The French wish themselves “Bon Appetit” (for which, interestingly, there is no English translation). Budding photographers wish for good light which this morning eluded us. It had been a damp night and this morning broke cold and grey. These 5am starts are an effort in these conditions.

Despite the poor light, we still had a good morning. Patience was required as we tracked lions, amusing ourselves by photographing a giraffe (resolutely munching rather than facing us); a very obliging drongo; cute little warthogs (not so cute if you met one close up though and they were running around the lodge last night! and some beautiful blue plumbago. Eventually, the lions showed up and we were able to take some nice shots.  I was becoming to get reasonably comfortable around these creatures (with the experience of the guides to rely on) until, one of the lions went into a pounce position. At this point, the starter motor went again, and I think my heart stopped too for a second. Fortunately, both kicked in again and we powered off back up to the road again.

We have spent the last couple of days with Ryan and his Dad Iky (Iky’s Photograhpic) who, with the impressively expert help of Frank our ranger and driver, patiently showed us how to get the very best out of our cameras and capture the beauty of this wild and fascinating place. The photographic safari added greatly to our overall experience of Shamwari and I would wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone interested in photography – whether inexperienced amateurs like us looking to invest some time in learning more about the art – or experienced photographers looking to share their passion and enhance skill. You need to be sure to book your trip well in advance. Walking safaris are another option to enhance the experience – but again, advance booking is required.

On the evening game drive, we saw zebras and learned how to tell the difference between male and female zebras: The females are black with white stripes; the females are white with black stripes – thanks for that Brian (spoken in his third language (nonsense) I think?!). We also saw a bat eared fox, had another starter motor stall in front of a white rhino and finished the evening looking at a family of fat bellied lions relaxing after dinner. I had some great video of the baby playing with Dad’s tail, but managed to hit the wrong button (frozen cold fingers not working too well!) and delete it on the way home. A memory I will have to hold in my head rather than relive now, sadly. Unfortunately, the light was too poor for a really great photo, but you get the idea. It rained hard all the way back home and the poor roads turned to a mud slide.

Glad I packed: a raincoat. Wish I had packed : Windscreen wipers for my glasses!

Leave a Reply