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David & Maureen Houston

presenting photographs from their recent tour in South Africa.


They are standing, in, at short notice, for by David Miller who was due to talk about 'Stewart Park, Past, Present and Future'.  They gave a presentation containing many photographs that they had taken on their Tour of South Africa in September 2013. September is the start of spring in South Africa.

This was David's third visit, he was a schoolboy in South Africa 50 years ago& 10 years ago they visited again. This trip highlighted the changes that have occurred. From their arrival at Johannesburg they travelled north- east to the Kruger National Park. This is a huge game reserve which stretches more than 200 miles from north to south & is 40 miles from east to west. The total area of the park is comparable with Wales. A vast number of animals of many different species inhabit the park. It is now possible to take high quality photographs with relatively inexpensive semi-compact digital cameras as they have long focal length lenses & image stabilisation but it is still difficult to see the view finder in bright sunlight.

The photographs taken by the Houstons are stunning. They have close up images of a vast range animals, from impalas, kudus & other antelopes through hyenas, warthogs, baboons, zebras, giraffes, to elephants, rhinoceroses, African buffalos, hippopotamuses, lions & leopards. In addition to animals were birds, predominantly vultures & ibis. Most of these photographs were taken from modified Land-Rovers in either, bush country with closely packed thorn bushes, or in more open areas close to rivers & waterholes. Others were obtained from the viewing platforms or windows of the lodges or native bandas in which they stayed. In this vast park all types of habitat are present & the natural camouflage of the animals is so good they are difficult to spot against the background.

The next leg of their tour took them to Swaziland, a small landlocked country to the north, travelling over dirt roads. This is the land of the high veld, a plateau at high altitude which is traversed by rivers in deep gorges. The photographs taken there were spectacular, particularly those of the bridges spanning the gorges & the rock formations around sink holes. Also amazing were the photographs of weaver bird nests & fish eagles, proteas, hibiscus &jacaranda trees.

The last stage of their photographic odyssey took them to Natal, the land of the Zulus & its coastal city, Durban. Zulu society was copiously illustrated, the elaborate costumes & spears, the advanced layout of their homesteads, circular huts with domed roofs.   Durban is a total contrast, very westernised with large shopping malls. The coast towards Port Elizabeth has deep water close to land giving an attractive contrast of very deep blue sea set against a pale blue sky

This was only part of their diverse collection of photographs; there are more with which to enthral Probus at a later date.


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