For the past few months we have all been stuck in limbo, isolation, frustration and a semi catatonic state of nothingness. Our physical bodies cannot move yet our minds wonder – usually to dire thoughts of the world ending and such. During these times I dream of Africa.
Yet, if we step back and day dream, our minds take us to happy places. Past experiences and holidays and always towards the future. Will we be able to travel again? Even for a small weekend away? Our ability to dream is our hope, the place we go to subconsciously when all seems black and we need some hope in our dreary existence.
For those of us who dream of Africa, have her blood running in our veins, who cannot resist the incredible allure of the bush, adventure and the sounds of Lions calling at night or Hyena whooping in the distance, we dream of wide open spaces and the quiet and solitude of nature.
There are many people who have made famous quotes in the old days about Africa, Hemingway, Martin Luther King and many more. Cunard Lines and BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation) advertised Africa and the romance of travel and discover new places in all sorts of ways. Those vintage styles of advertising are amusing to us these days – we are familiar with advertising that flashes before our eyes and is imprinted on our minds even before we are aware of the picture. Some of us hanker after those styles and feel nostalgic for the past. This is our modern day Africa dreaming.
One man has brought this all back.
About 3 years ago the house across the road from me was for sale, Paul moved out and Tracy and Duncan moved in. As good neighbors we went over and made friends, shook hands, got to know one another. Turns out he’s quite the famous chap – who would have known!
Duncan Butchart was born in England and from an early age was fascinated with birds, drawing and painting. Herge, the famous author of The Adventures of Tintin, was a big influence on his work and the books a source of great joy for him as a child. Throughout his career Duncan has been actively involved in conservation, research, scientific studies and developing resources that enhance the guests experience and supports local guides.
Since 1996 Duncan has collaborated with the safari group &Beyond helping to develop cutting edge resources with the aim of enhancing the guests experience to the destinations they travel as well as supporting the local guides in each area. This ultimately led to the publishing of the “Ecological Journal” containing the findings of over 200 guides in 6 countries and culminated in Duncan being awarded an honorary Doctorate in Science by a South African university.
Duncan has also studied and been tutored by some of the most famous artists of our time and he has traveled widely in search of birds, inspiration and more fulfilling experiences. Duncan has traveled to Borneo, Peru, Botswana, Thailand, Brazil, Costa Rica, India, Uganda, Gabon, Tanzania and Namibia. Some of his illustrations now grace the furniture of the Ngala Treehouse in the Timbavati Private Game Reserve in South Africa.
Duncan is also the author of several books and is a regular contributor to ornithological bulletins and nature magazines and The African Journey Collection is his latest project that is seeing fantastic success.
During the lock down in South Africa Duncan also came up with a very cool way to keep the kids busy. He created a space on his website where parents can download free poster designs of all the African destinations for children to color in as they like. This is not reserved to children, apparently coloring in is very therapeutic!
Here are some of the prints that Duncan has created, for the full catalog visit his website, DBNatureWorks and order yours online, they’re super cheap and can be sent to anywhere in the world.