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Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Photo Tour to South Africa, Botswana and Zambia

 

I just returned from a trip to Southern Africa, visiting South Africa, Botswana and Zambia. I have traveled to this part of the world more than a dozen times and every time I say: This is my last trip! However, I lead photo tours and having traveled all over the globe, many people ask me to put custom trips for them together. This trip was not different: a couple who is traveling with me since 1992 and is getting older, asked me to put another trip together to Botswana (they have traveled with me to Botswana 5 times before) in order to see Rhinoceros and African wild dogs.


Sabi Sands Rhinos

After a few months of research I sent them my camps I had selected and we finalized this adventure. I selected Sabi Sands Game Reserve for the Rhinos. We spent 3 days in this private concession and had great rhino sightings, as well as some African wild dogs. One day a big rhino male was lying on the gravel road, sleeping and blocking the way so we had to divert. It was nice to see a rhino female with a 6 months old calf.

Zebra chasing African wild dog

In Botswana we visited 3 different camps, all in a different eco-system. In the Savuti area we found a group of African wild dogs and followed them on a hunt. They run into a group of zebras, which are usually not on the wild dog menu. The zebras were alert and kept in eye on the wild dogs. When the dogs came close, the zebras charged them. It was interesting to watch the interaction. On the first evening we spotted three beautiful male lions. They were brothers and being still young, they were establishing their territory. The next day we found the lions feeding on an elephant baby which probably died on natural causes.


Savuti lion brothers

In the Vumbura area we enjoyed watching a female leopard which had a Cape buffalo baby kill. Hyenas were trying to steal the carcass and the next day we saw a hyena running with part of the buffalo. Another sad story: we saw a group of Sable antelope, an endangered species, which was hunted in the past for its beautiful horns. The male was stunning and impressive. The next morning we saw them all spread out and got to 4 lionesses feeding on this big male. That’s how nature goes, the lions don’t know about endangered animals and they have to eat.

 
 

Sable antelope


Cheetah


Leopard
 
 
Going on to Zambia a visit to the famous Victoria Falls is a must. Depending on the flow of water, sometimes all you see is the spray these falls create. These falls are almost twice as high as Niagara Falls in North America. They share the border with Zimbabwe and Zambia. For me it is always interesting to visit these falls and try to capture the rainbows above the falls.
 

Victoria Falls with rainbow
 
 

A Leopard stalking through grass
 
I took a group for the first time to South Luangwa National Park in Zambia – and I can’t wait to go back. The camp was small (only for 14 people) and the staff was very personal paying attention to everyone’s needs. The wildlife we saw included leopards, wild dogs, hippos, Puku antelopes, Crawshay’s zebras, Thornicroft’s Giraffes, Cape buffaloes, Yellow baboons and many species of birds, including the seldom seen Peels fishing owl at night, sitting on the bank of a river.
 
 

Yellow baboon teenagers
 

Peels fishing owl
 

Yellow-billed storks
 
 
For more photos please visit www.wkaehlerphoto.com. For photo tour information please contact Wolfgang at photos@wkaehlerphoto.com or visit www.runwiththewolfies.com

Posted on July 8th, 2014 by Wolfgang Kaehler  |  No Comments »

Antarctic Recap

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Southern fur seals and King penguin in snow at Cooper Bay, South Georgia

It has been a few years that I made a trip to Antarctica and South Georgia in December.  This time I noticed the amount of snowfalls we had during the two trips the end of November and in December.  Taking to scientists Dr. Roger Hewitt and Professor Chuck Kennicutt the weather pattern have changed.  With the warming of Antarctica and the Sub-Antarctic islands, the air can hold more moisture and more snow is falling.  As a result of more snow, penguins are not able to built their nets and lay the eggs as early as they used to do.  In the 1970’s and through the early 1990’s I saw Adelie penguins hatching the beginning of December – now they hatch much later.  The question is how this will effect the penguins in the long run….

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Adelie penguins in snowfall at Hope Bay on November 27

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Gentoo penguins on Cuverville Island with their nest site still covered with snow on November 29th.  In the past they would incubate their eggs or have small chicks at this time.

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A few Gentoo penguins are incubating on November 30th on a snow free patch at Yankee Harbour.

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Elephant seals in snow at Grytviken, South Georgia

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The remains of the whaling station at Grytviken, South Georgia in heavy snow fall

 

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King penguins at Salisbury Plain, South Georgia in snow fall

Posted on January 4th, 2014 by Wolfgang Kaehler  |  No Comments »

Dec. 31 At Sea with the Wandering Albatrosses

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Since my first trip to Antarctica in 1977, I was always fascinated by the albatrosses flying behind the ship when crossing the waters between South America and Antarctica, the Falklands or South Georgia.  There were dozens of them and it was easy to photograph them because of their high numbers.  Since 1977 I have made the crossing 54 times and this year it was different: we almost saw no albatrosses.  There were a few Black-browed albatrosses, two or three Grey-headed albatrosses and finally on our way back from South Georgia to Montevideo the ship was followed by 2, sometimes 3 Wandering albatrosses.

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I love when a Wandering albatross comes close to the ship and you get an idea how big they are.  Adults can have a wingspan of almost 12 feet.

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I can watch them for hours.  A Wandering albatross is gliding over the water without flapping the wings, just using the wind to fly.

