Safari Update 1 June - Hippo time

Man-oh-man, up early again today, breaking camp at 0545. Our first objective was the hippo pool for a very early shoot. I wanted to give the clients a shot at photographing the hippos as they were retuning to the pool after a full night of grazing as well as taking advantage of very low lighting angles. It is during this period when most fights break out as everyone tries to get the best spot in the pool. We continued onward to the Massai Kopjes in hopes of finding the lions again. This time all of the lions were together, still looking well fed. As we continued toward the Research Area, we hit massive herds of zebras and wildebeests, many in a single file march as they continued north toward the rains and Kenya. Again, the cloud formations were just wonderful. As we bring the night to a close, it was lamb with mint sauce, broccoli, squash, potatoes, and a green salad with a lime tart to finish off with – there goes the weight. One interesting thing this safari, is the tall grasses. This is causing a change in the animal behavior such as numerous lions in trees. Lake Manyara, just outside of the park, is well known for its tree climbing lions however, seeing all of these lions in tree after tree in the Serengeti has been a new experience for me.

- Blogging Live from the Serengeti - 

Stare Down

During my last safari, we spent some serious time at the Retima Hippo Pool for some killer shots. While most of the photographers were perched along the observation area clicking away, I slipped down and around the end of the pool and took up a position on the upper rocks. While I was shooting other hippos from this lower angle, my eyes kept a keen watch on this particular hippo. It was as if he or she, was boring a hole in my chest with a killer stare.I’m used to lots of hippo action and am well versed in their behavior however, this hippo was different.  This guy did not move a muscle as everyone around him displayed lots of commotion.   I continued to shoot until all of the action had moved around the corner.  I stood up and started backing upward, never taking my eyes off of this fellow.  As I neared the top of the rocks, the hippo took a huge lunge forward as if he wanted to come all the way out of the water.  Clearly he wanted me to know that he was king of the pool.

Nikon D3X, 200-400 f/4 @400mm, ISO 250, 1/320 sec at f/6.3.  This image was take here.

Happy Holidays to all and I wish everyone a joyful and successful 2013.

Cheers and happy photo’ing.