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Monday, November 8, 2010

Chiefs Island, Botswana

I have just returned from an incredible photographic safari in Botswana. We started our journey in Johannesburg and an hour and a half later we touched down at the gateway of the Okavango Delta, Maun. Getting through customs was quick and easy and after a short 20 minute flight we arrived at Chief"s Camp, our base for the next 4 nights.

Known as the predator capital of Africa we were very fortunate to see both Lion and Leopard. Our first afternoon presented us with a mating pair of Lions and for the duration of our stay saw and photographed no less than 3 different prides. A highlight was photographing a pride consisting of 2 females and 4 cubs feeding on the remains of a Blue wildebeest they caught the previous day.

A female Lion starring into the distance.
After 3 days of searching we finally saw a female leopard.I have been very fortunate to see hundreds of leopard sightings in the last 6 years but as always the "spotted and secretive" cat was at the top of my wish list.
Our Guide Ishmael worked really hard and we got rewarded with this female (pictured above. We followed her for almost an hour as she searched for a suitable den for her new born cubs.

Birding was spectacular and we saw and photographed a variety of Delta specials including the Slaty Egret (pictured below). I didn't see any new birds on the safari but I really enjoyed seeing 4 different species of Coucals,including a Black Coucal which I have only see ones before in Northern Kwa-Zulu Natal. We also has spectacular sightings and photographic opportunities of the endangered Wattle Crane.

Pied Kingfisher moments before it dived into the water.

Slaty Egret catching a fish.

The endangered Wattle Crane and a Palm Swift (bottom left hand corner)

My personal highlight and the "jewel in the crown" of my safari was flying with a helicopter over the Delta to get a bird's eye view of this unique wilderness area. We photographed numerous species of mammals and birds from the air and this was truly a photographic experience I can very highly recommend.



We also had the opportunity for both backlit and silhouette images, which I always truly enjoy.

Backlit Spotted Hyena.

Baboon Silhouette

On our final afternoon we changed our photographic targets from land to the water and enjoyed one of the most spectacular experiences in Africa, a "makoro" ride.

Sunset Water Lily

No Okavango Delta safari is complete without getting "bogged" down in the mud, we enjoyed the experience twice.
For any person that loves Africa, you got to experience the Okavango Delta first hand!!! To join me on a photographic safari visit the Oryx website (www.oryxphotography.com) for more details.

5 comments:

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

As always excellent photos but I love that first one. Diane

Benny and Lily said...

So beautiful!
Benny & Lily

Mark Dumbleton said...

Super article bud! What an experience!

Rosanne Carter said...

Marius....brilliant pics yet again !! I just love the Sunset Lily :)

Cheers,
Rosanne

animal said...

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