Short trip to the big five / part 2

Botswana Moreni Game Resort

From the Hwange national park in Zimbabwe, we flew via Victoria Waterfalls to Kasane in Botswana. We were lucky as our pilot made an extra round over the Victoria Waterfalls, which is a very impressive view, even though the water level is not very high in November. From Kasane, we flew to the Moreni Game Resort. Where we could visit the Wilderness Safaris camp Mombo. The welcome in the room was with lovely arranged coffee beans very warm.

As in Zimbabwe, we haven’t much time to enjoy the room as we started immediately to a game drive. The Okavango Delta is even more impressive than the Hwange national park in Zimbabwe. Not only due to the animal variety but also scenic. As we have been there shortly before the rainy season we were lucky to see also nice cloud formations. In the image below we even had the hope that we are getting a thunderstorm and I hoped I would be able to shoot some flashes with the Live Composite mode. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

Despite the scenic, we concentrate on the wildlife. After a short time, we met a lion family which killed a zebra shortly before. Unfortunately, we missed the hunt, but anyway it was interesting to observe the family hierarchies and the behaviour of the animals.

Lion zebra lunch

The family also had offspring who nibbled at the zebra rather clumsily and tried to secure a piece. We spent an hour here and the time flew by. Can’t imagine anything more exciting than observing nature. Some of my friends asked if it was disgusting, but being in the wild and seeing animals in their natural habitat is more than normal. On the contrary, it was exciting to watch.

After we had seen enough we went on a search to find more wildlife. As said, we were in Botswana at the beginning of the rainy season and therefore there was almost no water in the Okavango Delta. The few remains of water were very popular not only with water dwellers but of course also with their predators, the kingfishers. One of my favourite animals in Africa. So far I only know the European kingfisher. In Africa, however, I learned to love the kingfisher genus as such and in the places where the fish are trapped in a puddle, it was of course very easy to find this species of animal and could observe its behaviour very well.

Pied Kingfisher

The bird biodiversity in the Okavango delta is phenomenal and a perfect area to use one of my favourite Olympus OM-D functions. Pro Capture is very helpful to capture the exact moment when birds take off. One of the most beautiful birds species is in my eyes, beside the kingfishers, the bee-eaters.

bee-eater take off

Short trip to the big five

Zimbabwe Hwange national park

When you like to take images a safari to Africa is an interesting challenge, even though you are not specialised in wildlife photography. When you are additionally invited by Wilderness Safaris is this an opportunity, which you should not let slip away. Therefore I flew in autumn 2017 to Africa for 4 days to visit Zimbabwe and Botswana. The trip went from Hamburg via Frankfurt and Johannesburg to the Victoria waterfalls. Arrived there we were welcomed by Wilderness Safaris.

propeller machine for 12 passengers

From the Viktoria waterfalls, we flew with a small propeller machine Cessna C208 for 12 passengers from Wilderness Air into the bush. Compared to the huge jets you get a more direct flying experience. But not only the flying experience compare to the huge jets is different but also the available space. This means, that the total weight of your luggage should not exceed 8 kg. In case you have photo equipment with you this is a challenge. Fortunately, the Micro Four Thirds cameras from Olympus are small and light. Directly after arrival, we started to a so-called game drive, which means driving with an offroad car to explore landscape and wildlife.

sunset in Africa

Our first destination was Linkwasha in the Hwange national park Zimbabwe. Besides breathtaking wildlife, this location has also breathtaking landscapes. Shortly after touch down, if I remember correctly it was less than 10 minutes, we saw the first elephants and proceed to a so-called pan (this is the name of the watering hole as they look like a pan) to observe several elephants herds while drinking. An unforgettable experience, especially as the light was different to what we are used to in Europe.

Elefantenherde auf dem Weg zur Wasserstelle

When you are in camp, the daily routine is full of game drives. As the animals are not very active in the noon sun, you start the day before sunrise, to observe the animal activities in the early cool morning hours. During noon you make a siesta and two hours before sunset you start again with a game drive. Besides the game drive, I enjoyed most being away from the busy world, as neither telephone nor mail or other modern communication possibilities is available in the bush.