2017-07-09: Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp in Namibia

I am so excited to finally begin sharing some stories and photos from my recent adventure in Southern Africa! It’s taken quite a while to go through my catalogue of images and work out which ones are worthy of further review, but I am finally in a spot where I can begin the fun part of editing.  I have decided to create posts highlighting some of the experiences at each of the areas I spent time in, and since starting at the beginning of the journey makes sense to my brain, that’s what I am going to do.

The first stop we had was at the Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp, a beautiful and very remote location in north western Namibia. I had anticipated amazing landscapes, and the area delivered that and then some, but I honestly didn’t anticipate the abundance of wildlife that we saw. We were lucky to arrive in Africa after a wet season that had provided much more rain than expected, and even in the desert, there was water to be found and amazing pockets of lush greenery amongst the sand and the rocks.

The camp was absolutely beautiful, and we were thrilled when we were told our guide would be Chris, and then realized that we had met him during our previous trip to Namibia, in Damaraland. During 3 nights at the camp, we had the opportunity to take a day trip to the coast and see the dunes and the seal colony, we spent time with the desert adapted elephants and we saw one of the few desert lions on a giraffe kill (amongst lots of other things!).

I hope you enjoy these first images from my time in Namibia. There will definitely be more of them to share in the future.

Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead.

A sandstorm blowing through an area near the camp.  The days we were there, we had foggy mornings (that cleared very quickly), heat that built throughout the day, and then windy afternoons which brought up sandstorms.  It made for some surreal and beautiful photo conditions.
Desert-adapted elephants graze on devil’s thorn; a plant in bountiful supply after the rain the region experienced.
A steenbok pauses with some rather barren looking desert in the background.  But despite appearances, even in these areas, there is a lot of life to be found.
On an early morning drive, I spotted this wild cat in the drive river bed.  Given how far we were away, I was rather impressed with my spotting abilities.
A pair of oryx graze on devil’s thorn alongside the road.
Due to the heavy rains prior to our arrival, the normal driving route to the coast was closed, and we ended up taking a 20 minute flight to get there instead of driving.  The landscape from the air is absolutely stunning.
A small part of the seal colony along the atlantic coast.  The smell in the area was pretty overwhelming, so we were all taking photos through the closed windows of the vehicle.
We stopped for a photo op at the top of a large dune; mist from the ocean can be seen in the distance.  I’m pretty sure my Dad and Chris were discussing something to do with the engine or 4-wheel drive capabilities of the vehicle.
The desert provided the clear skies and unobstructed views necessary to try a bit of astro photography.  I didn’t return home with many more night sky images, as most of the camps were in lush places without a clear view to the sky.
Elephants heading out of the riverbed after a drink and a mud bath.
Morning drama on a game drive.  After spending a half hour or so following lion tracks through the desert, our guide Chris spotted a giraffe acting rather odd, walking in circles around a clump of bushes.  When we drove closer, we could see the drag marks into the bushes, and a lioness feeding on a baby giraffe.  From the tracks surrounding the bushes, the mother giraffe had attempted to charge the lioness several times, but it was too late to be of an help to her baby, which we found out was only a few days old.
It is easy to feel badly for the mother giraffe in this situation, but the lions in the desert are in rather dire circumstances, and I was thankful even to have the opportunity to see one, let alone one on a kill.  Several desert lions were shot or poisoned by a farmer in the last year, in retaliation for livestock being taken.  Human-wildlife conflict is a complex subject, but it is especially tough to hear about animals, who’s populations have already dwindled substantially, taking a hit like that.
A lovely sunset from a hilltop sundowner drinks stop.  The wind was gusting incredibly, but I managed to get this shot while holding a glass of wine in one hand, camera in the other, all while being pelted by blowing sand.  A rather fun evening!


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2016-12-24: Photo Slideshow

Hi everyone!  I recently put together this photo slideshow for my photo club Christmas party, and thought I would share it here as well.

The photos are taken over the past three years, and there are several from each of my trips to Africa.

I hope you enjoy, Merry Christmas, and all the best for the coming year.

