Africa: Photos by Lance Mason

In 1988, I emigrated to New Zealand. A good mate in the US Dept of State was at the time posted to our embassy in Gabarone, Botswana, hence the Okavango/Chief’s Island trip. In 1998, another mate, a mutual friend, also with DOS, was in charge of the US Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, when the Al Queda bombings (Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam) occurred, so I returned to East Africa to check on Mike and Carmella, then overland through Zambia, Zimbabwe, and into South Africa where, by then, the first mate held a post in our Pretoria embassy.

“Lightning” – from my mate’s back garden, Gabarone, Botswana, 1988, while emigrating to New Zealand; no luck with a photo the previous night; got this one first try the next night.


“Clouds” – from the river, on the Okavango Delta, Botswana, 1988


“Impala Bucks” — out of the Moremi camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana, 1988


“Marabou Storke” – from the boat, Okavango Delta, Botswana, 1988


“Lesser jacana” – from Kamanga’s dugout canoe, out of Oddball’s Camp, Chief’s Island, Botswana, 1988


“Okavango, Lance” – the author, Kamanga in the background; three days on foot, Chief’s Island, Botswana, 1988


“Hippo” – banks of the Zambesi River, on tiger-fishing expedition, Zambia, 1998


“Small cow” – north of the Zambesi River, Zambia, 1998


BIO: Mason grew up in rural California; 20 years working and traveling overseas on foot, bicycle, motorcycle, tramp steamer, plane, train, and dugout canoe; former cycle racer, stage actor, wine exec, rugby player and coach; most recent honors: Short-list Fish Publishing Prize 2019; 2nd Solas Award 2019; 2nd, Sheridan Anderson Fiction Contest 2018.

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