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Middle Earth Photography

Middle Earth

by Mike Rossi


In my travels with Mr. Ali Chauke, my guide at Mapungubwe National Park, I’ve learnt not to drive over Elephant dung as they contain large thorns that pierce tyre rubber with consummate ease. A flat in wild animal territory is something nobody would wish. I expect the AA man to say, “Sorry mate, you’re on your own”.


I’ve also discovered how dung cures headaches. Both pieces of knowledge are poles apart – one bad for you and the other good; so what do I do in the case of a headache? Take Panado of course – I’m not Tarzan, yet.


My other discovery, although it was more of an instruction, is not to carry oranges or any citrus fruit in a vehicle – it seems it drives the elephants insane with desire. Your car will be shaken and stirred, even if you like vodka and orange, one must resist the citrus temptation. I had a bagful of lemons sealed in my cooler bag. Could this be the ultimate test to an African elephant nose sense? Luckily the elephants are miles away, on this red-hot Mapungubwe Sunday.


As I waited on this particular dawn for Nimbus to compose herself above the Neanderthal koppie in front of me, Mr. Ali Chauke, my Shangaan guide spoke about eating and preparing Mopani worms. The recipe he spoke of was passed down from his grandmother’s, mother’s, mother. He loves them especially when cooked from his family’s secret formula. He’s offered to share his secret – I readily accepted.


Wildebeest wandered, closely followed by Zebras. But at the sight of us they were soon gone. We were left to the silence of the veld and the chattering of over 300 hundred birds species that reside in the Mapungubwe cultural landscape. I am impressed with the bird count. There are six Bee-eater varieties; so there’s little chance that I’m going to get stung here. And with them around I’m not very likely to find any honey. The Bee-eater birds are so quick, they snap up the bees in mid-flight. And like a German Stuka dive-bomber, they descend out of nowhere. Nevertheless, silence does arrive on the birdlife of Mapungubwe when one of the ten varieties of eagles arrives. The only sound is the click of my Hasselblad x-pan.


Part of the "Shadows Over Stones" Photographic Art Collection. Available as “Custom Finish & Bespoke” Fine Art and Photo Prints, framed or unframed. Photography created as beautiful pieces of Wall Art for you to invest and enjoy, from OPENPHOTO-STUDIO.

  • Specification Unframed Print

    Unframed - Black & White Print - ref: 00253-1

    Print Paper Type: Fine Art - Cotton 215gsm

    Image Size: 60cm x 22.5cm

    Print Boarder: 4cm White

    Overall Size: 68cm x 30.5cm

    Backing: 2mm White Card

  • Specification Framed Print

    Framed - Black & White Print - ref: 00253-2

    Print Paper Type: Fine Art - Cotton 215gsm

    Print Size: 60cm x 22.5cm

    Print Boarder: None

    Card Mount: Single White 5cm

    Frame Profile: 33mm x 30mm - S2 Charcoal

    Overall Size: 75cm x 37.5cm

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PriceFrom £222.50
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