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Thread started 23 Jul 2015 (Thursday) 15:10
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South Africa: 3 weeks and 3 days = 5 lodges and 5 reserves

 
Bignerd
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Jul 26, 2015 18:30 |  #76

Wow!!!! I want to go there with you next time!!!!! I will let you have my first born in exchange!!!


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buddy4344
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Jul 26, 2015 18:49 |  #77

Bignerd wrote in post #17645364 (external link)
Wow!!!! I want to go there with you next time!!!!! I will let you have my first born in exchange!!!

I will be heading back, but no one should actually expect to see a broad daylight lion attack. I'm just lucky.


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buddy4344
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Jul 26, 2015 19:41 |  #78

I hate to leave everyone hanging, but I will not be able to post more until Wednesday afternoon. Note, however, that shots of the buffalo/lion were high iso as it was still very early morning. We haven't even had a chance to stop for morning coffee yet. The lions still haven't eaten, so we decided we would circle back to look for them in the afternoon.

After the buffalo encounter, we had a fairly slow half hour as we worked our way toward the main buffalo herd to photograph that some more. Back with more review of Timbavati as well as Zimanga and Tiger Canyons in a few days. Hang in folks.


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CyberDyneSystems
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Jul 26, 2015 21:02 |  #79

Hanging... :)


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cdiver2
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Jul 27, 2015 07:20 as a reply to  @ CyberDyneSystems's post |  #80

Sent you an E from your web sight ref 2016 trips




  
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Maureen ­ Souza
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Jul 28, 2015 00:56 |  #81

Great thread!!!!


Life is hard...but I just take it one photograph at a time.

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TheFloridaShooter
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Jul 28, 2015 21:18 |  #82

Breath taking thread that has you sitting on the edge of your seat!


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Furlan
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Jul 29, 2015 15:45 |  #83

It's Wednesday afternoon I'm like a little kid at the Saturday Matinee serial to be continued. Put
these photos and your narrative in a book and I'll be first in line to buy one a signed copy of
course. Great stuff keep it coming best thread I've ever viewed.




  
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Preeb
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Jul 29, 2015 18:25 |  #84

Talley wrote in post #17642956 (external link)
I think I'll take you as a guide if I could ever afford a trip like this.

If I may ask... what kind of budget would something like this take? 20k?

To add to what Buddy said, prices can vary widely depending on season. My wife and I did our trip through Overseas Adventure Travel in October and it was about $5000 per person, plus air fare from the US. We booked our own air, but the rest was handled by OAT. They run the same trip for as little as $3800 in January (the heart of the rainy season) to $6400 in September (the end of the dry season). Our trip at the end of October and the first week in November was outstanding for wildlife viewing because they were mostly concentrated near the remaining water holes in Chobe and The Okavango Delta. We saw huge herds of zebra, elephants and giraffe, galore, buffalo were everywhere, hippos in just about every river and water hole.

We got close to lions, leopards, cheetahs. We saw two packs of wild dogs, one up close (like within 10 yards). The one thing that wasn't there was rhino, but we knew going in that such a sighting would be rare and unusual in those areas.

While a longer lens would have been nice, I was happy with what I got using the 70-200 and 1.4II TC on my 60D.


buddy4344 wrote in post #17643380 (external link)
I'll be going a few times each year. I've been lucky that guides and folks that have more experience than me have always shared. If we happen to to together great. I fyou want o do your own thing, great. Let me help anyway I can. I have several friends that love the planning aspect. I don't love it, but traveled in a corporate role for 30 years, so I got pretty good at world travel and now I have quite a bit of southern Africa experience.

Besides the groups I lead, I also still love to go alone. For example, it's hard to take a group to the Kgalagadi or Etosha as these are commonly self-drive destinations. I still go, i just dont' promote those trips. sometimes with friends from South Africa and sometimes with U.S friends. whatever works. Africa gets in one's blood.

Just wondered if you are familiar with OAT and what you think of them from the viewpoint of an experienced Africa traveler. I was quite impressed with their organization and professionalism. We never missed a beat over the 17 days in 3 countries, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe (4 if you count flying in and out of South Africa).


buddy4344 wrote in post #17643415 (external link)
For Timbavati, we flew into Hoedspruit. It's only a 45 minute flight, but the last 15 minutes over the Drakensberg Escarpment is breathtaking. The Kambaku Lodge staff picked us up at HDS and transferred us in time for lunch and the afternoon game drive.

