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Yale 62

Cindy Hummel’s Photos of South Africa

A map of South Africa, also showing Eswatini, also known as Swaziland

Our route starting in Johannesburg, heading northeast to Kruger national Park, then south through Eswatini to the Indian Ocean, then west and finally back to Johannesburg.

Our granddaughter, Charlotte Hummel, dancing with the group in Soweto, a suburb of Johannesburg.

Every night before dinner we gathered in one of our rooms to enjoy a gin and tonic. Here (from l to r) are Thokozani (our South African guide, driver and friend), then son Eric Hummel and his friend Tori, followed by my sister-in-law Cathy, granddaughter Charlotte Hummel and finally Cindy Hummel (Dave’s wife)

Young lions playing. The animals near our lodge (Elephant Plains) are so used to the safari vehicles that they paid no attention to us.

The rhinos are protected from poachers by sawing off their horns.

Wild dogs are not as numerous as they once were, so are now protected.

The sunrises and sunsets in Africa are just so colorful. I had fun shooting them using my abstract setting on the camera.

We were fortunate to be able to watch a couple of leopards in a tree eating their kill, which they had dragged up onto a branch out of reach of the hyaenas, which were lurking below hoping for any dropped morsels.

The Cape Buffalo are huge and fierce. This group was just waking up as we drove by one morning at 6:30.

Here is a second leopard with its kill draped over a branch. Below was a very alert hyaena.

On a neighboring tree was its baby leopard. While we watched the baby descended from the tree and ran to another one. The hyaena was in hot pursuit, but we think the baby leopard was able to climb to safety.

I have seen these lilac breasted rollers in various parts of Africa.

This mother hyaena just lay calmly in the brush with our vehicle alongside and continued to nurse its baby.

At our last stop we were able to see a pair of 9-month-old cheetah brothers who were being introduced to the reserve. They were about a week away from being released into the reserve after spending a month or so in an enclosure.

One of the special views was of this hippo family. We had seen other hippos, but they were always submerged (except for their eyes and noses) in water. Here they were enjoying time on the shore of a small lake.

At night we often ate dinner outside around a fire pit. Since it was winter in July, the nights were quite cool. Fortunately we anticipated this so came equipped with warm jackets, although the lodges usually offered nice fleece blankets to wrap up in.

Zebras are such fun to photograph.

Here is a Waterbuck. After photographing as many animals as possible I have finally learned to identify many of these antelope species.

The Kudu are beautiful with their stripes and twisted horns.

Here is an abstract photo of our group looking west toward the setting sun.

The giraffes are so beautiful and majestic, such fun to photograph, because they mostly just stood and watched us.


We welcome your comments below.

8 comments to Hummel Photos of South Africa

  • Charles Merlis

    I enjoyed your photos. The Zebras were a bit scatological. A few more maps of your travels would also be interesting.
    Dave, I remember you went to Hopkins and I think I met you in Vanderbilt.
    2.6 years ago, I broke the neck of my femur and have a rod and pin inserted in my leg. It still bothers me but Sunday, the day after my 82nd birthday, I ran a 8k race and beat a few people (they were very slow). Don’t give up on activity. I am doing Physical Therapy which is a good excuse for me to get out of bed. Have you tried biking. I found in my therapy, I walked, then biked before I could run. Hopefully you’ll ski again. My father skied well at 85, though poorly at 87.
    Best to you and your wife.

    • Cindy Hummel

      Hello Charles. This is Cindy writing. I was intrigued by the word “scatological”. It was new to me. So I looked it up and found it means: 1) relating to the scientific study of excrement or 2) characterized by obscenity or preoccupation with obscenity, especially in the form of references to excrement. I’m not sure how this relates to my photos of the zebras. Maybe you can edify me on that point. I sent various maps to explain where we were traveling in South Africa and do agree that they help to acquaint the reader with the location of the photos. Please don’t encourage Dave to ski again!! About 5 years ago he dislocated his right hip skiing and then again about 2 years ago he dislocated his right shoulder. Both times our older son was with him and we all had tried to persuade him that he shouldn’t be skiing anymore. I don’t think he needs anymore major injuries to recover from!!! All the best from Billings, Montana. Cindy Hummel

  • Al Chambers

    Cindy and Dave,

    I was so pleased to see your travel story and listen to your conversation with fellow Westerner and photographer Gary. What you have done, and with such zeal and care is extraordinary. Cindy’s photos and explanations, as always are wonderful.


    • Cindy Hummel

      Hi Al. How nice to read your comment. This is Cindy writing. Glad you enjoy my photos. Having my camera in my hand while on a trip is most rewarding and enables me to focus on the unique elements of my surroundings. Dave and I are leaving tomorrow for a cruise starting in Los Angeles and ending in Lima, Peru. We’ll be home the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Hopefully I’ll have some new photos to share then. All the best, Cindy Hummel

  • Bill Weber

    Cindy, Did you never hear the story about the fellow who was displaying pictures and was told by a viewer that he must have had a good camera. Then later the same person was observed painting and the photographer told him he must have had very good brushes?

    In any event, your pictures are fantastic and us Yalies are proud of you! Bill Weber

    • Cindy Hummel

      Dear Bill, Thanks so much for your nice comments about my photos. That puts a smile on my face. Actually I hadn’t heard the story you mentioned above, but can believe it. An addition to that was told to me by a friend here in Billings. He was a lawyer and member of the American Watercolor Society. When asked how long it took him to paint his pictures, he had a smile on his face and said, “Oh about 4 hours”, of course not mentioning the years of practice that got him to this point!! Dave and I are leaving tomorrow on a cruise that goes from Los Angeles to Lima, Peru. I’ll be taking lots of pictures and hope they are interesting. If you would like to be on the list of friends who receive my photos, just let me know. I’d be glad to include you. All the best from Billings, Montana.

  • What fun! Thanks to both of you for sharing your Family Adventure to South Africa. You did get very lucky with some of those game contacts. I never got to see Zebra from quite that perspective. Such a shame that Rhino have to have their horns removed in order to quell the trade in Rhino horns. For some reason Asian buyers have been led to believe that they are an aphrodisiac. An article a while back claimed they were little more than the same material as our own fingernails … so go nibble your damned fingernails … much cheaper!

    • Cindy Hummel

      Dear Douglas, Thanks for your nice thoughts about sharing the South African adventure. At the 3 lodges where we stayed we were on daily safaris for 3 hours at dawn and again at dusk. The drivers keep in touch with each other and as a result know where the different animals are. We saw endless wild animals and were able to get very close to lots of them, as they were quite acclimated to the vehicles. Too bad you didn’t have the same experience. Indeed it’s a shame about the need to remove the rhino horns, but apparently it’s the only current method to save their dwindling numbers. Of course you would think that the Asian buyers of these horns would have learned by now that they are composed of the same material as fingernails and hair!! I agree, let them nibble on their damned fingernails. Dave and I are leaving tomorrow for on a 16-day cruise that starts in Los Angeles and ends in Lima, Peru. Hopefully I’ll have lots of opportunity to take photos, as that’s what helps me to explore the unique features of the places we visit. If you would like to receive any of the photos that result from that cruise, just let me know and I’ll add you to my list of friends who like to see them. My email address is: