Londolozi Tree Camp Photographic Tuition

03rd August 2015
I was fortunate enough to Host Gordon and Helen at Londolozi Tree camp for 2 nights.
Both have a good understanding of photography and how the camera works but wanted to fine tune their skills and Wildlife photography, it was their first Safari to Africa and they both wanted to get the most out of their trip.

After setting up their camera menus and doing a focus calibration on both their cameras it was time to set off on game drive.

The first afternoon we set off and started with a sighting of 6 Buffalo bulls as they lay on the edge of a pan ruminating, Helen is a keen bird photographer so we spent some time photographing the birds around the edge of the pan as well.

After leaving the Buffalo we found a Journey of 5 Giraffe, 3 females and a young calf as well as a big old bull, we spent quite some time with the Giraffe as they fed a bit as well as interacted with each other, it seemed as if one of the Females was in Oestrus and the Male Giraffe kept following her wherever she went.

After spending some quality time with the giraffes we went to help track down the Piva Male Leopard that was mating with the Tamboti female Leopard, after some searching we finally heard the pair mating in a nearby thicket, we went and had a look and found the pair moving through the bushes.

For the remainder of the afternoon and into the evening we watched Piva and Tamboti interact with each other, the pair mated a few times but by this time the light was almost gone and it was a bit tough to get a suitably fast shutter speed so we tried a bit of motion blur.

On our way back to camp we spotted a Genet and a Bush baby in the same tree, the Genet seemed to be chasing after the bush baby and the bush baby was alarm calling at the Genet that was pursuing it and jumping away from it! After a few moments the Genet decided to run off leaving the Bush baby alone in its tree, it was a very interesting piece of behaviour to witness.

The following morning we started our day photographing a herd of Elephant feeding in the pre dawn light, we also watched a cute young calf trying to keep up with its mom, the Low light was ideal to try some panning photos. We also photographed some of the Birds silhouetted against the morning sky.

After leaving the elephants we headed towards the Mashaba females den site hoping to get a glimpse of her 2 young cubs, on the way to the den we bumped into the Four Four male Leopard and the Tamboti female Leopard, the Female Leopard was trying to mate with the male but he wasn’t quite interested yet, we watched as the Female tried to mate with her new partner.

Finally we left the Leopards and made our way to Mashabas den site, when we arrived the Mashaba female was lying on top of a rock in the morning sun, after getting into a good position we sat and waited hoping the cubs would come out.

A few minutes later the first of two cubs came out of hiding to join its mom on top of the rock, the cub started suckling and it wasn’t long before the second cub came to join its sibling suckling on mom. What a amazing sight and a wonderful photographic opportunity for us, for the next 30 minutes we watched as the cubs interacted with each other and their mom, it really was a fantastic sight.

After leaving the Leopard family and a beautiful coffee break on the banks of the Sand river we headed back to the lodge, on the way we photographed a few playful baby Hippos in the River as well as a Saddlebilled stork and a black Stork, it had been a great morning and after breakfast at Tree Camp we headed up to the creative Hub for a session of lightroom and Image review.

That afternoon we headed to the South of Londolozi searching for a Coalition of Cheetah that frequent the area, we were unable to find the Cheetah but we did photograph a variety of general game and birds as well as a beautiful African sunset after which we headed back to camp for dinner.

The following morning was our last drive together and we decided to head North of the Sand river in search of the Tsalala lions that we suspected were in the area. After a skillful bit of tracking by our tracker we found the Tsalala pride of lions, they were on the move , we moved along with them as they stalked through the bush searching for a meal. For the next hour we watched as the Lions walked , rested, and attempted to stalk some Impala in the distance, the Impala were Alert to the Lions presence and a Male impala snorted the alarm to the surrounding bush, at this point the Lions decided it was time for a morning nap and the pride found a shady tree and went to sleep, we decided it was time for us to go and have a coffee break.

After our stop we photographed a family of Zebras walking over a clearing with a dramatic sky in the background, it looked as if there may a bit of rain later on in the day, after leaving the Zebra we spent some time at a waterhole close to the camp and photographed a herd of Impalas as they cam for a drink, finally it was time to end our drive, it had been a amazing few days of Photography once again at Londolozi.


Photo comment By Alyce Pride: Thanks for allowing us into the world of Londolozi. Beautiful pictures.

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