Archive for ‘October, 2015’

An iPhone travel journal – Day 5

Saturday – Home Town Gate  
I got around a bit in my life. I was born in Switzerland, grew up in the South of Germany, worked in over 20 and travelled to over 50 countries. But my parents are both from Bavaria. They grew up in the same small village – named Teisbach – where even today a lot of Sperkas still live. Every year on All Saints day (1 November) they visit the graves of their parents and many relatives in the small town. This is a Catholic tradition. Together with my brother, my nieces and one of my nephews I am accompanying them on this year’s visit. We have arrived in Bavaria after five hours of travel. The picture is of an old gate of the village of Teisbach.

More to follow soon …

An iPhone travel journal – Day 4

Friday – Mixed Summer and Autumn Colours

I had planned only one shot per day, but I really liked the mixed summer and autumn colours in the garden of my parents’ house in the South of Germany. This beautiful mixture will not last much longer, as it gets colder and colder.

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More to come …

PS: Great news about South Africa’s Springboks winning the rugby against Argentina and Roger Federer winning his game in Basel 🙂

An iPhone travel journal – Day 4

Friday – Sunset over Lake Sempach in Switzerland

Today I met with some of my friends from Switzerland in an Italian Restaurant in Zofingen for lunch before I did a photo shoot of the five month old son of very good friends of mine.  In the evening I was invited to a delicious dinner at one of the most beautiful homes I have ever seen. Before the dinner I took this images of a few ducks swimming on Lake Sempach just after the sun had set.

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More to come…

An iPhone travel journal – Day 3

Thursday – Driving trough the Black Forest

Today was a relaxing day. Sleeping in – again – and then to town for a bit of shopping. After another great lunch at my parents’ place and a very quiet afternoon I am having dinner tonight with friends at a Greek restaurant in Bad Saeckingen, Germany.  This picture was taken on my way home from town. I took a bit of a detour through the forest with all its autumn colors.

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More to come …

An iPhone travel journal

I thought for a change I will create a short travel journal of my trip to Europe using one image per day, taken on my iPhone 6 Plus.

Day 1 – Tuesday – A view from a city tram in Basel, Switzerland.
My dad picked me up from Zurich airport in the early morning. After a bit of extra rest from the long flight and a delicious lunch at my parents’ home in Germany I traveled by train to Basel – one of the largest cities in Switzerland – where I meet with friends for dinner. This picture was taken from a city tram on the way from the train station to their house.20151027 - CS6_0000 - E

Day 2 – The Monastery of St.Urban
I slept in this morning – a novel experience after the last few weeks. This trip will turn into a gourmet eating festival :-). After another delicious lunch with friends in Lotzwil, Switzerland I drove to Zofingen, Switzerland, where I lived for eight years. This picture shows the Monastery of St.Urban, which is located on the road from Lotzwil to Zofingen. And for dinner my older brother invited me to a fabulous meal in one of my favorite restaurants in Zofingen – The Federal!
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More to come …

Organization! (2)

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I am working on organizing all the Wildlife images, which I took between 2001 and 2010. This is a major undertaking which will take me many month.

But one of the rewards of this -sometime tedious – work is that I find some good images I have never published before. Here is one of them. Three hunting Lionesses.

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Sorry to say, but there will be no further wildlife posts for the next two weeks. I will be back on Thanda on 8 November.

A new place and a trip to Europe

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This week I had the opportunity to have a look at Pongola Game Reserve, a beautiful property with seven lodges. I stayed for a night and took a lot of images during two boat cruises on the Pongola River. It was very enjoyable 🙂 I hope to be back soon!

And now I am in Pretoria, getting ready for a trip to Europe. I am looking forward to seeing my family and friends in Germany and Switzerland.

germany  Switzerland

Sorry to say, but there will be no wildlife posts for the next two weeks. I will be back on Thanda on 8 November.

The collage above shows three images I took at Pongola Game Reserve – White Rhinos at sunset, Nkwazi Lake Lodge and a sunset shot, taken during a boat cruise on the river.

Imagine …

What an evening …

Thanda Safari

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Imagine at the end of your evening game drive your field guide just stops the vehicle on top of hill. He and his tracker switch off all the vehicle’s lights and everyone agrees to keep quiet for a few minutes; listening to the bush sounds and observing the night sky. Then, unexpected, a Giraffe steps out of the tree line and walks in front of the sky, lending its silhouette to this very African scene.

That was the perfect ending to a  Thanda game drive!

NB: The image is slightly blurry, but it gives an idea of this beautiful setting. For the photographer’s among you this picture was taken of a bean bag, f/2.8, 2sec, ISO6400,25mm.

Picture by Christian Sperka – Specialist Photography Guide and Resident Wildlife Photographer – Thanda Private Game Reserve

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Organization!

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I am working on organizing all the Wildlife images, which I took between 2001 and 2010. This is a major undertaking which will take me many month.

But one of the rewards of this -sometime tedious – work is that I find some good images I have never published before. Here is one of them. Three Cheetah cubs watching their mum going off to hunt.

Precious 🙂

A brotherly fight!

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As many other peoples – who have existed for a long time – the Zulu people have a lot of customs and traditions.

I am now living for over three years in Zululand and I have tried to learn about the Zulus as much as possible. Even if I have not improved my Zulu language skills by much (isiZulu is quite difficult to learn and I am a bit on the lazy side when it comes to learning languages) I was able to observe quite a lot. Bheki Ngubane, my Zulu tracker and friend, has taught me much about his people and I was invited on some special days to the local communities.

This is a picture of Bheki (on the right) having a friendly ‘demonstration’ fight with his brother Mbongeni. When the Zulus have an occasion to celebrate – for example at a wedding – the men like to test their strength in such fights. A specially appointed Induna yenzinsizwa (fight leader) makes sure that these confrontations do not get out of hand. In this picture both brothers wear traditional men’s cloths, made from animal skins, mainly from cows and goats. And do not worry; the leopard skins around their necks are artificially made. Nowadays such traditional attire is mostly worn on special occasions and also when going to church services (similar to ‘Kilts in Scotland’ and ‘Lederhosen in Bavaria’).

Behki is a typical example of a Zulu man, living in a rural area. He wears modern cloth, works on Thanda as a tracker, drives a small car, uses cell phone technology to communicate with his family and friends – mostly by texting – and enjoys watching TV at his room at base camp.

But he is also the husband to two wives, has nine children and lives with his family on a large plot of land on Lake St.Lucia. At his home he has no access to electricity or to running water. His first wife and some her older children spend part of their days collecting water for a central point in the community and collecting firewood from the forest. Bheki comes from a very traditional background. His father had eight wives, 40 daughters and 25 sons. As a married man – with more than one wife – Bheki is a much respected man in his local community. It helps that the local Induna yesizwe (equivalent to a major) is his uncle and the Inkhosi (equivalent to a chief or governor) of his community is his nephew :-).

Quite a few of my blog followers have expressed interest in these subjects, so over the next couple month I will write a few more blogs about Zulu customs and traditions, and always with pictures 🙂

Please let me know if you have any questions or interest in specific topics and I will try to cover them. Siyabonga (Thank you in isiZulu).