Saturday, October 23, 2010

NAMIBIA -Beauty and the Beasts- part 2

The second day in Etosha we spend in the middle section of this huge wild-life paradise. It turned out that looking up all Etosha waterholes was a great idea. Entering them in my iPad 3G (with GPS) would prove to be very useful.

Crossing Rhino near Etosha-Badia
While driving between two waterholes early in the morning, we bumped into (not really!) this Rhino. We saw her approaching from a distance and immediately stopped the car and switched off the engine, while waiting for this mighty beast to pass. She turned out to be crossing only a few meters in front of our car, completely neglecting our human presence. 

Landscape at Etosha-Halali
Etosha has a lot of open space, mostly covered with grass. Excellent for landscape shots like this one. 

Zebras at Etosha-Rietfontein waterhole
Zebras are probably the easiest to photograph. Sometimes it even looks like they pose for the camera.

Lion between Salvadora & Sueda waterhole
Very similar to the Rhino encounter, we had 1 lion and 4 lionesses crossing our path. The white ground makes for a great light reflector.

Just a short while later, we arrived at the Homob waterhole where lots of Springbok and Zebras were staring in the same direction. Something was not normal. They felt (or smelt) the presence of the 5 lions we had just encountered and were ready to do a runner whenever they would sight them. 

Springbok on the run at Etosha-Homob waterhole
That's exactly what these Springbok did when they started running towards the camera! The Zebras seemed to be off for a slower start, a few seconds later. We didn't witness a kill but the above picture seems to be very liked by the people that had a preview of the images... 

Drinking Giraffe at Etosha Gemboksvlakte waterhole

A drinking giraffe is always a funny site. This one at the Gemboksvlakte waterhole is a good example.

Elephant and Springbok cooling down at Etosha-Nebrownii waterhole
Next was a large herd of elephants taking a mud bad at the Nebrownii waterhole. The contrast between the Springbok and the Elephant makes for a nice shot.

Etosha pan landscape
The Etosha salt pan does not attract a lot of animals because of the lack of shelter and the potential danger from predators. A few ostriches and a giraffe were the exception! 

One of the best waterholes in Etosha is without doubt the Okaukuejo one. It has a large viewing deck where guests at the camp spot and lodge can spend the evening/night watching the animals. 

Rhino at Okaukuejo waterhole by night
Even though the image above is not 100% sharp (due to animal movement and a longer exposure), I do like the atmosphere and the water mirroring of this black Rhino coming for a drink.

Okaukuejo waterhole pannorama
My last image for today, shows the same place during the day. Click on the image for more details and select O (for Original) from the size menu, for a best viewing experience.

I've also just uploaded the rest of the Namibia -Beauty and the Beasts- images. Click here to view them.

The next blogpost will concentrate on the landscape portion of the trip and should be complete early next week. 

It's always nice to receive feedback (positive and/or negative) and I very much appreciate comments below, like your favorite image(s), why it works for you, etc... 

Till the next post,
Have a great weekend, where-ever you are, whatever you do!


Unknown said...

beautiful shots & write up bjorn

Jm Stamates said...

Hi Bjorn, Nice work. I'm a Nikonian and lead workshops for the Academy. Looks like you had a great adventure. I'm really interested in Namibia. Have not been to Africa yet. Hope to do a workshop there someday. Think I might have to give it a go soon.
I looked at the panorama, wow, the amount of animals are amazing! Is it like that all day? I see there is a hut and people off to the right. Where you also behind a barrier or where you allowed to walk around? I'll look for your next post. Thanks for sharing, Jim

Bjorn Moerman said...

Thanks for the comments Jim.

Most waterholes in Namibia you get to by car and you stay inside! There are 3 camps inside the huge park and all 3 have a fenced off waterhole.There you can sit down with a drink and just watch the animals come for a drink too. This is mostly used at night however it does attract animals animals during the day, especially early morning. The pano you mention is one of them.
Hope this helps,