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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Wildlife 
Thread started 07 Dec 2016 (Wednesday) 09:55
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Northern Namibia: Etosha and Beyond

 
buddy4344
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Dec 15, 2016 09:03 |  #16

We probably should have stayed longer at this watering hole as I could see kudu and hartebeest in the distance and if we would have stayed later, I think we would have had a wide variety of sightings.


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Dec 15, 2016 09:04 |  #17

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buddy4344
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Dec 15, 2016 09:04 |  #18

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Buddy4344

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buddy4344
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Dec 15, 2016 09:05 |  #19

This was only day 2 in Etosha and we were eager to explore so we left this active waterhole to head east. Along the drive we saw plenty of springbok, some giraffe (though these were in fairly think bush) and a number of birds which those with larger lenses took time to shoot.
A couple of kilometers east of Rietfontein, we saw two cars stopped at the junction of one of the many side (detour) roadways. Wondering what could be happening, we joined the spectators. Much to our amazement, there was a young leopard UNDER the concrete directional sign and resting in the shade. We didn’t want to stress this somewhat surrounded animal, so we took a quick documentation photo and moved on.

A funny side story: A friend of mine was in Etosha in May, 2016. Once home and when I shared the photo of the leopard, I was directed to her web site and …. There she had a photo of a leopard under one of the concrete directional signs. Denise got a much better photo than me, and it can be seen at this link: https://deniseippolito​.smugmug.com …raphy/Namibia/i​-dbrPLJ9/A (external link) I’m pretty sure it’s the same monument and therefore, I think it is the same cat and this is a favorite ‘hang out’ from the sun!


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Buddy4344

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buddy4344
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Dec 15, 2016 09:06 |  #20

As we approached Rietfontein, we noticed a large ‘lump’ in the shade of a tree. Could it be? Yes, a lion. It was a fair distance away and the thermals made use of really large lenses impossible, so I opted to shoot a few ‘sense of place images’. To my good luck, some elephants in the distance were headed for the waterhole and provided me with some background for my shots.


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buddy4344
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Dec 15, 2016 09:07 |  #21

Moving onward, we arrived at Rietfontein just as the elephants were leaving. No problem, they were quickly replaced by giraffe and springbok. I shot a lot of giraffe photos, but also had a fun time shooting a pair of kori bustards and also a pied crow. That completed our morning shoot and we headed back to Halali for lunch and some rest. BTW, the only meal choice was a buffet which was pretty much the same every day at Halali and similar to the main meal choice at Okaukuejo. You will not be staying there for the gourmet food. It was mediocre cafeteria quality at best.


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Dec 15, 2016 09:08 |  #22

Pied Crow


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Dec 15, 2016 09:09 |  #23

Kori Bustard in front of griaffe. For those that are unaware, the male kori bustard is thought to be the heaviest flying bird.

After this waterhole, we were hungry for brunch and headed to the lodge for a break.

More to come.


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buddy4344
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Dec 16, 2016 10:50 |  #24

Afternoon of Day 2
The morning had been quite productive, but we still had not seen what many feel is one of the better viewing holes, Salvadora, with wildlife, so we headed back in that direction. Just as we arrived there was one vehicle leaving. The driver pointed downward, just over the hillside from the car park then drove away. There she was, a lioness getting up. Unfortunately, she was merely getting up to re-position herself and really didn't give us any memorable shots. We did not locate any others of her pride, so we sat with her for a while; however, clearly, she was waiting for the heat to die down as sunset before she had any action plans.


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buddy4344
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Dec 16, 2016 10:52 |  #25

We moved onward to the nearby tree which had been a background tree in many of our zebra shots. It had a lovely shape, so we felt it deserved its own landscape treatment.

In the nearby field were also wildebeest. My car mate had never photographed wildebeest and the light was pretty good, so that was the next subject. Personally, I’ve never taken an interesting photo of a wildebeest. I’m sure if they were running or jumping into the Mara River, they are quite a site, but grazing, they just look like black blobs. To make shooting even more challenging, their eye is dark against a dark hide, so the face really is lost in the images. Anyway, here was my attempt.

Boring shots like this is why I really don't get excited about going to see the wildebeest migration for the wildebeest. Yes, I know there are thousands and a crossing is amazing, but my trips to the east would be more for the predators which follow the migration ... but I digress.


