Botswana Safari Photos - July/Aug 2007

Old Aug 26th, 2007, 01:26 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 40
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Botswana Safari Photos - July/Aug 2007

My husband and I were in Botswana for a safari between July 28 and August 6 after spending one night in Victoria Falls. We stayed three nights each at three Wilderness Safaris camps - DumaTau, Chitabe and Kwetsani. It was simply awesome - everything we expected and more. We had never had such a great time on vacation and we are both ready to go back!

I have been spending a lot of time editing my photos, and I think I am finally done. I took two cameras - a Canon 20D with a 70-300mm IS lens and a Canon Rebel with a 300mm f/4L IS lens plus the 1.4 extender. I had thought about getting the 100-400mm L but I already had the 70-300 which I was (and still am) very happy with. I got the 300 for the reach. I handheld the 70-300 most of the time and used either a beanbag or a monopod to steady the 300mm. Nothing works all that well in a game vehicle because there is always someone moving.

Here is the link to my photos: http://www.pbase.com/sharons/botswana

Here is a link to some video clips my husband did: http://stage6.divx.com/user/VideoITGuy

I am not going to do a trip report at this time but there is a lot of comentary with the photos. I'll be glad to answer any questions.

Sharon

slsmith is offline  
Old Aug 26th, 2007, 02:07 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 1,558
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Your photos are fantastic Sharon! I especially love the lion cub shots and also the African wild cat. Now I will have to search for your trip report, looks like an outstanding trip. Thanks &lt
CarlaM is offline  
Old Aug 26th, 2007, 05:19 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 1,558
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Oops, should have read your last sentence. Sharon do you think you will return to the same camps or try something new? These 3 camps on are my list for my 2010 trip.
CarlaM is offline  
Old Aug 27th, 2007, 03:54 AM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 40
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks, Carla! Seeing those baby lion cubs was the highlight of our trip. They were so cute and such fun to watch. Being a cat lover with two domestic cats at home I also enjoyed seeing the wild cat, although the sighting was very brief.

We enjoyed all three camps. If I had to rank them I would say DumaTau first, Chitabe next and Kwetsani third. DumaTau was very lively with an interesting mix of guests and our guide, Ronald, kept us hopping all the time. There was a lot of water in the area at the time which made for some nice photo opportunities. Chitabe is where we saw the lion cubs and also had a great leopard sighting. Kwetsani is in a beautiful area and was very relaxing. It is completely surrounded by water this time of the year so while we did see elephant, lion and leopard and lots of beautiful birds, there was not alot of general game except for the red lechwe and I missed that.

We were very happy with the camps we chose but when we return we will go to diffent camps. I think Savuti is at the top of my list for next time and maybe Duba Plains.
slsmith is offline  
Old Aug 27th, 2007, 04:55 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 579
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Sharon,
We visited the same camps as you with the exception of Duma Tau, but in early June. We visited Savuti as well. Shane and Kim at Kwetsani were wonderful hosts (made us feel as though we were guests in their home)and we had great quality time with two leopards, some of my best leopard images ever. George was our guide and one of the nicest guides I have ever met. Just goes to show how game viewing varies from week to week at the different camps. We met Mr. T. (Duma Tau) although we were staying at Savuti. I really like him and hear he is a fabulous guide and tracker. Still would opt for Savuti over Duma Tau due to size and also my understanding that Duma Tau is a larger camp (prefer small). Loved you images-nice work. Did you use a 1.4X TC on the 300mm lens? If so, it worked beautifully.
Regards-Chuck
safarichuck is offline  
Old Aug 27th, 2007, 05:54 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 267
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Fantastic gallery ,Sharon.

The lion cub on top of her mom and the cub looking back at the camera(the last shot of the cubs)are amazing.

If Kwetsani was not the best for wildlife even with lion,ele and leopard ,then the other 2 where awesome.

I am going to Botswana in November and your pictures just cheers me up.

Thanks.

Paco.
PacoAhedo is offline  
Old Aug 27th, 2007, 06:39 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 705
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sharon, those are super. I left you a comment on PBase. Congratulations, you will enjoy those pictures for years to come.
I have to agree with the other posters, those lion cub shots are my favorite. They are really, really excellent.
Chris
www.pbase.com/cwillis
Chris_GA_Atl is offline  
Old Aug 27th, 2007, 09:58 AM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 40
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the comments on my photos, everyone. I was very happy with how they turned out. Chuck, yes, I did use the 1.4x TC on the 300mm.

Chuck and Paco, it wasn't that we didn't see a lot of wildlife at Kwetsani - just not as much variety. We had a very intense lion interaction there where we followed a small pride down the road at dusk. We came to a bridge over the water and the 8 month old cub was scared to go over it. The rest of the pride came back to see what was wrong. They looked us over and growled a little bit and finally coaxed the cub to cross the bridge. My husband got some terrific video of all this. We did find a leopard at Kwestsani but only had a brief time with him while we had a great leopard experience at Chitabe. I was using a nylog bag to cover my camera when I wasn't using it. Well, I dropped it. We moved the vehicle away from the bag and the leopard started playing with the bag just like a cat would. Our guide, Andreas, was able to retrieve the bag but wouldn't you know - I lost it again and never did find it.

