2020-10-04: River Crossing

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.

2020-05-24: Artistic Impressions

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.

Wishing everyone a positive week ahead!

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2017-10-16: Monochrome Monday

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.

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2017-07-16: Highlights of Little Ongava

 

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.

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A bull elephant on Ongava Game Reserve.  This big guy was attracting quite a crowd, as he is one of only four elephants on the reserve.  All the elephants ended up there after breaking in from neighbouring Etosha, and then deciding to stay.

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We saw many herds of zebra during our drives through Etosha.  

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This young wildebeest was part of a sizeable herd, but was unfortunately injured and hobbling around on a broken leg.  This one will definitely be the animal the lions size up as a potential meal, the next time the pride and the herd cross paths.

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We were fortunate to see both white and black rhino during our time in the Etosha area.  Such impressive creatures.

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One of the highlights driving through Etosha was coming across this group of brothers chilling out next to a waterhole.  They were very close to the road, giving lots of people a fantastic opportunity to see lions up close.  One of the brothers went into stalk mode, and crossed the road towards a group of springbok, but they had spotted him quickly so it was a no go for some springbok for breakfast.

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A rock hyrax seen near the dining area at Little Ongava.  This little one was calling out constantly and making quite a racket, but it took me a bit of time to spot it.  Apparently, this hyrax is always hanging around the camp.

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A pair of ostrich seen during a drive through Etosha National Park.

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A waterbuck on the Ongava Private Game Reserve.  Waterbuck are not a naturally occurring species in the area, but were introduced the the reserve around 10 years ago to see if they could cope with the terrain and climate.  The population there has been thriving.

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Our last morning in Ongava, we spent time on the reserve rather than in the park, as we had a fairly early flight to our next destination.  We were having a rather relaxed drive when another guest on the vehicle spotted a lion hidden in the grass in a thicket; we were able to drive closer and find the entire pride having a rest as the day heated up.

 

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2017-06-12: Monochrome Monday

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.

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Wishing everyone a fantastic week ahead.

 

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2017-05-15: Monochrome Monday

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.

I hope you enjoy, and have a wonderful week.

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One of the zebra herd briefly checked out our vehicle before returning to grazing.

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An egret gets a free ride on the back of an elephant in Amboseli.

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A wildebeest appears to be on high alert (but honestly, with wildebeest, you never quite know).

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2017-05-14: Masai Mara

 

The wildlife in the Masai Mara was just as amazing as it looks in all the nature programs that I watch.  Here is a selection of images from my time there.

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The chaos of a river crossing.

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Waiting somewhat patiently for the chance to move up the steep slope.

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As more an more animals moved up the banks, the ones that had slipped and fallen were stepped on.

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A sad group of wildebeest too weak or injured to get up the banks.  We left shortly after this, so I don;t know if any of them found the strength to continue, or if they ended up as food for the crocs.

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A gazelle attempts the crossing.

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These are what were waiting for the gazelle…

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Thankfully this one made it back out alive.  Of the five I saw try, only two made it out.

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Clean up crew on the plains.

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A topi with two little ones.  They are a very stately looking antelope.

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A cheetah on the prowl.

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A lone wildebeest grazing.

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A group of mongoose that took over a termite mound.

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A rare photo (for me) of a wildebeest where you can actually see it’s eyes.

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A lone set of stripes amongst the wildebeest.

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Animals as far as the eye (and camera) could see.

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A kori bustard looking for breakfast.

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A pair of elephants checking out the vehicle.

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A beautiful Mara sunrise.

 
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2017-05-08: Monochrome Monday

I decided on a bit of a mixed bag this week from my time in Kenya.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead.

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A lion contemplating whether to get up, or go back to sleep.  Sleep won, at least while we were there.

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A group of wildebeest make it to the banks of the river, avoiding the crocodiles and being trampled.

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One elephant of a large herd that passed through the Ol Kinyei Conservancy near the Masai Mara.  It was such a joy to spend time with so many ellies.

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A small group of wildebeest crossing a part of the Amboseli marsh.

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A lioness on patrol in the Mara.

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2017-04-23: Amboseli in Black and White

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.

I hope you enjoy, and have a lovely day.

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As dusk approached, this lioness rounded up her cubs and was on the move.

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Tender greetings.

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Egrets alongside an elephant, waiting for any insects the elephant stirs up.

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Elephants crossing the marsh, with the hills in the background.

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A zebra in the marsh along with herons, egrets and ibis.

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Wildebeest marching onwards.

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A lone wildebeest rests on the Amboseli plains.

Please visit:
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and

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