Thursday, June 28, 2018

Namibia Photo Tour: The animals from our first couple days of safari!

The first week of our photo tour was more about landscapes and the amazing sand dunes here in Namibia, But the second week is all about the animals as we spend each day on safari here in Etosha. In this blog post, I am going to share some of my favorite images with you all.

On our first day out, we came across this Bat-eared fox. We were taking photos of the fox in the grass when it moved to it's right, directly into a small patch of morning light.

People always ask me how close we get to the animals. I think this photo shows that perfectly. We have two vehicles on this particular safari so that everyone has enough room for their gear and to move to either side to photograph.  This elephant went right across the road, behind us and in front of the second vehicle.

We drove up on a small group of Common Southern African giraffe. They were so close to the side of the road, that we were able to zoom in and get some nice tight shots of them eating the Acacia trees.

On our first day of safari, we only saw a couple of elephants, but that was not the case on our second day. We went to one of the water holes and saw 25 elephants drinking and cooling off. Well...not really cooling off too much since the weather here is cool this time of year. The morning temperatures have been in the 50s with the afternoons peaking in the 80s.

I watched as this mom pushed her baby along the water's edge.

The female elephants are very protective of the babies, but also very loving.

I saw this Oryx hanging out with a large pack of Zebra and isolated it with my camera. I can imagine this photo as a poster with a quote saying something like "Ever feel like you don't fit in?"

I love the interaction between the adults and the youngsters.

This morning we spotted this Black-backed jackal who was resting near the side of the road. Just like the fox in the first photo, he had great light on his face.

We also watched as another pair of jackal were playing.

I saw this jackal an hour later and loved how we was perfectly framed in the tall grass.

The Spingbok are very common here in Namibia. We have even been eating this meat for dinner (although those are farmed raised and not from the wild). It was fun to see them jousting.

Just before lunch time we found some Ostriches.

The males have a red beak while the females have no color.

We were heading back to the lodge for lunch and an afternoon break, but had to stop for these giraffe who were crossing the road. It reminds me of the Abbey Road album cover. I just need to Photoshop in a fourth giraffe or Paul McCartney.

After they crossed the road, I did get a nice shot of them intermingling with the zebra.

After an afternoon break, we went out for a short evening safari. We were really out looking for lions, since we have a couple of guests who have never done a safari and wanted to see them (of course). We drove around for a couple of hours and did not see too many different animals, and no lions. Then we heard that there were some lions about 20 minutes away. We made the drive there only to find a couple of females which were pretty far away and laying down sleeping.

Our drivers and guide all said that we needed to head back to the lodge, and could not stay to see if they would get up. The sun was setting and we needed to exit the area. We started our drive out, and I was looking at the awesome golden light and thinking "we need to photograph something in this light!"

We were almost out of the park with our awesome guide, Uanee, put out his hand and had the driver stop immediately. I asked him what he saw and he said that there was a male lion coming right towards us! These guys are amazing. There is no way that any of us would have seen this lion so far off in the distance. But he saw the reactions of the springbok in the area and knew that a predator was nearby.

I lifted my Canon 1D X MK II camera with the Canon 100-400mm lens, zoomed all the way to 400mm, and saw this big guy coming right at us.

Everyone in our group was shooting and going nuts. It was the perfect animal facing right into the perfect light. We were so lucky!

Here is a tighter crop of the same lion (and now the background image on my iPhone).

This magnificent lion walked within 15 feet of our vehicle before crossing the road and heading off into the distance. Even on the opposite side of the road, the light was still amazing on this king.

The remaining 20 minute drive back to our lodge was filled with excitement and anticipation. We could not wait to get back to download our images and see what we had just captured. I know that I now have some new favorites to add to my collection, and they do too!

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Christina said...

Amazing shots of all the animals, especially the lion 🦁 but why did the camels cross the road? 😂

Unknown said...

Love these photos Jeff, looks like your having an awesome time and getting some great shots.

DreamNT said...

Keep updating the blog, looking forward for more content...Great job, keep it up.


Elizabeth Conley said...

All Amazing photos! Love them all...thanks for sharing Jeff.