Cochrane couple passionate about Africa’s natural wonders

COFFEE WITH WARREN, with Warren Harbeck
Cochrane Eagle, September 6, 2018

A continent of friendly fauna and festive flora awaits your personal visit arranged by safari specialists Dan and Antoinette Mackenzie, of Explorations Africa. Wildlife photos by Dan Mackenzie; people photo by Warren Harbeck

I stepped into the A&W and what did I see? An awesome world of discovery waiting for me – thanks to the captivating Cochrane couple who joined me for coffee recently.

I’d been noticing Dan and Antoinette Mackenzie’s vehicle around town quite a bit lately. After all, it’s hard to miss its intriguing logo, “Explorations Africa.”

And now they were sitting with me at my table and thrilling me with stories and images of a photographer’s paradise. Antoinette (Ants), born in South Africa, and Dan, originally from Alberta but raised there as a child, are so passionate about the natural wonders of southern and eastern Africa that they’ve created their custom safari adventure company to tempt the rest of us to experience its wonders, too.

Their website,, provides helpful background on the couple and their vision. I’ll use this column to share with you four of their amazing wildlife photos.

At the upper left in the collage, a herd of elephants in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park are shuffling to the waterhole visited by over 1,000 elephants a day where Dan and Ants’ safari group were camped.

Meanwhile, a Lechwe, an antelope that inhabits the Okavango Delta in Botswana, makes a flying leap for safety from its admirers.

Then there’s this stunning Malachite Sunbird feeding on the nectar of a King Protea, South Africa’s national flower, in Franschhoek Valley outside of Cape Town.

Oh, the leopard giving us the eye in the South Luangwa Valley in northern Zambia? “This is a wonderfully wild part of the African continent we love to visit,” Dan says, “particularly because of its wild remoteness and unspoiled beauty, but also because it's a hotspot for photographing leopard.”

As Dan and Ants explain, “Explorations Africa is more than just a safari company. We’re a family with a passion so deep for Africa, her people, the magnificent wildlife and her last remaining wild places that our sole purpose is to change your life through a soul-enriching experience to Africa.  You’ll never feel the same about life again.”

Well, Dan and Ants, I’ll certainly never feel the same about Africa again after your soul-enriching visit to my table. Thanks!


© 2018 Warren Harbeck

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