These images caught my eye while I was trying to decide what to work on this week. I do love a dramatic sky, and while the rainstorms I can do without, the clouds at sunset are beautiful watch, as the colours change moment to moment.
2023-03-12: Safari Sampler
Today I thought I would share a selection of a few different safari images. Part of the excitement of being out on game drive is never quite knowing what you may see around the next bend in the road or over the next hill; but, on a South African safari, you’ll probably have the opportunity to see all of these at some point.
2023-03-05: Jackals – Mama and pups
This past trip was my first opportunity to see jackal pups, and they are absolutely adorable creatures. Both sightings happened when I was staying at Madikwe, here are a few images from the first sighting, on m first evening at the reserve. We were definitely lucky to have such nice late afternoon light for the sighting.
Our group was quite fortunate as the jackal sighting from start to finish was less than a minute. Had we lingered longer at the elephant we had been watching before this, we probably wouldn’t have seen them at all.
It has been a long, challenging winter here in Prince George. Even the locals, who generally seem far more easy going about the cold and snow than I am, are getting tired of it. In the past two weeks we’ve had about 2 feet of snow, but there has been one bright spot with all the white stuff; the ability to spot animals, and for the puppies to entertain themselves follow tracks in the snow.
The best tracks by far have been the mama and baby moose that have been around the neighbourhood routinely in the past few weeks. I’ve watched them once in the yard, and found their tracks crossing back and forth over the road on a couple occasions. With the roads being in bad shape, decent walks with the pups has been a challenge, but they wear themselves out when they have the chance to sniff fresh tracks. The tracks of the two moose moving through the yard kept them entertained on walks for two days 🙂
Taking photos out the window at dusk isn’t a way to get a great image, but I couldn’t go outside without risk of disturbing them, and even if I could get outside, the snow was too deep to stay at a safe distance and get any images. Maybe I’ll get lucky someday and see them on a nice sunny afternoon, but until then, these will have to do.
These images were taken before the latest couple dumps of snow we’ve had. The fence that you see in the images, which is a 42″ high enclosure where I can take the dogs to play, now has snow right to the top 🙁
2023-02-19: Wild Dogs
I’ve never been shy about sharing my love of wild dogs, and it was thrilling to have the chance to spend time with two different packs during my recent trip to South Africa. Today though, I am short on time so I’ve only edited one image, but I’ll be back with more and some info on the sightings in the coming weeks.
I’ve been fortunate to see many rhinos over the years, and it is always a thrill and a privilege to have the opportunity to view them. Sadly, rhinos still face intense pressure from poaching. Many reserves are needing to make the decision to dehorn rhinos in an effort to avoid the animals becoming targets, and seeing rhinos with horns may be less likely on safari in the future. Horn or not, they are impressive animals to be around.
2023-02-25: Hippos on land
While on a day trip to Chobe National Park, our group did both a game drive and a boat cruise, which was similar to my experience in Chobe 2013. In 2013, we saw multiple hippo pods in the river, most with huge numbers of members. On this trip, hippos were another animal that was a rarity, but we did get some good sightings while on our boat cruise of a few individuals, both in the water and on land feeding. Our cruise was in the afternoon and the light was quite harsh, but I still happily varied between snapping photos, watching the scenery, and sipping on a few local beers.
Hippos are impressive in their bulk, and if you have the opportunity to see them open their jaws fully, you can truly appreciate why they are such a dangerous animal. While we can laugh about it now, it really wasn’t a funny situation when our boat stalled in 2013 and drifted dangerously close to a hippo pod. Thankfully our guide got it started and us to a safe distance before anything bad happened.
Here are a few hippo images from my day in Chobe in November, 2022.
2023-01-29: Tsowa Island from the water
Tsowa Safari Island was a beautiful place to stay in the Zambezi National Park in Zimbabwe. Getting there involved a game drive through the park, with some dramatic views of the river valley, and then arriving at a boat launch and transferring to a small craft for a short crossing to the island. The afternoon we arrived, we set out for a sundowner birdwatching cruise. While not a traditionally good time of day or direction for photos, I love seeing the sun peaking through the fluffy clouds.
2023-01-22: Zambezi Sunrise
During my recent tour in southern Africa, we headed out for a morning of birding, and started the day walking along the edge of Zambezi River. We were a few kilometres upstream of Victoria Falls, where the water was flowing at leisurely pace and we could safely walk along the rocky bank. While most of the group was focused on trying to find new birds, or spotting birds on distance sand bars and tree branches, I was enjoying the beauty of the sunrise and the rapidly changing colours in the sky. When we finished along the edge of the river, we returned to our vehicles for a picnic breakfast before a leisurely drive around some of the birding sites in Victoria Falls.
2023-01-15: Monochrome Madikwe
It’s been gloomy today with heavy fog, and I needed a bit of sunshine in my life, so I turned to my recent trip photos. While a monochrome landscape may seem a strange choice, looking at the image I can feel the warmth of the sun and remember the fun I had while I played around taking images at midday with my infrared filter on at one of the lovely dining decks at Jaci’s Lodge where I stayed in Madikwe. I specifically shot this intending to give it a monochrome treatment, and I am happy with how it turned out. I’d hoped that an elephant might pop to the water hole while I was shooting, as that would have been interesting with a long exposure, but it was not to be this time.