Friday, September 18, 2009

South Africa/Botswana Tour Report back - Part 2

Part two of our 2 week photo tour through South Africa and Botswana lead by professional photographer Villiers Steyn.

Olifants Camp

The weather tested our character at Olifants with a very humid 37 degrees Celcius on the first afternoon, followed with three windy, overcast days. Despite this we still had some incredible sightings in the park, including a mother spotted hyaena and two pups playing in the open right next to the vehicle, a day-old elephant calf stumbling across the road in front of us, a massive troop of baboons playing and drinking next to the vehicle, and two white rhino bulls resting at the side of the road. The Balule low-water bridge was especially productive for birding, producing photographs of wood sandpiper, wire-tailed swallow, brown-hooded kingfisher, grey go-away-bird, little bee-eater and African spoonbill, amongst others.

In camp birding was just as good, with opportunities to photograph scarlet-chested sunbird, grey-headed bush-shrike, red-winged starling, red-headed weaver, yellow-billed kite, black-backed puffback and chinspot battis, to name but a few. The resident tree squirrels were also playing model for the cameras!

Elephant Plains

The Sabi Sands never disappoints and produced excellent photographic opportunities for buffalo (and red-billed oxpeckers), elephant and leopard. The highlight, however, was the action around a hippo carcass next to a dam – it first attracted two spotted hyaenas before a horde of white-backed vultures descended on the carcass later in the day, providing excellent photographic opportunities in great light! Another memorable sighting was that of two nyala bulls doing a lateral display during which the white hair on the ridge of the back is lifted to make the animal appear larger. During the display the animals do a slow-motion ballet, walking in circles around each other.

Read the first part of the photo tour here.


south africa safari said...

Amazing shots as always guys, especially love the one of the leopard drinking :)

bathmate said...

very good posting
Amazing shots as always guys