Archive for November 2011

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Waking at 4 a.m. and getting out before sunrise has its benefits in Kruger National Park, South Africa.  I am the first car along this stretch of road (obviously), very lucky to come upon a large pride just waking with the rising sun.  All females and young, they did their morning business (not the puddles) and sleepily wandered off into the bush.  The largest lioness is also the last to bother getting up.  When I thought the show was over, along comes a thin & starving looking male, who nonetheless manages to look very handsome in the rising sunlight.

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Posted November 30, 2011 by MJF Images in Uncategorized

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Life in Africa: A visit to Kruger National Park and all I can say is Wow!  Got the last two of my “Big Five”.  That is, I saw and photographed white rhino and leopard, to go along with the elephant, buffalo and lion that I’d seen previously.  Kruger is a beautiful place, with a large diversity of habitats, nearly all superb for Africa’s wildlife. I really despaired of seeing a leopard, coming close so many times (literally, one was feet from my tent one night – but I dared not look).  As the light failed one evening recently, up pops a beautiful creature, who proceeded to walk right toward my vehicle.  That graceful tail was waving around as it disappeared into the bush.  The next morning, in the same area, this lioness suddenly emerged from brush only a few yards from the open car window.  She ignored me, and I watched for a long time as she stalked some impala (with babies) down below us in the trees.

Posted November 30, 2011 by MJF Images in Uncategorized

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Driving down through the Mbabe Depression, a vast near-treeless plain in N. Botswana, a storm built up and moved westward rapidly to engulf me and a few nervous animals, including this lone wildebeast.  Sand and dust led the way, reducing visibility to nil, and rain followed, complete with thunder and spectacular lightning. After these and a few other shots, I got out of there, since the “road” I was driving on becomes impassable quickly when it gets wet.  It was slightly intimidating.  But this was tempered by a feeling of relief.  I am surprised how much the first rains of the season can affect even me, a visitor.  The weather has been so hot, so dry, that these first storms, however brief they are, are as welcome as any rain I’ve experienced.  

Posted November 17, 2011 by MJF Images in Uncategorized

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I passed through Deception Valley in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana, and came upon a lion and two lionesses.  The King was resting under an acacia by himself, and I was able to get fairly close with my vehicle (I hired one in Botswana). After a while, he laid down, and soon one of the lionesses came over and nudged him, not too urgently, with no success at getting him up.  So she just ended up lying down next to him.  Reminded me of times when I didn’t want to get up.  

Posted November 13, 2011 by MJF Images in Uncategorized

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Came across a small herd of 6 giraffe under some acacias this morning in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (Botswana), and they were unwilling to abandon the shade in 100+ degree heat.  So I sat there and grabbed close shots of them using a mere 70-200mm lens.  This is the closest I’ve been to them so far, and I am now certain they are my favorite African animal.

Posted November 12, 2011 by MJF Images in Uncategorized

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In Botswana, two close friends from the Kalahari (Ba Kalahadi), share a nice moment along the banks of the Thamalakane River, the breeze blowing and the day cooling off.  I really love the close sisterhood that I have observed amongst African women.

Posted November 10, 2011 by MJF Images in Uncategorized

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More scenery from the Okavango River, Botswana.  I think this is the most beautiful flat place I’ve ever seen.  Ha ha.  The towering termite mounds the height of medium-sized trees are simply amazing.  They have to be that tall since the entire place is deeply flooded during the initial onrush of water from the Angola highlands. The bottom photo is near the southern edge of the delta, near the town of Maun.  I am camped near this spot, and the frogs at night are LOUD.

Posted November 8, 2011 by MJF Images in Uncategorized

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Traveled into Botswana the other day, and while visiting Chobe National Park (too briefly), I caught these two in a tender moment on the banks of the river, meeting under a tree.  Not so precious are the large Nile crocodiles in abundance along this stretch of the Chobe (near its mouth where it flows into the Zambezi).

Posted November 7, 2011 by MJF Images in Uncategorized

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