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African Safari

By Nigel Bullock

Nigel Bullock retired from Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge in 2010 having worked for 25 years as a Consultant Urological Surgeon with a special interest in endourology & andrology. Since his retirement, he has edited the BAUS website. The images displayed were taken on safari in Zimbabwe & Botswana during August 2014.


Giraffe: Okavango Delta, Botswana ... view full-screen version

... the first image was taken from about 50 metres away and was cropped to show just the giraffe's head and neck, with its blue-black tongue trying to find some green vegetation in an arid landscape. The animal was totally untroubled by our presence, holding us transfixed (and silent) for almost 20 minutes ..."

 Technical data: Nikon D3S ISO640 1/2500sec f5.6 70-200mm Nikkor zoom with 2x teleconvertor @ 400mm
 


Elephants: Linyanti Marshes, Botswana/Namibia border ... view full-screen version

... elephants returning at dusk from the marshes. There is little vegetation in the dry season, so the elephants move into the marshes to eat reeds (which have a very low nutritional value). The matriarch is leading the way, testing the depth with her trunk as she goes so that the calf behind her is not at risk of drowning ..."

 Technical data: Nikon D3S ISO2500 1/30sec f5.6 70-200mm Nikkor zoom with 2x teleconvertor @ 370mm

 


Hippos: Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe ... view full-screen version

... hippos being territorial (as only hippos can). If still images could have sound tracks, you would find the bellowing pretty scary. Hippos are very dangerous animals: they are huge, aggressive and run surprisingly fast. It pays to stay well away from them and the guides are always careful to give them a wide berth ..."

 Technical data: Nikon D3S ISO200 1/500sec f5.6 70-200mm Nikkor zoom @ 200mm

 


Red Lechwe: Okavango Delta, Botswana ... view full-screen version

... these are red lechwe, antelopes adapted for running in a marshy environment with high rumps and very powerful rear legs. They react to the slightest noise or movement and, the moment the shutter clicked on my camera, this group sprinted off 'stage right' ..."

 Technical data: Nikon D3S ISO640 1/2500sec f5.6 70-200mm Nikkor zoom with 2x teleconvertor @ 400mm

 


Great Egret: Linyanti Marshes, Botswana/Namibia border ... view full-screen version

... this egret was patiently hunting down a fish in the marshes - I could just see the fish moving in the reeds to the right of the viewfinder. Surprisingly, once the bird got close enough, it missed with its strike and that was enough for the fish to disappear..."

 Technical data: Nikon D3S ISO200 1/125sec f13.0 70-200mm Nikkor zoom with 2x teleconvertor @ 400mm

 


Malachite Kingfisher: Okavango Delta, Botswana ... view full-screen version

... a stunningly beautiful but tiny bird. This was an interesting photographic exercise because I was rocking in a boat, whilst the kingfisher was swaying gently in the wind on a branch (bird & photographer were not, of course, swaying in sync). A fast shutter speed and wide aperture produced a much better image than I thought was possible ..."

 Technical data: Nikon D3S ISO320 1/500sec f5.0 70-200mm Nikkor zoom with 2x teleconvertor @ 200mm

 


Crocodile: Okavango Delta, Botswana ... view full-screen version

... this large (three-metre) crocodile never moved, but its eyes eerily followed us as we moved past it in our boat. It is truly prehistoric - like something time forgot. Crocodiles are best seen from a distance whilst hands, straps, clothing and long hair should be kept well inboard ..."

 Technical data: Nikon D3S ISO200 1/160sec f5.6 70-200mm Nikkor zoom @ 200mm

 


Bee Eater: Linyanti Marshes, Botswana/Namibia border ... view full-screen version

... this crimson-throated bee eater took up temporary residence just outside our tent on the Linyanti marshes. It's beak is perfectly adapted for catching and crushing bees, whilst its broad wings and long tail give it the ability to manouevre in flight with incredible agility ..."

 Technical data: Nikon D3S ISO200 1/500sec f5.6 70-200mm Nikkor zoom with 2x teleconvertor @ 400mm

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Tags

Africa    bee-eater    Botswana    crocodile    digital    elephant    giraffe    hippopotamus    kingfisher    lechwe    Linyanti    malachite    Okavango    photography    stork    Zimbabwe