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About africaaddict

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    Wildlife Photographer/Artist
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    Basel, Switzerland D5, D500 & D810.
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  1. For sure BushDog
  2. RIP- Furaha, the Queen of Ruaha This is the last image captured (12 hrs before her death) of a very special leopardess named Furaha which means Joy in Swahili. Lorenzo my guide and I stayed with Furaha for 7hrs (on the 29th Oct) and due to curfew had to leave her @ 7pm, there was clearly something wrong with her, but the change in her demeaner started only around 5pm, she was vomiting and disoriented, it was very sudden, and we had hoped she might improve by the morning. We drove back to where we left here first thing next morning, just beside her favourite tree to find her body, we both broke down and cried that this beautiful creature was now terribly sad. It appeared she died sometime before midnight. An autopsy by the vet from TANAPA (Tanzania National Parks Authority) whom we called straight away, was carried out that morning which revealed that she was NOT poisoned nor bitten by a snake or a victim of anthrax, which were our main concerns, nor had she recently given birth, which had been another concern as she appeared to be lactating, her thin body initially gave us that impression, so there was some small comfort that there were no cubs lost as well. Results of her death are still not fully known, other than her lungs, kidneys & liver had been damaged, a respiratory collapse the result. Her legacy will live on through her wonderful son Moyo who has inherited her wonderful spirit and relaxed disposition. Over the period of my last 11 days in Ruaha, things were not quite the same.........something was gone. It was hard to drive past her tree and not get emotional. We have both known her nearly all of her oh so short 6½ year life. She was probably the most relaxed and coolest leopard I've ever had the privilege to know. The actual cause of death will never be really known due to TANAPA's limited resources, but it can almost be said it was a from natural causes. Only the good die young...........RIP Furaha, the Queen of Ruaha. Furaha in happier times: Taking the trunk route Sunrise gazing Any leopards around?? Cheers Marc
  3. I'm tending now to agree with Egilio.........this 2nd image puts things in a slightly different perspective, and it does appear to be closer to 12 than 24 mths @@johnweir However, without a really detailed close up of the face on both sub adults for spot/whisker marks/facial comparison, one can never be 100% certain.
  4. Good to see you enjoyed Ruaha Hari. Sadly the once common cheetah have suffered quite badly in the last 2 years in Ruaha, a confirmed poisoning of 2 last year has certainly not helped the situation. One benefit of low cheetah numbers has been the increased sightings of wild dog, of which I had many days tracking them. I have spent 36 nights here this year alone, 16 in January's superb green season and 20 this late Oct, through Nov (with an off-road permit) and in all that time I had one very brief sighting of a running away cheetah. So for the foreseeable future there's very little of a 50-50 chance I'm afraid. Don't get me wrong, Ruaha is still one of my favourite areas, alongside SLNP and cheetah will return and they are there, (evidenced by a few impala carcasses that had obvious signs of very recent cheetah predation) but at this stage they are extremely skittish when found. For my cheetah fix, I'm returning to Ndutu for Gnu calving season late Jan and thank god this is still very much a cheetah stronghold. Cheers Marc
