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First time in Zambia (September 2020)


ElenaH

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Kitsafari

awesome cat fest in Busanga! we saw zero lions when we were there 3 years ago and I was sorely disappointed. 

 

Great shots of the birds in Kaingu - and agree that the darter against that yellowish sunset colours were brilliant!

 

Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

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08.09.2020 - How Hyena and Leopard made a village visit   As the time approached the end of our stay in Croc Valley Camp, I started to take photos of camp's residents with a portrait le

06.09.2020 - 07.09.2020  - Air Display     I love bee-eaters. In Europe not so far from my home we discovered a European Bee-eaters colony and every year I impatiently wait fo

Part One. South Luangwa. - Love is in the Air!   30.08.2020 - 02.09.2020 The Rule Number One   Our flight to Lusaka was OK. My partner Hans got a cold a week before departure 

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On 11/1/2020 at 10:21 AM, ElenaH said:

I think there are a lot of good photographers in ST! Perhaps they still need to write some TRs and show us their best photos. Actually, I used consumer lens (Sigma 150-600) on D500 and 300/4 on Nikon Z7 known as a camera that will not bring any decent wildlife photos ;-) Maybe I need to open a topic of photographing birds in ST Phototalk? We could collect some tips and tricks from other photographers as well.

 

 

I for one would LOVE to learn how to photo birds.  I stink.  Totally a portrait photographer - haha.  Hold Still!

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ElenaH
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26.09.2020 A birding paradise!

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Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to take a nice picture of Finfoot because this bird was extremely shy and disappeared very quickly. But Hans did manage to take a nice shot:

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I loved to take pictures of African Darter! This bird is so gracious!

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And it looks like the bird knows about its beauty and announces it to others!

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The morning light emphasises its slender neck and long feathers:

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And if you take a closer look at those feathers than you can see a graphic design piece of art.

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On the low-key photos there are nice lines to see, especially the white line on the head of the bird which brings more dynamic:

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@michael-ibkwill be jealous especially about this shot ;-)

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The other beauty was a Black Heron. The low light showed the structure and the pattern of feathers:

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It has also interesting yellow feet to attract the fish.

And a black manicure. I like the style.

 

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We discovered a place where we spotted four different species of King Fishers. And I cannot believe my luck: I’ve got the Malachite in flight!! The shutter speed was 1/4000.

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It is quite a small bird. But very fast.

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To take pictures of Hadada in flight was much easier:

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or that Little Egret:

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Didn't I mention the Darter?

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 And the Black Heron?

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There are photographic coffee-table books in KaingU lodge. I loved to list them. The photos are probably taken by Gilmour. They brought me in events and everyday life of KaingU lodge and its habitants. Beautiful people as well as pets and wild animals looked from pictures. I saw leopards, wild dogs and cheetahs… and a lot of birds. Especially I was jealous about African Darter throwing the fish in the air to get it into the right position to swallow. 

 

So, the darters were there. Some of them were just sitting like monuments; 

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some were taking off… 

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Some probably had already breakfast...

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The patience was a goodness number one. We were waiting. And when nothing happened, we drove to the next Darter. Perhaps, that one is more hungry? 

And we found one! 

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The shots would have not been taken without our guide Kaley! He was elaborately drifting the boat making it possible for us to take the pictures.

 

The hippos were watching us:

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And Guineafowl gossiping:

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Back to the camp I met a vervet monkey. There are often by the tent. She was telling us: "Well, folks... it was your last day in KaingU. I hope, You did like it and come again."

Yes, we will.

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We got up very early next day and drove to the airport. We were much faster than expected because it was Sunday. On Sunday there are less traffic in Lusaka. It took us about 4,5 from KaingU to the airport. The flight back home was ok. By arrival we needed to make a Covid-Test. Wee did it at the airport.

 

 

 

 

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Biko

@ElenaHthe pictures of the birds are stunning, I watched them several times and just couldn’t stop watching. Mind you, I am not a birder. But you almost got me to the point that I may start becoming one.

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Peter Connan

Magnificent bird photography and thank you for a beautiful trip report!

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Kitsafari

spectacular photos of the darter in the lovely light. 

Thank you for an enjoyable ride. 

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LarsS

Great photos again @ElenaH! Especially liked to see a black heron and the malachite king fisher. I've been trying to photograph some birds recently (covid changes everybody ;) ) and now I know a bit more how difficult it must be to take such great pictures. Not sure if I will ever take even just one picture of your quality. But it makes me wanna improve my own skills, so very inspiring photos!

