“Drones” – love them or hate them, they are here to stay and are allowing people to get stills and video that formerly was possible only with chartering a helicopter at $$$$s of dollars. Even then you cannot fly a helicopter in places you can fly a small quadcopter. They come in all shapes and size, from huge rigs that can carry large professional quality video and stills cameras through to ones that can fit in your pocket. The technology is changing so so fast. A friend of our has lent us a quadcopter – a DJI Phantom Vision 2+.
This is not our loaner drone! This is a $3500 dollar one… better not crash in the river then.
Now in the drone world this is 3 year old technology, so therefore getting long in the tooth! DJI are a chinese company that are dominating the market with mid and high end units. The small ‘copter has a built in camera roughly similar to a gopro type action camera, but it is able to take still photographs in .RAW format to allow more latitude for processing. The camera sensor is pretty similar to what you find in your smart phone. So small. That means low light stuff is going to yield poor results. But in decent light it is capable of capturing some amazing views. The .RAW images I found need fairly heavy handed processing to make them pop, so a lot of saturated and dramatic (almost HDR) tones are on the agenda here. Anyway we have a whole bunch of shots and video planned and fingers crossed I don’t crash it as I did last year!
So here are some views of the area where our lodge is located. We hope you like this different view of this stunning part of Africa!
This is just south of the lodge, our ‘Chief’s campsite’ enjoys this location. The ablution building is just visible in the bottom left hand corner of the image.
The rapids just below the lodge – the site of many dinners under the stars as well as canoeing set pieces!
Looking from the rapids North. The lodge is on the right hand river bank in the center of the frame, but it is so well hidden in the trees that it is basically invisible.
Here the quadcopter is basically hovering over the lodge and looking west. The myriad of channels and islands around the lodge can really be seen from up here (up here is 150m above ground level).
Again looking North from the lodge area. The massive island of Mantobo can be seen and the length of river visisble is basically the route that guests arrive in by boat – the car park in the National Park is beyond the two smaller islands clearly visible in the main channel.
looking East from ‘Chief’s campsite`. As far as the eye can see stretches Namwala GMA and nothing but bush!
Straight-down shot above the rapids. The dinner location is just visible in the open area between the trees at the very bottom of the frame.
A beautiful misty morning with the mists just starting to break up as the sun rises. The camera point of view is right above the main area of the lodge looking south towards the rapids.
Looking south west over the top of Mpamba rock – site of literally thousands of scenic and spectacular sunset sundowners.
The dambo next to Mpamba rock. Straight down point of view.
Straight down point of view of the lodge lurking in the morning mists.