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Posts Tagged 'photography'

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Interview with BBC’s first Eric Hoskings Photography Award Winner - Heinrich van den Berg

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013
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We were lucky enough to snag a Q&A session with the first person to win the Eric Hoskings Award of the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year for two consecutive years - Heinrich van den Berg.

Find out more about this civil engineer turned wildlife photographer as he shares where his love for photography originated, what inspires him, and the insight his travels have given him over the years.

 

1. How did you get into photography?
I have always been interested in photography, and as a young boy I used to go on holiday with my family to all the great nature reserves in southern Africa and take photographs.
Photography has always been my first love. I studied civil engineering because I didn’t believe that it was possible to make a living from photography. But I was a pathetic engineer; I didn’t have any passion for it. All I wanted was to photograph wildlife. In a way it was a blessing that I disliked engineering so much; if I had liked it just a bit more, I would still be an engineer, and not as happy as I am today. I have learned that I cannot do anything well if I am not passionate about it.

Above: Hippo yawning near riverside.

1. How did you get into photography?

I have always been interested in photography, and as a young boy I used to go on holiday with my family to all the great nature reserves in Southern Africa and take photographs. Photography has always been my first love. I studied civil engineering because I didn't believe that it was possible to make a living from photography. I was a pathetic engineer; I didn't have any passion for it. All I wanted was to photograph wildlife. In a way it was a blessing that I disliked engineering so much; if I had liked it just a bit more, I would still be an engineer, and not as happy as I am today. I have learned that I cannot do anything effectively if I'm not passionate about it.

 

Above: The dark ragged rocks, dramatically protruding in straight lines into the ocean near Tsitsikamma National Park.

2. What type of photography are you most passionate about?

I love wildlife photography - any subject that is pure.

 

Above: A leopard resting while conserving energy for the big hunt ahead.

3.  What or who do you draw inspiration from?

My father has been the biggest inspiration. He really appreciates nature and wildlife photography, and that rubbed off on me as a youngster. Other photographers that have inspired me are Jim Brandenburg and Frans Lanting.

Above: The leaf-tailed gecko perfectly camouflaged in the wild.

4. How would you describe your photographic style?

I try to be creative and push the boundaries of still photography. When you have photographed for a very long time, you need to reinvent yourself to stay competitive in the industry.

Above: Meerkats on the lookout for predators.

5. Have you ever put your life in danger to take the perfect shot?

One of the advantages of being a wildlife photographer is that you see some incredible wild places and sometimes you get paid to go there. The danger pales in comparison to the opportunity to get a great photograph. The most challenging experience was getting malaria during a trip to the Kruger National Park. For me, it is proof that the mosquito is by far the most dangerous animal in Africa. The scariest experience was being attacked by a hippo while paddling down the Zambezi river on an assignment. I was in a two-man canoe with an experienced guide when a hippo picked our canoe up from below. My guide started screaming like a girl, and that was really scary: when your guide loses it, it means that you need to start panicking. But it was the high-pitched scream that made the hippo drop us.

Above: The grey crowned crane in the Grasslands of Africa.

6. Is there a photograph that you have taken that is of sentimental value to you?

It’s not really an external experience, but more the internal personal journey that has been so rewarding. I have experienced incredible sightings, from mountain gorillas to indris in Madagascar. All of these experiences add up to a really honest appreciation of how lucky I am to be able to live this kind of life. Travelling through Africa, one sees terrible poverty and bravery and that puts everything into context. The same applies to animals. The habitats of many animals are in real danger, and I am fortunate enough to be able to photograph some of these animals and hope that it will have an influence on the future of their species. It’s rewarding to be able to convey an animal in an original way.

 

Above: A flap-necked chameleon mimics the colour of leaves to ambush its prey.

7. What tips do you have for aspiring photographers?

Be creative and break the rules.

 

Above: The Beauty of the Namaqualand spring flowers.

8. What are some of the challenges that you face as a photographer?

Photography is a wonderful occupation, and if you really enjoy what you are doing, challenges just make it more interesting. The biggest challenge is making money from an industry that people do for fun, as a hobby.

Above: A great shot of some Mangrove trees in the Umlalazi Nature Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal.

