Thursday, 21 March 2013

Kruger: December 2009 (Part 2)

Okay, so it's about time I carried on with this trip report...

We carried on in the humid and overcast weather on our first day in the Kruger Park, driving up to Shingwedzi.

This was the view over the Olifants River as we crossed it.

This flock of Yellow-Billed Storks were being lazy by the water's edge.
Next up, some Cape Buffalo...

This elephant skull served as a reminder that even the mighty of the bush can is short.

We had to wait for this little guy (and the rest of his family) to cross the road. You always give elephants right of way in Kruger!

Shortly before we reached Shingwedzi Rest Camp, we came across this "lifer" for me - a Levaillant's Cuckoo.

Some more Cape Buffalo were enjoying the cool water of the Shingwedzi river...

A family of Southern Ground Hornbills provded some entertainment before we reached our destination...this is a juvenile...

This Fork-Tailed Drongo welcomed us at the Shingwedzi gate.

We unpacked, settled in and took some siesta time. Before we headed out for our afternoon drive I spent some time with the local squirrels...

Our afternoon drive was focused around the camp to explore the Shingwedzi riverbed and the low water bridge behind the camp. It was a quiet are the highlights though...

When the water flows strongly over the low-water bridge, you can see waders taking full advantage of the easy fishing on offer...

That was the end of our first full day in the Park. The next day was around the bend, but first...a nice braai (barbeque) and some rest...

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Kruger: December 2009 (Part 1)

It's time to catch up on my backlogged trip reports again...

Back in December of 2009, my wife and I took a short break to visit the Kruger National Park. We wanted to avoid the crowds so we opted to head to the far North. With it being rainy season, we knew we were in for lush green bush and migratory birds galore...

Let the photographic journey begin.

We arrived in Orpen (actually we were staying in the Tamboti Tented Camp nearby) late on the Friday afternoon and were just in time to check in and go to Tamboti. The next morning our trip was officially underway.

It was a rainy, overcast I prepared myself to battle for light that morning. After our first sighting of one of my favourite birds, the Woodland Kingfisher, we came across a birding "lifer" for me - a Steppe Buzzard. He was perched so nicely out in the open and posed wonderfully.

We were driving up to Shingwedzi today, which will be our base for the next 2 nights. The road from Orpen to Satara was rather quiet, but it seemed to be a morning for Oxpeckers to strut their stuff.

It wasn't long before I ticked off another "lifer" - a Steppe Eagle this time!

By now the weather had gloomed up even more...and this European Roller wasn't too happy about it...

Shortly before we reached Satara we came across a small dazzle of Zebras. This youngster was quite cute.

He huddled up close to his mother, and I was able to capture some interesting monochrome images using their combined coat patterns as motifs - check these out!

A lone elephant bull was also keen to pose for some portfolio snaps...

We pushed on past Satara and took the popular S100 dirt road, in the hope of finding some big cats...but that was not to be. We did find some young Waterbuck...

A Swainson's Spurfowl ran by as if he was late for a doctor's appointment!

Here are some more photos from our drive up north...I will leave the text out for now, just enjoy the pics!

Magpie Shrike

"Family Time"
Kori Bustard
Woodland Kingfisher

That's it for this edition...check back in regularly as I update this trip report! Some cool sightings to follow!

Morkel Erasmus

Friday, 1 March 2013

Behind the Frame: Forest King

How often do you get to see and photograph a lion in a forest? Most people who’ve been on safari in Africa see them either on grassy plains (think Masai Mara), in arid semi-desert (think Kalahari) or in thick bushveld (think Kruger Park). This photo was taken in Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe. What you may not perceive from this photo is how it was made.

The full images is over 9000 pixels wide. To read the whole story about how I made this photo, and to see a higher resolution version, head on over to the Wild Eye Photo Chat Blog and read my post.

Until next time!

Morkel Erasmus