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My great Namibian adventure


The_Norwegian

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@@The_Norwegian You even post at 11fps

 

Good decision not to take us through the trip at that speed though. Very interesting you went to Dead Vlei in the evening - and that it was a good decision. You couldn't have asked for a more cooperative oryx.

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Ever had a dream so lifelike that you could swear it was for real, a dream where everything is perfect and great, just plain awesome alltogheter? Then all of a sudden you wake up and realizes that it

Allright everybody, venture on shall we?   we left off the last night at the Sossus dune lodge, so let`s just fast forward to the next morning.   With our bags and stuff packed and ready and put

Ok everybody, here goes, the first installment. Let`s just start at the beginning, and for those of you who haven`t read my other threads, here are the trip with the dates and places we stayed :  

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@@pault beats me to your 11 fps posting :D:D:D !

 

What exquisite photography, Asgeir! You gave me many ideas for upcoming visit to Sossusvlei. As we have been to Deadvlei using Sossus Dune Lodge tour, we were there 2 hours before anyone else came, and have had the vlei to ourselves. But next time we will do the afternoon session. Did you need any guiding for the Sesriem canyon?

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The_Norwegian

@@The_Norwegian You even post at 11fps

 

 

 

:D:D hint taken, i will slow down. So, should we say a month before the next installment? :P lol, you`ll have to excuse me, but i am excited to show you and bring you along on my trip :rolleyes: @@xelas No patricular guiding needed for the canyon i think, you can in fact walk to the canyon if you stay at the dune lodge.Bring a bottle of water!

Edited by The_Norwegian
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Needless to say Soussusvlei is one place that you'll never forget. Nothing could equal the stark beauty of the Namib Naukluft desert or the total isolation of the Skeleton desert. It's just awesome. Someday I'll return to Namibia. I really wish that the government would stop the rhino poaching.

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@The_Norwegian No need to take it that easy! Just no need to rush on to the next stop either. :) Anyway @@xelas and I are referring to your posting exactly the same thing three times.

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The_Norwegian

i posted that reply from my phone, i guess posting from a phone is not such a good idea :-)

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@@The_Norwegian

 

You might slow down with posting all those glorious photos, I am having hard time to keep my envy within Hulk colour levels :P:P ! @@pault replied already. Don't take us too serious, we are a jovial bunch and having comments only means we do enjoy your trip report !

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The_Norwegian

@@xelas it`s just that I find it very exciting showing you my trip, I can`t control myself :-D I will let the thread settle for some days now, I have to find out what to show you in the next installment. Here is one last from Sossusvlei for you, I forgot this one :-)

 

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I wish you all a peaceful friday!

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Game Warden

@@The_Norwegian Really stunning landscape photography: are some of these images going to find a place on your walls?

 

Matt

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The_Norwegian

@@The_Norwegian Really stunning landscape photography: are some of these images going to find a place on your walls?

 

Matt

 

 

Well, thank you! :-) Well, in due time probably.. It`s just that my walls are somewhat full already, so i have to make up my mind as to wich ones to take down first. And also i have a lots of other pictures from this trip that is wall-worthy as you will see, so i have to give things a good thought first :-)

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I have some empty wall space ... and I love b&w ...

Edited by xelas
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The_Norwegian

@@xelas I`m sure something can be arranged :-)

 

Ok everybody, I am soon ready to start with the second installment, I`m starting on it during the weekend or early next week, here`s a little sneak peak for you! a little warning, this next installment will be picture-heavy, so if you don`t like looking at pictures, you should stop reading here ;-) I`m guessing though, it`s not a problem in here :-)

 

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The_Norwegian

Allright everybody, venture on shall we?

 

we left off the last night at the Sossus dune lodge, so let`s just fast forward to the next morning.

 

With our bags and stuff packed and ready and put outside our chalets, we met up at the public area of the lodge to return our keys, and for a cup of coffe and grab our infamous lunch-bags while the staff collected our bags and helped pack the car+trailer.

 

At 5.30 we where let out the gates to the park, as we aimed to arrive at Erindi for lunch. Quite a lengthy drive from Sossusvlei to Erindi, so it`s a good idea to start early. Snapped this photo with my phone along the way. Kind of a funny app i found with some, in my opinion, cool effects. like this polaroid-thingy..

 

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I didn`t follow the map as we drove along, but we most definitely drove another route northbound then when we drove down the first day.

 

A little outside Windhoek we had a brief stop at a gas-station to stretch our legs and get some fizzy drinks and something to bite, needless to say it was most welcome, it is quite exhausting to drive the distances involved, in the summer heat in a car with no A/C..

 

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On our way!

