xelas

Namibia 2017: Two Cats on a hot Tin Roof

367 posts in this topic

3 hours ago, Peter Connan said:

 

How can you say it did not work, if they saw a snake-eagle catching a puff adder? This is a far rarer sight than a leopard hiding under a bush!

;)

 

I wonder if the snake survived?

 

Honestly, Zvezda followed the bird for quite some time. It was obvious it was on the hunting party. However, that he actually grabbed a snake we have seen only when inspecting the photos back home.

The puff adder must have survived, as the eagle was able to hold it for only a few seconds, based on the photos time stamps. IMO it was a bit too heavy for the eagle to lift it comfortably.

 

While this one might be a rarer sight, personally I am still in huge deficit of great leopard sightings, @Peter Connan :(; I am really putting a lot of my hopes in the upcoming Botswana trip :).

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Posted (edited)

East Etosha / Onguma Tamboti Campsite

 

 

Only 2 more nights left for Etosha. There is a campsite at Namutoni, inside the park, yet I have decided to stay outside of Von Lindequist Gate at Onguma Private Reserve. They have a lodge and two or three separate campsites. My idea was to do game drives on their property; however it looks like game drives there are reserved to the guests of the lodge. Luckily Onguma is just 100 meters away from Von Lindequist Gate so no harm done.

 

But we are still on our way from Halali to Namutoni/Onguma. Again not much wildlife during the late morning drive so we have reached east side quickly. At Batia we have encountered Martin and Vladka in their tiny car; our roads parted there as next stop for them was Okakuejo. Unfortunately they have missed one of the highlights of our Etosha sightings!

 

Having enough time I have decided to take the side road along the pan and towards Okerfontein waterhole. Not even 5 minutes on that road, I have noticed a car parked at the side of the road, and passengers looking towards the pan. Again, sharper (and younger) eyes of my trackers spotted the real reason for why the other car was stopped there:

 

Cheetah ... barely visible in long grass

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Here and there she came to more open space

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She was stopping a lot and looking around inspecting the area

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And she also looked behind her every few steps

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Reason #1

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Reason #2

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One day they will be as gorgeous as their mother

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This was one encounter I was definitively not counting on! Yes, there are cheetahs in the park, but they tend to keep themselves further afield, and the abundance of lions does not allow them to roam closer to the roads. We have had about 45 minutes with them; only inconvenience was they have walked towards us, and as there was no time or place to turn the car around, I have had to drive all those time in reverse! In such moments it paid that Hilux has huge rear view mirrors, and that I have a "C" category driving license (for trucks). Also, it was good that no other car came behind us so I could drive in reverse without having another driver to think about.

 

For photographers, their job was not easy also. The long grass makes AF systems to hunt a lot (you can see that in cub #1 photo); using manual focus would be better but in the heat of the action, who is thinking about such details :rolleyes:?!  

Edited by xelas
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@xelas I love the cheetahs in the long grass. I find long grass a bonus rather than a problem and switch to manual focus in a moment, perhaps because I do a lot of practice photographing cats in zoos where manual focus is needed a lot of the time.

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I agree with JohnR...I think the effect of the long grass is great in the Cheetah photos!

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3 hours ago, JohnR said:

@xelas I love the cheetahs in the long grass. I find long grass a bonus rather than a problem and switch to manual focus in a moment, perhaps because I do a lot of practice photographing cats in zoos where manual focus is needed a lot of the time.

 

We have had plenty of time to go manual focus but hey, we are no pros :)! Glad to hear photos are still acceptable.

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1 hour ago, Davesg said:

I agree with JohnR...I think the effect of the long grass is great in the Cheetah photos!

 

Thank You, Dave! Personally I like the photos a lot ... only that I have had problems with post processing them.

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@xelas Is there no end to your luck!!!???  Wonderful sighting, nice shots.

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10 minutes ago, Dave Williams said:

@xelas Is there no end to your luck!!!???  Wonderful sighting, nice shots.

 

Yes it is. Ask me about leopards :blink:.

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Posted (edited)

Midday we have stopped at Namutoni camp; there is a restaurant and a couple of tables under the shade. Went to the shop but boy, they really are not into making any business! I can understand the poor selection at Olifantrus or Halali camps, both being deep in the park, and a delivery truck would surely be unwelcome sight. But why such lack of goods in Okakuejo and Namutoni shops?! The general manager of NWR should organise a business trip to South Africa, visiting their colleagues at Sanparks, and they will be able to teach them how to make a visitor a happy one, and thus a guest who spends more money.

 

Rest of the day we have cruised the waterholes around Namutoni but without much of success. Only giraffes were willing to entertain us so here we go with Day of the Giraffes :lol:.

 

Will you show me later how to do this, mom?

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Lovely family

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Aunties having a briefing

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Look who is looking us!

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Group photo

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Blocking the road for his family to cross

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To keep with the long necks theme

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Almost as in the dry season

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To end the day

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Edited by xelas
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Some really lovely group photos, I love the last one especially and also the seven Giraffes, very cool.

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12 minutes ago, michael-ibk said:

Some really lovely group photos, I love the last one especially and also the seven Giraffes, very cool.

 

I promise you no more giraffes in this trip report <_<.

