Kalizo Kalidescope

This post shows some of the scenes we were privileged to be immersed in during our trip to Kalizo – what a wonderful experience. It was hot, really hot, but well worthwhile. The photography was brilliant.

“It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.

~David Attenborough

On our first morning the sky was cloudy at around 6h00. In that heat it was not long before the clouds were burnt off.


As it was cloudy we decided to explore up river passed the Carmines. There were many inlets along the river and they were teeming with life. We came across this flock of White-faced Whistling Ducks – I love the sound they make and I think they have one of the iconic African bird calls, next to Fish Eagle’s, Scops Owls and Fiery-necked Nightjars.


On our way back from venturing up river we drifted passed this “makoro harbour”. Judging from the well worn path up the bank there must have been a village beyond the embankment. The makoros were not tied but just pulled up the sand bank. The villagers must know there is very little change in the river level at this time of the year.


One of the the many beautiful features of this part of the river are its sandbanks with their graduated colouring. There are times of the day when the colours are very moody.


“Wildness reminds us what it means to be human, what we are connected to rather than what we are separate from.”
~ Terry Tempest Williams

One hazy morning, as we were trying to photograph Skimmers, we saw this young Namibian family on route up river in their makoro. For any of you who have been in a canoe you know the kind of balance you need to keep it stable. I am sure the same applies to a makoro.  Life is simple but real for these people. The reality is emphasised by the infant in the centre of the makoro. How many city dwellers would take their one year old out in a small-draft dug-out tree trunk in a river full of crocodiles without an engine or life jacket!!!! The youngsters were using the eddy current to pole their way up river. The Zambezi seems to flow at a lazy three to four kilometres per hour along this section. 


The smiles on their faces reflected their inquisitiveness and happiness in the moment.


One evening on the way back from the Carmines we stopped to try and get some images of the Skimmers at sunset. While waiting I took this sunset image looking upstream to the west with an abandoned makoro in the foreground.


The Carmines nesting along the bank above the Zambezi river.


Another late afternoon, while waiting for some Skimmer action. The clouds were building for rain that night making the scene irresistible.

“No sun outlasts its sunset, but it will rise again and bring the dawn.”
Maya Angelou


We decided to have a look down river on one of the mornings. We were looking for Skimmers. On our way we saw this couple having breakfast on the beach with their guide – what an amazing holiday by boat – glorious freedom!!!!!


Further down river we found our Skimmers.


Around mid-morning it was getting hot but the air was still allowing the river to reflect the building clouds.


The sun was still relatively high in the sky this particular evening but the clouds had built up, darkening the scene. It is hard to describe the changing colours and moods in a place like this. Most of the time you just want to be quiet and take photographs.


A typical African sunset, rich in those red earthy colours.

“… and in her starry shade
Of dim and solitary loveliness,
I learn’d the language of another world.”
~ Lord Byron


Early one morning around 6h00 looking at east at the sunrise, there were the remnants of the storm the evening before. It was still warm but the colours had come alive heralding a new day full of promise.


Our Carmines never let us down – the only limitation was our photographic skills.


On our last evening, at the sand bank opposite the lodge, the sun was setting and in doing so painting our world with these soft, rich pastels colours.


We spent a brief three days at Kalizo Lodge along the Zambezi river – too short. The fishermen at the lodge seemed to really enjoy themselves judging by the noise they made. There were quite a few photographers and birders enjoying the Carmines. I have seen the Zambezi river from Victoria Falls right the way down to Kanyemba on the Zimbabwe side but this part of the Zambezi was quite different showing that the Zambezi river has many characters. This was one of benign beauty with glorious secrets tucked away for those were were prepared to look for them. In conversation with the lodge owners it was clear that there is much more to explore in this area such as three pans which I gather teem with birds, so we will be back.

“Our challenge isn’t so much to teach children about the natural world, but to find ways to nurture and sustain the instinctive connections they already carry.”
~ Terry Krautwurst

Explore, seek to understand, marvel at its inter-connectedness and let it be,

Have fun,


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