Background Switcher (Hidden)

The Best of South Africa With Zick: It's Now or Never

Saturday, April 9, 2016

It don't rain but it pours. I've been kiiinda busy with the new book, Baby Birds, coming out on Tuesday April 12. That means all the orders I've taken from you fabulous supportive readers are going out on Monday!! I just got a message from my friend Cynni, Postmaster at the Lower Salem Post Office, that I've spent $802.61 there in postage in the last two weeks. That ought to help save some jobs and help it stay open, in this climate of rampant rural school and post office shut-downs. I feel good about that, and you should, too. 

I'm really excited to launch this book. Won't lie: I've been nose to the grindstone for a very long time,  finishing the paintings for the book over the last two years, then, last spring, going into hyper-production mode,  getting all the writing and art turned in; dotting the last i's, answering editorial queries, getting the art scanned, proofing color...the project of 13 years all coming to fruition. It takes a full year from the time I turn everything in to when the finished book arrives. Because I was involved in every aspect of production, that year FLEW by, seemed like nothing.

Other things have been whooshing past my head in the meantime. Like the deadline for deposits on my next trip to South Africa. Holbrook Travel got an urgent message from our service partner in  South Africa last night, that our reservations at Kruger Park are going to be cancelled if they don't receive deposit money by early next week. ARRK!! Kruger is like that, because everybody wants to go there. You have to book at least a year in advance. They've been holding our booking for several months now. I haven't been sitting on my hands, y'all. But it got past us.

So. I'm making a last-ditch pitch. If you've always wanted to go to South Africa, and you think you might like to go with an excitable Science Chimp pointing out everything from dung beetles to marabou storks to fruit bats, the time to decide is NOW.


At the Three Rondavels with part of 2016's intrepid crew.  (The part that didn't mind abysses. You will note that I'm on the safe side of the view!)

I can guarantee you maximum fun and beauty abounding. 

Wildflowers in the Near-Karoo. Me: STOP STOP STOP LOOK AT THAT (piles out, drops to crouch)

 Endangered blue cranes dancing like nobody's watching. DANCING. Floating up as if yanked by a string, bouncing, their tail ribbons undulating. Might be the world's most beautiful crane, and that's saying something.

Bontebok with calf, awash in wildflowers.

Bizarre, fantastic, eye-popping wildflowers. Get down low and your mind will blow.

Cape sugarbird with proteas. How much would this bouquet cost in New York City? And that's without the endemic bird!

Epauletted fruit bat sp., Skukuza Rest Camp, Kruger Park, delicate ears swiveling, green-gold orbs looking right into my bat-lovin' soul. Needless to say, I really, really want to see them again. And I'd love to stand beneath them, with you. We'll try to keep our mouths shut.

Greater flamingos at rest, Strandfontein Wetlands.

Dassie Man, Hermanus. He's feeding the hyraxes (hyraces?) while southern right whales spout just offshore. Amazing place, whale watching from land!!  I'll know better than to try to strike up a conversation this time.

Pickin' up an Angulate Tortoise and carryin' him across, West Coast National Park. A
 Zick's gotta do what a Zick's gotta do.

One o' them dassies, contemplating his sirenian/elephant ancestry. Or just digesting.

More proteas. This time with southern double-collared sunbird, Kierstenbosch Botanical Garden. 

Waterhole action at Kruger Park. It's a different aspect, over to the east in Kruger, a bit sere and dry. But there are animals. Animals of your dreams. Birds, too. We look at them all.

I never thought I'd see this in my lifetime. But then I never thought I'd see any of this. 
Grateful. And I really want to go again, and take a small group along. We still have a few spaces, and we need to finalize so we don't lose our accomodations. I'm sorry to push. Life's going by faster than I can run right now.

Want to come along? The trip runs from Aug. 24-Sept. 9 2016. It's a small, artisan trip, one safari vehicle. We'll have Kim Wright along to help us with the nutso botany on the Cape portion, and my great pal Leon Marais for the Kruger section. It will be choice!

Click HERE for more information. 

If you have any trouble getting through, just email debbieATholbrooktravelDOTcom
A little code there, to foil roving spambots. Substitute@ and . for the all-caps words and you're good to go.

And thank you. Back to the race!


Would so love, but cannot this year....maybe 2017?

[Back to Top]