Archive for October 2011

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The Kafue River in western Zambia flows a long long way through the huge Kafue National Park (one of the largest in Africa).  Hippos and crocs ply its waters, and this big fella obviously had a bit of a problem with our boat getting too close to his females.  Later that evening, we enjoyed ‘sundowners’ with yet another red dry-season sunset glowing on the river.

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Posted October 31, 2011 by MJF Images in Uncategorized

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I came upon this cape buffalo herd while driving my own 4×4 for the first time in the African bush.  All alone, I wondered about their fierce reputation when this small group (within a much larger herd) paused to glare at the guy with the camera.  Since it was approaching dark by the time I caught up with them, and because of all the dust they were raising, I had to get out of my vehicle & set up the tripod, making me all the more nervous about it.

Posted October 31, 2011 by MJF Images in Uncategorized

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Two of Africa’s common but still very awesome looking creatures: a big Nile crocodile in the Kafue River, Zambia, and a mature male warthog, in woodland not far from the same river.  I stayed in a bushcamp in the northern part of Kafue National Park, western Zambia, in a fairly remote area that required a long 3-hour drive from the main road, all on dirt tracks.  I camped in my little one-man tent, and was visited by lion, leopard, elephant, hippo and hyena, all within 50 feet of my tent (sometimes much closer).  I actually slept by the third night. Exhaustion will do that.

Posted October 30, 2011 by MJF Images in Uncategorized

Lion in the Bush   Leave a comment

Lion in the Bush.  Very near the Kafue River in W. Zambia, walking with an armed ranger, we ran across a dead hippo (killed by another hippo), and just as we were wondering why no predators were around, all the vultures flew off, then we heard a deep roar, the kind that resonates in your bones.  Looking up we saw a male lion, who proceeded to false charge.  The ranger looked a little scared, and retreated a bit, I was too busy doing the same to get a picture, until the lion retreated back into the thicket, and glowered at us, softly growling.  This was my 3rd walking safari, and the first two were uneventful.  Third time’s a charm.  This was what I came to Africa for, I thought, as the adrenaline slowly leaked from my body.

Posted October 30, 2011 by MJF Images in Africa

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I never imagined my first close look at a hyena would be one I wanted to just go up to and pet and scratch behind the ears.  Resting before a night’s hunt, but so sweet just lying there looking like my dog.  A beautiful animal.  The also beautiful zebra is a Burchell’s, which is quite different than the plain’s zebra.  Note there are no shadow stripes, which gives the pattern a very bold look.  On Malawi’s Nyika Plateau, she is less than a month away from dropping her foal.

Posted October 19, 2011 by MJF Images in Uncategorized

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In Africa, one gets the idea that our president would have no problem getting re-elected were the voting to take place here.  Sometimes one needs to step outside of a situation to gain perspective.  Actually, no politics here (as long as Perry doesn’t go anywhere).  

Posted October 17, 2011 by MJF Images in Uncategorized

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A greater bush baby sampling sap of the thorn tree (it’s favorite) in Vwaza Wildlife Reserve, Malawi.  I camped just below these trees, and occupied myself for an hour or more just trying to get a decent shot (with no spotlight eyes).  Amazingly athletic, the pair was busy leaping distances of more than 8 feet from branch to branch, tree to tree.  I caught this one licking some sap by pure luck.  I thought the shot was yet another bust.  Strangely, they never once called, with their characteristic sound of a baby crying.

Posted October 17, 2011 by MJF Images in Uncategorized

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The greater kudu bull, most spectacular of Africa’s antelopes, browses on relatively high vegetation in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park.  This animal can weigh up to 370 kg, and this bull is that big!  His friends are the ever-present oxpeckers.  The first half of a late-day safari ends with “sundowners” as I am treated to my first colorful bush sunset.  What a plethora of animals there is wandering around Zambia’s Luangwa River Valley.  Such diversity of big mammal species I didn’t know existed on this planet in one place.  All I can say is Wow! 

Posted October 9, 2011 by MJF Images in Uncategorized

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This lion cub is my first wild lion, here in the Luangwa Valley, Zambia.  Mom is just out of view to the left.  The little one did not want to sleep, like mom was doing, and like we’ve all done many times, kept yawning and slowly closing his eyes, then catching himself.

Posted October 9, 2011 by MJF Images in Uncategorized

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Giraffe are the first African megafauna species I manage to get close to.  These are Thornicroft’s giraffe, found only in the Luangwa Valley of Zambia.  The one on the right was very curious about me, as I suddenly appeared out of nowhere.  I had woken a few minutes before, and just grabbed my camera and walked out of my chalet at Flatdogs Camp along the Luangwa River.  So beautiful, in a somewhat awkward way.  Examine them up close and they are a funny looking animal, but watch them move and you can’t help but be impressed by their utter gracefulness.

Posted October 9, 2011 by MJF Images in Uncategorized

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