Chris Sheppard

BBC Dynasties “Painted Wolves” Premier, Harare, December 2018

Having recently returned from a break in Mana Pools and managing to photograph these amazing animals for myself I was keen to attend this viewing.

I walked away from this astounding filmography feeling both sad and exhilarated. An hour of total escapism through the varied lenses of Nick Lyon’s professional crew we watched a snippet of a Dynasty; an excerpt of Blacktip and her mother Tait’s life – Mana Pools Painted Wolves aka Wild Dogs.

KARIBA: The Zimbabwe Air Rally 2018

The aim is to fly to set points in a certain time. “Easy,” you may think. Well, it is not. Up there the wind can push you around insidiously, creating a drift that leaves you way off line. The maps are based on thirty year old data and waypoints like dams or fence lines may not be detailed. When approaching what you believe should be your turning point the unexpected appearance of a recently built water feature causes panic - suddenly an impoundment appears right in front of you three minutes early! Panic… you cannot be too hasty in changing course as you might miss a set point, thus incurring penalty points.

BEHIND THE LENS: A Journey of Photographic Opportunity

The next day I rise early to try and beat the traffic heading east towards Mutare. I have another farm to visit in Virginia. Edging slowly down a farm road, I come across a late-blooming Sickle Bush (Dichrostachys cinerea). It has been a long morning; over two hours since Harare and my thermos still contains a cup or so of coffee. Winding down the window I kill the engine, cutting off Freddie Mercury’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” in mid-stride, leaving just the sound of the bush.