  5. Have recently returned from another wonderful 3 weeks in Ruaha and was very fortunate to be granted an off road permit and a working assignment with TANAPA (Tanzania National Parks Authority). An alarm call by a pair of Black-backed Jackals led us to this young male leopard that had just killed one of it's older pups. Quite a rare sighting, a mature male lion had just arrived on the scene forcing the leopard to quickly snatch the jackal and attempt to secure his prize higher up the sausage tree, a special treat indeed. All images from Ruaha Nat Park- Tanzania. Leopard takes a jackel pup. Nikon D5 Nikkor 400 f/2.8E FL VR 1/1000s f/5 ISO 1100 Leopard in early dappled light. Nikon D500 Nikkor 80-400 AF-S 1/800s f/5.6 ISO 1000@ 400mm. Soulful eyes. Nikon D500 Nikkor 80-400 AF-S 1/1000s f/5.6 ISO 1800@ 400mm. Nikon D500 Nikkor 80-400 AF-S 1/800s f/5.6 ISO 900@ 135mm. Cheers Marc
  6. I would concur with your age approximation of being close to 2 years John, although this is never easy without a more detailed image, whether male/female (looks a male to me) and seeing it in the flesh. My images below are of a male, both of which my guide and I assessed at around 2 years. Cheers Marc
  7. Lions in the sky On a recent trip to Selinda/Botswana I was most fortunate to capture a very special moment showing 4 females and 1 cub from the Wapuka pride coming down to drink. In attempting to capture the reflective atmosphere and avoid 'just another sunset' image, I flipped the shot to show the animals the right way up, creating an intriguing scene. Lion reflections/silhouettes in water are certainly nothing new, however to have all five with clear separation was just a dream come true! Being ultra picky, I would have loved the head of the leading lioness clear, but the phrase....never look a gift horse in the mouth comes to mind. I've been very lucky to have some commercial success with numerous magazine & newspaper publications, finalist in BBC WWPOTY & Nature's Best (US & RSA) with this image also taking out 3rd place in the Mammals category in Europe's Oasis Nature Competition recently with over 22000 entries from 62 countries, so truly an honour! Selinda- Botswana. Nikon D4s Nikkor 70-200f/4 1/400s f/4 ISO12800@70mm. Bean bag, front pax seat, apart from cropping out the upper sky portion, this image has had minimal processing, with just a simply change of WB warmth and darkening the darks, ACR & PS 'CC 15. The alpha lioness leads the way for another hunting session. Cheers Marc
  8. Storm front - Serengeti style Whilst wildebeest graze nonchalantly, a massive storm front is about to unleash itself on the open plains of Ndutu- Serengeti. Nikon D700 Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8 1/320s f/16 ISO800@ 24mm.
  9. As good as that lens is Andy, the OP Janzin is a Nikon owner
  10. Put it this way there is no way I would pay $7K for the 200-400 f/4 these days in light of the 200-500, I paid new for my 200-400 VRI around $4800, and yes it's true there's no doubt the 200-500 represents great value. I've been using the Kinesis Safari sack 4.2, for nearly 10 yrs now .
  11. They do when they see mine, the Kinesis Safari sack 4.2 takes over 5/6 kgs in rice/beans to fill
  12. Also don't forget the best option is to sit in the front, especially when you have a PV and always with a bean bag, it's far more flixible, than clamps, monopods, etc IMO. When the action happens, you need to be ready and throwing a bean bag around is just so much faster and easier. I have been down this road many, many times and have tried ALL these options down the years and always come back to the tried & trusty bean bag, I use a Kinesis. I take with me my D5 & 400 f/2.8E (new lighter weight model), the D500 & 80-400AF-S and the D810 & 24-70, 3 bodies, 3 lenses and apart from throwing on a 1.4tc for the 400, you limit changing in dusty conditions. (actually I also bring my 24 f/1.4 for night/star scapes) Do you actually have the 500/4? If not, I'd stick with the 200-400 and pair it with the D500 for an awesome 300-600 f/4 and when you're after birds/BIF you have the option of the 1.3 crop (really a 1.25 crop) on the D500 still giving you 375 to 750 and 12MP, which is ample IMO. I still own the 500/4 and used to have the 200-400, still a fine lens as you know, it has it's limitations, but I think it's sharper, faster AF, f/4 compared to the 200-500, which I have used for a week of testing, my opinion of course. Cheers Marc