I've been to Timbavati about a dozen times (no joke), and typically have stayed far north in the reserve. After some research, I learned that the white lions are part of the giraffe pride and reside further south most of the time on either the giraffe property, Klasserie land or the Kambaku properties. I also learned that this land has more open, flat areas which are great for rhino and cheetah so I decided to spend several days down that way then take the group further north where I have seen many leopards and elephant in the past. We never saw the Giraffe Pride or any white lions and you should not expect to do so either as there are only 2 or 3 in the wild in the entire world, but we did see some great game viewing.

Of course our first shots were of the obligatory lilac breasted rollers. Every group wants to stop at every great angle shot of this lovely bird. After all of these years, I'm equally guilty of working for good shots. The big challenge is that this bird has a habit of flying away from you regardless of wind direction so a side or front bird in flight is a real victory.

You are right that the roller is rather skittish. Just to share a couple shot with 70-200 with 1.4 tc:

IMAGE: https://rapriebe.smugmug.com/photos/i-tZ2gCmW/0/M/i-tZ2gCmW-M.jpg
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Jul 29, 2015 20:57 |  #85

Folks, I'm back from my distraction, but bone tired tonight. I promise to edit a few more images and post on Thursday morning. Here is how it will begin:

If you noticed in the previous post, it was still very early morning as seen in the high ISO settings we were using. We radioed our second vehicle that it was time for a rusk (sort of like biscotti) and coffee morning break and picked a rendezvous point. As both vehicles approached the meeting point, we noted that we had once again caught up with the huge herd of Cape Buffalo. We were just beginning to debate whether to photo the buffalo or have our coffee when our tracker spotted out lions from the Avoca pride coming up fast from behind. The lions charged, making our decision easy, and the buffalo stampeded away from us.

The guides drove like rockets to follow the running herd, making photography impossible for a moment. My eye followed one of the big female lions, which grabbed the rear leg of a large female buffalo, but my eyes followed the wrong action as, to my left, several other lions jumped a young calf.

MORE TO FOLLOW ON THURSDAY MORNING!

Yes, we are talking a SECOND lion attack in broad daylight on a single morning. Epic stuff.


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Jul 30, 2015 12:39 |  #86

As I noted on the prior post, we saw an attack evolving and our guide and tracker desperately drove our vehicle off-road to try and get us into position. The second vehicle with the rest of my group was flanking our efforts. Between that vehicle and mine, we saw a lot very quickly. First, I saw two adult females stalking from behind a downed tree trunk, then, a fraction of a second later, I saw the third adult lioness break from a stalk to a trot to a run.


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Buddy4344

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Jul 30, 2015 12:45 |  #87

The buffalo were still ahead of us so the guide drive very aggressively to try and get us into position. In the first image, you can see the stampeding buffalo with the pursuing lions in the lower left of frame. The oof person to the left is our tracker who is turning to give some directional help to the guide due to all of the branches and rocks off road.

As seen in the second image, both my guide and I saw a lioness jump onto the haunches of a female buffalo. This image is not really in focus, (but is picture perfect in my mind) as the vehicle was moving rapidly as I clicked away trying to catch this action. It appears the camera focused on the foreground brush, which is too bad as this would have been an amazing catch considering the bouncing of the vehicle.


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Buddy4344

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Post edited over 4 years ago by buddy4344. (2 edits in all)
     
Jul 30, 2015 12:51 |  #88

Yes, there was a take down, but it was not the cow I was focused on. It was a calf that was to my right and near our second vehicle. One can barely see the young animal in the midst of the lions. Both vehicles pulled up beside the take down.

In this second image, you can see the position of my group at the lions and the calf or at least one leg of the calf... and yes, the guide (Dif) in our second vehicle has his door removed from the vehicle. BTW, Dif (short for Difference) is a heck of a guide also).


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Buddy4344

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Jul 30, 2015 12:57 |  #89

My buddy, Joe McBroom was in vehicle number 2 and he's allowed me to share a few images from his side of the scene. Here is the first of Joe's images.

WARNING: THESE ARE A BIT GRAPHIC.

One can see the head of the calf as one of the lions actually licks it's head! I'm in the vehicle in the background.


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Buddy4344

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Jul 30, 2015 13:21 |  #90

Most of you are thinking the 'show is over', but with buffalo, the show goes on for some time. As you can see, we are quite close. The buffalo have started to regroup since the stampede and are preparing to rally around the mother cow with numerous bulls to try and save the calf. As the buffalo close in, our guide realizes that we have become a barrier between the opposing forces. This is a role we don't want to play in the circle of life, so we begin backing away our vehicle to allow the buffalo and lions to re-engage.

Of course, the lions were also very aware that the buffalo don't give up easily. When we started moving out of the way, you could immediately see the posture of the lions change to one of being ready to fight .... or flee.


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Buddy4344

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South Africa: 3 weeks and 3 days = 5 lodges and 5 reserves
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