Seeing wildebeest crossing the Mara River was one of the things I was most excited about about during my time in Kenya, but given how short my stay was, it was not something that was guaranteed. I did luck out though and see a small herd cross the river, and was it ever hectic when it finally happened.
It’s not at all like what you see on the nature shows, at least the day that I was there. There had to be 30 to 40 vehicles in the area and with some people, like us, there for close to five hours before the action started. It was a really fun atmosphere though and I spent the afternoon chatting with my guides, enjoying a lovely picnic lunch, and chatting with the people in the neighbouring vehicle. The river crossings this year would have been a much different scenario with all the travel restrictions; the animals just having to contend with the crocodiles, lions and hyenas without a bunch of spectators.
The poor little gazelle in the first image though…. it was picked off by a crocodile not long after I took this picture. The gazelles head into the river alone, to avoid being trampled by the larger wildebeest and zebra, but that makes them very easy targets.
I’ve had some fun over the last few weeks playing around with some images in Topaz Studio and creating a bit of photo art. I had been hoping to get out with my camera and capture some of the new birds I have been seeing around, but the weather has definitely not been conducive to that this week. It seems to be a theme lately that I want to do more with my photography than time allows, but these sort of cycles ebb and flow, and there is no sense in getting all worked up about it. I’m just happy that I have something to share this week.
While we were driving from camp to the river crossing location, we came across an area where wildebeest were moving in a column, for as far and the eye could see in either direction. I tried creating a stitched panorama, but even that only provides a hint of the overwhelming number of animals on the plains.
The second stop on my recent trip to Southern Africa was at the beautiful Ongava Game Reserve adjacent to Etosha National Park. Like at our first camp, here we also found a familiar face, as the camp manager we met on a previous trip to Namibia had moved over to this region, and was running the lodge during our stay. We had a wonderful time catching up with Maggie; I am still amazed that we not only found familiar faces so far from home, but that people remembered us as well 🙂
Typically, we went into the national park to explore on our morning game drives, and the spent the afternoons on the private reserve. The Etosha region had also received higher than average rainfall, and was very lush and green during our stay. Right before we arrived, they had a day of heavy rain, and on our first game drive we ended up stuck in the mud on one of the roads on the Ongava Reserve. After about 45 minutes, our awesome guide Willy managed to get the vehicle moving again. We were all covered in splattered mud from head to toe, but laughing and smiling; its all part of the safari adventure.
We spent time with elephants and rhino, lions and wildebeest. We saw zebra, oryx springbok and impala, and an abundance of birds. The reserve had a lovely hide, but due to the rains in the region, water sources were abundant and the man-made dam near the lodge was not being frequently used during our stay (with the exception of the resident terrapins). It was a beautiful region that I hope I have the opportunity to explore again in the future.
Here are a few images from my 3 nights in this beautiful area.
Although seeing the river crossing was an all day adventure, the actual crossing itself happened in a flash, without any time to prepare. (If you missed previous posts on this, you can find some of them here or here).
Once I had the best shots I could capture of the wildebeest crossing the river, I decided to try something different, slowing down the shutter speed to highlight the movement of the animals. Nice crisp shots are all well and good, but this photo is more like the experience of being there; things happening so quickly that it is all a bit of a blur.
It seems a bit strange to pre-schedule posts so far in advance. As I type this, it is still April, and when this gets uploaded, I’ll be on my last week of holidays in Africa. I know I will be coming home with lots of images and stories to share.
This week’s selection is another mixed bag from my time in Kenya.
There is just something about the Amboseli landscape that really appeals to me for monochrome images. The starkness of many of the areas, the elephants towering over the flat, seemingly endless plains.
Here is a selection of images from this beautiful place.