Gallery: under African skies
… he walked his days
Under African skiesPaul Simon, Under African Skies
No two skies are the same, and no single sky stays the same for long. Maybe that’s why, as photographers, we are so drawn to capture them? An ever-evolving, ever captivating subject that is available to us all. We only have to look up!
Of course a clear blue sky on its own isn’t very interesting, nor is a dull grey one. What we need are clouds. Fluffy white ones in that blue sky perhaps. Or angry dark ones, edged with gold or silver as the sun tries to find its way through them. A sunrise or sunset sky touched with orange or gold. Or a night sky sprinkled with stars.
As soon as I saw Amy’s prompt for this week’s Lens Artists challenge I knew that I wanted to take you all to Africa and to the skies over Botswana in particular. Immediately the lyrics of one of my favourite songs by one of my favourite artists, Paul Simon, started running through my head. Have a listen:
In the Okavango I was as captivated by the skyscapes as I was by the wildlife, especially when reflected in the waters of the delta. Whether we were setting out early in the morning for walks or boat rides, or relaxing in a mokoro (traditional boat) just before sunset, the skies were magical. But further north in the Chobe National Park too, I found plenty of drama under those African skies. I’ve also thrown in a few from Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, where we ended that trip.
My feature photo is one of many taken on one of those mokoro rides in the Okavango. You can see the prow of the boat in the foreground, as you can in another of the shots below. For more about the delta and our mokoro outings there, including video footage, see my post from 2021. Some of the shots below are duplicates from that previous post, but too appropriate not to include again here!
Chobe National Park, Botswana
Morning sky over the Chobe River
Later that day by another part of the river
And another Chobe sunset
The Okavango Delta, Botswana
Sky reflections, mid-afternoon
From a mokoro
Sunset on the lagoon
Five minutes later, sun sinking
A wider shot of the same scene
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Early morning view from our hotel, spray rising from the falls
Sunset on the Zambezi River
Clouds at sunset over the Zambezi
And after the sun had set
I visited Botswana and Zimbabwe in 2018
Mike and Kellye Hefner
Just stunning, Sarah – all of them!
Thank you so much Kellye 😃
Very very good. Skies are hard to catch. I seldom try, except in Paris. In fact the 3 “best skies” I’ve ever seen are Kenya, Paris and Bogotá… 😉
Thank you 😊 And that’s interesting, as I don’t associate Paris especially with skies. We’re going again in September, I must keep my eye on the sky!
Gorgeous, every one of them, Sarah! The water reflections are glorious! Africa in your heart.
Thanks so much Ann-Christine 😊 The African skies and landscapes are unique I feel!
Beautiful pictures of the sky! The landscape beneath the sky just makes the sky all the more expansive 🙂
Thank you – yes, the huge spaces of the African landscapes make the skies seem bigger too 😀
Gorgeous sky photos
Thank you Tanja. For some reason I don’t get a notification when you leave a comment (I do for everyone else!) so my apologies if I don’t always respond
No worries. I don’t know why that happens.
Omg! I’m so glad I so this post. I now know what, ‘the waters looked like burnished gold’ means. Such amazing shots of the African skies- I haven’t seen such dramatic skies anywhere else. I especially liked Sky reflections, mid-afternoon, Five minutes later, and sun sinking. God seems to paint the skies best in Africa.
Oh yes, ‘burnished gold’ is the perfect phrase for how the water looked on these boat rides! Thank you for that and for the lovely comment about the photos 😊
Your photographs are a perfect escape when one cannot travel. Thank you for sharing these, Sarah.
philosophy through photography
Love the Sunset on the lagoon.
Thank you 🙂
The sunset photos are spectacular – and you’re right, clouds add a beautiful effect. I’m currently sitting outside in our garden – with beautiful light clouds above me and the sun coming through every now and then and shining warm on me … I love our African skies! (And thanks, it was nice listening to Paul Simon while looking at your photos).
Thank you, so glad you liked these and enjoyed the music too!
Wonderful views of sunsets, but then, any view of Africa is beautiful! Nice work, Sarah!
Thanks John – yes, any view of Africa will do me!
Those sunsets reflected in water are fabulous, Sarah. You can’t take your eyes off them. Love the mackerel skies at Victoria Falls too. 🤗💜
Thank you Jo – I was mesmerised by those skies, especially seen from the silence of a mokoro ride, low on the water 😀
the eternal traveller
Absolutely beautiful. Reflections on water make a sunset even more lovely, don’t they!
Thank you 😊 Yes, the reflections mean we get double the impact, double the pleasure!
Wowwwwww. Beautiful, all! LOVE the many reflections shots. Outstanding.
Thanks so much John, I’m glad you especially enjoyed the reflection shots as they are my favourites 😀
Very nice skies.
Thank you Brad 😀
Wow Wow Wow
I love the conceit that same place different time brings very very different vibes & captures. Your series feels like it belongs in an epic movie.
Thanks so much 😊 Yes, I love how quickly the sky can change, especially at sunrise and sunset!
So many lovely, peaceful, magical sky shots. ❤️
Thank you Rose – the skies over the Okavango are particularly magical, maybe because of all the water in the atmosphere?
Terrific series Sarah – you took me right back to the Okavango and it’s beautiful skies. After leaving Africa I felt strongly that every human should get to spend time there. The marvels of Mother Nature are nowhere else as they are there. I found it incredible that people could still hunt game after seeing those gorgeous creatures in the wild. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve returned to my photographs from our weeks there, magical doesn’t begin to describe it. Many thanks for yet another reminder of its glory.
I’m with you on all that you say Tina. There is something truly magical about the wild open spaces of sub-Saharan Africa in particular 😀
A fabulous diary of dramatic shots.
Thanks so much Margaret 😀
Clouds create the most memorable sunsets and you have captured some outstanding ones here.
Thank you Suzanne, I’m so glad you liked them 😊
Image Earth Travel
Gorgeous photos Sarah!
Thanks so much 😀
Simply beautiful Sarah! Did you see the Paul Simon special on HULU? They had quite a segment on his Graceland CD.
Thank you Anne 😊 I don’t know what HULU is, so no, I didn’t see that. It’s quite likely we don’t get it over here?
These are the best times of day, the dawn and the dusk. Stunning selection, Sarah
Yes, I completely agree. I had a few interesting day time skies but just a fraction of the number I had from either end of the day!
What a wonderful treat to see the glorious skyscape and cloudscape of Africa while listening to Paul Simon’s song!
Enjoy watching the sky change through your fabulous photos. Thank you for taking us to Africa, Sarah!
A very special cloudscape post.
Thank you Amy, I’m so glad you liked the photos and enjoyed the song 😊
Wow love these sunrise, sunset and everything else in between! Lovely captures Sarah ❤️
Thank you very much Teresa, glad you enjoyed seeing them 😊