Kwando - pictures

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Oct 24th, 2005, 01:18 AM
  #1
mv
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Kwando - pictures

Hi

just added my pictures from my trip to Kwando Kwara, Lebala and Lagoon camps 26th of September to 6th of October.

http://www.kodakgallery.com/ShareLan...fromshare&Ux=1

There are quite a few pictures of Wild Dog kills that may not appeal to everybody.
However I was positively surprised how fast the kills were.
I used a Canon EOS 20d with Canon 100-400mm L IS for most of the pictures and a Canon EOS 10D with Sigma 24-70 mm for most of the camp shots.
I am not 100% happy with the pictures and have just sent the 20D and 100-400 mm in for focus adjustment. I found that a lot of the pictures are not in focus and checking when I returned home I can see a noticeable difference between using the lense with the 10D and 20D.

Michael
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Oct 24th, 2005, 02:23 AM
  #2
mv
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Hi

sorry, for the first link you need to sign in.
Here is a new link
http://www.kodakgallery.com/ShareLan...41_48803758408

Michael
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Oct 24th, 2005, 04:15 AM
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Extraordinary photos, Michael -- thanks for posting.

Was it the hungry lion who got the buffalo?
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Oct 24th, 2005, 04:18 AM
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Also, amazing, wonderful, incredible shots of the dog/impala/hyena scene.
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Oct 24th, 2005, 04:31 AM
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mv
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rizzuto

we were not sure.
Either it was the 2 male Lions (pictures with yawning Lions + picture of 2 male Lions shadowing the Buffaloes) or it could have been the pride of Lionesses (there is one photo where they are lying in the shade) followed by the males tken over.
The next morning a third male Lion showed up = the hungry Lion.

Michael
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Oct 24th, 2005, 05:35 AM
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Michael,
Thanks for sharing those incredible photos - awesome. The dog shots really tell a whole story - how far away were you and what was the time frame? I'm amazed that you captured the most minute details - teeth, eyes etc. Your bird photos were also supurb and of course, everything else - makes me want to pack now.
Best;
Sherry
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Oct 24th, 2005, 06:01 AM
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mv
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Sherry

thank you for the kind words.
Timeline for the daytime kill.
8.14 We find the dogs.
8.17 They start the chase. My guide predicts what is going to happen so rather than trying to follow the dogs he rushes down towards the water.
8.18 The 2 dogs grab the Impala app 10 meters from our vehicle that is still moving. 33 seconds later the Impala is definitely dead.
8.30 the 3 dogs run off to get the rest of the pack
8.37 The pack arrives (leaving 3 adults with the puppies)
8.41 The single Hyena arrives.
8.43 The Hyenas take over the scraps
8.59 Picture of Hyena in water
9.13 Hyena scaring the puppies
10.00 We leave the scene.
For the evening kill that took place in water only 10-15 meters from our vehicle (in the dark) I do not have pics of the actual kill only the feeding. The chase took less than 2 minutes. The feeding less than 10 minutes. There was only 1 Hyena in the vicinity so it did not dare to come close. We were also being watched by a Leopard from a distance. In this instance the dogs killed 2 Impala (we saw the hunt being started and could hear it as well). The other kill was probably stolen by Crocodiles.
Michael
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Oct 24th, 2005, 06:20 AM
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Michael,
Talk about being in the right place at the right and rather short timeline. Your guide surely is priceless (big healthy tip for him/her) - no room for error there. Seems like you could never replicate some of this stuff.
I also thought that inspite of the camouflage i.e. lack of background contrast, your lions and others etc. really seem to show up nicely.
Thanks again;
Sherry
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Oct 24th, 2005, 06:31 AM
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Michael thanks for sharing. What an incredible sighting of wild dogs. I can't believe how close that one was to the vehicle. I don't have time to look at all of them now but I'll surely go back through them when I'm off work. If you don't mind me asking, what was going on with the lens? I am most likely going to rent the 100-400 for my trip next year, and I hope to not have focusing problems! (With my 20D)
thanks again - what a fabulous experience that must have been!
Sharon
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Oct 24th, 2005, 06:55 AM
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mv
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Sharon

yes, it was a faboulous experience watching the kill. And I got to see a second one night time where the final chase took part in the water. Unfortunately my external flash had come off during the bumpy ride, trying to follow the dogs. Rather than trying to attach it immediately I took the time to watch in fascination as the dogs took the Impala. Only after they had killed the Impala did I re-attach the flash.
The problem I had was related to the 20D rather than the lens. The lens works perfectly with my 10D. I can only recommend the lens, it is just perfect for safari use.
Digital SLR`s occasionally have focus problems. The problem will appear worse with a long telelense and low (wide open) f-stop where the depth of field is extremely limited.
A quick test could be to set the lens at 400mm. set your camera at f5,6 and focus on a ruler some 10 feet away. You should be able to tell if the focus is spot on or in front/behind the intended focuspoint.
Michael
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Oct 24th, 2005, 07:01 AM
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Thanks Michael. I plan to take it out for a test drive before my trip so I'll do as you suggest. Would you recommend a different lens? (I'm "stuck" with the 20D!)