I think one thing that made DumaTau for us was our guide, Ronald. The guides at the other two camps were very competent but both more reserved than Ronald. Also, Thompson was there at the time and he was very entertaining. I've read a lot here in the forum about not liking a larger camp such as DumaTau but we were both fine with it. It made for lots of interesting dinner conversation while I thought Kwetsani was a bit too quiet. It all depends on who is there at the time. And really, I am not complaining about anything - just comparing. It was all wonderful!!

Chris, thanks for the comments you left at my pbase gallery. I will check out your photos as soon as I get a chance.
slsmith is offline  
Old Aug 27th, 2007, 11:09 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 296
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sharon,
Loved your beautiful pictures! Hope to visit Safaris camps one day.
travfirst is offline  
Old Aug 27th, 2007, 12:31 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 1,558
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sharon, I just couldn't resist looking at the rest of your gallery, especially Ellie, Bentley and Fletcher Are they related? Ellie has the most gorgeous eyes. Wish I could get my "Hemi" boy to pose for me like that. Love your portfolio.
CarlaM is offline  
Old Aug 27th, 2007, 03:29 PM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 40
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks again, Carla. Yes, those are my "wild" cats. They are Bengals. Ellie is Fletcher's niece. Bentley and Elsa, who are unfortunately are no longer with us, were related to each other but not to the other two.
slsmith is offline  
Old Aug 27th, 2007, 04:32 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You have outstanding photos. What waterhole was so active to produce such excellent photos? The leopard on the tree limb is great. The lion cubs are so tiny. The brightly lit roller looks unreal. Nice shot of the wildcat. I love the black and white quality of the sacred ibis picture. The wild dogs do deserve their own album. Lovely lily pads and sunsets.

Hope you do go back. Any ideas? Glad to know there are others working on 2010.
atravelynn is offline  
Old Aug 27th, 2007, 05:26 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 705
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sharon -- check your PMs on Pbase -- I sent you one.

Chris
Chris_GA_Atl is offline  
Old Aug 28th, 2007, 12:55 PM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 40
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Lynn, thanks so much for your wonderful comments. All I know about the waterhole was that it was somewhere close to DumaTau. It was great fun to watch the animals there.

TravFirst, I forgot to thank you for your comment. Much appreciated and I hope you get to go.. you will love it!

Chris, not sure what happened but I never did get your message..

Before I forget I also want to thank everyone who posted photos, advice, and trip reports on this forum. The information on this forum was invaluable and greatly contributed to the enjoyment of our trip. I especially appreciated the advice to stay at least three nights at each camp (it was hard to leave even after three nights) and to take warm cloths. Some of the camp shops had hats but none had gloves - oh, and the glo-mits worked out perfectly!
slsmith is offline  
Old Aug 28th, 2007, 05:36 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 705
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Funny, it is not in my "outbox" on PBase, either. I think I was generally gushing some more about your pictures and suggesting you enter some wildlife photography contests, and also commenting on the good results you got with the 300/4 + 1.4xTC. I would not have thought 5.6 would have been fast enough for some of the shots you got, but obviously it was.

I also wanted to tell you how much I like the zebras in and around the water -- those are also really spectacular pictures.

Chris
Chris_GA_Atl is offline  
Old Aug 29th, 2007, 07:36 AM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 40
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks again, Chris! I have entered a couple of shots in contests but nothing yet.

There were a couple reasons I might have used the 5.6. Either I wanted to isolate the subject from the background (which I think was the case with the zebras) or the light was dim. Also, sometimes I would just forget to change it. Some of the shots could have been a little sharper but I really can't complain about how they turned out. Also, I did edit the photos in Photoshop where I use a plug-in sharpening filter. It does a much better job than the in-camera sharpening.
slsmith is offline  
Old Aug 29th, 2007, 01:47 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 283
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Very nice photos. Loved the sacred ibis photo. Glad you had a great time.

-Granny Joan
GrannyJoan is offline  
Old Sep 3rd, 2007, 10:28 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 873
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Great photos Sharon. I loved the the shots of the lion cubs, particularly them playing and the one on the mother's back. All of the others are equally beautiful, these just happened to be my favorites.

I am glad you had such a great time. I also had Ronald as my guide at Duma Tau and thought he was absolutely fantastic. I haven't read anything else on this board about him, so I'm glad you mentioned him. If you want to stay on the go, Ronald is definitely your man.

Dana_M is offline  
Old Sep 5th, 2007, 02:59 PM
  #19  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 40
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks so much, Dana and Joan!

Yes, Dana, Ronald was definitely our favorite guide. He was so enthusiastic and eager to please and he loves to be out on game drives. We were always the last ones back.
slsmith is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
scootr29
Africa & the Middle East
8
Oct 27th, 2007 12:15 PM
srocca
Africa & the Middle East
29
Jan 3rd, 2006 12:54 PM
azrat
Africa & the Middle East
17
May 3rd, 2005 03:02 PM
JackieSun
Africa & the Middle East
11
Apr 28th, 2004 06:30 AM
Roccco
Africa & the Middle East
24
Apr 18th, 2004 02:29 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -