Title: Chariots of Fire
Text: Helga Burger
Photographs: Pompie Burger
Publisher: Venture Publications
Windhoek, Namibia 2019
ISBN 9789994589036 / ISBN 978-99945-89-03-6
Softcover, 30 x 21 cm, 130 pages, throughout colour photos, Text: English
Chariots of Fire is a wonderful photo book written and photographed by Pompie Burger in conservation of Carmine Bee-Eater Breeding Colony at Zambezi Mubala Camp & Lodge in North East Namibia. Appropriately, the Lozi name for the Southern Carmine Bee-eater is Benadi, which means beautiful. The idea for this book project was started by the steering committee of the M.C.C. (Benadis), better known as the Mubala Carmine Colony, in early 2018.
The idea with 'Chariots of Fire' to raise funds to pay the guards who look after and protect the bird colony, which is necessary only for approximately four months a year, from the end of August to early December before the birds disperse. Most of the information in the book was gathered from a wide array of books, as well as from the local community. A lot was also gathered from my own observations during various visits.
We thought that a book would be the best way to help and protect this extremely vulnerable bird colony by informing and teaching everybody involved, be it tourists or local communities, and in the process press home the needs and importance of these beautiful birds. All the funds raised by selling this book, will be used to fund the Carmine project and the fishing guards who play an important role in protecting the fish, river and birds, and in the process the whole ecosystem.
The conservation of the colony is obviously the important part of the project. Apart from the various issues that are mentioned in Chariots of Fire one cannot avoid other pressing issues. A rather unknown but important one is the protection of the riverbank, especially against boats (speeding) on the river causing constant waves that erode the banks. The importance of more research into the Carmine activities is obvious.
Food for Thought
Safety & Security
Courtship & Mating
Babies & Immatures
Nesting in Banks
Predators and Dangers, Natural Enemies