Sharon
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Oct 24th, 2005, 07:19 AM
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mv
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Sharon

I am not an expert, but my understanding is that in the production of the camera (and lenses) there are some tolerances, which is probably why I have been lucky with the 10D and not so lucky with the 20D.
At least here in Europe it is a free fix. If your camera has a problem (lets hope not!) it will probably have it with all long telelenses. Stick with your plan for the 100-400m but do a test drive!
Michael
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Oct 24th, 2005, 08:41 AM
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Wow!
Baby cheetah!
Not one, not two but six of the elusive wee ones I want to see (let alone photograph) - a beautiful bat-eared fox, a serval, a wild cat, a honey badger, a civet, a caracal plus the genet which I've only seen briefly in the dark...
Some greeeaaat bird photos - too many to mention but especially adore the carmine bee eaters in flight and the LBR pair with one in flight.
Such wonderful encounters with the wild dogs including a kill, no less!
A sable and a roan plus all the regular sightings too - but even those you've captured beautifully - the zebras in the dust pic is wonderful!
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Oct 25th, 2005, 07:34 AM
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Wonderful.
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Oct 25th, 2005, 08:12 AM
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Great stuff, especially the small mammals, as Kavey points out. I've seen some of these, but never photographed any of them, because I didn't think a flash would work on night drive, but apparently its possible to get excellent photos, as your photos demonstrate.

Michael
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Oct 25th, 2005, 01:47 PM
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I remember your report when you described seeing this abundance of amazing sights. Now the pix to go with it.

From dogs to polecat to caracal to cheetah to even meerkat. Were the meerkats near the camp or a fenced property?

Are the dates of this trip similar to when you went last time?

You have such a variety of spectacular shots. I think I said this in response to your trip report but you are likely to be responsible for sending many to Kwando camps based on your fabulous experience.

To pick up on a question posed on a recent thread about getting your fill of safaris....Do you see yourself returning to THESE CAMPS again or did this trip help you get your fill of Kwando?
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Oct 25th, 2005, 08:22 PM
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Michael,

They are great photos, and while I do not enjoy the kill, I really do not like to see any predators or their babies starve to death, I do like it to be quick and for them not to be eating prey which is still alive. In my limited experience, I also think wild dog killing is quick, before the body is ripped apart.

I am a Sabi Sand fan, but next June/July I believe that I will head to Botswana for a trip. I was initially looking at the Kwando camps, firstly as a tour was offered by Africa Geographic with Mark Tennant as a guide, which did interest me with his wealth of knowledge of that area. But now I am thinking of the CCAfrica camps. I am especially keen to see Sable and Roan, plus all of those little goodies that you photographed - serval, genet, civet,african wild cat, caracal and the list could go on. I am green with envy that you not only all saw all of these, but that you got such good photos! So I guess my question to you is do you think your great gameviewing experience was specifically at Kwando camps? As I seem to be the opposite to everyone on this forum - I am not keen on really small camps and i am not especially keen on tented camps- are all 3 of those camps tented or only two? Thanks for your advice.

Kaye
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Oct 25th, 2005, 11:58 PM
  #18
mv
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Michael

a flash will work if it is powerful enough. However you will have to experiment with exposure compensation and ISO setting. If I have enough time (often a problem with the smaller mammals) I will take a shot, try to evaluate on the screen and then try to make adjustments.

Lynn

The Meerkats were seen near a small town in South Africa called Memul (2,5 hours SE of Jo`burg), on a small week-end extension I did with my friends.
None of the Kwando Camps are fenced! so there is a lot of animal movement in camps at night. One night we had an elephant walking through the bar, leaving very visible evidence!.
This year I went in late September/early October. Last year I went in early August in order to see the dogs at the den
I just received the news from Kwando that they have found a new Dog den with 5, 7 week old puppies. The dogs are denning deep in the Mopane woods to avoid the Lions. The denning is several month later than normal!
Yes Lynn, I will return to Kwando. I still have not seen it in the green season and with the variety of sightings I have had in the dry season, I will also go back. I would like to go back in July to try and see the dogs with puppies, when the puppies are as small as possible!

Kaye

Mark Tennant was starting a safari just as I left.
All 3 Kwando camps are tented and on the ground.
Lebala and Kwara each have 8 rooms and Lagoon has 6.
In terms of the gameviewing the Kwando camps are located in two massive sized concessions offering many different habitats. The variety of habitats of course opens up the opportunity for many different species of animals.
At Kwando they use both guides and trackers and they do a very good job with nightdrives.
If you are keen on seeing Sable and Roan you should go late in the dry season. I had 9 different sightings of Roan and 4 of Sable

Michael
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Oct 26th, 2005, 12:13 AM
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Anybody know the current status of Kwara Island Camp? If such a camp does open, I would love to combine it with Lebala.

Kwara seems nice, but it would be nice if Kwando raised their level of accomodations a bit with Kwara Island.

Unfortunately, I don't think Kwando has updated their website in the post-colonial era so I cannot find any information there.

Thanks.
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