Gustafson Photo Safari in Tanzania – Days 11 & 12

Gustafson Photo Safari in Tanzania – Days 11 & 12

Apr 8, 2013| by administrator

By Todd Gustafson

Martial Eagle

Today was all about flight. With so many raptors around and few trees for them to perch on, all we needed was the right wind. With wind and sun at our backs, we were able to get action-filled flight photography of Auger Buzzards, Secretarybirds, Martial Eagles, Long-crested Eagles, and Tawny Eagles. Then it was off to the ponds for Grey Heron, Crowned Cranes, and Saddle-billed Stork. Wow!

Tanzania Days 11 & 12

Leopards in the afternoon! Some went to see if the big male would come down to hunt…it did. We went to see if the mother and two cubs would come down and play…they did! Just as the sun turned golden, they all came down from the fig tree and played along the road. There were no vehicles there except us as the cubs played “ambush Mom” and “ambush the other cub” 15 feet from the van. The capper was when mom left the cubs to play and went up a termite mound at our eye level with sunset clouds behind her. YIKES!

Day 12 was a travel day, so we were up early for a short game drive to the hippo pool to see if there was any action there. You can usually see a yawn or two and some light sparring from a nice vantage point in morning light. Today was different. The short rains were good enough to make a pool full of clean water, and the hippos were ready for action.  We photographed hippo fights all morning long. We took breaks from the furious action to get portraits and the occasional yawn. This was the best morning of continuous hippo action I’ve ever had.

Hippo fights

On the way back to breakfast, there were ground hornbills hunting close to the road. We stopped in perfect light just as one of them caught a beautiful green lizard, shook it around and ate it looking at us the whole time. The Serengeti does not disappoint.

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