Chitwa Chitwa Highlights

I was originally planning to combine the two areas of the Sabi Sands I stayed at into one highlights post, but I’ve been having such difficulty finding the time to work on my photos the last few weeks that it just wasn’t feasible.  Fingers crossed I’ll be able to get to the final highlights post this weekend, so I can move on to the other editing projects that I want to do – and get out and do some more shooting too!

This guy only had eyes for one thing (the female that  is out of shot).  More about that in another post.
This guy only had eyes for one thing (the female that is out of shot). More about that in another post.
We turned the corner, and there he was!
We turned the corner, and there he was!
A huge group of vultures gathering near a kudu carcass.  They were waiting for a female lion to clear off before heading in fight for scraps.
A huge group of vultures gathering near a kudu carcass. They were waiting for a female lion to clear off before heading in fight for scraps.
A wild dog peers at us from between two small tree trunks.
A wild dog peers at us from between two small tree trunks.
A lion take a pause from his kudu breakfast.
A lion take a pause from his kudu breakfast.
A dagga boy.  One of the old buffalo bulls cooling off in the watering hole.
A dagga boy. One of the old buffalo bulls cooling off in the watering hole.
A yellow billed hornbill, or as my Dad likes to say
A yellow billed hornbill, or as my Dad likes to say “the flying banana”.
A wildebeest enjoying the cool air of early morning.
A wildebeest enjoying the cool air of early morning.
Not who you would expect to see in a wallow.
Not who you would expect to see in a wallow.
One of my favourite birds, the beautiful lilac blasted roller.
One of my favourite birds, the beautiful lilac breasted roller.

This time-lapse was one of my first attempts, and shows a mid afternoon at the dam in front of Chitwa lodge.  Lots of waterbuck around that afternoon!

I hope you enjoy, and have a lovely day!

Timbavati Highlights

While I have been home now almost a week, I thought I would continue on with posting my highlights of each area I visited in Southern Africa, and then move on to other blog post formats.  I came home with over 13,300 images, so I will have lots to work through over the next couple of months.

I hope you enjoy, and have a great day!

After moving all night, this lion just couldn't go any further, and laid down for a nap on the road.
After moving all night, this lion just couldn’t go any further, and laid down for a nap on the road.
The beautiful textures of the inside of an elephant's trunk.
The beautiful textures of the inside of an elephant’s trunk.
This is what it looks like driving through the bush at night.
This is what it looks like driving through the bush at night.
A heavily pregnant alpha female wild dog looks our way from behind some branches.
A heavily pregnant alpha female wild dog looks our way from behind some branches.
A leopard cub peers down between the branches of a tree.
A leopard cub peers down between the branches of a tree.
Hyenas come in small, medium and large at this sighting.
Hyenas come in small, medium and large at this sighting.
A lioness looks on while the cubs swarm her sister.
A lioness looks on while the cubs swarm her sister.

Okavango Delta Highlights

The area of the delta where I stayed was one of permanent water, but day by day, changes in the landscape were apparent as the flood waters flowing in from the Angola highlands began to fill previously dry channels.  I think I had the best of both worlds as I was able to see the delta from both land and water – and as a special treat, by air on a helicopter tour.

I took over 1800 photos in 3 nights in the delta.  I hope you enjoy a few of the highlights.

A lone giraffe wanders through an area of new flood.
A lone giraffe wanders through an area of new flood.
A leopard peers down from a tree.
A leopard peers down from a tree.
A spectacular sunset over the delta, taken while on a sundowner boat trip.
A spectacular sunset over the delta, taken while on a sundowner boat trip.
A gorgeous female leopard using a fallen tree as a vantage point.  I had no expectation of seeing leopard at all in the delta, but I had told my guide the previous afternoon that my dream photo would be capturing a leopard on a tree branch.  In two days, I saw three leopards.  Talk about lucky!
A gorgeous female leopard using a fallen tree as a vantage point. I had no expectation of seeing leopard at all in the delta, but I had told my guide the previous afternoon that my dream photo would be capturing a leopard on a tree branch. In two days, I saw three leopards. Talk about lucky!
A pair of spotted hyena cubs rest outside of their den.
A pair of spotted hyena cubs rest outside of their den.
Stand-by passengers at the airstrip?
Stand-by passengers at the airstrip?
A fish eagle from above.
A fish eagle from above.
The delta by air.
The delta by air.
A herd of elephants from above.
A herd of elephants from above.
Water crossing!  One of the camp vehicles carrying luggage from the airstrip to the camp.
Water crossing! One of the camp vehicles carrying luggage from the airstrip to the camp.afr

Kalahari Plains

The Kalahari was far, far greener than I anticipated.  I had expected a dry and dusty, somewhat barren landscape.  But we arrived at the end of the rainy season, and the desert had received rain only a day before we arrived, so everything was quite lush and green.  As such, all the animals we saw were very well fed.

Here are a few images from my time at Kalahari Plains.

A pair of lion cubs peek at us from behind their mom.
A pair of lion cubs peek at us from behind their mom.
A Kori bustard searches the grass for his next meal.
A Kori bustard searches the grass for his next meal.
A black backed jackal gives us the eye as the daylight begins to fade.
A black backed jackal gives us the eye as the daylight begins to fade.

