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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Elephant Encounter

Slowly making progress on our recent vacation, we're done with Cape Town & onto the safari part of our trip! We were at a private game reserve, which is adjacent to Kruger National Park in South Africa. Our reserve was fenced off on 3 sides & open to the NP, so animals could roam freely in and out. Also, we were allowed to go off-road to watch the Big 5 in our reserve & there were a limited number of people & game vehicles in our area. We were treated to many, many beautiful sunrises and sunsets as we were always out on morning/evening game drives.

On our first morning, we quickly found a momma and a baby elephant. It took me a while to get accustomed to the challenges of photographing on safari- low light, bumpy vehicle, long tele-photo lens without VR & focusing through the brush.

It was so amazing to watch animals in their real habitat- not a zoo or even a Disney life-like display.

It was really chilly without the sun, but we were provided with hot water bottles & blankets to keep us warm in the mornings as we cruised around in search of animals.

I really learned a lot about nature & animals, but was really surprised to see how destructive elephant can be. You could easily see where elephants had been tromping around, taking out trees, killing the grass and generally doing quite a bit of damage to the environment.

This was the most common shot for all animals- the butt-walking-away-from-you-shot!

Once the sun came up, we were in the perfect spot to catch some beautiful light & watch this big guy do his morning thing...

....which of course was, eat! I can't remember exactly, but they eat hundreds of pounds of vegetation a day!

Yup, it's a 5-legged boy!

GOOD NEWS OF THE DAY: Loving this long, relaxing weekend! Hot dogs & pool time today.

1 comment:

Dennis the Vizsla said...

Hmmm, tromping around, taking out trees, killing the grass and generally doing quite a bit of damage to the environment ... wow, elephants and people have a lot in common.

Great shots, as usual!