2020-11-01: Lazy Lions

I was just looking at my calendar and realizing it is only 6 weeks now until end of term. Then, I can spend a day lazing around around these lions. Until then, work / school / repeat.

Have a great week everyone!

2020-09-27: Lions

I had several wonderful lion sightings during my time in Kenya, and decided that these big cats would be the focus of my images for today. While in Selenkay, the lion sightings were late in the day with fading late, so the images aren’t the greatest, but I have fantastic memories. Not long after the first few images were taken, the cubs were playing on a tree stump when the two males starting roaring; the sound was intense as they were very close to the vehicle, and the cubs stopped in their tracks, almost as if they were in awe of the sound they were hearing. For me, looking at these pictures takes me right back to the moment they were captured.

I hope you enjoy, and wishing you a wonderful week ahead.

A curious cub approached our vehicle to check us out. At about 15 feet out it thought better of getting any closer.
There were lots of sticks available, but these two insisted on playing with the same one.
The cubs with one of the male lions.
A different pair of cubs, much smaller than the others, but from the same pride. The mother had not yet brought these little ones tonkin the rest of the pride.
A group of three young males seen in the Maasai Mara. The guide told me they had fairly recently been evicted from their pride.
Enjoying the last remnants of a meal; there were jackals close by hoping to steal a morsel or two.

2020-05-31: Lions at rest

Sunday as a day of rest seems a distant memory right now; and while I wish I could be chilling out like these lions, I have coursework to do instead.

Spending a little time on my photography gives me the opportunity to flex my creative muscles and gets me energized again to get back to work. I think though that once finals are done in August, I’ll be looking quite like these lions on the weekends until classes go back again in September.

Wishing you all the best for a positive week ahead.

2017-10-23: Monochrome Monday

My Monochrome Monday choice for this week is from a wonderful lion sighting during my time spent in Etosha National Park in Namibia.  You really can’t ask for better than this!

Lion brothers in Etosha National Park.  April, 2017. 1/1000sec, f10, ISO 450


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2017-07-16: Highlights of Little Ongava


The second stop on my recent trip to Southern Africa was at the beautiful Ongava Game Reserve adjacent to Etosha National Park.  Like at our first camp, here we also found a familiar face, as the camp manager we met on a previous trip to Namibia had moved over to this region, and was running the lodge during our stay.  We had a wonderful time catching up with Maggie; I am still amazed that we not only found familiar faces so far from home, but that people remembered us as well 🙂

Typically, we went into the national park to explore on our morning game drives, and the spent the afternoons on the private reserve. The Etosha region had also received higher than average rainfall, and was very lush and green during our stay. Right before we arrived, they had a day of heavy rain, and on our first game drive we ended up stuck in the mud on one of the roads on the Ongava Reserve.   After about 45 minutes, our awesome guide Willy managed to get the vehicle moving again.  We were all covered in splattered mud from head to toe, but laughing and smiling; its all part of the safari adventure.

We spent time with elephants and rhino, lions and wildebeest.  We saw zebra, oryx springbok and impala, and an abundance of birds.  The reserve had a lovely hide, but due to the rains in the region, water sources were abundant and the man-made dam near the lodge was not being frequently used during our stay (with the exception of the resident terrapins).  It was a beautiful region that I hope I have the opportunity to explore again in the future.

Here are a few images from my 3 nights in this beautiful area.

A bull elephant on Ongava Game Reserve.  This big guy was attracting quite a crowd, as he is one of only four elephants on the reserve.  All the elephants ended up there after breaking in from neighbouring Etosha, and then deciding to stay.

We saw many herds of zebra during our drives through Etosha.  

This young wildebeest was part of a sizeable herd, but was unfortunately injured and hobbling around on a broken leg.  This one will definitely be the animal the lions size up as a potential meal, the next time the pride and the herd cross paths.

We were fortunate to see both white and black rhino during our time in the Etosha area.  Such impressive creatures.

One of the highlights driving through Etosha was coming across this group of brothers chilling out next to a waterhole.  They were very close to the road, giving lots of people a fantastic opportunity to see lions up close.  One of the brothers went into stalk mode, and crossed the road towards a group of springbok, but they had spotted him quickly so it was a no go for some springbok for breakfast.

A rock hyrax seen near the dining area at Little Ongava.  This little one was calling out constantly and making quite a racket, but it took me a bit of time to spot it.  Apparently, this hyrax is always hanging around the camp.

A pair of ostrich seen during a drive through Etosha National Park.

A waterbuck on the Ongava Private Game Reserve.  Waterbuck are not a naturally occurring species in the area, but were introduced the the reserve around 10 years ago to see if they could cope with the terrain and climate.  The population there has been thriving.

Our last morning in Ongava, we spent time on the reserve rather than in the park, as we had a fairly early flight to our next destination.  We were having a rather relaxed drive when another guest on the vehicle spotted a lion hidden in the grass in a thicket; we were able to drive closer and find the entire pride having a rest as the day heated up.


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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!


Please visit:
www.jennifersawickyphotography.com for wildlife, landscape and nature inspired artwork.


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