Wednesday, March 18, 2009

More safari pictures

OK, the pressure is on, Legion of Fans (LOF) for me to finish the final copy edits on Book 6 ("IVORY") so that Trin doesn't have to read too many books written by other Australian authors of African fiction.

As I don't have time to write anything deep/funny/worthy I will leave you with some more pictures and the now customary question at the end.

Saw this big bad boy near Satara on the tar road out to the N'wanetsi Picnic Site in the Kruger National Park. It's interesting that unless you catch them on the hunt (very rare), the most interesting thing a lion can do (for photographic purposes) is to yawn.

We tracked this young female leopard (leopardess?) in Makalali Game Reserve near Kruger for about two hours... but, as I hope you'll agree, it was worth it. (Photo by Mrs Blog. Cracker, isn't it?).

Never smile at a crocodile. This one caught a bushbuck and was motoring past the hide at Lake Panic, near Kruger's Skukuza camp with his kill in front of him when we snapped him

Africa's answer to the Kookaburra... the Giant Kingfisher.

What's your favourtie African animal, LOF-ers? It's highly likely I've got a picture of it somewhere (unless you say aardvark or pangolin).


Timepilot said...

There is nothing more magnificent for me than an elephant. Can sit and watch them for hours.

Nice pic of the leopard TP, and you are so right about the lions. I enjoy seeing them but there can be more joy in watching a squirrel running up and down a tree!

dozycow said...

Hard to choose a favourite as there are so many wonderful creatures & birds there - other than the usual Big 5 some of my other choices would be cheetah, giraffes, meerkats, wildebeest, and wart hogs.

Mrs Blog's photo of the leopard is brilliant.

Basically, any photos (and accompanying tales) would be great !!

Mother Blog said...

Wart hogs, and the hippo under the floor at Lake Panic.

Heidihi said...

Elephants and giraffe's float my boat. They are both so amazing, both very gentle (unless you get in a elephant's way) and absolutely stunning.

We were in pilanesberg national park in SA and got surrounded on three sides by a herd of elephants. We both kept very still and watched as these almighty animals made their way to a water hole. It was amazing.

Les said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Les said...

Great pic of leopard Mrs B.

An elephant ran straight at our vehicle at Mabalingwe then veered off at the last second, needless to say we had to change our underwear.

The warthogs there are so tame you can scratch them behind the ears.

To me a cheetah is awesome when running at top speed.

Trin said...

I'm with Timepilot, although I have not had the luxury of seeing elephants other than at the zoo or on documentaries - this is going to change. I'm sure I would be able to sit and watch for hours too (as long as they didn't decide to charge, Les). A close second for me is the gorilla. Again, only seen at the zoo but this is where I actually stand for hours. The cats are good if they're active, not so good otherwise - although I would still love to see one in the flesh on his/her own turf.

I'm also with Dozy - all photos welcome. A couple of shots of the local humans (non-Caucasian at the the risk of being racist)here and there would be good too.

Tony - do you take your photos on a normal digital camera or is it a top of the range job? I love all the kingfisher shots that I've seen so far.

Trin said...

TP - could you throw a bit more light on the hide at Lake Panic (if I promise not to mention Frank Coates again)? Why is it called that? How big is the hide - photos? description? where? etc etc etc

Stuart Pithey said...

Definitely a Leopard, favourite bird (besides the wife!) is lilac breasted roller.

dozycow said...

Ooops, I forgot to mention bovines amongst my favourites too - I know you've already featured one of them but if you have any more......

Loved the Kingfisher as well, by any chance do you have any pics of the "ugly but interesting" (& also the name of my street) vultures ?

Timepilot : there is a wonderful book called "Silent Footsteps" by Sally Henderson (another Aussie) dedicated totally to Africa's elephants which you may find interesting.

TW said...

Now, ele's have to be top of my list. Watching the youngsters playing around a waterhole is just great.

Now, TP, will possibly object to this one but I get such a kick out of watching baboons. They're hilarious! Although have to agree with TP - don't belong in the camps.

Welcome TimePilot - I see another mite has crossed over :-)

Jennifer said...

Naomi Campbel?
Beautiful but bites and scratches if you get too close.

