Gorilla family Rwunda
Steve with darted Rhinoceros

Saddle-billed stork
Crested Barbet
Lilac-breasted Roller
Giraffe and oxpecker
Agressive Lioness
Large male elephant drinking

Zebra watercolour painting by Stephen Powell

I was made an offer by a philanthropist couple to fund a trip for me to Africa. No strings attached just because it makes them happy to support the dreams of others. I found my self momentarily dumb struck at the generosity of the offer. Those that know me would be skeptical at the even the possibility of me being stuck for words. However this was such a time. I feel a great sense of pride that these people have thought me worthy of such a gift.

My aims will be:

  • For my work to reflect the energy generated by life changing encounters with the creature and environment of Africa.
  • To share the energy, knowledge and enthusiasm generated by the trip in a manner that reflects the generosity that made it possible.


Africa travel map South Africa, Botswana & Rwanda Siyafunda Volunteers Makalali Game Reserve
Maps with the kind permission of:
Botswana: Explore Worldwide
Rwanda: Intrepid Travel

I was loaned a copy of Whatever You Do, Don't Run - My Adventures as a Botswana Safari Guide. I'm sure this was intended as a pay back for my active support of the Australian sport of terrifying visitors with stories of our local killer wildlife. Drop Bears aren't in the same league as lions and agro elephants!

Other reading:
'AFRICA An Artists Journal' by Kim Donaldson
'In the Kingdom on Gorillas' by Bill Weber & Amy Vedder
'Silent Footsteps' by Sally Henderson
Lonely Planet: Africa, Watching Wildlife - East Africa & Southern Africa
The Rough Guide: First-Time Africa

For more photographs and stories of my travels see my blog - WILD PAINTER - STEVE'S BLOG. My experiances in Africa exceded my hopes and expectations. With some luck and research I chose to spend time with:
  • Siyafunda Conservation Initiative on the Greater Makalali Private Game Reserve.
    I felt this was an opertunity to spend an extended period of time in one place. All their facilities were comfortable. As a volunteer we prepared our own meals and looked after our own washing hence the cost are kept low. If your looking for wildlife experiances Siyafunda offers everything a $1000+ a night safari does except for US$ 1995 you can stay 4 weeks and see much much more. I was happy to do without the silver service and mints on the pillow.
    I had a great time at Makalali. I recomend that any one thinking of a trip to Africa take a look at what Siyafunda has to offer.
  • Rwanda Eco-Tours 
    My passion for Gorillas lead me to Africa. I read 'In the Kingdom of Gorilla's and how the gorillas survival lies in balance between the needs of people and wildlife in this country. I chose Rwanda because I wanted to acknowledge and support the efforts that the Rwandans are making to shape a peaceful and happy future out of the dark days of genocide.
    So those were my motives.  I chose the tour from the Intrepid catalogue and I arrived with hopes that my interactions with Rwandans would be a positive experience. The out come was so much more! In the hands of the wonderful people at  Eco Tours it emerged as an experience of a life time. The Iby’Iwacu Village village stay was stunning! We were swept up into the welcoming embrace of this caring community. The dancing & story telling was the greatest of fun. They looked after us in a manner that radiated friendship and concern for our every need. I hope we managed to responded in a manner that reflected our overwhelming level of enjoyment and our appreciation of their efforts.
    The tour was professionally run, extremely well directed by Edwin & Martha. The friendly manner, selfless motives and obvious warmth and concern for their staff and the Rwandan people was a pleasure to observe.  Personally I very much enjoyed our short time together and am honoured to have met them.
    I wish them happiest of futures and their enterprise the greatest of success. - Stephen Powell
  • Explore Worldwide Ltd Botswana - Namibia - Zambia. Okavango houseboat, Chobe and Moremi Reserves & Victoria Falls. Fantastic wildlife viewing. Well run trip with friendly and efficient guides.

Male Lion Watercolour painting By Stephen Powell
Giraffe herd comes to drink

2008 AFRICA 2010
More stories and images of Africa and other adventures - Steve's Blog
© © Copyright Stephen Powell 2008. All rights reserved.
All images on this web site are protected by international copyright law. No image on this web site may be used for any commercial or non-commercial purposes without prior written permission, a licensing contract and payment of royalties or fees to Stephen Powell. Images must not be used on web sites or email stationery, reproduced as paintings for sale,downloaded, copied, printed, saved, transferred or reproduced in any way in any medium without payment to and prior written permission from Stephen Powell.
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