CM Travels: Week on Safari
Starting out this week here at CM Travels we want to give you a glimpse into what is is like going on safari! The focus this week like last week is to put you through a our lens when we were on site at our destinations! Starting out is this majestic male leopard. He was a stalwart of the area at Malamala Game Reserve where its all about the wildlife! His name is the Bike. Well rather nick name. His full name is The bicycle crossing male.
As research and wildlife goes we like to keep the animals as wild as possible and hence try not to give them “pet” like names. This amazing creature however captured many a guest and rangers heart. He lived a full life till his death earlier this year. Born February 2002. This male has been pictured and seen around the Sabi Sands for over a decade. Giving him his own personal Facebook page. Check out some more amazing images of him there and I highly recommend @fouchestudios! The Pastel Draws by Ingrid Fouche speak for themselves. Looking forward to this week in Southern Africa with us here at CM Travels.
When Out on Safari
When you out on safari you literally don’t know what could be around the next corner! As a guide you have a fairly good idea of where a lot of the lions, leopards and other predators might be as you are in constant communication with your other guides. As most of us know you sometimes can’t get to all the sightings but your guide will try his/her best to fulfill your dream sightings. Being a guide you get excited if you hear on the radio that an animal has been spotted that your guests would like to see. So in good spirit you start to make your way in that direction and perhaps moving slightly faster than normal often provoking questions from the guest as to why the “rally driving” … but we all like to keep you in suspense and want to give you a surprise!
African Rock Python
This beautiful African Rock Python was NOT the animal that I had heard on the radio but it turned out to be my guests highlight of their trip. Having done many safaris before they had been fortunate to see many of the larger animals but this reptile had been on their bucket list for many years. By complete chance I drove a route towards something else and bumped into him. These are the sightings that keep us returning to the bush here at CM Travels.
As the initial excitement of your first few days on safari starts to wear off we encourage you to look deeper. The impala and other general game are not as exciting as they first were and you try to find interest in other things. For any photographer experimenting with light becomes your focus. The essence of all photography is light. Slowly sneaking up to the sleeping rhino and capturing the early winter light in his breathe is a moment I will always remember. I have done small edits to this image. The colors you see we have not enhanced. This is literally what the light looked like!
Do not fear the lull will pass because you will realize that on every drive there is always something new to see. We have never been on a drive and not seen something new every time and we have sent years in the bush. It may not be as obvious as a new animal but open the box and look at everything from the dung beetles to chameleons or a different composition of your favourite animals!
“Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”, This #lioness gazes into the distance on an amazing morning drive! She is part of the Kambula pride and her journey is just beginning. We have featured this pride in an earlier image but this shot really reveals some of her character. Giving the image more depth.
A huge photography tip we learnt was trying to capture that light in the animals eye. Always know where the sun is and try your best to be between the sun and your subject or in this case at a 90% degree angle to get that perfect side lighting that goes through the eye. It really brings your portrait to life. We had to wait a while for her to turn her head to just get it right and I believe I deleted 50 other images of this exact pose but just did not have the light in the right spot but with some patience it turned out all right. Enjoying this week on our African Safari… head over to our website for more info on these and other destinations.
The Last Day
The last day of safari here at CM Travels! Pictured here is a lioness from the Eyrefield Pride as she chases a herd of buffalo across the Sand River on Malamala Game Reserve ! Bearing witness to any hunting behavior is an amazing opportunity to really see how hard life is for the wildlife. Either the weakest or youngest is left behind. Or in this case this visibly hungry lion spent a huge amount of energy chasing into a herd that was very strong.
This was the first charge of many that night and when we finally had to leave this lioness and her two cubs were still very hungry and weak. After being pressured out of the territory by the Kumbula Pride and losing the strongest member in a fight with those lionesses the Eyrefield pride now is down to two full grown members and four young cubs. Their future is uncertain.
We hope the drama of the story is captured here in this image. We hope you have enjoyed this week in Southern Africa with us! If you would like to see more of our images or notes on great safari destinations please head our home page.
Many Thanks from the CM Travels team.