Wednesday, August 20

Picture perfect

So often in the bush it is really difficult to get that "perfect" picture of an animal. So much so that one of my more frequent quips is "one would think that the animal is more interested in eating/sleeping/hiding than posing for us tourists!"

Then one has a sequence of days where every animal appears to be in just the right place for us to try and get that ideal capture. Not only for my clients, but also for me!

Here are just a few examples of animals trying their best to give me that perfect opportunity over the last week in Kruger National Park.......

This must be the best pose/lighting a Kudu bull has ever presented me with...........

The giraffe did their best as well - posing in the sun against cloudy / misty backdrops......

After a short leopard "drought" I had sightings on 3 consecutive days. This gorgeous male walked right up to and past my window - looking straight into my lens - unfortunately my camera and I were not sufficiently up to the challenge :(

 Three cheetah males I found early on Sunday morning gave us 30 minutes of "spotted cat bliss".

They didn't "pose" for us but we had loads of time to try and get the "perfect picture".

A little later that same morning we joined the queue of amazed and appreciative Kruger visitors photographing these two relaxed young lion. They couldn't have found a better place for us to admire them!

African Fish Eagle

Dark Chanting Goshawk
Grey Heron

I don't have the best camera equipment for birds, but these three did their best to give me a good chance to capture them!

And as I often do, I'm going to end up with a Kruger landscape. With the rain we had this last weekend, clouds and mist gave us some great sunrise moments..........

Sunday, August 10

Celebrating the Lion on World Lion Day

Sunday 10th August was World Lion Day 2014, part of a campaign to raise awareness of the vulnerable plight of the magnificent African Lion - Panthera leo.

A "blog buddy" of mine, Geogypsy has done a great posting on World Lion Day 2014 with lot's of interesting facts about the Lion and the purpose of "today".

Rather than duplicate her research and posting I have given you the link to her blog below, it's well worth it! Click here:- Geogypsytraveler on World lion day 2014

So I am going to limit my posting to showing you some of my favourite photos taken over the last 7 years.....

Lions sleep...... a lot!

So it can be challenging to find them doing anything different!

Fortunately they also need to eat, but as they mostly hunt (and eat) at night it is an incredibly lucky occasion that we find them hunting in Kruger - (I've only witnessed a successful lion hunt three times in my life).

And of course they need to reproduce........

A common misconception is that a pride of lions always hang out together, especially the male(s) with the females. Well, in Kruger that is definitely not true, most of the time.

Dominant pride males need to patrol their territory, younger prideless males and females wander across the landscape and pride females need to keep their young safe.

So we frequently encounter solitary, or very small groups of lion, whereas the full pride is, on average, at least 20 strong.

But lion numbers are declining not only in the rest of Africa but also in protected areas like Kruger National Park.

This is why campaigns such as World Lion Day are so important.

Researchers and conservation bodies need more funds to enable them to investigate the causes and reverse the decline.

Do we really want to only see lions in zoos??

Males & females on the move.......

 Cubs hanging out (& looking cute).....