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.
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.
2023-01-08: Impala Lambs
The majority of my time in southern Africa has been during the fall and into the winter (the dry season) which also happens to be the time for the impala rut. The dynamics at play during that period are very interesting to watch, and sometimes the result for the fighting males can be an untimely end (I shared some images taken during rutting season here, if you’re interested).
This time, while traveling through the bush, we saw many heavily pregnant impalas, and were hopeful of the chance to see some newly born lambs. Our group lucked out in two areas, Zambezi National Park and Chobe National Park, and had the chance to see two of the newest members of the herds. In both cases, these were our guides first lambs of the season. We were a bit early for the baby boom, but it was nice to see the couple that we did.