I'll admit it--even though I was waiting and hoping for this little guy to "say cheese" from the relative safety of my 4x4 Toyota, I still jumped and bumped my head on the roof the cab when he let out this growl.., Somehow, I still managed to get the shot. South Luangwa National Park, Zambia, 2015. This park has one of the highest concentrations of Leopards in the world, and scenes like these inspired my 2017 exhibition, "The Smoke that Thunders"--my self-driven, self guided adventure through the African Bush.
Step One: Fly to Lusaka, Zambia and pick up a specially modified, 4x4 truck at the airport from a guy nicknamed “Snake”.
Step Two: Ride off into the African “Bush” with dreams of hunting “The Big 5” game with my camera while savoring my self-guided, self-driven safari as the inspiration for my next series of art work.
Leaving South Africa, I felt confident, after having spent a couple relaxing weeks studying up on the trip and learning about the hazards of off-road driving: skills like maneuvering through deep, heavy sand, dealing with giant elephants charging at your truck, and sleeping in a tent while lions and hippos roam free beside you. However, standing there in the airport parking lot as rain started to pour down, I began to question myself as Mr. Snake causally explained the details of this specially modified, safari monster.
As the storm intensified, I pulled out of the parking lot heading north, with my clothes soaking wet and my head buzzing with anticipation. My itinerary was completely open aside from the borders of the four countries I was cleared to take the vehicle into: Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe & Namibia. Now all I needed to do was find a place to sleep.
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