9. Have you ever missed the perfect shot?

I don't want to talk about it.

10. What do you want to say through your photographs?

I want to show the beauty that is out there. Then if people are aware of this beauty, they may think twice before destroying it.

If this article has peaked your interest in Heinrich van den Berg’s photography, then check out his website or view some of the great work his done, currently available to purchase online through hph publishing.

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Tags: photography


The wildlife photographer who turned heads in London Natural History Museum [Interview]

Thursday, June 6th, 2013
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Andrew Schoeman is a wildlife photographer, passionate about landscape and aerial photography too. Picking up a film that fitted his camera sparked his fascination with photography. Years later, Andrew had his work receive a thumbs-up in the Veolia Environment Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards in association with the Natural History Museum in London.

1. How did you get into photography?

When I moved from the city to the bush in 2000 to start my guiding career, I didn't have a great interest in photography - I owned a Vivitar 110 camera but I had no film for it. One day I found a film lying on one of the roads in the game reserve where I worked, and by sheer luck it was for a Vivitar 110 camera! I took my camera and new film on a game drive and happily snapped away thinking I would get great pictures, but I was wrong.  My very first roll of film was a complete disaster but I was hooked on photography and from then on I was determined to improve and take great wildlife images.

 

Above: Flying pursuit

2. What type of photography are you most passionate about?

Most definitely wildlife photography, but I also love landscape and aerial photography as well.

3. As a photographer, who is your biggest inspiration?

I don't  think that there is one single person, but rather a few great photographers, and a combination of their styles, that inspired me. When I started taking wildlife photos back in 2000, two well-known South African photographers at that time were Richard du Toit and Daryl Balfour. I loved their photos and they inspired me to improve. I am also a big fan of Frans Lanting; he has captured some amazing and iconic wildlife images.

 

Above: Inquisitive

4.Have you ever fallen short of taking the perfect shot?

As a photographer I don't think there is a "perfect shot". There are many great shots but there can always be improvements. This is what drives me to get out into the bush and wild places as I am still searching for that perfect shot!

 

Above: Final approach

5. What is the strangest question somebody has asked you?

As a field guide at many of the private lodges in South Africa I was exposed to different people that went on safari and everyone had different experiences and backgrounds. For many, it was the first time they had been to any wild area in their life, so there were always a few strange questions. One question that springs to mind is someone once asked me: "how fast can impalas run backwards?"

 

Above: In the crowd

6. What are some of the challenges with being a wildlife photographer?

The challenges we face often change depending on the situation and the environment, but there are a few. The weather is always a challenge - rain, hail, snow, wind, clouds and mist will always play a huge part in wildlife photography. Often we need to travel to remote places and there are weight and luggage restrictions. The mode of transport is also a challenge.  Knowing what gear to take with and what to leave behind can be quite challenging. I think successful photographers can overcome challenges and adapt to any situation at hand.

 

Above: Morning splendour

7. What is your greatest achievement as a photographer thus far?

My greatest photographic achievement so far was having one of my images ranked 'highly commended' in the Mammal Behaviour category of the 2010 Veolia Environment Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition in conjunction with the Natural History Museum in London; this is one of the biggest wildlife photographic competitions worldwide.

 

Above: In the light

8. What advice do you have for aspiring photographers?

Never give up, keep trying and always experiment with new ideas and techniques. You need to know your camera equipment intimately and understand how your camera reads and captures the light. Don't be afraid to ask questions and learn from others.

 

Above: Cleaning house

9. As a photographer, what do you live for?

I live for those once in a lifetime moments when the subject, light, camera and cameraman all work together in perfect harmony to capture an "almost perfect" moment in time.

10. What is your biggest fear?

My biggest fear - this is a tough one. I don't know if there is one thing that really jumps out, except that I'm a nervous flyer. The first couple of hours on a flight are very nerve-wracking for me, so I would guess that flying is a fear that I have.

 

Above: The crossing

11. How would you describe your style as a photographer?

I think that my style would be raw wildlife in action - I like to capture the moment faithfully and where possible I like to try and show the behaviour of the animal. If you enjoyed this interview and want to see some more of Andrew Schoeman's amazing work, check out his website.