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Dec 16, 2016 10:54 |  #26

Moving onward, we came across one of many jackals you will see at Etosha. This one seemed a little bolder and the scruffy hair made it worth the moment to take a few shots.

The sun was beginning to get low so we headed back toward the lodge. Along the way, we spotted a lot of springbok where we didn't stop. This is a shame. I came home with so few springbok shots mainly because they were so common and frequent. I’ve noted the same bland attitude regarding shooting impala or maybe warthogs when in parks near the Kruger.

• Photo tip #1: Take the time to get great, respectful shots of these animals also! When you get back home, and your looking out your back window as some small brown bird, you will wish you had a herd of springbok to photo. You are in a special place. Use it!
• Photo trip # 2: Upon editing, those springbok and impala photos are favorites of many who see my wildlife shots. I think it is because the average person living in America or Europe can relate since they do see deer in their homelands.

We did stop to photograph some giraffe. I don’t think we stopped for these shots because they are special giraffe, but because we were amazed that such a large animal can exist on such barren vegetation. These plants barely had leaves!


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Dec 16, 2016 10:54 |  #27

We also stopped once more to photo a few of the Zebra grazing.


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Dec 16, 2016 10:56 |  #28

Back at the Halali Lodge, we grabbed our gear and once more headed to the Moringa waterhole. I didn’t shoot as much this night as I had learned from the prior night that really high ISO was needed to freeze the action and the light color was horrible. I did shoot some, but let me tell you the stories!

Envision the water hole right in front of you. Beyond the waterhole at 2 o’clock position and on the edge of the bush is the carcass of a dead giraffe. I suspect this was placed in position by park rangers. One can see numerous lions around the giraffe. The lions are pretty full, so they come and go to the water to drink.

First out from the 4 o’clock position is a black rhino and calf of less than 2 years old. They give the lions a look, which backs off the lions just a little, and begin to drink. In comes 2 much larger black rhino from about 5 o’clock. They go straight to the waterhole and begin to drink. This doesn’t seem to satisfy Momma Rhino number 1, so she comes over to the two and challenges them with a guttural bellow that shocked all viewers. There is a face to face stare down. The two big rhinos yield, so Momma starts to chase them. As she leaves her baby, the lions approach the baby with curiosity. Momma turns and give chase to the lions as the other rhino wanders off in the 8 o’;clock direction. While Momma is handling the lions, a few hyena emerge from the bush at the 10 o’clock position and head to the water. The lions, seeing they were having no luck with the baby rhino, break into an all out sprint to chase the hyena. Somewhere in the middle of all of this, the baby rhino gets bored, lays down and takes a nap. In the distant bush for the next 30 minutes we can see the glowing eyes of the hyena and hear their ‘laugh’, but status quo has returned to the water hole as the lions are back on the giraffe carcass and just drinking and momma and baby go back to drinking.

But wait, the lions clear out in a panic again! The rhino also look nervous and head into the bush. What’s up? Nothing more than a herd of about 30 thirsty elephants. They crash into the scene from the 12 o’clock position and surround the water hole. They drink, bath, throw mud and, after about 15 minutes, leave in the 7 o’clock direction.

This was all ‘high drama for us’, but reflecting on the sleepy young rhino’s reaction, this is just another day in the bush for the wildlife of Etosha. Man leads such a boring life.

While this would have been great photo chances in good light, I didn’t shoot much that night primarily because on this occasion, I was perfectly happy to watch the stories unfold. Another magical night at Halali.

We head off to bed, eager for the next Etosha sunrise.


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buddy4344
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Post edited over 5 years ago by buddy4344.
     
Dec 16, 2016 11:09 |  #29

As noted above, I didn't shoot many photos as I really enjoyed watching. This photo of Mom and Baby Rhino was taken by good friend Larry Bardawil and is being shared just to complete photo story of the night. THIS IS NOT MY PHOTO.

btw, Larry's Nikon at ISO 6400 looks pretty good for noise.


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buddy4344
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Dec 17, 2016 11:20 |  #30

As noted, we really enjoyed the Goas waterhole on the previous day, so for this morning, we decided to start with a return to that waterhole. About a kilometer before we got to the waterhole, we saw dust flying to our left. We slammed to a quick stop and pulled out the cameras. A couple of zebra were not getting along together very well. There was kicking and biting. Great action to watch and photograph. Several got ‘great shots’. I got a few shots worth keeping, but they were a little far away for my lens.


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Northern Namibia: Etosha and Beyond
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