For the 5 of you that visit LufthansaFlyer.com regularly, apologies for the recent absence as I have been uber-busy with the real world career as well as covering a few motorsport events in my ‘neighborhood’.
However, that will change next week as I pack up the cameras and lenses and head for my first invasion of France to attend the 24 Hours of Le Mans. As a ‘car guy’ it is one of those ‘must do’ bucket list items so off I go.
Never having been there, I’ve spent an unusually large amount of time on the due diligence so that I’m in the best positions at the best times. I’ve gone as far as memorizing sunrise and sunset times and have a small note pad full of notes from other photographers who have shot there. I look forward to the 2 or 3 sleepless days from Friday through Sunday afternoon. I’m hoping for a little bit of rain during the overnight hours to catch some striking images.
After the race, I head to Bayeux which will act as my staging area for visiting the War Memorials and historic points of interest around the various beaches used by American, Canadian, and British forces during their landings at Normandy. For me, the visit to Normandy will most likely wind up being the most meaningful part of the trip.
As far as my travels are concerned, I’ll be experiencing SAS Business Class for the first time on my outbound flights and will once again enjoy the great Business Class product that LOT Polish Airlines offers for my flights home.
So if you’re a car guy or gal, or a student of WW2, stay tuned during the next 2 weeks as I’ll have a lot of things to share.
The USA announced earlier today that it would resume issuing visas for Turkish citizens seeking to enter the USA. Turkey has reciprocated by removing the ban on travel to Turkey by US Citizens.
The lifting of the bans are effective as of today.
The bans were first put in place on October 9 as part of the American protest over the arrest of a Turkish citizen who worked for the US Embassy in Ankara. The Turks claim the employee has links to Fethullah Gulen, an individual that Turkey believes is behind terrorist attacks within their borders.
With the removal of the travel ban to Turkey, US can now once again purchase visas to enter turkey in Istanbul at a kiosk located near passport control. The current cost of the visa is $30.
Following up on Part I of Safari 2017, Part II picks up where 1 left off with more photos and also an hour-long video capturing a transfer between 2 Lodges during our trip to South Africa. The video is actually quite good, especially at the 32 minute mark as we entered the Blyde River Canyon with a GoPro suctioned to the belly of the chopper. A big thanks to Jana and her team at Wild Skies Aviation for providing such a fantastic service. If your ever in the Hoedspruit area of South Africa and need/want to take a phenomenal Helicopter tour of the area, do it! You won’t be sorry!
The second batch of photos combines shots taken at 2 of the 3 lodges we visited: Dulini Private Game Reserve (where I will probably want to be interred in one day) in the western sector of the Sabi Sands of South Africa and the wonderful Jaci’s Safari Lodge in the Madikwe Reserve. The reason we chose to visit Jaci’s was the fact that they have a submerged ‘Hide’ for photographers to get to water level at a dam for some amazing photo ops. Jaci’s did not disappoint. In fact we’ve already booked next year’s stay.
As far as gear goes for this trip, I packed my Nikon D800 and D5, along with a Nikon 24-70, Sigma 150-600S, Rokinon 24mm 1.4 (For the star trails), and the ‘toddler’ as my wife calls it, the Nikon 600mm / f4. The D5 did the most of the heavy lifting, but the D800 took lead on anything that needed huge megapixels or situations where the I didn’t want to risk damage to the D5.
Enjoy these for now. More on the way!
Here is the video I referred to earlier. It covers the 1 hour transfer flight between Dulini Private Game Reserve to the Khaya Ndlovu Manor House where we stayed while we visited with the volunteers and staff of the Rhino Revolution. My wife brought a fair amount of medical tools and equipment to them on this trip to help with their efforts to tend to orphaned Rhinos (whose Mothers were poached). Rhino Rev’s mission is to rehabilitate these orphans and then release them into the wild, where they will be monitored closely by private security.
Known as the ‘Dewane’ male Leopard, he is a dominant predator in the Western Sector of the Sabi Sands reserve. Taken at Dulini.
Adolescent male Elephant enjoys a nice swim….Taken at Jaci’s
Elder female accompanies a ‘teenager’ as well as a one year old to the dam….Taken at Jaci’s
A Kudu Bull surprisingly stays around long enough to pose….Taken at Jaci’s.
Male Lion resting at Jaci’s…..
A Tawny Eagle perches on a Marula Tree awaiting a target to come by. Taken at Dulini.
Young Wild Dogs play ‘tug of war’ over an Impala hide. One of the most endangered species on the planet unfortunately. Taken at Jaci’s.
One of my top 5 shots from the trip. A Croc surfaces showing off his successful Tilapia hunt. Taken at Jaci’s.
The timing couldn’t have been more perfect as the Ellies crossed between me and setting sun. Taken at Jaci’s.
Heron and Tilapia do not see eye to eye….Taken at Jaci’s.
Bad day for the Tilapia….
A Village Weaver works hard on his nest in the hopes that he can attract a female to call it her home…Taken at Dulini.
‘Dark Mane’ of the Majingilane coalition of Lions takes a moment after stealing the Impala carcass from a Lion Pride that hunted it. Typical behavior of Male Lions who are part of coalitions. Taken at Dulini.
My most favorite critter…..the Lilac Breasted Roller. Taken at Dulini.
Unfortunately these beautiful birds are highly endangered, but for the moment this Saddle Billed Stork enjoys fishing in a river. Taken at Dulini.