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2017, Portfolio of Photos - Big 5
Chris Swindal
Chris Swindal – My heart skipped a few beats as this lion came up to the vehicle then walked around us to drink to drink on the other side. What a sight! Namiri Plains, Serengeti.Chris Swindal – Late in the afternoon, we found another lone male lion draped over a rock, soaking up the last warming rays of the setting sun, and watching over his territory. The scene was quintessential Africa. Serengeti, Tanzania.Chris Swindal – Still a cub at heart, this cheetah plays a bit with its sibling as they explored the swampy area near the kopje. Namiri Plains, Serengeti, Tanzania.
Chris Swindal – This is one of two sisters that we found near the kopjes. They recently left their mother but not old enough to go their separate ways. Namiri Plains, Serengeti, Tanzania.Chris Swindal – I watched this cheetah stalk a gazelle at Namiri Plains, Serengeti. When the gazelle saw her it shot up and bolted. The cheetah launched. Tastest animal on land, but to see her speed is unreal.Chris Swindal – We spent two mornings watching the ever hilarious antics of several troops of yellow baboons. That seemed to have a grand time chasing each other, teasing each other and jumping from the trees. Kwihala Camp, Ruaha, Tanzania.
Chris Swindal – After a close-call with a Cape buffalo, this lioness puts as much distance as possible between her cubs and the deadly buffalo. Naboisho Camp, Maasai Mara, Kenya.Chris Swindal – Late one afternoon, we found a nervous leopard high up in a big baobab. He was keeping an eye on this male lion who was at the base of the same baobab. Kwihala Camp, Ruaha, Tanzania.Chris Swindal – We passed a rare sighting... an aardwolf. Shy and usually nocturnal, they sleep in underground burrows during the day. The best chance to see them is by exploring areas rarely frequented by people; like much of Namiri Plains, Serengeti.
Chris Swindal – The lionesses often seem very imposing and sometimes scary, but with the cubs, they are the most gentle things ever. You can see the look in their eyes on and on their face melt with affection. Serengeti, Tanzania.Chris Swindal – The baby elephants are often kept between the adults for additional protection. Kwihala Camp, Ruaha, Tanzania.Chris Swindal - One of the ‘Five Boys’ on the hunt. It was crazy and difficult to tell which way to look, and which cheetah to follow with the camera. What a sight! Photos don't do it justice, missing the scope and sounds. Maasai Mara, Kenya.
Chris Swindal - Namiri means 'big cat' in Ma. And did it ever live up to its namesake! Everyday was filled with sensational big cat sightings and action. Namiri Plains Camp, Serengeti, Tanzania.Chris Swindal – The mother lioness was very relaxed. She continued to lounge about and interact with the tiny cubs. When one looked like it might come too close, mom got up and gently picked it up to bring it back a bit. Serengeti, Tanzania.Chris Swindal – Elephants were often found in the dry river bed digging for the water that still flows just beneath the sand. Two babies are mimicking the adults, learning to dig into the sand for water. Kwihala Camp, Ruaha, Tanzania.
Chris Swindal – The lioness moved these cubs back to the kopje. Just before they disappeared into their hiding spot, as if on cue, five of them momentarily lined up for an adorable family portrait. Namiri Plains, Serengeti, Tanzania.Chris Swindal – The mother led the cubs away from the road. They paused momentarily on a distant termite mound and seemed to pose briefly for a family portrait as they looked back at us. Namiri Plains, Serengeti, Tanzania.
Scott Coston
Scott Coston – Driving back to camp we came across this leopard atop a large kopje, watching the  local prey. She eventually climbed down and laid down within feet of us. Namiri Plains Camp, Serengeti, Tanzania.Scott Coston – Trying to see over the grass, lions use termite mounds to get better vantage points to spot prey - or photographers. Namiri Plains, Serengeti, Tanzania.Scott Coston - Crocodiles gathering up the morning warmth. With his mouth open to keep from overheating, however, one croc may be ready for a swim. Mara River, Northern Serengeti, Tanzania.