 

After yet a lengthy drive from the leg-stretch, finally we saw the road sign coming up with markings to Erindi, so we turned off, and headed for the reserve, and before long we arrived at the gate to the reserve.

 

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From there it was not very far, 20 minutes or so to the lodge itself.

 

Checking in when everything is taken care of beforehand is always nice, just wait for the guide to come and hand over the keys! However, when checking in to Erindi and i would guess that applies for most other private reserves also, we had to sign a waiver with information about the wildlife, lions and other cats/animals can become hostile an so on..

 

The waiting-area is quite fancy i think

 

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Anyway, we arrived in time for lunch, and the choices of food were good, a decent choice of food, so we had a good lunch and no rush, no game-drive for some hours yet. The restaurant/dining-area of the old traders lodge has a very attractive view of the area, as well as a big watering hole which always had animals around it, it is very nice to have a good meal sitting there. Although, i though that maybe it was a little cramped as they had to many seats for the restaurant, but no big deal really.

 

With lunch well placed in our stomachs, some chose to sit there and enjoy the view with a drink, and me and a couple of others chose to head to our chalets to relax for a while and get our gear ready for our very first game-drive of the trip.

 

The chalets is of good standard, with a outside seating-area where you can sit down with something to drink and view the wildlife in the reserve roam around. My welcoming-committee was this fellow.

 

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My very first ellie was quickly a fact, my hopes for the rest of the stay was high! Pumba came by to say hello also! How nice :-)

 

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We was getting close to the game drive, so we headed for the waiting-area to meet up with our driver and guide from the reserve. Before arrival to Erindi, Walter(our pro guide and driver for the whole trip), informed us that he had tried to get a car to ourselves, but they would not guarantee it, as they want to fill up their cars, and since they have room for 10 people in each car, and we being 7/8, he said it was a chance that we had to share the car with other tourists, that almost ceratinly did not have the same interest in photographing as we did. However, when we checked in, we were informed that we had been given a car to ourselves, so that was a relief!

 

We met up with our guide and driver, a very easygoing and pleasant gentleman, informed us a little bit about the reserve, and also double-checked that our main priority was photo, and that we didn`t want to waste our time with sun-downers and those things. Yes, I know, some of you may be shaking your head right now, but we are on a hardcore photo-trip and trying to squeeze in as much photo as possible in our trip :-) Well then, into the car, and into the reserve we went.

 

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We had driven for no more than 10 minutes or so when we had our first sighting, and oh boy what a way to kick things off! There they were, mr&mrs lion on their honeymoon. Rest assured that this is not the best picture i took, but it is indeed my very first pictures of lions, and i took with the car shaking and moving to get in position, so it`s not even sharp. But to me this picture has a lot of meaning to it.

 

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We were told this was a 4.5 year old male, so truly in his prime, and a 1.5 year old female, so quite young she is. No surprise that we stayed with them for some time!

 

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A beautiful couple! However, after a while we decided to drive further into the reserve, as they didn`t seem to want to do anything else than cats by experience usually do; sleep and laying around. So off we went, and after some driving, another car had stopped by the road, so we had to investigate. Cheetah! exciting, one great sighting after the other, this is almost to much to take in :-D The cheetah also did what cats do best, so not the best of pictures were produced. It was also collared, as this was one of the cheetahs from the CCF (Cheetah conservation foundation), photo-wise a bit of a let-down. But some pictures had to be taken anyway.

 

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We left the beautiful speed-demon to rest on, and were taken to a area were the leopards usually hang out in the reserve. No such luck however, we could not find the elusive cat, but a kudu made for some interesting silhouettes walking up a hill. The first kudu of the trip, and my first ever!

 

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We went further into the leopard-area. and this little fellow almost got away from our attention, i just saw it in the corner of my eye as we passed it, as it were in the brushes before it came out in the open.

 

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We used quite some time to look for the leopard, but with the cat nowhere to be found our guide concluded that the cat(s) were out of reach at that time, so we ventured on. Along the way, the usual suspects as i have seen you experienced safari-goers call them, giraffe, springbok etc. We headed for an rather large, open area with a big pond to check if there was something to see. And surely, the area was very busy. warthogs, guineafowls, waterbucks, you name it. Also some of these gentle giants.

 

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Icons!

 

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Everywhere we turned, there was something to be photographed!

 

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As you can tell, by now the sun was getting lower, and we were getting closer to the time to leave the animals to themselves. However, our guide had promised us that we would return to the happy couple in time for the golden light, so we returned to see if they were a little more active as the sun was getting lower. We quickly located the pair, they had moved a little bit, only a bit, maybe 100 meters from the first observation. Again, just laying around, with a head-lift to see what was going on. Made for some nice pictures!

