Tanzania – leopards, lions and wild dogs
The last couple of days I’ve been wondering if I should also post wildlife photos on my blog… since I usually only post sneak peaks from my latest portrait sessions. And today, I decided: yes, I should! So…… six months after our wedding and honeymoon in Tanzania, I finally started the lengthy process of viewing and selecting images from our trip. So far I’ve made it through 3 days worth of photos.. and the following images are my faves so far… I hope you enjoy them! :-) Lake Manyara – this was taken on our first day of safaris, we watched this lioness for a long long time.. in 40C full sun… since we were totally oblivious to the time, Heiko and I got pretty badly sunburnt – and just days before our wedding too! Baboons in Ngorongoro Crater – the babies are so cute, I loved watching them play and explore. They have such human expressions at times, it’s quite facinating! These two (above and below) were taken in the Ngorongoro Crater. These two young lions were lazing by the side of the road with full bellies… you can tell they are young by the spots on their legs. I just love the reflection in the one above, and their interaction in the one below . In the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, just a few hundred metres from Olduvai Camp (where we were married), we had the most AMAZING sighting of African Painted Dogs (aka Wild Dogs). There are less than 5000 in the wild, and since they are nomadic, sightings are incrediably rare. We had the pleasure of spending time watching a pack of 24 dogs, play, run, snooze, play some more… it was just incredible. A dream. We could hardly believe what we were seeing. It was magic! Do you see the Painted Dogs above? There are a few resting in the shade of a tree. The landscape in this area was just beautiful. In the Ngorongoro Conservation Area we were allowed to drive off road since we were there during the wet season (the rains quickly cover vehicle tracks, although we are not allowed to double back on a track in order to prevent damage to the vegetation). But driving off road gave us the perfect opportunity to get closer to this pack of Painted Dogs, we would have missed them otherwise. Watching them run and play was just amazing! :) The next day, we were again very lucky with our sightings. Our driver (amazingly) spotted a leopard, far in the distance, but since we were allowed to drive off-road, we were able to get fairly close. He was pretty shy, so we still had to keep our distance. Just look at his sleek coat and bulging belly in the image below – he was certainly well fed. There were herds and herds of migrating wildebeest in this area and our driver commented “the supermarket is open” – certainly, this leopard was doing a lot of supermarket shopping! ;) This next couple of photos, I love: Here’s a short extract from my journal: “We followed him [the leopard] for about 2-3 km. On one occasion he ran out from a tree to attack our vehicle, watching him do this through my large lens, close up, gave me two conflicting thoughts simultaneously 1) Sh*t, he’s going to charge, and 2) Excellent, great photo opportunity” luckily only a mock charge.. and thankfully, got the photos too! ;) This last one was taken just moments after his mock charge! Hope you enjoyed this small selection… I promise there will be more to come! ;)
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