Month: September 2015

Selous 2015

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Siwandu Camp

This is a luxurious camp with gourmet food and a personal chef. Its ideas for small groups, honeymooners, and special occasions

Upon arrival you are greeted by an enthusiastic and professional staff

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Accommodations are excellent

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You eat overlooking a lake

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At the end of a morning game drive or walking tour they surprise you with breakfast in the bush

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The walking tours are great with expert guides who show you all the little details you don’t see when driving in a safari vehicle

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You can eat on a pontoon boat with a personal chef

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This huge Baobob tree is over 2,000 years old. Poachers would hide in a hollowed out section of Baobob tree to elude the park rangers. The locals thought they were witches because they seemed to disappear out of thin air. The park rangers were not fooled and eventually caught them

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The guides preparing our boat for a 4 hour lake excursion

Bantu

Hippopotamus

These highly territorial and powerful animals are the cause of many human deaths in Africa. They feed on land at night, getting between them and their escape route back to the water is not advised. On the water you take a risk in a canoe as you float past their individual territories. They can bite a canoe in half.

We were in a reasonably large boat with an outboard engine and a guide that knows the lay of the land, so we were able to get close to them and get some good shots before we had to make a quick getaway. I wanted to stay until they got closer but the guide was having none of that.

The cows with calves always kept a wary eye on us. They were not the ones we had to worry about.

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The bull of each group would come out to challenge us as we motored past them

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They would jockey for position, submerge, and then appear somewhere near us

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If we did not leave the area they would approach us partially submerged

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A threat display would come next

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If that did not deter us they would charge us ready to bite the boat

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Crocodiles

This is crocodile country as evidenced by the skull at the reception area

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When you get out of the boat and walk around you see skulls in the sand

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These crocodiles did not seem particularly aggressive, although we never got close enough to find out.

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African Fish Eagles

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Wild dogs of Tanzania

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Wild dogs are endangered with extinction in Tanzania (they number 2,000 in the whole country. They are usually found on the move, and as such can be difficult to photograph. We were lucky to catch them while they were resting. The next goal is to catch them while hunting.

As was to be expected, we first came across them while their pack was on the move

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When they stopped running they did some bonding

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Lucky for us they settled down for a rest

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After an hour they were on the move again, this time to a waterhole for a drink

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That’s the last we saw of them

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Tanzania 2015

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My 8th time to Africa.  In addition to another great trip to the Serengeti we visited the Selous in Tanzania. You can see details of my 7 prior Africa trips in the Wildlife Photography section of the LBAH web site.

In the first half of the trip we went back to Lake Ndutu in the Serengeti. After the Serengeti we went to the Selous

Our next Africa trip is in 2017, this time to Botswana or Zambia. On that same trip we are thinking of going to Cape Town and cage diving with the Great Whites. You are welcome to join us, let us know in advance so we can accommodate you and your group.

Our group was one of the best  yet. Click on the picture below and see them in action in the Serengeti and the Selous.

Upon arrival

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At the Serengeti entrance

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Serengeti Wildlife

We saw the usual cast of characters in the Serengeti along with with plenty of predators. A few of our hundreds of good photos are on this page.

Wild Dogs

It took me 8 trips to Africa to observe Wild Dogs. What made it even more unusual is the fact we saw them twice on this trip, once in the Serengeti, and once in the Selous.

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Cubs at Play

There are two separate lion pages. The first one is lions at play, especially with the cubs. The second page is a large male lion interacting with a clan of hyena

Click on the cubs below and watch  some of their behavior

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Lion-Hyena Standoff

Click on the lion picture below for a standoff
 between a large male lion and a clan of hyena

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Cheetah

They are daytime hunters, so you get plenty of opportunity to watch them in action. They can be difficult to photograph, and seem to enjoy waiting until the light is bad for photography to do their hunting.

Click on the picture below to see them hunting

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Selous Wildlife

The Selous is a vast wildlife area in Southeastern Tanzania. To get there from our camp site at Lake Ndutu we had to fly back to Arusha, through Zanzibar, then Dar Es Salam, and finally onto the airstrip at Siwandu Camp. The vehicles used here are different than in the Serengeti, but the guides are still awesome.

This is our guide Niven, ready to take us from the bush airstrip to our camp

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The Siwandu camp is quite luxurious

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There are many waterways and our guides knew them like the back of their hands

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Click on the hippo below to see our photos from the Selous

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Tanzania 2015 Guests and Guides

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We made it! After 2 years of planning and lots of airplane flights we are finally on safari.

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Well, almost there. We still had another 45 minute small plane flight to get us to Lake Ndutu, our final destination for the first leg of our trip.

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Speaking of small planes, do you have any idea of why the pilot puts thorn bushes around this tires?

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The vastness of the Serengeti is apparent from this view at the visitors center

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Upon arrival at our camp in Lake Ndutu in the Serengeti we were given an orientation by Peter. He has a lovely accent along with a great sense of humor and smile.

In this first short video he is telling my guests the shower is voice controlled at the Serengeti Explorer Camp. This means ask for it and the assistants will bring hot water.

In this next short video he tells my guests not to panic (breathe slowly) if they see wildlife around the tent. There is an armed ranger at night, and there is no record of any animal attacking a guest in the Serengeti.

Our park ranger on duty at night. That is an AK-47 he is holding.

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In my prior Africa pages in the Wildlife Photography link I explain in detail where our camp is and why we go there. In this page we are going to enjoy my guests as they enjoy the area and grab some great shots of their own.

Practicing our photography prior to the trip made a difference

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CP and Olivia in the shade of a tree overlooking the plains of the Serengeti

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We had some nice walking tours around lake Ndutu

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Another great set of guides that made the trip a success

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CP and Firoz scouting ahead

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Our driver/guides know how to get us in the middle of the action

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As good as they were sometimes we ended up pointed in the wrong direction

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Mark showing some good form with the 500mm lens

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Ross (Mr Indiana) doing what he does best. This trip was a birthday present from his wife.

He gave a nice toast at the end of the trip.

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Tiffany keeping a watchful eye on Ross

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Lorna, Andrea, and Nikki hanging with a baby leopard

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Mark and Janelle lovey-dovey as usual

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Amy with her cool hat

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Lori hamming it up while Amy is working

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