So our review of 2014 continues, now with a bit about wildlife and sightings. We are fortunate in that all our guides have cameras and are interested in taking photographs. Isaac has a Canon 50D with a pretty good 300mm zoom lens. Most of our readers will have seen me posting images from Isaac quite regularly. But taking guests out does not always allow for great photographic possibilities as one might imagine. Suffice to say that all of us enjoy those moments when the concerns of the job (be it guiding or managing or whatever) can be cast aside and we can just concentrate only on trying to capture images.
Kaley also got himself a good camera this year (thanks Kath!) and some of his images have been quite unique – a stunning shot of a leopard and an immature Bush Baby being the ones that really stick in my mind. Kaley’s pictures actually make me smile… they always remind me of people who say things like “of course I can’t get a good picture because I don’t have a big camera”. Taking photos of wildlife takes various and variable combinations of patience (lots), timing, knowledge of behaviour, luck, skill and knowledge of one’s equipment. Sure, if you want to start pictures of things like birds in flight then a ‘travel zoom’ type camera is ultimately not going to get the job done., but Kaley’s results with a second hand camera that fits in a pocket speaks volumes.
Of course a lot of the action and drama that we see doesn’t always get captured as images by electronic sensors. I will never forget the animation of the guests that came back from boating with Major. It was all too quick for photography, but to see a Cheetah chasing a Bush Buck into the Kafue will be a lasting memory for those guests!
Then sometimes it is wonderful just to sit back and watch. Yet another herd of Impalas or a raft of Hippos can be absolutely fascinating if you just focus on them and not rushing on hoping for the next mega-sighting. Kaingu is also quite different in that a lot of our ambience and experience is just as much about the landscapes as it is the occupants. The river views in the early morning mist in June, the views from Poachers Rock when the Miombo is in summer foliage are all absolutely amazing.
So I have raved on enough, now to the images, which I have tried to keep in chronological order as much as possible. Photos from Gil, Julia, Isaac and Kaley (and Anthony Grote).