04 October 2009

Bushbuck, Nyika Plateau, Malawi

BushbuckAt my campsite on the Nyika Plateau in northern Malawi, bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus) visited each morning to graze the introduced grasses and clovers; white-necked ravens fossicked around the shelter; eland, roan antelope and zebra wandered on the distant rolling hills. Sometimes it all seems as if I dreamed it.
All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

5 comments:

Patricia said...

Pete, your textures are always sublime.

Zhoen said...

Does have a very dreamlike light.

pohanginapete said...

Patricia, Zhoen: Thank you.

the watercats said...

Such a stunning image! The beasty looks like it is two types of antelope grafted onto one another.. love the tones and thought.. where indeed is it now?.. such fleeting lives all us creatures have....

pohanginapete said...

Thanks Watercats. Bushbuck really are beautiful — only about the size of a goat, but with lovely coats and a dainty manner about them. On the Nyika Plateau they seemed relatively unafraid and would graze not far away while I wandered quietly around my camp.

Sadly, the future of the Plateau as a National Park seems uncertain, and the company that used to provide accommodation and transport apparently no longer operates there. I believe it's still possible to drive in independently and camp (as I did), but if there's no significant income from tourism, it's hard to hold out hope the park won't be sold or otherwise disposed of — possibly to fabulously rich foreigners as a private hunting reserve. Ironically, from the point of view of conservation, that might be the best outcome, as it might deter poaching. But, in the long term, what chance does an animal like this bushbuck have, given it will be seen by far too many people as nothing more than "bushmeat"?