2016-10-20: WPC Edge & Nostalgia

Here’s a blog post that hits two of the WPC photo challenge topics at once.  When I read the description for the edge challenge, I knew that some of the shots I took while flying between camps in Kenya would be a great choice to share.  But being on those planes ties so well into the topic of nostalgia for me.  Being in a small plane (especially up front) takes me right back to being a kid, heading up with my Dad in a two or four seater plane, and flying around either sightseeing, or heading to my Grandparent’s cottage.  Great memories and such fun times 🙂

2016-10-20-wpc-edge-and-nostalgia
During my transfer from Nairobi to the Selenkay Conservancy adjacent to Amboseli, I was lucky enough to be the only passenger on the caravan plane, and the pilot was nice enough to invite me to sit up front with him. As you can see, there is a reason that bush pilots buzz the runway nice and low before banking and coming back around the land. Hitting a zebra would not be good!

 

2016-10-20-wpc-edge-and-nostalgia-2
The camera was level, honest!  Taken during a steep bank after buzzing the runway at Selenkay Conservancy.
2016-10-20-wpc-edge-and-nostalgia-3
Air transfer between Nairobi and the Masai Mara.  I wasn’t lucky enough to get a seat up front on this one, but the views were still awesome.

WPC: Nostalgia

WPC: Edge

2016-10-17: WPC Quest

If I had a scorecard for successful trekking experiences in Uganda, it would look something like this:

Gorillas treks 2/2

Chimpanzee treks 1/2

Now by successful, I am only meaning that I saw the animal that I intended to when setting out for the trek.  We could define successful in lots of ways though: if success meant coming back safe and having fun, I’d be 2/2 on both of them.

One trek felt like a quest more than the others, and that was the chimpanzee trek through the Kyambura Gorge in Uganda.  You see, with gorilla trekking, trackers go out long before guests to try and find the animals in advance, so you don’t spend loads of time wandering, and the success rate of seeing the gorillas is quite high.  There are no trackers that go out ahead of time for chimpanzee treks, and in Kyambura Gorge, the success rate for seeing chimps is somewhere between 50-60%.

2016-10-17-wpc-quest-6
The river at the bottom of Kyambura Gorge.
2016-10-17-wpc-quest-5
Lots of spooky looking trees, a few monkeys, but not a chimpanzee to be found that morning.
2016-10-17-wpc-quest
I don’t recall the name of this tree, but the chimpanzees bang on the bases as a form of communication.
2016-10-17-wpc-quest-3
The path looked quite innocent at the start!

Several times I had contemplated giving the gorge trek a miss, as I was worried about the physicality of it, but decided to give it a go anyways.  The gorge itself is around 150m deep, has a river running through it (with hippos) and the pathways along are often steep, muddy and slippery.  On more than one occasion, rather than fall over, I sat down at the top of a hill and slid down the muddy path on my butt!

2016-10-17-wpc-quest-2
Sometimes, we walked in the footsteps of elephants!

After the initial decent into the gorge, we crossed a very nice, sturdy bridge over the river to look for the chimps along the other side. And as we walked along the paths, up and down hills, through streams and over fallen trees, we passed several more bridges.  But when our guide declared it was time to return since the chimps weren’t in the area, we were a good two kilometres from the nearest bridge, and so instead, we had to cross the river by crawling along a fallen tree!

2016-10-17-wpc-quest-4
The tree I crawled across was pretty much like this one.  Little did I know what was in store for me when I took this photo!

Crossing on the tree wasn’t actually that bad, it was wide and sturdy, and while the bark bruised my knees terribly, I wasn’t scared I was going to slip and fall. But then I reached the other side and learned that to get off the fallen tree, I would have to stand up, bear hug a big branch, and take a step of faith to another tree lower down that was further away than my legs could easily reach… and then finally jump to the riverbank below.  I wish I had photos of all that but even my GoPro was safely packed away in my bag.  I was terrified taking the leap of faith at the end of the tree, but very thankful for the other people in the group that helped me out and walked me through what I needed to do.

