2024-01-14: Jackals

After wild dogs last week, I decided to work on the few jackal photos I had this week. Jackals are fairly common on safari, but on this past trip, the jackal sighting I had were of moms and youngsters, which was very cute to see. These images were taken just before dusk, and we had only a minute or two at the sighting before they were gone.

We first spotted mama jackal in the bushes just off the road, and stopped for a quick photo.
After a few moments, one of the pups came out of the bushes.
Mom stepped into the bushes (we believe to another pup) and we only had a moment before this little one scurried after her. Madikwe, South Africa. November 2022.

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.

One of the jackal pups with mama. Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa. November 2022.
Two jackal pups, with mama out of the shot, but not far away. There is a camera trap in the background, which is not uncommon for passively recording activity.

2020-10-11: Kenya Images

The opportunity to travel is just one of the many things that I am grateful for. Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Carrying on from the past couple of weeks, so images from my time in Kenya back in 2016.

A group of young male giraffe sparring.
One of the many acacia trees that dot the landscape.
A jackal pup peeking out from its den.
Wildebeest as far as the eye could see.
The vast open spacesof the Maasai Mara, covered in wildebeest.
A cheetah that we spotted on route to the river crossing point.

2017-07-23: Leroo La Tau in Botswana

For stop #3 on my recent trip to Africa, we left Namibia behind and moved on to Botswana, where we stayed at the beautiful Leroo La Tau camp, which is situated on the Boteti River.  Based on our particular travel dates, getting there was a little bit of a to-do.  We flew from Little Ongava to Windhoek, overnighted in Windhoek with a 4AM wake up call for a transfer back to the airport, then onto a flight to Johannesburg, a connecting flight into Maun and finally our small plane transfer to the camp.  We arrived at camp at around 3pm, and had a relaxing drink and snack on the deck and then a sundowner boat trip.

Each game drive started and ended with a boat trip, as the camp was located on the opposite bank of the river to the conservancy where we took our game drives.  It was great to have the differing perspectives of game and bird viewing from land and from the water.

A group of bull elephants, arriving in from the Nxai Pan area, enjoying a refreshing play in the river.

A group of wattled cranes strutting along, looking for breakfast.

A watchful jackal spotted on one of our game drives.

A pair of marabou storks roosting in the treetops at sunset.

As we spent 3 days at the camp, we had the opportunity to take a day trip to Nxai Pans.  It was a long day (with a 6:30am departure arriving back around 7pm), but definitely worthwhile and very enjoyable.  We had a picnic lunch in the Nxai Pans park, saw the amazing Baines Baobab trees and a few giant elephants along with loads of other game and interesting birds.

A pair of old bulls enjoying a mud bath.  Many groups of elephants were making the trek from Nxai Pans down to the Boteti River by the camp.  They arrived appearing white from the salts in the mud in the Nxai region.

Admittedly not the best photograph, as I shot it straight ahead while the vehicle was moving, but it gives a bit of perspective on the size of the Baines baobabs.  The trunks of each of the trees directly in front of the roadway were wider than the length of the land cruiser we were in.  They actually make the trunks of the California redwoods seem kind of small!

One of the pans with a baobab in the distance.  The pans were rapidly drying out, and the animals were beginning to move towards the river.

A group of little bee-eaters seen during our afternoon boat trip along the Boteti River.  There were about 6-8 of these birds all clustered in one area.

An African Jacana Dad with his chick.  They often call these “Jesus Birds” because from a distance, they appear to walk on water.

I spotted this Crimson-Breasted Shrike in some bushes during our drive around the Nxai Pans Park.  Try as he might, Calvin could not convince the bird to come out of his hiding spot, so this was the best I could do for an image.

Our guide Calvin, camp managers Nelson and Umani, and all the staff at Leroo La Tau went out of their way to make sure we were comfortable and enjoying our stay.  We were even treated to two performances by the Leroo La Tau choir, including a special song for my parents, who celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary during the stay.  It was truly a special place in a very beautiful area.


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Kalahari Plains

The Kalahari was far, far greener than I anticipated.  I had expected a dry and dusty, somewhat barren landscape.  But we arrived at the end of the rainy season, and the desert had received rain only a day before we arrived, so everything was quite lush and green.  As such, all the animals we saw were very well fed.

Here are a few images from my time at Kalahari Plains.

A pair of lion cubs peek at us from behind their mom.
A pair of lion cubs peek at us from behind their mom.

A Kori bustard searches the grass for his next meal.
A Kori bustard searches the grass for his next meal.

A black backed jackal gives us the eye as the daylight begins to fade.
A black backed jackal gives us the eye as the daylight begins to fade.

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