It’s time to catch up on my backlogged trip reports again. Back in December of 2009, my wife and I took a short break to visit the Kruger National Park. We wanted to avoid the crowds so we opted to head to the far North. With it being rainy season, we knew we were in for lush green bush and migratory birds galore. Let the photographic journey begin. We arrived in Orpen (actually we were staying in the Tamboti Tented Camp nearby) late on the Friday afternoon and were just in time to check in and go to Tamboti. The next morning our trip was officially underway.
It was a rainy, overcast day…so I prepared myself to battle for light that morning. After our first sighting of one of my favourite birds, the Woodland Kingfisher, we came across a birding “lifer” for me – a Steppe Buzzard. He was perched so nicely out in the open and posed wonderfully.
We were driving up to Shingwedzi today, which will be our base for the next 2 nights. The road from Orpen to Satara was rather quiet, but it seemed to be a morning for Oxpeckers to strut their stuff.
It wasn’t long before I ticked off another “lifer” – a Steppe Eagle this time!
By now the weather had gloomed up even more…and this European Roller wasn’t too happy about it…
Shortly before we reached Satara we came across a small dazzle of Zebras. This youngster was quite cute.
He huddled up close to his mother, and I was able to capture some interesting monochrome images using their combined coat patterns as motifs – check these out!
A lone elephant bull was also keen to pose for some portfolio snaps…
We pushed on past Satara and took the popular S100 dirt road, in the hope of finding some big cats…but that was not to be. We did find some young Waterbuck…
A Swainson’s Spurfowl ran by as if he was late for a doctor’s appointment!
Here are some more photos from our drive up north…I will leave the text out for now, just enjoy the pics!
That’s it for this edition…check back in regularly as I update this trip report! Some cool sightings to follow!
Since picking up a DSLR camera for the first time, a little over 3 years ago, Morkel has been invigorated with an unbridled passion for the photographic art form. He has grown at a tremendous pace and put immense energy into the creation of his images. He absolutely loves spending time in the wild places of his native Southern Africa. From a young age he has been visiting legendary wildlife and outdoor locations, including the Kruger Park National Park and the Drakensberg Mountains, with his family. Now that he has found a way to share the natural beauty of his homeland with the rest of the world he is regularly out on photography trips. An Industrial Engineer by profession, and an accomplished artist in genres like music and poetry, Morkel has always enjoyed whatever allows him to express his creativity to the fullest. Photography turned out to be the perfect "marriage" between his engineering brain and artistic soul. "I hope that in some way I can raise awareness through my imagery of the plight of not only our wildlife but also the fragility of the last remaining wilderness areas that they call home.” Morkel was recently honoured for his commitment to his craft by receiving a "Highly Commended" for one of his images in the 2010 BBC Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. He is based in Mpumalanga, South Africa and even though he prefers going on safari with his family and friends, Morkel also leads the odd photographic safari and has recently begun presenting workshops in post-processing techniques.
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