January 12 we flew to Cape Town, arriving early morning on the 14th. We toured Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was jailed for 18 years. The entrance to the island harbour was lined with thousands of cormorants, and I got some great shots of them flying as well as some of amazing gulls unlike those I'm used to. On the 17th we flew north to Botswana to two camps, the Savuti Safari Lodge, where heavy rains had filled a dry riverbed treating us with views from our cabin of elephants watering, and then on to the Camp Okavango on the Okavango Delta, a 1,600 km sq delta where a river from Angola disburses and evaporates! We followed this with a four day trip aboard the Zambezi Queen for river safaris, then finally to Victoria Falls, mainly to get quite wet on a warm sunny day. This route is rich in large wildlife, and I have posted new photos to the Wildlife and Travel galleries, as well as to Candid Portraits.
In March we boarded a ship in Buenos Aires to travel north up the east coast of S. America with stops in several cities along the way. North of Rio 150 km off the coast we were joined by a large flock of masked boobies, who were fishing for flying fish leaping out of the water to escape the ship. they remained all day, providing excellent opportunities for photographs. When the ship got to the Amazon it turned left, and traveled up river 1,100 km to Manaus, Brazil. Birds were often seen, although often the river was 50 km wide, and the water level very high, 35 feet above low. Submerged trees drew oxygen from the water, which also had a high PH level, and with a scarcity of fish there were few predators present. Other than some wild pigs, all I got of large animals were a pair of iguana in trees, feeding on the leaves, and a pair of sloths that resembled furry hammocks between bows.
May took us to France, and a tour of the Loire Valley. We tasted some fine wine, and photographed amazing palaces and castles. We concluded the trip with a visit with some Swiss friends near Lausanne.
We spent a few days in Iceland in June, then travelled to the Faroe Islands, the Shetland Islands and Norway, before finishing in Copenhagen. There were lots of fjords at every stop, with nesting areas for sea birds, and photographed more wildlife as well as people. The feature for me for this trip was when we waited at the top of a cliff above nesting puffins and one of them came up onto a grassy knoll no more than 30 meters from us! Then a second appeared, and then another couple. The 4 of them got into a serious discussion unlike anything I had ever before witnessed. Amazing!!
In late July we travelled to Mongolia for a National Geographic Photography Expedition. This trip began in Ulaanbaatar and travelled to three Ger camps, 2 of them on the Gobi. The NGM photographic expert was Ira Block, who provided an outstanding experience.
October took us back to Venice, for an Antiquities cruise to Croatia, Sicily, Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast and on to Rome.
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