 

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It`s exhausting laying around, doing nothing, especially on your honeymoon ;-)

 

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Luckily, they decided to get up on their feet, just in time before the ISO was getting to high, and also the fact that we had to return to the lodge.

 

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So, the king has spoken! We shall return to the lodge! :-) It`s not so dramatic as it looks. a few frames later, or earlier for that matter, and you would see that this is the end of a yawn.. Most of you i guess could tell right away.. still, made for some cool shots!

 

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So, we started the car and planned to leave them alone, then this happened.

 

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Yep, there will be some little rascals soon in Erindi ;-) And what a way to end our first game-drive! Although we were not in the best of positions when the mating took place, but still.. Well, NOW we left them alone and headed for the lodge..

 

However, not many minutes later, a full stop.. The ISO is way off the charts at this point, but needless to say, no one thought about ISO ;-)

 

 

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A beautiful rhino, and what a way to end this game-drive!

 

And i promise, now we did return to the lodge for dinner!

 

And also, I think it will be wise to split this Erindi-segment in two, because the next day, and upcoming events.. Well, i could make an installment by itself on it ;-) So, stay tuned and the erindi Part II will come soon!

Edited by The_Norwegian
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The photo of a growling lion ... that was an intense look he gave you. And that light ... just awesome. Would love to have it as my desktop ... in my office when the boss started to become difficult ...

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Peter Connan

Magnificent photography and so great to feel your excitement!

 

Thank you.

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The_Norwegian

I`m glad you like it so far :-) plenty more to come worth a look imho ;-)

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The_Norwegian

Erindi, part II..

 

After a good nights sleep, we met up at the dining-area for a quick breakfast and a cup of coffee before heading out on out morning game-drive. We met up with our driver and guide, and we decided to see if we could find the wild dogs. At Erindi, the wild dogs have a separate area which they live in, as they make a heavy impact on the wildlife, and the fact that Erindi`s lion-packs are some 50 individuals strong, and none of the lions are filled with joy when their paths crosses that of the wild dogs..

 

So, we headed into the wild-dog habitat and searched for them for a good amount of time, without any luck. Erindi is a big reserve mind you, there are no guarantees of seeing what you hope to see. We decided to head out and in to the main part of the reserve again, and give the leopard a go once again, quite a long drive to that area, so we started to head in that direction. It is also the area where caracals most often are spotted in the reserve, so i crossed my fingers and toes, one can never know! We went quite a bit further into this area this morning then on the evening game-drive the day before, we looked and searched, binoculars, zoom-lenses, all were put to good use. Here are a couple of pictures as we were on our way.

 

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As we scanned the area, our guide got a message on his walkie talkie from one of his colleges, four young sister lionesses had made a kill during the night/early morning, a wildebeest. We were asked if we wanted to stay and look more for the leopard, or if we wanted to head for the lions and the kill, as it was some 20 minutes drive to the lions/kill.

 

We agreed quickly to head for the sisters and their meal and expected to see four cats on their kill.

 

We located the wildebeest, however, there were no lions eating it, they had just opened the belly, and left the animal, we figured maybe a nearby ellie had chased them away. Or maybe they just wanted to let it bake in the sun for a while ;-)

 

It didn`t take us very much of looking around before we saw the four sisters, resting in the shade under some branched nearby.

 

Go away, I`m sleepy :-)

 

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Doing their thing..

 

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The closest we got to them doing anything spectacular was these two of the sisters giving a couple of distant warthogs the stare.

 

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So we decided to leave them alone, and see if the evening game-drive could bring anything more then just sleeping and relaxing lions.. Spoiled for choices? ;-) It would be cool to have them on their feet at least, maybe they would start on the wildebeest as the sun were starting to come back down?

 

We left them, and had some time left before lunch, so we just drove around, there are no shortage of wildlife in all shapes and sizes to watch and photograph, so no complaints, whatsoever :-) Here are some of the animals and pictures taken! Is it just me, or has the nile-duck an incredibly evil look to its eye? :-D beautiful bird though.

 

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Beautiful animals all of the, and some more scary than the other ;-)

 

I don`t think one ever can get done photographing all these animals, it was always "wait, a little more", "drive over there", "two meters that way", "look at that" :-) Ever experienced that before? ;-)

 

Well, after a good session, we went for a good lunch, and were spoilt for choices again, safe to say our stomachs got filled with both bacon, eggs, meat and other goodies! I decided to retreat to my chalet for a little while after lunch to just sit outside and relax with a coca cola. And photograhing more :-) There is really no need to go on game drives at erindi, the wildlife will eventually come to you..

 

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I could really really get used to this view, very fast!

 

Some beautiful bilrds as well! I think this is a greater blue eared glossy starling? Pls correct me if i`m wrong.

 

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And can someone pls identify this for me? Is a bunting of some sort?