I saw chimpanzees the next day at Kibale Forest, but the Kyambura Gorge walk sticks out for me just as much.  As one of my new friends said “You’ll always have a story to tell because of this!”

WPC: Quest

2016-10-17: Monochrome Monday

A trio of leopard shots for this Monochrome Monday.

You can find these, and lots of others here on my website.  Your walls surely deserve an update with some new artwork – matte or glossy paper prints, traditional, stretched or thin wrap canvas and even prints on metal.  Check it out!

20161017-monochrome-monday1

20161017-monochrome-monday2

20161017-monochrome-monday-3

 

2016-10-16: WPC Mirror

I’m a bit behind on the weekly photo challenges, but I found some topics that interested me that were released while I was on holidays, so I am going to catch up on them over the next week or so.

I hope everyone has had a great weekend!

2016-10-16- WPC Mirror.jpg
An egret reflected in the waters of the swamp at Amboseli National Park.  Kenya, September, 2016.  1/1250 sec, f10, ISO 640.

WPC: Mirror

2016-10-14: Feel Good Friday

The week has flown by, happy Friday everyone!

My feel good Friday photo this week is one of two gorgeous leopard cubs we spent time with while staying at Ngala.  The sighting was made all the more enjoyable by the excitement of the people I was sharing the vehicle with.  One of the women had hoped and hoped she might see leopard cubs; this was her last game drive before flying home, and she got her wish.  It’s lovely when things work out that way 🙂

20161014_feelgoodfriday
Leopard cub, Ngala Private Game Reserve.  South Africa, May 2015.  1/500 sec, f7.1, ISO 720.

2016-10-03: Monochrome Monday

20161003_Monochrome Monday.jpg
I’d been at the Selenkay Conservancy less than 30 minutes when we ended up with two lionesses and six cubs.  Quite the start to a morning!  Here on of the cubs wanders quite close to the vehicle, while looking for a shadier spot to lay.  Kenya, September 2016.  1/800 sec, f5.6, ISO 640.  

 

The Daily Post: From Every Angle

After seeing this challenge, I decided to go through the photos I took of fish eagles throughout my last trip to Southern Africa.  I saw them from a lot of different vantage points, including from above, which is a unique way to watch birds.

I hope you enjoy!

Looking into the river, looking for the next meal. 1/1000sec, f10, ISO 400
Looking into the river, looking for the next meal.
1/1000sec, f10, ISO 400
This juvenile fish eagle was perched in a tree across from my room.  The branches in the background are distracting, but I couldn't ask him to move, and I didn't want to spend ages photoshopping them out. 1/32sec, f5.6, ISO100
This juvenile fish eagle was perched in a tree across from my room. The branches in the background are distracting, but I couldn’t ask him to move, and I didn’t want to spend ages photoshopping them out.
1/32sec, f5.6, ISO100
The tilt of the head shows off the hooked book. 1/320sec, f5.6, ISO 100
The tilt of the head shows off the hooked book.
1/320sec, f5.6, ISO 100
An attempt at dinner as the light fades.  This time, he was unsuccessful. 1/800sec, f5.6, ISO 6400
An attempt at dinner as the light fades. This time, he was unsuccessful.
1/800sec, f5.6, ISO 6400
A view from behind.1/800sec, f7.1, ISO 800
A view from behind.1/800sec, f7.1, ISO 800
Watching a fish eagle fly from above, during a helicopter tour of the Okavango Delta. 1/1000sec, f9.0, ISO 900
Watching a fish eagle fly from above, during a helicopter tour of the Okavango Delta.
1/1000sec, f9.0, ISO 900
Capturing a fly by. 1/250 sec, f5.6, ISO 160
Capturing a fly by.
1/250 sec, f5.6, ISO 160
A pair of fish eagle perch along the river. 1/200sec, f7.1, ISO 200
A pair of fish eagles perch along the river.
1/200sec, f7.1, ISO 200
Flying off into the sunset. 1/800sec, f5.6, ISO 2200
Flying off into the sunset.
1/800sec, f5.6, ISO 2200

Daily Post Photo Challenge