a child has its lower lip vibrating of sadness, before tears will come.

Are animals feeling joy and sadness? Are animals grieving because of ones shared love? Lees meer


Driving through the gate of Lake Manyara National Park we enter a typical Tanzanian forest. It is very nice but you do not see much animals of course. We start with a hippopool but far away we can nearly spot two hippos. But there was a group yellow billed storks, Egyptian goose and ducks. Then we headed for the hot springs. We saw a lot of Baboons, Vervetmonkeys, Giraffes, and Impalas on the way. But most impressing was a large group of Pelicans. And three Zebras eager to drink from the river cross that scenery and somehow it happens to be a beautiful sight.

Lees meer

Avaaz still runs a campaign to save Elephants

Avaaz renewed its campaign to save Elephants from slaughter by poachers. Reason is the announcement of China to bring slowly down its Ivory Industry. Also it states that 10 American States are ready to accept a new law that forbids the trade in Ivory.

Right now 100 Elephants are killed each day. If this continues there will be no Elephants left by 2030 (some say 2020).
Most of  the Ivory that comes from Africa is taken illegally by poaching. They cut of the tusks with machetes and more then once the Elephants are still alive when this happens.
In many African countries the Wildlife management authorities are under-funded. Poaching is therefore a chronic problem and domestic Ivory markets continue and fuel the International Ivory Trade.
Mostly Avaaz works with petitions. This time they ask you for a donation. If you want to support this action please go to (stop de uitsterving van olifanten voor Nederlandstaligen).

Read more at:



Where is our Bob coming from?

The story of our housecat

You can say many people did see a lot of photos of lion cubs over the years. And their appearance is very recognizable to all of us. The photo above shows its familiar and adorable face. As a child I was allways confused about the statement that a lion was a catlike. In my childish perspective it looked more like a dog. I never spoke to people about that opinion because it was obviously not true for them. Even when I grew up I had still difficult feelings about the fact that a lion really was a cat. But today I accidentally ran into the photo below. This photo shows a very young lion cub. And I stared at it and stared again. The child inside me just could not believe it. But no way out, a lion must be the earth mother of our ordinary, cute, sometimes crazy and very lazy housecat.

welpjeSo in an attempt to escape this terrible truth, I looked it up in Wikipedia. And they tell me that our housecat is proven to be the descendant of a mix of three felines: Desertcat, Swampcat and African Wild cat.

But other sites swear it is related to Hyenas…. Hyenas?? Ever seen an Hyena cub? And another one speaks about ancestors like Sabertoothcat. But to my surprise nobody mentions a Lion.

But to me from today on it is clearly, without any doubt a lion. Right?

Threats to Elephants


The Tanzanian Wildlife Research Institute published last week the following statement:
“In the last six years 60 % of the Tanzanian Elephants have been slaughtered.  At least 65.000 elephants are killed by poachers to contribute to the demand for Ivory on the mainly Chinese market.
Especially in Ruaha and Rungwa 11.500 out of 20.000 elephants were killed only in 2013.”

Although poaching of elephants for their ivory has declined since the 1989 worldwide ivory ban, it remains a widespread problem. Large quantities of African ivory, for example, are still finding their way to illegal markets in Africa and beyond. Elephants are also killed for their meat and hides. Lees meer