 

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We met with our guide for the afternoon drive, and set course for the four sisters in arms, hoping they were still around and willing to strike a pose or two. Had a few stops along the way, first this less then cooperative ostrich, actually the first on the trip we got close enough to for some pictures.. But as you can see, it was having none of it.. Snapped a few pictures anyways!

 

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This vulture on the other hand was better to work with, and gave us the opportunity to get some flight-shots of it! A beautiful bird? Well, that can always be discussed, but an African icon it surely is, and an impressive sight for sure!

 

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And this waterbuck was having a good meal and was more then cooperative and had no problems with us observing it and taking some pictures! I think this is a particularly beautiful animal, don`t you?

 

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We headed for the lions, only to find the kill left behind, and no more of it had been touched for some reason, only the flies had taken interest in it. Maybe the nearby ellie had chased them again? We looked for the sisters, and found them a couple of hundred meters away, on the other side of the gravel road this time, so clearly they had moved during the day. One of them behind a termite mound and the rest under a three, amongst some rocks, so we got them with some new surroundings and light at least!

 

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Our guide suggested that we stayed with them for the whole of the drive, he was certain that we would get some other pictures than just them laying around. And Surely, shortly after, the first one got up, and only after editing this picture, i saw why she "had" to get up ;-)

 

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Now the rest of the sisters also got up on their feet, with this one taking the lead, and the first to decide to head for the wildebeest, so we took position in front and gave them some space to us.

 

On her way to their kill. Those warthogs look tempting though, yummy :-)

 

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In her own pace, she found her way to the wildebeest, and inspected it for a few seconds before starting her meal. Now we could get some different kind of pictures, feeding lions up close!

 

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Amazingly powerful animals, she dragged the carcass into the shade of tree by herself.

 

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Her sisters didn`t join her, and what we had failed to observe, but our guide had, was that her sisters had positioned themselves behind the branches of the tress, and this is were he said the magic words. "their gonna go for the warthogs". The sister we stayed with feeding on the wildebeest, took one quick look over her shoulders, saw her sisters were in good position for an ambush, and this amazing, incredible adrenaline-pumping scene took place, straight out of a nat geo show. Here she has just left the carcass, heading for the closest warthog.

 

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The warthog suddenly realizes that it is in deep sh*t, and makes a run for it, and my, these pigs are fast! However, so are lions.. Not cheetah-fast, but my first time seeing running lion, i was more than impressed.

 

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If she had been alone, then the warthog had maybe gotten away, but with three other lions waiting in the brushes, well.. The take-down happened behind the trees and branches, so we sadly didn`t get to see that, but the expression squeal like a pig suddenly became all to real.. We rushed to the scene, and this is where the faint hearted should look the other way ;-)

 

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Wow! The most intense thing i have ever experienced! Their mother and aunts had taught them well!

 

Sisters in arms. These four are nothing to mess with, girl power have a new meaning to it after seeing them making a kill.

 

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Yummy! Fresh meat. Doesn`t get any fresher than this..

 

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This is one of the reasons why the picture-count goes through the roof, happenings like these.. So safe to way, i have a lot of pictures of these four feeding ;-) We stayed with the sisters until it was time to head back to the lodge, but on our way we came across the honeymooners, so we made a brief stop, but now the ISO had to be turned up so high, the only way to make use of the pictures in any way, is to converting them into bl/wh. Still a lot of noise, but the scene was magnificent, so we had to take some pictures!

 

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And off we went to the lodge, with memorycards glowing and cameras ready for a nap ;-) And here i end the part II, so there will be a part III as well. Not as long as this, i promise ;-)

 

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The extreme highISO of the b&w photo add a fine touch of ILFORD 400ASA grain-likness to your photo! It does took me back in time ^_^ .

Edited by xelas
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The_Norwegian

@@Tdgraves thank you! I tried to figure it out on my own, but it`s not exactly few birds in Namibia to choose from :-)

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No wonder you were so impressed with Africa. Barely started and you've already seen a successful lion hunt. Don't expect that every time. haha

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The_Norwegian

@@pault I won't :-) I surely didn`t expect to see anything like that at all! I feel very privileged to have seen it on my very first trip to Africa.

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Atravelynn

Very exciting warthog chase and kill! Your b&w looks great. The Egyptian Goose and and the waterbuck were all "fluffed out" for you.

 

I don`t think one ever can get done photographing all these animals, it was always "wait, a little more", "drive over there", "two meters that way", "look at that" :-) Ever experienced that before? ;-) Yes, most certainly!

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The_Norwegian

@@The_Norwegian, I think your B+W Lion pair are just perfect!

 

 

Thanks! Very glad that it wasn`t just rubbish :-)

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