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Tags: photography


Visual Journey from Kalahari to Kenya [Traveller Photos]

Monday, June 3rd, 2013
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We just received a high five from one of our Overlanding Africa clients! We booked Luiz Carlos, and his flair for photography, on the Kalahari and Okavango Delta and Best of East Africa trips and he high fived us by sending a compilation of his favourite moments captured. Now that he's returned from his African adventure he's shared the visual journey below:

Compiled by Luiz Carlos

The best part of the Overlanding Africa team's day is when it's a consultant's 'follow-up-on-how-clients-have-enjoyed-their-adventure' time. When travellers share their photos, videos and highlights with us we share them with our team, because nothing beats that feeling you get from knowing that you've worked together to ensure that a client trusts Overlanding Africa to book them a safe African safari of a lifetime. Thanks for the high five Luiz. You rock.

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Tags: photography


A young elephant’s last encounter…

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013
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It is a true story that even the guides confirmed not experienced before.
It was early morning in Chobe National Park and we were driving out when passed by ar lioness following a 6 or 7 months baby elephant which was abandoned by the herd due to any disease or maybe an orphan elephant... she was walking very slowly, step by step and whit in 5 seconds she was right on top of her prey, going directly into its troat, and using the most common way to kill by holding very tight to sufocate. The poor elephant was screaming non stop and after few minutes maybe 7 to 11 minutes we could see his trunk moving, so he was still alive. From the moment she jumpped on him, we could see another 6 lions coming from everywhere, but no one touched till she completes the job. After that they all join the feast.
It was for sure a very sad situation, but there was nothing we could do, but just wacth.
It was an early morning in Chobe National Park and we were on our way out of the park. We passed a lioness. She was following a six or seven month old baby elephant. The ellie had either been abandoned by its herd (due to some disease) or it was an orphan elephant. Lioness following her prey

Above:  The lioness paying close attention to the baby elephant

Baby elephant walking

Above: The baby elephant spots the lioness and begins to run away

Step by step, the lioness approached the baby elephant very slowly. Within 5 seconds the lioness was right on top of the baby elephant. Using the most common way a lioness knows to kill, she went directly for the elephant's throat, gripping it tightly to suffocate the elephant.

Five seconds later

Above: The lioness tightly grips the baby elephant's throat

The elephant was screaming non-stop and after a few minutes, we could see its trunk moving. It was still alive. From the moment the lioness jumped on it, we saw another six lions approach from all angles, but none of them touched the elephant until she finished the job. After that, all the other lions joined the feast.

Another lioness came to help

Above: Another lioness approaches the scene

The other lions joining the feast

Above: The other lions join the feast

It was such a sad situation, but there was nothing we could do, except watch. This is nature. This is Africa.

Article by Luiz Carlos

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Tags: africa, photography, wildlife


1 Leopard vs 50 Steenbok

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013
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It was june the 5th 2012, we woke up very early as usual when you are in a safari, had a quick breakfast and we all left for the first game drive of the day. Considering the experience we had two nights before with the lions surrounding our camp, we all went after lions, and following spoors we end up finding something very special and I would say something quite difficult to see it, a male leopard hunting; definitely I have no words again to express the feeling to see such a nice scene. We got the whole thing... we saw when he jumped from a tree and start walking towards the steenboks, we could count as easy as 50 of them, all very careful and paying a lot of attention to their predator, the male leopard.
The movements were like a dance, where predator and prey were very careful and trying to do their best, one to kill and others to scape.
We stayed as much as we could till the moment when our guide decided not to bother them anymore and we left. I have no doubt that it did work for the leopard, and we were luck to see at least the preparation and strategy of his hunting skills.

It was June 5, 2012 when we woke up very early (as you usually do when you're on safari). We had a quick breakfast and then left for the first game drive of the day. Considering the experience we had two nights before with the lions surrounding our camp, we all went out in hope of spotting lions. While following animal tracks we ended up finding something very special. At first it was very difficult to see. We'd come across a male leopard in the process of hunting. I have no words to express the beautiful scene. Hunting Leopard

Above: A leopard in the process of hunting

We were fortunate enough to capture the whole thing on camera from when we first saw the leopard  jump from a tree and start walking towards the steenbok. We could easily count fifty of them, all very cautiously paying attention to their predator - the male leopard.

