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Ruaha in the Green- Now My Favorite Season


Livetowander
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First of all I'd like to thank all the Safaritalkers for sharing their experience and expertise on destinations around the world. It's now my turn to add to the resource, even if it's only a minimal addition.

 

I've been on a few safaris, and my target season has always been the dry or winter season as I had thought that was the 'best' time to go. My last safari was in Ruaha in October 2014, the height of the dry season. My guide at the time strongly recommended a return visit in the green season, particularly because I am interested in birds. I did some research on what to expect prior to booking my first green season safari, but I had a hard time finding as much information as I wanted as the vast majority of postings described the dry season.

 

Having just returned, I would rate my visit to Ruaha in February was a resounding success. I prefer the lush views, the moisture in the air, cooler temperatures, fewer tsetse bites, and watching the herbivores revel in the time of plenty. There were butterflies galore and a myriad other little creatures (like chameleons, frogs and crabs) that immeasureably increased my enjoyment of the trip. I have to admit that I do not have a strong interest in predators or big cats for which the guides recommend a dry season visit. Also the rainfall during my visit was well above that expected, and resulted in the flooding of a few camps and difficulties traversing the terrain.

 

I stayed at Kwihala for 10 days and loved every minute. I'll let my pictures do the talking. Please feel free to ask questions and I'll try to answer them to the best of my ability.

 

I'll start with just a few photos to see how things look...

 

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Flap Necked Chameleon

 

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Kirk's Dik Dik

 

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The guides admit that Ruaha lions don't have poster boy good looks, but their battle scars are evidence of their preference for hunting big game.

Edited by Livetowander
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Thanks @@TonyQ for letting me know you're able to see the pics.

 

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Dung Beetle Couple

 

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Yellow Collared Love Birds

 

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Grey Crested Helmet Shrike

 

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Eastern Chanting Goshawk

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Monitor Lizard
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What a lovely series of images. You are off to a great start.

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Agree. Wonderful lush scenery. Love the Lovebirds.

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~ @@Livetowander

 

Not only able to see your lovely photographs, but enjoy them!

This is such a lovely beginning!

Thank you!

Tom K.

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I'm also a fan of the green season. Very nice images and looking forward to more.

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@@Livetowander fabulous photos particularly of the chameleon and the dung beetles. Ruaha sure looks different in the green!

 

Looking forward to more when you have time....

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Hard to pick a favourite but I suspect Ruaha in green season has been my favourite safari, (despite the tetses which would probably put my wife off going back).

For me the trip was all about botany and butterflies,not to mention the upland setting and scenery.

A wonderful part of the world when in it's lush and fresh green robes.

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@@Livetowander beautiful photos - especially love the chameleon and monitor lizard, and the lion looks quite handsome to me.

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Thanks everyone. Here are the rest of my shots:

 

 

 

 

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Having a backup plan for getting stuck was essential. Here our guides come to the aid of a stranded vehicle.

 

 

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I'd appreciate help with the identification of the last two species.

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@@Livetowander

 

We were in Ruaha in November (stayed at Kwihala for 3 nights) and from your photos it looks much, much greener than when we were there. Would like to do the trip again in the Green season - but would have to save some pennies first!

 

Liked your photos - particularly the Chameleon, Male Lion, Nile Monitor in the tree and the great Bullfrog!

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Post #1 - the green literally shines through in your green season report. Great choice of photos.

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@@Livetowander

 

Colour green ... so lush and so juicy! But you are surely joking when you have said"the rest of my shots" ?! There MUST be much more for us to enjoy :P .

 

BTW great results you have achieved with that bridge camera.

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The vehicle in the puddle shot completes the green season possibilities. I think that snake is about to snatch my nose! "Lush" is indeed a theme of your photos. You managed to make the tire tracks an attractive feature of your shot with the cub settled in.

 

I had always thought the green season to be a no-no for Ruaha, though attractive for other places. You are offering a counterpoint argument.

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Lovely photos. I do like the big cats and is a little it envious of you that you got to see both leopard and wild dogs. I didn´t when I was there in the green season.

 

Thanks for sharing / Gregor

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~ @@Livetowander

 

Thank you for posting excellent reptile and amphibian images!

Seeing them was a welcome surprise. Very enjoyable!

Tom K.

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Which bridge camera are you using? I figured you were using a high end SLR with telephoto. Your photos have brilliant color and sharpness. The closeups are especially nice. We were in Ruaha in August 2014. Did not see the dogs. You had a great trip.

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@@mapumbo

 

It is Panasonic DMC-FZ200 (look at exif). Myself I am also totally impressed by the quality of the photos from such a lightweight package.

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Thanks everyone for such kind comments! I still have a lot to learn when it comes to making the most of my camera. I really didn't take that many shots as I aim :P to bring home just a few good shots and delete a lot in the field. While I look to see what else there is to post from this season, I thought it might be interesting to compare the photos above to those from my visit during the dry season...

 

And yes, we were very lucky to get such great sightings of the predators :)

 

 

 

 

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They're digging for water in the bed of the same river that burst its banks this season.

 

 

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When we first rolled to a stop I saw nothing. As my eyes adjusted I began to make out the first giraffe baby parked in the shade. Then another. And another! There were about eight of them that I could see, and probably more that I couldn't.

 

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Edited by Livetowander
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@@Livetowander

 

One important piece of advice: never ever delete any photos on the field! Even if not shooting in RAW, it is amazing how much an underexposed or overexposed photo that sucks on the back screen of the camera can be adjusted!

With today's prices of SD cards, just bring them as many as you think you will need. If the photo is obviously blurred then that is another story. I have spent 4 days to browse through 7500 something photos, and to delete the obvious bad ones. Final result: 300+ photos in the bin! What a wasted time; and having also those bad ones, one can learn a lot for next time!

 

So far you are showing us some great moments and photos!

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@@xelas - I followed that advice for a while, but having to sort through hundreds and thousands of photos when I finally get the chance to sit down and review can be overwhelming. Plus a lot of the photos that look bad in the field look just as bad (if not worse) later on. I figure it's better to let the bad ones die a quick death, as the chance of their being salvageable is slim to none.

 

What I learned from the bad ones this time around was that I had to cut waaay back on the amount of fabulous Tanzanian coffee I was drinking. So many more of my pictures were blurred because the camera would bounce in time to my heartbeats when I tried to hold it steady, LOL!

 

I'm happy to hear more tips on how to improve my shots. Thanks.

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@@Livetowander

 

The one gigantic step I have done towards much better photography was ... when I handed out the camera to my wife :) !

 

As a coffee drinker myself I would have much shakier hands without the coffee being consumed on regular basis :D .

 

If budget or carrying weight allows, moving up the ladder to mirrorless or even DSLR type of camera will surely improve the technical quality of any ones photos.

From the composition / scene point of view you have covered the lessons just nice.

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I see the big predators didn't disappoint, even if they weren't your focus.

Have to echo everyone else and say that everything looks bright, lively, and compelling. Hope you've got a few more to share! :)

Edited by Marks
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