2016-10-09: Holiday Photos

Every month the photo club I belong to has a photo topic of the month, as well as being able to submit a further 5 photos for review and discussion.  Since all I have captured since I returned home are a few grainy images of one of the local deer (and lots of my dog) I thought I would share them here as well.  I am hoping to get back into the swing of things with my “What I’ve seen this week” Sunday post very soon.

Until then, I hope you enjoy some images of Uganda and Kenya.

This image stirs up so much for me.  I can almost smell the fever trees and the acacia and the scent of the elephants, I can almost hear the rumbles, the crunch of branches and chewing of leaves, I can almost feel the warm of the sunlight.  Working on these images takes me right back and gives me a mini mental holiday 🙂
Three young male lions had taken down a wildebeest in the night, and shortly before I shot this, all three were still picking away at the carcass.  There were a half dozen jackals hanging around, trying to figure out how to safely get close enough to grab a morsel or two.  This one only took another step before turning away.
Witnessing a river crossing involves a lot of waiting, and then a lot of chaos in a short period of time.  I’m looking forward to sharing more about this experience!
Just like human babies, the mountain gorilla infants that I saw were incredibly curious, and explored their world by touching everything.
A lappet faced vulture lays claim to a wildebeest carcass that looks to be little more than some fur and bones.
The repeating lines of tea fields near the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda.

2016-09-25: What I've seen this week

I returned home Monday night from a fabulous trip to Uganda and Kenya.  While I’ve been spending the week trying to get back into my normal routine, I have had some time to edit a few photo from the trip.  There will be lots more of photos (and stories) over the coming weeks and months.  Here’s a sneak peak of what’s to come.

Enjoy your Sunday 🙂

I saw an abundance of birds during a boat cruise along the Kazinga channel in Uganda.
A red-tailed monkey near my cabin in the Kibale Forest, Uganda.
Young giraffes playing. Ol Kinyei Conservancy, Kenya.
Young elephants playing in Amboseli National Park, Kenya.
A gerenuk reaching for the choicest leaves. Selenkay Conservancy, Kenya.
Wildebeest crossing the Mara River. Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya.
Male cheetah, Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya.
Wildebeest and gazelle silhouetted in the sunrise. Ol Kinyei Conservancy, Kenya.
A young lion in the Selenkay Conservancy, Kenya.
Toti the chimpanzee giving us the finger! Kibale Forest, Uganda.
Ugandan Kob in the Ishasha region of Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda.
It looks like this L’hoest’s monkey wants to go on a game drive with us. Bwindi, Uganda.
A pair of juvenile gorillas playing in the trees. Buhoma region of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda.
Gorillas grooming each other. Buhoma region of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda.

2016-03-18: Feel Good Friday


For today’s feel good Friday post, I thought I’d share a trio of big cats.

I hope you enjoy, and have a wonderful day 🙂

A lioness and her cubs in the surprisingly lush Kalahari desert, most likely heading off to find a place to sleep off the heat of the day.
3 more steps, and you’d say “Leopard, what leopard?” A master of camouflage heading into the tall grasses.
It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to shoot from different vantage points. This cheetah climbed a hill as our vehicle was parked at the base, offering this unique view.


You can find these, and more, over at jennifersawicky.smugmug.com

2016-03-11: Impala Rut

If you’re in Southern Africa in the autumn (April/May) you’ll be there during the impala rut.  And believe me, you’ll find yourself uttering the same phrase I did repeatedly “What on earth was that noise?”

I still don’t understand how a creature like this, can make a sound like that.  To hear it for yourself, check out sound number two on this website.

Both in Botswana and South Africa, we heard a lot of noise and commotion, and saw a few different groups of bachelors going crazy, running and jumping and locking horns.

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That’s the face that goes along with the noise.  So attractive!
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Is this what the ladies do when they hear that sound and see that face??? 🙂 I was in the right place at the right time to watch a herd of impala bounce through the bushes. This is a composite of 5 different photos.
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A clash of horns.
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Racing around, making noise, fighting about who is the manlier man.


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Unfortunately, the guys kind of lose their minds during this time, and throw their normal caution and vigilance to the wind.  The result…

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They end up as a snack for a hungry pride of lions (or leopards, cheetah, wild dog, hyaena).    This was actually a very interesting sighting in itself, you can see more about it here.
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