Leopard and 50 Steenboks

Above: The steenbok keeping their eyes on the leopard

The movements of the leopard and the steenbok were like a dance, where predator and prey were very carefully trying to do their best; one to kill and the other to escape.

Leopard and 50 Steenboks

Above: The leopard and steenbok dancing

We stayed as long as we could until our guide decided to not bother predator and prey anymore and we left. I have no doubt that the leopard succeeded. At least we were lucky enough to see the preparation and strategy of his hunting.

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Tags: africa, photography, wildlife


I camped among lions in Central Kalahari…

Monday, February 25th, 2013
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After a quite long drive into the Central Kalahari, we finally arrived in our wild camping area. When I say wild, is really wild, and I mean it.
Right on our arrival, our guide advised us not to leave the perimeter, and for toilettes during the night, we should use the head lights before coming out of our tent, he finalise saying that the place we were camping was full of wild animals, in special lions.
After setting down our tents and stuff, we had dinner and stayed seated around the fire, having south african red wine and talking, all very relaxed till the guide asked for silence and started to point out the noise coming from inside the bush, it was lions roaring and believe me, they were so close that I though it would be my last night in life. They stayed roaring to each other for quite a log time, at least time enough for us to go sleep and hear the roaring from inside the tents, which I tell you, it is even worse. It was a great experience and for sure a very excited night we all had, only five of us surrounded by lions and other species, all very wild in the middle of Central Kalahari. Apart of the excitement, that night was for sure when I started to feel respect, real respect for the wildlife, it was clear that we are nothing comparing to the wild, nothing!
The day after, we found this lioness on her own and her kill, a male ostrich just couple of meters from our camp. Wild, isn't it?

While on my Kalahari and Okavango Delta safari we ventured off on a long drive into the Central Kalahari, and finally arrived at our wild camping area. When I say wild, I mean really wild. Right on our arrival, our guide advised us not to leave the perimeter because where we were camping was full of wild animals, especially lions. He also said that if we wanted to use the toilets during the night that we should use one of the spotlights before coming out of our tent.

After setting up our tents and stuff, we had dinner and stayed sitting around the fire. We were all very relaxed, drinking South African red wine and talking, until our guide pointed to the bushes and signaled us to lower our voices. There was a noise coming from inside the bushes - the noise was roaring lions. The lions were so close that I thought it could possibly be the last night of my life. They continued roaring for quite a long time. While we drifted off to sleep we could still hear them roaring from inside our tents.

It was a great experience and definitely a very exciting night that we shared - only five of us surrounded by lions and other species (all very wild) in the middle of Central Kalahari. Besides the excitement, that night was definitely when I started to respect wildlife - it was clear to me that we are nothing compared to the wild, nothing! The next day we found this lioness with her kill; a male ostrich, just a couple metres from our camp. Wild, isn't it?

Lioness and her kill

 

Above:  A successful ostrich kill leaves traces of blood lingering on the lioness' fur.

Article by Luiz Carlos

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Tags: africa, photography, wildlife


Brilliant Photos Taken on Photographic Trips

Friday, May 18th, 2012
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The world is your oyster. If launching yourself over an angry waterfall is what floats your canoe, then by all means paddle on! If climbing 70 feet above ground-level on a sheer cliff face is your idea of a good time, then climb away! Whatever crazy-ass adventure you decide to go on, just remember one thing. Pack a camera! Each destination has its very own unique appeal, and therefore has the opportunity to transform itself into one of those photographic trips. National Geographic has an 'Extreme Photo of the Week' section on their website, and the submissions are so great, they make that big wall in China look like a Japanese room divider.

10 Extreme Photos from Photographic Trips:

(Thanks National Geographic!)