Four nights in Cape Town

A quick panorama from the top of table mountain.
A quick panorama from the top of table mountain.
The old limestone quarry at Robben Island.
The old limestone quarry at Robben Island.
Rusted barbed wires around Robben Island are just one of the reminders of its very sad past.
Rusted barbed wires around Robben Island are just one of the reminders of its very sad past.
A view of Table Mountain from Robben Island.
A view of Table Mountain from Robben Island.
A couple of hungry African penguin chicks beg their parents for food at Boulders beach.
A couple of hungry African penguin chicks beg their parents for food at Boulders beach.
A baby baboon, no more than a few days old, scampered around the side of the road, seen on our way into Franschhoek.
A baby baboon, no more than a few days old, scampered around the side of the road, seen on our way into Franschhoek.
An orange breasted sunbird on some flowers (which I didn't note the name of) at the Kirstenbosch Gardens in Cape Town.
An orange breasted sunbird on some flowers (which I didn’t note the name of) at the Kirstenbosch Gardens in Cape Town.

I am gratefully, happily, joyfully back in Southern Africa again, and spent the past few days in Cape Town. This time, I was lucky enough to get the cable car to the top of Table Mountain (the “tablecloth” covered it almost my entire stay last time, and high winds had the cable car closed). I took the journey to Robben Island, seeing where Nelson Mandela spent his imprisonment and heard a first-hand account about what life was like in the prison, and had a lovely day trip to Franschhoek, the Cape of Good Hope and Boulders Beach (penguins!).

Honestly though, the absolute highlights of my time in Cape Town was having the opportunity to meet up with a friend I met my first trip over, and finally meeting my fabulous SA based travel agent in person.

I’ve brought along a tablet/PC hybrid to back up photos, and the editing capacity is a bit on the sluggish side, but I will do my best to get a few highlight photos posted when I can, because I can honestly say I would much rather be outside enjoying the beautiful scenery than spending too much time inside on the computer.

I’ve finally had a chance to sit down to post this one day two of my time in Namibia, depending on internet connections, I might get a chance to post some photos of the desert and animals in the next couple of days.

Rhinos

Here are a few more photos of rhinos that I had flagged for posting.

Have a great evening!

This rhino came quite close to our vehicle while we were stopped taking notes.  I took the photo through the grab bars of the truck. 1/400 sec, f5.6, ISO 1000
This rhino came quite close to our vehicle while we were stopped taking notes. I took the photo through the grab bars of the truck.
1/400 sec, f5.6, ISO 1000
Five oxpeckers perch on the back of the largest of this trio of rhinos.
Five oxpeckers perch on the back of the largest of this trio of rhinos.
A young rhino listens intently in our direction. 1/400 sec, f5.6 ISO 640
A young rhino listens intently in our direction.
1/400 sec, f5.6 ISO 640

Rhino Tracking

I had the privilege of experiencing tracking white rhino on foot.  The original hope had been that it would provide us with some great photo opportunities, but the rhino were spending the day in fairly thick bush grazing.  In order to remain downwind of them, we ended up in some thick bush as well.

While the photography aspect didn’t pan out as the organizers had hoped, it was a truly special adventure which I enjoyed immensely.

A de-horned rhino grazing in dense brush. 1/250 sec, f5.6, ISO 500
A de-horned rhino grazing in dense brush.
1/250 sec, f5.6, ISO 500

Kalahari the cheetah

Here are the last few cheetah photos that I had flagged for editing from my October / November 2014 project with Wildlife ACT.  It took a few days for our first sighting of Kalahari the cheetah, but I was very lucky to get to spend a fair bit of time in his presence, and learn a bit about his personality.

I’m not sure what will be up next, but I still have quite a few photos from that trip that I would like to share.  Have a great day everyone!

On the move - look at those huge feet!
On the move – look at those huge feet!
I included this photo only to show how difficult it can be to spot a cat, even with very little ground cover.  He looked up briefly, watching us watch him, but as soon as he put his head down, you could have walked past and missed him laying there.  I'm pretty sure we drove back and forth a few times before finally catching sight of him.
I included this photo only to show how difficult it can be to spot a cat, even with very little ground cover. He looked up briefly, watching us watch him, but as soon as he put his head down, you could have walked past and missed him laying there. I’m pretty sure we drove back and forth a few times before finally catching sight of him.
This was taken around the same time as the black and white conversion I posted earlier in the week, but from a different vantage point.  After watching him from below for some time, we drove up to the road at the top of the dam wall.  To get home we had no choice but to drive past him fairly close; we went slowly and quietly, and it gave us some lovely views :)
This was taken around the same time as the black and white conversion I posted earlier in the week, but from a different vantage point. After watching him from below for some time, we drove up to the road at the top of the dam wall. To get home we had no choice but to drive past him fairly close; we went slowly and quietly, and it gave us some lovely views 🙂

A wander through the acacia

One day we caught up to Kalahari early on our morning tracking drive, but he soon disappeared into the trees heading down towards the river.   1/320sec, f8.-, ISO 800
One day we caught up to Kalahari early on our morning tracking drive, but he soon disappeared into the trees heading down towards the river.
1/320sec, f8.-, ISO 800