KUBU NIGHTS

An island in a dry sea.

They say from space you can see a White Sea in the centre of Botswana. This only ever holds water after heavy rains, for the best part of the year it is a large dry salt pan. Nothing grows here and no wildlife dares to venture far from the grass ridden shores. Dust devils play on these open expanses but their winding paths are often stopped in their tracks. An island sits all alone. It's only inhabitants are ancient baobab trees that stand the test of time agains the boiling African sun and star filled nights.

Temperatures during the day explain why no life exists here. Bone drying heat saps all energy from all living organisms and motivation for movement becomes non existent. As the day draws on these temperatures subside, the light begins to fall and you feel human again. You and the island become alive, you can move again and it becomes time to explore what this island actually has in store.

As the sun disappears below the horizon Kubu Island becomes alive. Red and blue hues begin to fill the sky and one afternoon is not enough. From one end to the other I run around like a manic possessed by the light. The Islands Baobabs are like plots on a map. I bounce from tree to tree but soon the onset of night ends my game.

Night moves in and the stars take over. Like thousands of streetlights turned on in distant galaxies I can navigate around the island by starlight. I need to pay special attention to my exposures to time them right. The nights lights are bright and this truly is the best place to be.

The sky grows grows darker and the baobabs trunks glow a strange colour. The days heat radiates off the rocks that make up this island. It is time to explore, it's time to explore more possibilities so I set up some Startrails and head off with another camera to see what other elements I can find.

A rock formation off the eastern shore draws my attention and I rest while the camera does the work. I'm feeling tired. It's been a long night and the rocks warmth lulls me in to a drowsy mood. It must be time for bed but first I need to retrieve my camera that I left with a view.

The camera still clicks away as I release the cable. I know I need bed now. I stumble across the rocky terrain but when I see my bed I know I must get one more image.

Tomorrow is another day. The sun will rise soon as will I with it. No matter how tired I am I will repeat today's routine. I have travelled to far and along too many bumpy roads to get here so I will be sure to make the most of it.

If you would like to join me in Africa in 2016, why not check out my 14 day Namibian Photographic Experience. Places are limited to 6 photographers to ensure you will learn many new tips and lessons whilst having unprecedented access to some of Namibia's most beautiful locations and tribes. For more info please see: www.benmcraephotography.com

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