Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
I am a photographer, writer and multi-media artist. Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.



Monday, 25 May 2015

Remembering Africa

The homework for my writing group this month was to retell a memorable meal.  In the process I was taken back to Africa, October 2002, Jackalberry Lodge in the Thornybush Private Nature Reserve, adjacent to Kruger National Park, South Africa. 

So my blog for this week is a tiny part of my memories of our incredible "soft option" African experience. I feel so lucky to have had this experience and would recommend it to anyone who has the dollars. 

I only had a film camera those days, but oh my goodness I soon learnt to quickly change films rolls. I would love to go back now with my digital camera! 

 Please click on "read more" to keep reading and seeing more pics.

This is a pic of me having morning tea on the morning game drive. I was a bit younger then. 

Eating Africa

The rhythms of Africa vibrate in the quiet stillness of the night. A line of soft lights lead us along the path to the boma where flickering flames send sparks up into the black ink sky. A splash of vibrant red lingers on the horizon.


A circle of tables sit half in the fire light and half in shadow. A wide smile greets us. 

We sink into the comfort of shared experiences as we listen to the retell of the afternoon’s safari drive. 

The memory of Ingwe, the elusive leopard. As we approached he had climbed to lay in the low fork of a tree, his green eyes staring at us, his spotted coat glistening in the late afternoon sunlight.  

Glasses clink. The table lamps are lit. 

A lion’s roar echoes from far across the veld.  A pair of civets partly hidden by the long grass lift their heads to gaze at us from the waterhole just beyond the fence. 

Ostrich kebabs and kudu steaks are on the menu tonight. The chef hovers over the coals of the Braai (bry) expertly turning the meat.  

I don’t remember the details of those meals, just the feeling of contentment wrapped up in the cloak a million stars across the African night. 

 We travelled to Africa and stayed at the Jackalberry Lodge at the Thornybush Game Reserve near Kruger National Park in September 2002. Our hosts Grant, Angie and Noleen gave us the most incredible experience we will never forget.  We were so amazingly lucky that a couple of the nights we were the only guests, and so we had private game drives and got to know our hosts very well.  And my eternal thanks to my friend Sarah Gaynor who was working in travel and booked this trip for us (this trip was how we met). It truly was one of the most memorable holidays of our life. 

Even though I would love to go back to Jackalberry, I don't think we could ever hope to replicate the visit that we had. Our expectations were exceeded beyond what we thought was possible. 

These impala were just outside the fence near our hut.

Below you can see pics of the lodge, our hut (top RH), and bottom LH the view from our bathroom window on our first morning.
The lodge has been upgraded since our visit (there's grass around the pool now!) - for more information please click here -  Jackalberry Lodge

I hope you have enjoyed my little trip down memory lane.  Thank you for indulging me. 
Do you have a memorable dinner? Perhaps you would like to tell us about it in the comments.
You can read more of our Africa experiences in Australian Vital magazine May 2004 and Australian Photography magazine - Back page November 2004. Or click on this link to go to my former blog post - including how we met this bull elephant who suddenly appeared from behind a thorn bush - African Experience - Soft Option

A reader has just asked me what lens I had. I "think" it was about a 200mm or maybe a 300mm (?). I've just added this image to show you how close we were....

Below is Mario our tracker sitting on the front of the vehicle. 
You can see here how close we were to this elephant. What an amazing experience!

At one stage we had a lion walk by so close that my husband said he could have just about reached out and touched it. 

The animals in this park are generally used to the vehicles as long as you don't stand up and change the shape of the vehicle. And getting out is a absolute no no. 

 You can read more of my experiences by clicking here to go to an old blog post -  African experience soft option

 Thank you so much for stopping by. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week.

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!

Mosaic Monday  
Travel Photo Mondays  
Our World Tuesday
  Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global  
Agent Mystery Case  
What's It Wednesday  
Travel Photo Thursday


  1. Wow, what an adventure, I love the lodge and the thatched roofs. This looks like an amazing experience

  2. Wonderful photos from before the digital age. Your meal experience is like something from Out of Africa.

  3. so cool to see them in the natural habitat! Assuming you used long lens.

  4. I was entranced by your trip down memory lane to Africa Jill and the photos are great. When I travelled to Ireland last summer, my friend who does the tours has one to Africa and she said it is one of the best she does - now I can see why.
    Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday.

  5. Hello Jill, I enjoyed your memory lane trip to Africa. A safari has been on my bucket list for some time, but I need to win the lotto first. It is an adventure to see all the wild animals and the beautiful landscape. The sunrise/sunsets are awesome. Wonderful post, thanks for sharing. Have a happy week ahead!

  6. You have whisked me straight back to those magical African nights, tasty braais and the spirit of the veld. What a lovely post ... and you've made me want to return for a spell too :)

  7. Jill what an incredible experience....

  8. Thank you for sharing your amazing African experience and wonderful photos. We are so greatly blessed to have such opportunities in our lifetime and the simplified equipment to capture them. Many breath-taking moments were doubtless encountered on your safari Jill. (PS - I hope you do manage another trip to South Australia and get to enjoy the beauty of the Fleurieu Peninsula)

  9. Wow! What beautiful memories. Your African wild life photos are sensational. It would have been a holiday to cherish.

  10. Fabulous memories!

  11. I have just returned from a long trip to Kenya and am full of images! What a continent and what unique fauna and flora.
    All our responsibility to protect it for many generations to come.
    Wonderful images and I hope that you will have a chance to go again!

  12. I have always loved your work, ever since I got to know about it, but oh my goodness, Jill, these images from Africa, are such wonderful works of art, just absolutely brilliant. I am just in awe~

  13. Amazing! Such beautiful memories and photos! That sunset-wow!

  14. What an adventure, wonderful memories and lovely images to remember by.

  15. It looks amazing and wow what a sunset


  16. beautiful pictures! I'm glad you had a great time in South Africa! and do come back because the bush is always magical! x

  17. What an amazing experience! Your photos tell of a beautiful adventure in the wild... perhaps one day I'll get a chance to visit Africa with my family (if I can overcome my fear of sitting next to lions and leopards ;)

  18. Enjoyed your post! So many animals to see.

  19. "Wrapped up in the cloak of a million stars" I really like the image that phrase paints. Wonderful words to accompany wonderful photos. I would love to go to Africa some day. When we were at Thailand's Elephant Nature Park (the same as in Nancy's post), I remember being surprised by how quietly the elephants could sneak up on someone. Now that I'm back in my Texas home with my boxes and boxes of old photo prints, I'll also have to start digging through them to see if there are past, pre-digital vacation photos to share.

  20. Fantastic adventure - and meal! We've had a lot of memorable meals in our Aussie travels - it's hard to choose just one. But the MOST memorable generally have the same elements - camaraderie, a shared unique experience, and food that fits the occasion.


I hope you have enjoyed your visit to my blog. Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to comment. I read and very much appreciate every comment and love hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return.