  13. It's been a few years since I posted any Leopard Show us your, so here are a few from more recent trips to SLNP & Ruaha. Big kitty rollover SLNP- Zambia Camera Nikon D4S Lens AF-S VR Nikkor 500mm f/4G ED ISO 800 Focal Length 500.0 mm (500.0 mm in 35mm) Aperture f/6.3 Exposure Time 0.00156s (1/640) Buzz off! This male leopard was getting a little annoyed with this fly buzzing around his head. The purple flowers from the rain tree carpeting the ground make for a nice contrast. SLNP- Zambia Camera Nikon D4S Lens AF-S VR Nikkor 500mm f/4G ED ISO 800 Focal Length 500.0 mm (500.0 mm in 35mm) Aperture f/5.6 Exposure Time 0.00125s (1/800) Stalking Puku SLNP- Zambia Camera NIKON D4 Lens 80.0-400.0 mm f/4.5-5.6 ISO 400 Focal Length 400.0 mm (400.0 mm in 35mm) Aperture f/5.6 Exposure Time 0.0004s (1/2500) Lurking in the shadows A male leopard hides in the shadows, unfortunately for him he's already been spotted, one huge warning snort and the Impala shot off. like a bullet out of a gun. Camera NIKON D4S Lens AF-S VR Nikkor 500mm f/4G ED ISO 400 Focal Length 500.0 mm (500.0 mm in 35mm) Aperture f/6.3 Exposure Time 0.00125s (1/800) Taking the trunk route One of the highlights of my return to Ruaha NP for the green season was the descent from this giant baobab of this female leopard named Furaha. The structure of the unique baobab trees gives plenty of toe-holds for these agile climbers and she was certainly an expert in that regard. Note the damage to the base here, caused by ele's stripping the outer layers. RuahaNP- Tanzania Camera NIKON D3S Lens 80.0-400.0 mm f/4.5-5.6 ISO 4000 Focal Length 240.0 mm (240.0 mm in 35mm) Aperture f/5.6 Exposure Time 0.00156s (1/640) Yawning glory There's nothing like a magic green season to make this beautiful male leopard really pop from the BG! RuahaNP- Tanzania. Camera NIKON D4 Lens AF-S VR Nikkor 500mm f/4G ED ISO 1600 Focal Length 500.0 mm (500.0 mm in 35mm) Aperture f/5.6 Exposure Time 0.00063s (1/1600) Sunrise gazing For me a once in a lifetime image, when I realised just what might happen, I began to tremble with anticipation! She placed herself perfectly as she stopped her descent as if to admire the beautiful sunrise. Ruaha NP- Tanzania. Camera NIKON D700 Lens 80.0-400.0 mm f/4.5-5.6 ISO 3200 Focal Length 90.0 mm (90.0 mm in 35mm) Aperture f/4.5 Exposure Time 0.0002s (1/5000) "Joy" @ sunset Furaha,(her Swahili name) chills out before her night time hunting commences. RuahaNP- Tanzania. Camera NIKON D700 Lens 80.0-400.0 mm f/4.5-5.6 ISO 200 Focal Length 130.0 mm (130.0 mm in 35mm) Aperture f/5.6 Exposure Time 0.01667s (1/60) Plus FP Fill Flash Leopard ascent RuahaNP-Tanzania Camera Nikon NIKON D700 Lens 80.0-400.0 mm f/4.5-5.6 ISO 160 Focal Length 80.0 mm (80.0 mm in 35mm) Aperture f/6.3 Exposure Time 0.00125s (1/800) The leopardess "Madonina" has her attention drawn on a resting butterfly amongst the beautiful greenery that is the Emerald season in Ruaha Nat Park. Camera NIKON D4S Lens Unknown (166) 400mm ISO 1800 Focal Length 550.0 mm (550.0 mm in 35mm) Aperture f/5.6 Exposure Time 0.001s (1/1000) Spotting Impala The young 2yr old Leopardess Madonina, now on her own still had a lot to learn, here I managed to catch her through a nice foliage "window" as she stalked a herd of Impala. Camera NIKON D4S Lens Unknown (166) 400mm ISO 5600 Focal Length 400.0 mm (400.0 mm in 35mm) Aperture f/4 Exposure Time 0.002s (1/500) Madonina A close up as she gazed into my lens whilst on a stalking mission. RuahaNP- Tanzania Camera NIKON D4S Lens Unknown (166) 400mm ISO 5600 Focal Length 400.0 mm (400.0 mm in 35mm) Aperture f/4 Exposure Time 0.002s (1/500) Time to get up SLNP- Zambia Camera NIKON D4S Lens AF-S VR Nikkor 500mm f/4G ED ISO 800 Focal Length 500.0 mm (500.0 mm in 35mm) Aperture f/5.6 Exposure Time 0.00125s (1/800) Cheers Marc
  14. 8 pack of Wild Dog battle a lone Hyena in SSGR:
  15. The same applied to all my trips @ Ndutu, always back in camp after/around 7pm, and ALWAYS with the top closed.

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