Scott Coston – At the top of my wish list was to see black rhinos.  On my final full day on safari we set out early and I was ecstatic to find these two which gave some very close views. Northern Serengeti, Tanzania.Scott Coston - There’s was always something to photograph in Africa. While looking for the big cats, a blue-headed agama came out to show his beautiful colors. Namiri Plains, Serengeti, Tanzania.Scott Coston - A small flock of blacksmith lapwings were not going to let this tawny eagle get any peace as they took turns harassing him. Tarangire, Tanzania.
Scott Coston - My first lion sighting was of a group of tree climbers. This one seemed very content resting among the branches while perusing her domain. Months after my safari, I return to this picture to bring Tanzania back to me. Tarangire, Tanzania.Scott Coston – This blue-capped cordon-bleu seems to be fascinated with those sharp thorns. These, and other colorful birds, really stood out against the dry flora. Tarangire, Tanzania.Scott Coston – Darting between perches looking for food, this little bee-eater finally decided to land in front of me long enough to capture this photo. Tarangire, Tanzania.
Scott Coston – Leaving siblings behind in the den, this brave little cub decided to come out and begin exploring the surroundings.   Such innocence for a future top predator. Namiri Plains, Serengeti, Tanzania.Scott Coston - A mother cheetah resting and watching carefully while her little ones played around. They settled down briefly to let me take the family portrait. Namiri Plains, Serengeti, Tanzania.
Doreen Lawrence
Doreen Lawrence – Returning to camp, the Serengeti showed me one more of her secrets - the rarely seen caracal cat.  She had a kitten with her and was very cautious.  She stopped long enough for me to take her photo as the sun was setting.Doreen Lawrence - Mkenda, our wonderful guide, was able to spot the tiny wood owl hidden in the grassy bush. The size of the owl is very small and typically weighs less than 12 ounces. Serengeti, Tanzania.Doreen Lawrence - I watched this beautiful Eurasian roller as it flew along the grassy plains, looking for dinner.  It finally found its tasty morsel and flew to a tree branch to enjoy its dinner. Serengeti, Tanzania.
Doreen Lawrence – The photo was taken at the hippo pond in the Ngorongoro Crater.  This particular photo makes me smile.  The baby hippo looks like it’s happy to be wading in the waters of the pond.Doreen Lawrence – One of my goals for the day was to take a moonlit photo with a giraffe or elephant.  In this photo, I was able to capture both.  Another successful day on our safari tour with AAC. Maasai Mara, Kenya.Doreen Lawrence – These four baby cheetahs were playing under an acacia tree in the Serengeti.  As we drove up to watch them, they gathered together and were curious about us.  I couldn’t have asked for a prettier pose from these amazing cats.
Doreen Lawrence – We had a successful trip in the Serengeti capturing photos of babies in February.  This photo of a mama and her cub was warm, loving and touching to my heart.Doreen Lawrence - The photo was taken in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park.  There were flocks of crowned cranes in the grasslands. I feel crowned cranes are so beautiful and regal.Doreen Lawrence - During my stay at Serengeti Shared Explorer Camp I wanted to take an evening photo of the acacia tree along Lake Ndutu.  The camp hosts were very accommodating and turned off the lighting around the camp so I could capture this photo.
Doreen Lawrence - I let our guide know that I wanted to take photos of giraffes in the sunset. Driving back to camp, I looked behind me and saw this glorious sunset with rays extending out from dark clouds. I forgot all about the giraffes.Doreen Lawrence – In Kenya’s Massai Mara Conservancy, I was able to capture this beautiful sunset photo of giraffes silhouetted against the setting sun.  It was beautiful ending to a successful day of taking photos in the Maasai Mara.
