I felt like some colour on a dull day, so small birds with bright feathers it is. The lilac breasted roller remains one of my favourite birds to spot on safari, and I was quite excited on my past trip to have the chance to see other types of rollers as well. I didn’t get great photos of the other rollers, but included them anyways to show the variety of colours.
It was unfortunate to only see the purple roller and racket tailed roller high up against very bright skies, but at least I did get the racket tailed roller at the right angle to show off the interesting tail feathers.
These weaver images were taken in different areas; the southern masked weaver is wide spread and they create very interesting nests that often hang over water. The males are in charge of construction, and the females in charge of determining if the nest is up to standards or not. When you come across a large colony, you will often see nests that have been abandoned partway through construction.
I had high hopes of working through a decent number of images this week, while I was off work on a staycation, but I also have a tendency to create a mental to do list that 3 people couldn’t finish, let alone just me. My household projects, yard work and the like all had a lot of effort directed at them, but creative time took a backseat. With winter coming, there will be lots of time to be inside working through images, while getting the autumn yard work done (and a round of golf in) has a pretty limited time frame now that September is almost to a close.
For my image today, it is a lovely sunset taken on my first evening staying in Madikwe last November. It’s hard to believe almost a year has past since that trip.
We’ve been having a lot of thunderstorms recently, but it’s not particularly picturesque or open where I live, so I am not able to get interesting photos of the storms. I did try once driving around to see if I could get a decent vantage point, but didn’t find anything that made me want to take my camera out.
However, I did get some fantastic storms while I was away in November, complete with open vistas to take pictures of the towering clouds approaching filled with rain. Here are a few of those shots.
I had planned to edit a few images today, but then the day got away from me. This seems to be a familiar occurrence lately, and I am going to need to do a bit better in planning my time to work on photos.
This image caught my eye out of the grouping that I had flagged to work on. These young giraffes were necking in the warm glow of the early morning sun.
It’s a grey and dreary day today, and a black and white image felt like the right thing to work on. This mare and foal were part of a small group of zebras, and just outside the frame was the stallion, working to keep the group together and moving it in a cohesive direction. This was one of several very young zebra foals that I had the pleasure of seeing during my last trip.
When I was in Namibia in 2017, I thought that would be the time when I would see a brown hyena, as they are a fairly regular animal to spot along the Skeleton Coast. Instead, we saw substantial aftermath of hyenas, in the form of numerous seal pups littering the beach, but didn’t spot the hyenas. Fast forward to my trip in 2022; on the drive from the Madikwe air strip to the lodge, my guide told me there was a brown hyena den on the property that we would would try to get to during my stay. I was quite excited about the prospect of finally seeing one of these animals.
Luck was on our side for a sighting, but not on my side for a great photographic opportunity. Heavy rains had closed many roads, giving us quite a long drive to get to the den site, and the approaching darkness meant we could only stay a short time. We had hoped that an adult would come back to the den while we were there, but it was not to be. We did see a youngster at the mouth of the cave where the den was located, but watching a cave entrance in the approaching dark from significant distance doesn’t provide the best chance at a decent photo.
But, while the photos matter, in that I enjoy taking them, editing them, sharing them and creating with them, they also don’t matter, because enjoying the moment is more important to me than coming back with an image of it. I will share what I do have of my first ever brown hyena sighting, because it was interesting and special for me. I’m hopeful that someday, I’ll get a better look at these creatures.
The arrival this week of the robins makes it feel like spring is finally on the way, despite the volume of snow that is still on the ground. Listening to their song and seeing them on the road reminded me that I have posted very few bird images lately, even though my last trip was bird focused.
The selection for this week is fairly random; just a small sampling of some of the birds seen on my most recent trip, with more to follow.
I selected a few more images from my wild dog sighting this past November to share today. I’d previously posted a few wild dogs images from this trip, which you can find here if you missed them. There are also lots of images in my archives of wild dogs, which can be found with the search function, if desired.
This first image is to show how well camouflaged animals are in the bush, even when the vegetation is not particularly dense. This sighting was at sunset, and we knew the location of the dogs and approached from off road. We weren’t that far off the road, maybe 15 or 20 feet, but had we been on the road and unaware of the dogs location, we likely would have driven right by them.
These dogs were part of same pack and also seen at dusk. These individuals were getting ready to be on the move, and just waiting for the other members to move off. There were five dogs in total in that sighting.
The other sighting I had was mid morning, and quite an adventure to get to. The other people on my vehicle had decided to sleep in, so I was off just with my guide, and we were both happy to see what we could see, and find what we could find. We had a call from another guide that he’d found a pack of dogs, and we ended up traveling off-road over very rocky terrain, up fairly steep hills. These was concern that a wrong turn could damage the vehicle, so it was slow going, but eventually we ended up with the dogs. They were on the move which added challenge to finding them, and they were in dense bush which didn’t provide too many photo opportunities. But even an obscured sighting of wild dogs is an incredible experience.
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.
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.