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How the Addiction Began! Botswana 2012 with Safariguy...


JulieM

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Peter Connan

I am really enjoying this TR @@JulieM, thanks for the effort!

 

Superb photography too, and some marvelous moments. Somehow I particularly like the baby baboon whispering in it's mother's ear. I imagine it is saying something derogatory about the tourists with their big bazookas in their smelly, noisy perambulating contraption...

Edited by Peter Connan
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  • 2 weeks later...
JulieM

The next morning it was raining but being the mad keen photographers we were, we headed out anyway. We spent some time with some grumpy buffalos first up.

 

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And then we headed back to the hyena den. This guy was looking about as miserable as we were becoming!

 

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There was one pretty cute puppy who was still playing but most of the others were sleeping.

 

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The rain got heavier and heavier until we decided to admit defeat and head back for lunch.

 

There were a couple of extra activities planned for this part of the trip, and so in the afternoon we headed off for a mokoro ride. It was nice to be doing something different and we enjoyed the peaceful scene. Fortunately no hippos were in the area - I think that might have freaked me out just a tad!

 

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This is the life!!

 

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There were some teeny weeny little reed frogs which the other, better equipped photographers with their macro lenses, were able to get great shots of, but I wasn't too unhappy with my shot.

 

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Billy enjoyed his ride, but he was lucky he didn't drop my camera!!

 

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Easy struck a nice pose for me!

 

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The next morning was a bit dreary weather-wise again, but the clouds act as a big soft-box for us so we don't mind at all! We had the lovely Mr Biggs in our truck this morning which was always a treat! We spent quite a long time at a waterhole. I'm still trying to get a snorting hippo shot - this one is okay but I'm sure I can get a better on if I keep going back to Africa!

 

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We were fascinated by this hammerkop. I took 240 shots of him, mostly bad, but imagine my delight when I found this image as I was downloading!

 

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I title this image "Suicidal Frog", but I'm sure those of you who know what hammerkops do to frogs will know what is really going on! This image has also done well for me in competition!

 

Leaving the hammerkop to his meal, we found some saddle-billed storks, elephants, giraffes, buffalo and more hippos (I don't have great photos of them all but it's always lovely to see them!).

 

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Andy taught us to capture the other details of a trip like this - images that can be used in combination with others to tell the story of our safari in more depth. And now that I am on Safaritalk, the detail shots are really helpful to use in trip reports!!

 

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I enjoy seeing the Amarula that tasted great in the coffee, and the biscuits which dunked well!

 

Andy and Easy kept an eye out - they were watching a big hippo in the water here.

 

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Our afternoon was to be spent on the river again - this time in a motorised boat. Along the way were these cute monkeys and a cute pair of baby giraffes.

 

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To get to the launching point we crossed another one of *those* Botswana bridges!

 

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These were our boats. There was only the 4 of us aboard, plus the driver and Easy.

 

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It was a lovely way to spend the afternoon, and it was nice to have the variety in our activities. There were plenty of water birds and we spent most of our time trying to photograph them - for me, mostly without success!!

 

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I'd call this next one "arty", if I didn't know it was a complete error!! Still, I quite like it….

 

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Sundowners back on land - nice!

 

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It had been another great day on safari. Before dinner that night the staff gave us a lovely performance (apologies for the dodgy video, but you get an idea of the song at least!).

 

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The first part of the next morning was spent mostly with elephants. At first light there was a big herd that was in a rush to get somewhere (no good photos unfortunately). Then we saw a lone male, and then we were surrounded by another big herd of elephants. This one came up for a closer look!

 

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We went back to the hyena den for another look.

 

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But the highlight of the day was going to be another activity that Andy had planned for us - a helicopter flight! It was optional, but I think most of us took the flight. 60mins over the Delta - magic! At that time, I decided that helicopters were my favourite form of air transportation but my recent hot air balloon flight over the Mara bumped it to second favourite. Andy had given us tips on what settings to use before we went up - gotta have a high shutter speed in this instance. We were again lucky that Andy came up with Billy and I and we had a terrific flight.

 

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For non-Australians, Bunnings is a big hardware store, with multiple stores across the country. Billy works for them. One of the stores has a competition for the best shot of a Bunning's t-shirt out in the world somewhere, so Billy had brought his T-shirt over especially to try to win!

 

I shot Andy….

 

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…..and he shot me!

 

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And then we were off. Doors off, headsets on, strapped in - heaven!

 

Billy shot me next...

 

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Here are some of the shots I took from the air.

 

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The hour was gone in a flash. If you ever get a chance to go up in a helicopter - do it!!

 

After our midday lunch and rest, we headed back out on our last game drive in Botswana. The highlight was watching this baby elephant playing in the mud!

 

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At the end of the afternoon, all the trucks gathered for a farewell sundowner.

 

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My favourite picture of myself! It's my Facebook profile picture.

 

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It was a lovely ending to a superb safari. In case you hadn't noticed by my enthusiastic writing, we had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I can recommend a safari with Andy, AKA @@safariguy without hesitation and would definitely encourage everyone to look at his website to see where he is going, and just book it!!

 

The next day, we left before the group as we were headed to Namibia for a self-drive safari (a rather substandard trip report here http://safaritalk.net/topic/10616-a-self-drive-adventure-around-namibia/ - sorry, it was my first effort. I have improved since then). The weather looked dodgy, but the airplanes were flying and so, so were we!

 

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There was a bit of excitement when the rest of them realised that Billy had left his iPad and glasses behind at camp, so Andy and a few others hopped into a vehicle and did a massive Ferrari-safari to the airstrip, catching up just before we left! Over and above the call of duty!

 

I made an AV made mostly of my pictures from Botswana, but with some from Namibia also - here it is.

 

 

Hope you've enjoyed my report, and if you have any questions - please ask! Cheers!

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Excellent report! Very pretty aerial photos in this last installment.

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graceland

So glad you came back and finished this great report, @@JulieM

 

I loved that you captured the hammerkop with the frog! Though I'd not want to be that frog.

 

All the shots from the heli were excellent. I've done heli trips here and there, but not in Africa. Wish List!

 

I also like when folks take pics of more than wildlife - their guides, camps, bush coffees - gives a real sense of that you are actually out in the middle of nowhere.

 

Thanks for the enjoyable report!

 

Billy is a hoot. (Thats a good thing :D )

Edited by graceland
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Thanks @@graceland and @@Marks - glad you enjoyed the report!

 

And yes, Billy is a bit of a character!

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Your trip report and AV made me even more excited for our trip to SA, VF, and Bots next month. Thanks for your contributions.

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twaffle

Excellent trip, loved the heli photos especially. Andy is a lovely guy indeed.

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Wonderful TR and great video. What is the music at the beginning of the video, and might I find it online somewhere?

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Hi @@hguy47 - I can't remember off the top of my head, but it should be at the end of the AV in the credits. Glad you enjoyed the trip report and AV! I'm sure you'll have a great trip.

 

@@twaffle - it was a most excellent trip. I hope to be able to do another one with Andy one day...

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Atravelynn

Thanks for sharing some of those photo tips with us. In addition to entering your zebra shot, you need to enter that suicidal frog into the contests. What a catch! Love all those young hyenas. It looked like they were equally interested in you. Wonderful report and photos.

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@@Game Warden - Yes Boss!

 

@@Atravelynn - I have entered suicidal frog and done well with that one too! Thanks for the compliments!

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