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Above photo: Paragliding Bazaruto Island, Mozambique - Photograph by Jody MacDonald

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Above photo: Biking on Table Mountain, South Africa - Photograph by Nick Muzik

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Above photo: Big-Wave Surfing Jaws, Maui, Hawaii - Photograph by Zak Noyle

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Above photo: Climbing Idiot Wind, San Rafael Swell, Utah - Photograph by Tobias Macphee

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bove photo: Kayaking Toketee Falls, Oregon - Photograph by Charlie Munsey

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Above photo: Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge - Photograph by Monica Dalmasso

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Above photo: BASE Jumping Utah's Ancient Art - Screen capture by Keith Ladzinski

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Above photo: Highlining in Koh Yao Noi, Phuket, Thailand - Photograph by Scott Rogers

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Above photo: Backcountry Skiing Sugar Bowl, California - Photograph by Grant Gunderson

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Above photo: Freeriding Whistler Mountain Bike Park, British Columbia, Canada - Photograph by Robin O'Neill

 

Just because you've got a camera and a buddy that's up for anything doesn't mean you should book the very last airline tickets you'll ever book for him, and go off trying to capture an insane shot like these photographers have. Rather start small. Start with taking photos at family events, then move on to photographic trips to Africa and one day you'll be ready to tackle higher, riskier, scarier terrain...

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Tags: photographic-trips, photography, photos


Top 10 Adorable Wildlife Photos

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012
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We've got that mushy stuff that makes you go "Awww!" With these top 10 adorable wildlife photos, you can't help but get that warm fuzzy feeling in your tummy. You almost want to just reach out and pet them... until you remember that they're WILD, and you're probably going to lose a limb in the process. If you're lucky. Check out the sweetness you can experience on a safari in Africa if you're in the right place at the right time.

#1: The baby ellie in a raincoat

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[Resource]

 

#2: The playful lion cub

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[Resource]

 

#3: The nurturing mother giraffe

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[Resource]

 

#4: Real life Timon and Pumbaa

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[Resource]

 

#5: The blissful baby ellie

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[Resource]

 

#6: A mother lioness's love

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[Resources]

 

#7: The goofy giraffe

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[Resource]

 

#8: A pair of cheetahs

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[Resource]

 

#9: The affectionate old couple

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#10: The innocent king of the jungle

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[Resource]

Want to the chance to get up close and personal with Africa's wildlife? Book your safari in Africa...

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Tags: photography, pictures, wildlife


10 Reasons to Love Africa - Photo Blog

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012
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They say a picture paints a thousands words. They're right. With those words comes a swarm of enlightenment, inspiration and emotion: if the subject is on the other side of an experienced shutter jockey. Check out these brilliantly illustrated 10 reasons to love Africa in this photo blog. Hats off to the photographers who manage to capture a true slice of magnificence.

1. Wildlife

Africa is home to a horde of amazing wildlife which manage to nuzzle their way into our hearts and intrigue our minds. A land simply crawling with a unique set of wild creatures which include Africa's Big 5: lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino and elephant.

 

CUBS___II_by_dogansoysal

Above photo by dogansoysal

2. Culture

Stretches of Africa are still very much alive with traditional cultures which go about their daily lives without modern technology. Ipod? GPS? Huh? The bushmen of the Masai Mara still go out and hunt for wildlife traditionally and have their woman making jewellery and babies. Experiencing a day with such a tribe offers an eye opening experience.

masai_dance_by_phototheo-d3jx2sn

Above photo by phototheo

3. Bird Life

With destinations like the lush Okavango Delta in Botswana, flocks of birds call Africa home. Bright, quick, beautiful, swooping, twittering and curious - a variety awaits your binoculars in Africa.

LILAC_BREASTED_ROLLER_by_dogansoysal

Above photo by dogansoysal

4. Beaches

Zanzibar, South Africa, Mozambique... The list goes on! Africa boasts absolutely gorgeous sandy beaches with the hue of the sea forever changing as you journey along the coastline. The ultimate in relaxation and fun means picking a seaside destination to sip your cocktail in.

At_the_beach_by_Sabinevangastel

Above photo by Sabinevangastel

5. Cuisine

More delicious than an image of Brad Pitt wearing nothing but a smile, African cuisine is to die for! Potjie kos is a traditional African stew which takes hours to prepare. All the more time for socialising around a camp fire and sipping on a cold one.

waiting_for_potjie_by_mikeraats-d38rped

Above photo by MikeRaats

6. Sunsets

My oh my. Africa's sunsets are something to write home about. There is nothing more peaceful than sitting silently as the big ball of fire in the sky retires for the day, sinking behind the horizon. If ever you wish to feel as though time is standing still, let yourself be mesmerised by one of the best things about Africa: its sunset.