Timepilot said...

Thanks Dozycow - have read that one and it was excellent.

Try Blood Ivory by Robin Brown - a brilliant history of the hunting / poaching of elephants.

Chairman Kaga Doppelganger said...

If memory serves me well, my favourite African animal would have to be Kudu.....

with a little white sauce and a glass of Chianti

Anonymous said...


Mother Blog said...

You're terrible, Hannibal.

ali g said...

Lake Panic was just amazing. We kept going back ..3 times in fact on our last trip. First time we sat mesmerized for hours. Hippos, crocs, golden weavers & their little upside down nests hanging in the trees over the water, deer and masses of other birds all together like a scene from a Walt Disney cartoon of Bambi [whatever].
And the most amazing bit being the hippo under the floor of the hide, Just 1 foot below you..could almost reach down and touch him [apart from the floor]
The second time we were there, some German tourists were just above him peering down at him when he let off a massive cough in his rompers!
The german tourists jumped up staggering and one of them said...'Zank you for Zat!'
Tell you.. a hippo fart is something to avoid if possible..not a good smell
wafted over to us which cut short our second visit a bit.
Least I didn't get blamed for it that time thank God.

tonypark said...

Thanks all for your excellent comments, and welcome Timepilot (and welcome back, Jennifer Hawkins, you little minx).

Trin, Mrs B and I use Canon digital gear. Our first digital body was a 10D, which at the time (about four years ago) it was near the top of the range with a pricetag to match.

It's still a great camera but our latest digital body, the Canon 400D (even that one is old now) actually has more megapixels than the 10 D and was a fraction of the cost.

Lens wise, for those who are interested, we use a 75-300mm image stabilised (several years old now but still going well - a great, affordable lens); a Canon 100-400 IS lens - brilliant, though reasonably pricey; a Sigma 170-500mm lens (good, but you need a window-bracket to keep it steady as it doesn;t have image-stabiliser); and a Sigma 10-22mm wide-angle lens for arty scenery stuff.

Lake Panic bird hide is near Skukuza Camp in the Kruger Naional Park. I believe it's called Lake Panic because when the enginer who built the dam (which formed the lake) he started to panic when the first big rains come as he thought's he'd made a boo-boo and might end up flooding Skukuza! (or something like that. Perhaps some of my forumite colleauges from the South African national parks web forums might have more info.

dozycow said...

Timepilot: Thank you, I will try & track down a copy of Blood Ivory asap.

TIS said...

A pangolin TP, a PANGOLIN!!!!!!!!!!. I’ve always wanted to see one…… but have never managed it…… woolll, not yet anyway!!!!. The only things left on my ‘to see’ list are the hard ones . Have always loved kudu’s – they’ve got the most beautiful face. Another fav is eles – can sit and watch them for hours (with a nice cold sundowner of course!!!). I used to work at a lodge at Vic Falls in Zim & we used to get a herd of about 50 eles at the waterhole off the end of the patio. Was great. And my fav bird is the lilac-breasted roller…. stunning bird, but with the voice of a crow!!

Oh and lions can sometimes do interesting stuff (other than hunt and yawn!). I spent 3 months working with lion researchers in the Okavango Delta in Bots – so we used to spend our days watching (err, sorry, monitoring!) them. Got some fantastic pics of lions doing some cute (and weird) stuff. Got pics of one stuck up a small tree, surrounded but about 200 cape buffaloes!!!!!. And let me tell you, she was NOT a happy kitty!!!!.

Over the years I’ve also been charged by just about everything in the African bush – eles, rhino, lions, hippos, male mountain gorilla (OK, so this was more for show than anything else), yellow-billed hornbills, warthogs, zebra ……. just to name a few!!!! :). Have also been bitten by a lion (cub), hit in the chest by a flying dung beetle (man those things hurt!!!), and bitten on the big toe by a tree squirrel. Man, I just LOVE the Afican bush!!!!!!!. You never know what you’re going to experience.


ali g said...

A great blog Tis! A true woman of Africa. Just fantastic..

dozycow said...

Wonderful Tis, I admire you wholeheartedly !!

It sounds like you have all the ingredients for a good book there.