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Beautiful cheetah and cubs!!!! The grass really works well in this case, and Zvezda did a great job.

 

Don't listen to anyone who complains about giraffes, keep posting them.

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Great stuff...really liking the eles (they seem especially vibrant) and cheetah.

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9 hours ago, xyz99 said:

Beautiful cheetah and cubs!!!! The grass really works well in this case, and Zvezda did a great job.

 

Don't listen to anyone who complains about giraffes, keep posting them.

 

Sorry to inform you there will be no more giraffes :(, @xyz99. But there will be one more post with cheetahs :).

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Thank you, @Marks. So you will got another ellie post; and as disclosed above, also a few more cheetah photos.

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Posted (edited)

Our last day in (near) Etosha. The evening before I have asked the camp manager about game drives. They do it, inside Etosha. So, still a bit fed up with early morning exercise (climbing the car, working on the tent, etc) I bite the wallet and signed the three of us in. But, again, no game drives for us; the manager came back at dinner time to inform us the vehicle is already full (lodge guests). Oh well. If nothing else I have saved some more money ... and probably some frustrations (we have met the game vehicles several times next day).

 

Early morning out of the camp, quickly through the gates, and we were among first to be on the very nice Dik Dik Drive. Looking for leopard but birds (mostly) were what we have seen in the morning.

 

Crested Francolin

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Zebra in line

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African Hawk Eagle in flight

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Zumba with moustache

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Bronze-winged Courser

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Kalahari Scrub Robin

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Swallow-tailed Bee-eater

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Lilac-Breasted Roller

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Edited by xelas
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Posted (edited)

Midday we have another poor man's lunch (yes, I know, we could go to the restaurant, but ...) and then one more time around the waterholes near Namutoni. Less birds more mammals.

 

Etosha scene

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Zebras are so photogenic

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Playing in the water

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Like mother like daughter

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Proud father looking at his ladies

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One more elephant in the golden grass (extra for @xyz99)

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Beautiful eyes

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That's it! OK, there is one animal that we have seen often but there was no photo of it posted. No worries, a special edition is coming your way in next post ^_^!

 

Anyone of readers to predict which the animal is?

Edited by xelas
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Thanks for the ellie in the grass, @xelas!

 

Can't pick a favorite African animal...well, maybe the leopard, he-he, but because we did not see any cheetah...please post more cheetahs. Maybe we'll get to meet them next time we're in Africa :)

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34 minutes ago, xyz99 said:

Thanks for the ellie in the grass, @xelas!

 

Can't pick a favorite African animal...well, maybe the leopard, he-he, but because we did not see any cheetah...please post more cheetahs. Maybe we'll get to meet them next time we're in Africa :)

 

OK @xyz99, cheetah will come ... just not in the Special edition post ;).

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Way to go with the cheetah!  Such nicely grouped animals at the waterhole.  Was the roller taking off, landing, or just flexing its wings.  Looks uncomfortable.

 

Giraffes can be very entertaining!

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6 hours ago, Atravelynn said:

Way to go with the cheetah!  Such nicely grouped animals at the waterhole.  Was the roller taking off, landing, or just flexing its wings.  Looks uncomfortable.

 

Giraffes can be very entertaining!

 

This roller was just flexing its wings. It was 11:00 yet it looked like LBR has just got out of its bed :):

 

 

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Lovely photographs again @xelas. I especially like the Zebras in a line.

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Onguma Talbot Campsite is part of the Onguma Game Reserve, a private wilderness bordering with th eastern side of Etosha. There are total of 5 lodges and 2 campsites on 34.000 hectares (according the their web site). As expected from a private reserve, the Talbot campsite is closer to clamping then camping. Each site is private and has a building with toilet, shower (hot water) and sink. There is a restaurant with a viewing area towards a small waterhole. In reception there is also a (tiny) shop. In from too the building there is a small but very clean pool on a greeeeeen patch of grass. Guests can walk around the perimeter of the campsites, but as they supposed to be private, no one was doing that. Photos will tell you more.

 

Not more then 100 m from Von Lindquist Gate

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Main entry to Onguma

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Our campsite #1 (closest to the main building)

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Breakfast/dinner/reading/meeting/viewing area

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The green, green grass of Onguma Tamboti

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Posted (edited)

Etosha / Special Edition: Beastie Boys aka BB)

 

 

One of the most endangered species of wildlife, beastie boys have their "stronghold" only in a few remaining African countries. Namibia is one of them, and according to my (very inadequate) knowledge, both governmental and non-governmental organisations are doing their best to protect them.

 

Unlike big cats or elephants who's "enemy" is local population, BB are mostly endangered by far away living people ... and greed. Absolutely beyond my comprehension is why they are still so sought after! Pfizer has invented the "little blue miracle", heck, use those!

 

Anyway, they still roam the plains of Etosha, and this year we were blessed to see them in numbers. Almost daily sightings, and each time we have admired them more. Here below are several of them in no particular order, and yes, without any data to reveal where and when the photos were taken. Just as park rangers would surely prefer all visitors to the park to publish their photos.

 

Enjoy in photos, and do come to see them "live"! That is a very good way to support their habitat and conservation efforts!

Edited by xelas
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BB #1

 

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