AFRICAN_SUNSETS_ARE_BEAUTIFUL_by_dogansoysal

Above photo by dogansoysal

7. Adventure

Grab your zest for life and get out there! With countless opportunities to scream with glee and feel your heart bouncing around in your rib cage, Africa's got adventure!

Desert_Quad_Biking_by_leighd

Above photo by leighd

8. Landscapes

Never-ending vista's of natural beauty, dotted with flora, fauna and the promise of one of those gorgeous sunsets we were talking about earlier.

masai_mara_by_underdogg101-d399osi

Above photo by underdogg101

9. History

With destinations like Egypt, Africa can safely boast of its historical greatness. The pyramids? An architectural phenomenon of years gone by.

Egypt_HDR_by_cienki777

Above photo by cienki777

10. Festivals

With the perfect fusion of amazing destinations and fascinating people, festivals emerge. Africa's population love to go big and provide an opportunity to connect, dance, share and eat.

festival_of_the_desert

Above photo by Festival au Desert

Explore Africa. With so many reasons why you should, can you think of one really good reason why you shouldn't book a budget overland trip to enjoy them?

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Tags: featured-photographers, photography, things-to-do


Africa’s Big 5 - The quirky facts!

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012
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What are Africa's Big 5? They are the elephant, lion, leopard, rhino and buffalo, and are as quirky as your friend who enjoys dabbling in dead fly art. Here is a pictorial safari in Africa of Africa's Big 5, along with each animal's most unique attributes. If you think humans are interesting creatures, you should take a closer look at Africa's Big 5!

Elephant

1. Baby ellies sucks their trunks for comfort. 2. Elephants are either right-tusked, or left-tusked, just like humans are either right or left-handed. 3. An elephant's skin is an inch thick. 4. When swimming, elephants use their trunk as a snorkel. 5. Swinging their trunks up in the air and from side to side help elephants smell better.

Elephant

Photo by: Craig Thomson

 

Lion

1. There are two subspecies of the African Lion that are both extinct: the Barbary lion and Cape lion. 2. Simba is the Swahili word for lion. The word also means aggressive, king and strong. 3. Male lions are slower and less agile than lionesses. 4. 21 hours of a lion's day is spend simply lying around. 5. Lions can survive for about 6 days without drinking water.

lion

Photo by: KCZooFan

 

Leopard

1. As strong tree climbers, leopards often climb a tree while carrying a prey their own weight. 2. Leopards are great swimmers and therefore hunt on both land and in water. 3. Leopards are nocturnal predators. 4. Leopards are solitary animals. 5. Leopard does not normally chase its prey. They stalk their prey and when a few feet away they pounce.

leopard

Photo by: Tambako the Jaguar

 

Rhino

1. Due to poaching, Rhinos are critically endangered. 2. Rhinos make their own sun block by covering themselves in mud and letting it dry. Once the mud is dry, it also protects rhino's from most blood sucking insects. Nifty! 3. Black rhinos run on their toes. 4. The closest relative to a rhino is most likely a horse. 5. If a rhino horn is cut off or broken, it can grow back.

Rhino

Photo by: Craig Thomson

 

Buffalo

1. A full grown adult bull can weigh around 2000 pounds. 2. Oddly enough, Buffalo calves are usually born in May. 3. When attacked, adult buffalo in a herd form a circle around the young and face outward. 4. Buffaloes can live in herds consisting of over one hundred, but are known for congregating in thousands in the Serengeti during the rainy season. 5. A buffalo's sight and hearing are both rather poor, but their sense of smell is very well developed.

buffalo

Photo by: Chadika

 

If you're keen to see Africa's Big 5 why not choose an overland trip to Kruger National Park? Alternatively, browse through the Top 5 Best Big 5 Safaris in Africa and book your dream overland trip.

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Tags: african-safaris, big-5, kruger-national-park, photography, safaris


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