20 Tanzania pics from Bill & Carolyn

Old Mar 14th, 2008, 07:42 PM
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Such outstanding images!! I love all that you have posted. Favorites? Badger/cheetah, dead wildebeest (spectacular image), mom with 6 cubs - okay. There are too many great ones to choose favorites.

Thanks for sharing these, Bill. It looks like you and Carolyn had a fantastic trip!

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Old Mar 14th, 2008, 08:27 PM
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I have to admit I haven't read a single word you've written yet. I skipped right to the photos. Just magnificent! Loved all of them, especially the cheetah photos, in particulary those of the moms with the cubs. Also loved the secretary bird with the puff adder. And the honey badger-cheetah standoff. What great photos, as usual of course. Looks like you had a great time! Welcome home.
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Old Mar 15th, 2008, 05:24 AM
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<b><i> Do you consider Feb/Mar the best time of the year for the northern circuit?</i></b>


I think mid-January thru mid-March is ideal for the south-Serengeti area we were concentrating on (other areas like Tarangire are better early summer).

We have now been on four trips to Tz, two in late January, one in early April during the rainy season, and this recent trip in late Feb - early March. I guess Feb is probably the ideal month in that area for a) best chance at migration and birthing of wildebeest babies and b) timing between short rains (nominally Nov - Dec) and long, heavy rains (nominally April - May).

Sometime in March the heavy rains will start (usually late March but maybe a bit earlier) and you lose light for photos, plus it can be hard to get around off the main roads.

Too early in January and the big herds of wildebeests and zebras aren't there yet. And in January you likely won't see many baby wildebeests, which are easy-to-get food for lions, hyenas and cheetahs.

So for me the best 8 weeks are probably mid-January to mid-March, with Feb being in the center of this sweet spot to see the new-born wildebeests.

That said, the timing of the rains is what has had the biggest effect on our trips, with January 2006 being extremely dry, April 2006 being extremely wet, January 2007 being absolutely perfect after very heavy rains in December followed by 10 dry days before we arrived, and Feb-March 2008 being somewhat dry and dusty with some parts of the plains bone dry and others relatively green and productive (we drove for an hour out of Serengeti without seeing a single antelope in a dry area, as an example of how bad it was in spots).

So anyway, we liked the smaller crowds in late January but liked seeing so many wildebeest babies in February ... both times were fine for us. I wouldn't go too late in March, I'd just wait and go in early April and get the 'rainy season' discounts because it's likely to be rainy in late March too.

<b><i>... would like to know what safari company you chose. You obviously had a guide who understands the requirements for photographers.</i></b>

We used Roy Safaris in Arusha for the four trips to Tanzania. They are a mid-sized company dealing mostly with individuals instead of larger tours and the guides we've used were all well-trained. Our first trip was with a photo-group arranged by two pro photographers so the guides were used to the requirements for long-lens wildlife photography.

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Old Mar 15th, 2008, 05:31 AM
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<b>have you used flash on some bird closeups?</b>

aby, we took the flash gear but never took it out, so none of these bird pics were fill-flashed.

Actually the shot of the cordon-bleu SHOULD have been fill-flashed at - 1.67 stops because the bird was in the shadow, but Carol just over-exposed a bit for the bird and then in Photoshop we ran a touch of 'shadow/highlight' on it and it looks OK without flash.

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Old Mar 15th, 2008, 06:27 AM
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I am so jealous of your pictures. I wish I could just take one picture that is as nice.
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Old Mar 16th, 2008, 01:13 AM
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Thanks Bill, valuable information.
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