Upcoming Photo tours:  Iguassu Falls March 2014, Botswana June 2014, Pantanal September 2014, Alaska 2015, Svalbard (Spitsbergen Polar bears) 2015; in planning Antarctica

Posted on January 2nd, 2014 by Wolfgang Kaehler  |  No Comments »

Dec. 30: Salisbury Plain, South Georgia

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I was surprised seeing the King penguin colony at Salisbury Plain in South Georgia.  The colony expanded dramatically and almost reached the beach (photo above).  My last visit was in 2006 and we were able to walk around on the sides of the colony in order to climb the hill to get overviews of the original colony.  Now the way was blocked with birds incubating their eggs.  It is estimated that there are now about 60,000+ penguins.

SOUTH GEORGIA, KING PENGUIN COLONY WITH MOUNTAINS IN THE BACKGROUND KING PENGUINS INCUBATING EGGS

The King penguin colony on the hillside in 1978.  The flats below was not covered with breeding penguins.

SOUTH GEORGIA, SALISBURY PLAIN, KING PENGUIN COLONY, OVERVIEW WITH TUSSOCK GRASS AND MOUNTAINS

In 1993 you can see that the King penguins are starting to spread onto the flats below the hillside.  There is still empty space of about 1/3 mile between the colony and the beach.

SOUTH GEORGIA ISLAND, SALISBURY PLAIN, KING PENGUIN COLONY, VIEW OF BIRDS INCUBATING EGG

A view down onto incubating King penguins.

Upcoming Photo tours:  Iguassu Falls March 2014, Botswana June 2014, Pantanal September 2014, Alaska 2015, Svalbard (Spitsbergen Polar bears) 2015

Posted on January 1st, 2014 by Wolfgang Kaehler  |  No Comments »

Dec. 29, Grytviken–Wildlife and Rust

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We woke up to a beautiful morning: not a cloud in the sky and a great view of the old whaling station of Grytviken, which stopped operation in December of 1964

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The weather changed from sun to snow.  Young Elephant seals practicing the sparing; and a Antarctic fur seal is protecting his territory in the snowfall .

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Whale catchers are rusting away as the whaling station

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The church from 1913 and its library

Upcoming Photo tours:  Iguassu Falls March 2014, Botswana June 2014, Pantanal September 2014, Alaska 2015, Svalbard(Spitsbergen Polar bears) 2015

Posted on December 29th, 2013 by Wolfgang Kaehler  |  No Comments »

Dec. 28: Cooper Bay & Drygalski Fjord, South Georgia

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Cooper Bay

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Macaroni penguins on rocks in Cooper Bay

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Antarctic Fur seals in heavy snow fall in Cooper Bay

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Antarctic Fur seals on beach in Cooper Bay

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Seabourn Quest in Drygalski Fjord

Posted on December 28th, 2013 by Wolfgang Kaehler  |  No Comments »

Dec. 26 and 27: At Sea in the Scotia Sea

Cornwallis Island is an island 1 mile (1.6 km) long, which lies 5 miles (8 km) northeast of the east end of Elephant Island, in the South Shetland Islands

After two days without the internet, it started this evening to work again.  Yesterday on our way to South Georgia, we passed Cornwallis Island, a island 1 mile (1.6 km) long, which lies 5 miles (8 km) northeast of the east end of Elephant Island, in the South Shetland Islands 

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A Cape petrel is gliding through the evening sky

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Sunset over the Scotia Sea

Posted on December 27th, 2013 by Wolfgang Kaehler  |  No Comments »

Dec. 25: Cuverville Island, Antarctica

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We arrived at Cuverville Island and to our surprise Santa Claus was greeting the Seabourn Quest and wished all of us a Merry Christmas

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Cuverville Island is home to a Gentoo penguin colony

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It was warm on Cuverville Island and I took my fur hat off which I bought in Buenos Aires before my first trip to Antarctica in 1977.  A skua came and inspected it: it looks furry – maybe I can eat it.  I quickly grabbed it and my hat was safe.

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Skua with Gentoo penguins in background

Posted on December 25th, 2013 by Wolfgang Kaehler  |  No Comments »

Dec. 24: Gonzales Videla, Paradise Bay, Antarctica

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Christmas decorations on the Seabourn Quest

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Gentoo penguin colony at the Chilean station Gonzales Videla, Paradise Bay, Antarctica

Leucism (occasionally spelled leukism) is a general term for the phenotype resulting from defects in pigment cell differentiation and/or migration from the neural crest to skin, hair, or feathers during development. This results in either the entire surface (if all pigment cells fail to develop) or patches of body surface (if only a subset are defective) having a lack of cells capable of making pigment.

Lucistic Gentoo penguin (a defect in pigment cell differentiation)

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Algae and ice

Posted on December 25th, 2013 by Wolfgang Kaehler  |  No Comments »

Dec. 23: Antarctic Sound & Hope Bay

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Antarctic Sound at 4 am

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Zodiac excursion at Hope Bay with Adelie Penguins on ice floe

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Adelie Penguin

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Adelie Penguins

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Adelie Penguins

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Adelie Penguins

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Adelie Penguins going to sea

Posted on December 23rd, 2013 by Wolfgang Kaehler  |  No Comments »