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ElenaH
21 hours ago, Biko said:

I am not a birder. But you almost got me to the point that I may start becoming one

@Biko, it's great, that is exactly what I like - to get you to the birds! It is like to learn a new language; you start to understand new "cultures" , the whole new world will open to you! Or it is like a fog: firstly you see a dear and then a first bird.. and then when the fog disappear more and more you will see a lot of birds, beautiful landscapes... it will be like another planet - to get into the birding or photographing them! After a while you will want to know their heroes personally like for example, a small champion (Limosa lapponica) who flew 12000km from Alaska to New Zealand non-stop in 9 days reaching sometimes maximum of 100km/h ...  You will probably discover some birds in your garden and will bring them food to attract and make some shots. And that can save some bird-lives in winter. I, myself cannot say, that I am a birder... But I just love birds! :-)

 

16 hours ago, Peter Connan said:

Magnificent bird photography and thank you for a beautiful trip report!

Thank you, @Peter Connan!

 

13 hours ago, Kitsafari said:

spectacular photos of the darter in the lovely light. 

Thank you, @Kitsafari!

 

3 hours ago, LarsS said:

Not sure if I will ever take even just one picture of your quality.

@LarsS, you certainly will!! I was also not born with digital camera in the hands :lol:  We will come to that topic (how to photograph birds) later again.

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ElenaH

Kafue Summary.

What a Park! It was really a big surprise for us! To say there is not a lot of game is an understatement! It is actually not clear for me where is more game: in South Luangwa or in Kafue.

Perhaps we were extremely lucky, but we got excellent sightings of lions and leopards in Fig Tree and Kasonso. The experience itself in Fig Tree of visiting by leopard two consequent nights and him roaring under our tent was above those in Botswana! 

And leopard stealing food from lions in Kasonso was also something extraordinary! 

KaingU was a cream on the cake: we love birds and got very nice shots of those beauties! After sandy hot weather it was like the balsam to slow down and rest in KaingU, staying by the water and exploring the river.

 

Of course, Covid-19 had advantages and disadvantages. To the first belong the price (lower cost) and the absence of crowds but on the other hand the guides didn’t know where the animals were. And taking in account this fact and the fact that the guides found the animals  Kafue had just a lot of wildlife. We just don’t see it at the first sight.

 

We met a leopard on the road from Busanga. What the probability it could be? It must be a lot of leopards on the roads, right?

 

Kafue is wild, has a great potential and calls to explore. If you were there once it is like a relationship… you want to know it better. And then you still missed something or didn’t get it and want to know it even better and better... You will always find something to go there, something to looking for.

 

South Luangwa was great! But if you ask me what I liked more I would probably answer: Kafue. It has something special, something undiscovered, some secrets to be found, some challenges to be taken. It draws your mind to the memories and finds some justifications to include it again to your future itinerary. It makes your brain busy. It is not like something else. Not even similar. It is absolutely unique.

 

Zambia as whole was a kind of unique experience for us. The four-weeks trip was one of the best of our 14 trips in Southern Africa. And I am sure here is still a lot to explore. I like not only the parks of Zambia but also its citizens. They say people in Zambia are nice, and this is very true. It will be also a reason to visit Zambia again. And again ;-)

 

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Caracal
1 hour ago, ElenaH said:

Kafue is wild, has a great potential and calls to explore. If you were there once it is like a relationship… you want to know it better. And then you still missed something or didn’t get it and want to know it even better and better... You will always find something to go there, something to looking for.

 

 

Exactly! I'm still hoping that I'll be able to return in 2022.

In the meantime many thanks for this wonderful report and the superb photography. It's a report I'll return to I'm sure to get my Kafue fix

And yes wherever I've been in Zambia I've found the people welcoming and friendly.

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michael-ibk

Somehow missed your last posts. Gorgeous bird photos, the Malachite in flight is no mean feat! As much as I enjoyed Luangwa I agree with you - The Kafue is definitely the parks which calls me back more. Again and again I hope. Thank you for this magnificent report, really awesome photos and storytelling all through the way. We must join up for some birding photo outings sometime in the future. :)

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Soukous

some stunning photos in there @ElenaH

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PeterHG

Magnificent photos and compelling reports on a country as yet unknown to me!

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  • 2 months later...
ZaminOz

Lovely trip report and simply stunning photos of two of my favourite places in the world.

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ElenaH

@ZaminOz, thank you very much. Yes, the places are also between my favourits now!

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