Stacie Brink
Stacie Brink – ‘Family Feud’ at Chitabe.  It appears the 2+year old son of this female leopard will not move out on his own.  Mom is attempting to convince him it is time. Okavango Delta, Botswana.Stacie Brink – ‘Iconic Africa’ at Mombo Camp. Acacia tree framed by giraffes, what more to say…Stacie Brink – ‘Abort Landing!’ This hamerkop flew in to land on an ‘island’ at the waterhole just as the ‘island’- hippo emerged from the water. His wing action immediately reversed just as I snapped this photo. Okavango Delta, Botswana.
Stacie Brink – ‘Becoming Alpha’ at Mombo. It was the first day this cheetah family was sighted at Mombo Camp. We tagged along with this Mom and her three cubs and it became very clear this guy was taking the lead. Moremi Reserve, Botswana.Stacie Brink – ‘Let's Move Along’ at Mombo Camp.  After an afternoon of grazing, mom encourages her little one on to a nearby water source. Moremi Reserve, Botswana.Stacie Brink – ‘Waiting on Dad’ at Mombo Camp.  What is not seen in this photo is dad and a lioness mating a mere 100' away, while this cub patiently waits basking in the last sun rays of the day. Moremi Reserve, Botswana.
Stacie Brink - This mother martial eagle clutched her prey and called for her young to come to eat.  When the youngster finally flew into the area, a baboon scampered up the tree and chased both eagles away. Botswana.Stacie Brink – ‘Competing Clean-Up Crew’ at Mombo Camp.  The vultures and hyenas were tasked on the carcass of a nearby giraffe.  Each species would accommodate the other to feed, but there were moments of competitive tension as seen here.  Moremi ReserveStacie Brink – ‘Delta Dawns at Vumbura Plains.’   The day's first light overtakes the night's darkness and presented a gift of stunning and breathtaking hue. Okavango Delta, Botswana.
Eric Gurwin
Eric Gurwin – At Selinda Camp we hit the ground running. We headed off to find a large lion pride of about 15 adults, sub-adults and cubs. Lots of playful behavior and great interactions. Selinda Reserve, Botswana.Eric Gurwin – We had an amazing first day at Tswalu, seeing both pangolin and aardvark (pictured) and that was only the beginning. Tswalu Game Reserve, South Africa.Eric Gurwin – We saw this brown hyena at Tswalu Game Reserve in South Africa. A brown hyena is currently one of the rarest species of hyena and a real safari moment!
Eric Gurwin – I was particularly happy to capture this leopard mom and cub in that tender moment. Our guide Max and tracker Elvis worked hard to locate these spectacular cats. Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge, Botswana.Eric Gurwin – Our first pangolin sighting at Tswalu Game Reserve, South Africa. The keratin scales covering their skin are unique to pangolins.Eric Gurwin – I love the challenge of photographing birds through their various moments of flight. This is an African fish eagle with its striking white head and yellow beak. Powerful talons are used to secure slippery prey. Okavango Delta, Botswana.
Eric Gurwin – On our last night at Selinda Camp, we had a great sighting of servals hunting and one even managed to catch and devour a mouse. Selinda Reserve, Botswana.Eric Gurwin – We had several great sightings of pangolins during our time at Tswalu Game Reserve. Pangolins are solitary, primarily nocturnal and prefer a diet of ants and other insects.Eric Gurwin – At Tswalu, I looked for a family of barn owls that call the lodge home. Climbing a ladder and holding on with one hand whilst photographing one of the owls and very slow shutter speed made for quite a challenge but worth it.
Eric Gurwin – On our way to the airstrip to fly out, we discovered this mother cheetah and cub. We spent 15 minutes with them before we had to head to our flight. Tswalu Game Reserve, South Africa.Eric Gurwin – Two weeks flew by in a blink of an eye with so many wonderful memories and a fantastic safari that saw many life firsts as well seeing and photographing many animals I had only fleeting glimpses of in the past.