Spending the last 2 weeks in Africa visiting three unique Safari camps, I finally now have the time to get caught up and start sorting through over 19,000 photos and hours upon hours of video footage including a dramatic Helicopter run through the Blyde River Canyon in South Africa as seen by a GoPro attached to the belly of the chopper.
For starters, here are some of the early favorites from the cameras. This first batch is taken from my absolute favorite place on the planet, the Dulini Private Game Reserve in the western sector of the Sabi Sands of South Africa. It’s tops on my list because virtually every game drive will have you seeing the ‘Big 5’ as well as a wide variety of smaller mammals and more birds than you can keep track of. Never a risk of a bad or dull game drive and the photos will bear that out.
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. I wound up having luggage far more full with Cameras, Lenses, cables, etc., than clothes and as far as I’m concerned, that’s the way it should be.
Enjoy these for now. Many more posts on the way including a closer look at the SWISS First and Business Class experiences during our travels….
It has been a few weeks since returning from a fantastic Safari trip to South Africa and in that time I’ve been trying to get through the 8000 photos that came back with me, hence the delay with any trip reports.
We stayed with the ‘Dulini Lodge’ within the Sabi Sands Game Area and I have nothing but wonderful things to say about our hosts. This intimate Lodge, with only 6 ‘Chalets’ and a limit of 12 guests was brilliant in every aspect of our stay. From wonderful staff (4:1 Staff to Guest Ratio) to fantastic culinary delights along with unbelievable access to the region’s wildlife, we simply had a brilliant time. Another big advantage over other Lodges in the area is the fact that they limit the amount of people in a Safari vehicle to only 6, while other lodges pack in 9 or 12 guests.
I’ll go into far more detail about the Lodge and our hosts in upcoming posts since I’m not quite done with the Lodge photos. In the mean time I’ll share with you what we saw on our game drives and walks. Seeing these beautiful animals in their natural environment was quite a transformative experience and certainly created another perspective for us to appreciate. In fact, we’ve already reserved our dates for a return visit in 2015.
Throughout these reports, you’ll notice my pictures will have 2 unique watermarks. One is my ‘Aeroshots’ version which I use for my plane spotting efforts while the other will be a ‘Dulini’ watermark. The reason for this is that I have given some of my photos to the Lodge so that they can use it for their marketing efforts and I had put their watermark on the photo instead of an ‘AeroShots’ watermark. However, all the photos that you’ll see came through my lenses.
To learn more about the Lodge and the Dulini experience, you can visit them on www.Dulini.com, follow them on twitter, @DuliniLodge, or on Facebook: Dulini Private Game Reserve. You’ll see a lot more of my photos on their Twitter timeline and under the hashtag of #DuliniMoments.
The first set of photos involve a fantastic exchange between a Cheetah and a pack of Wild Dogs. The Cheetah and Dogs are not typically prey for each other however they are both territorial and in this rare sighting the Dogs were driving the Cheetah out of an area where the Dogs had discovered a Wart Hog den. At the end of this first set of photos, you’ll see the Wart Hog get flushed out of his Den by the Dogs. The Hog would survive the challenge.
Guests from another Lodge had a fantastic front row seat to the exchange.
You’ll notice the fence in the background. This was captured at the very boundary of the reserve and the fence is there to protect the cattle that belongs to a nearby village. The Sabi-Sands reserve itself is well over 250 square miles in size.
Cats and Dogs being Cats and Dogs.
The Cheetah and her speed were no match for the challenge from the Dogs.
After chasing the Cheetah out of the area, the Dogs would focus on the Wart Hog that they discovered in a nearby Den. In watching the dogs, you can actually see their strategy of surrounding the Den play out. Fortunately for the Hog he would live to fight another day….I think!
Wart Hog is discovered in an abandoned Termite Hill
I didn’t think Pigs can move this fast! Apologies for the blurred shot….A lot was going on and this caught us by surprise.
Running for his life at this point…..
You wonder what is going through is mind at this moment…..
Coming Next: A Leopard guards his dinner…….