Saturday, October 6, 2007

Royal Zambezi

I decided to expand this to a family affair by posting my daughter Alexandra's gouache sketches she made while on holiday in Zambia last month. Bruce and I were there two years ago, and I'm ashamed to say it didn't even occur to me to take a sketchbook! The gorgeous no-comforts-barred lodge belongs to my brother-in-law and sister, who've invited us to share some of their holidays there... wildlife literally roam right through the camp at night - you need to stay in your bungalow (picture on the left) so as not to bump into a hippo or an ellie on a midnight stroll! Incredible and abundant birdlife, and the gasping and grunting of hippos wake you up in the morning... just wilderness bliss.
At top right is the wonderful 'sausage tree' of enormous girth, that hosts the pub and it's viewing deck. The vertical squiggles are of the striking maroon and yellow flower bracts that then produce huge bizarre-looking sausage shaped fruit - according to Palgraves 'Trees of Southern Africa', used by indigenous people for purposes ranging from curing syphilis and rheumatism to a poultice for making babies fat!
The crocodile drawing is of a wooden carving, but there are plenty of real crocs lurking on the banks of the river. They certainly keep still enough to draw from, if you don't alarm them into sliding into the water, which in turn alarms you if you're sitting in a canoe with your sketchbook!

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