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Our Amazing Intro to Masai Mara! …

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Brendon’s News from the Masai Mara Predator Photo Safari:

We all met at the airport at Nairobi from where we climbed aboard a light aircraft for our trip to Masai Mara where we landed before lunchtime.

The drive from the airport to the camp was superb and a wonderful introduction to the area. We saw elephants, buffalo, giraffe, Black-backed Jackal, Thomson’s Gazelles, hippos, Impala, and more. And this was before we even reached the Lodge.

When we arrived at the Lodge we checked into our superb accommodations, and then enjoyed a very welcome lunch. Everyone was keen to get going and we grabbed our camera equipment and set out with much enthusiasm and as much expectation.

We had hardly left the camp when we came across a large herd of buffalo. There were loads of giraffe dotted around and it didn’t take long for us to spot our first cheetah. It lay on a mound, not doing much for a while, but then gave us some great poses when it got up and stretched and yawned widely. We hoped that she would hunt in the late afternoon, but she was too relaxed and not bothered to hunt for now.

We had heard about a leopard couple that had been mating for the past day or two, and we made our way to them to check whether they were still in the area. As we arrived we found them out in the open, and we quickly filled our memory cards with images of the mating couple. There was no long grass, or any bush to create obstructions.

We left the amorous duo when they moved out of sight into a bushy area, and we started to meander towards the camp. On the way we encountered two lionesses that had killed a wildebeest moments before our arrival. As it was dusk by then we used flash to light the scene adequately as the lions fed.

Whew! What a truly rewarding start to our safari. And what choices we have in the morning – we should check on the lionesses, and also on the mating leopards …

Antarctica fact you didn't know

Facts You Didn’t Know About Antarctica

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Antarctica is one of the most interesting and mysterious places in the world. Whilst most think it’s shrouded in solitude, it’s actually known to have a thriving community of scientists, fantastic scenery and surprisingly – some really interesting wildlife.

Antarctica has to be one of the most fascinating, coolest (no pun intended) and most interesting places on Earth. Would you ever visit this vast expanse of desert? Find out some interesting and peculiar facts about Antarctica – and what it would take to visit!

facts you didn't know about antarctica tusk photo

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Masai Mara Predator Photo Safari: Predators At War … (An Incredible Drama Unfolds …)

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Wim Reports from the Masai Mara Predator Photo Safari:
(Photos from Back of Wim’s Camera)

We headed south as soon as we could leave the camp this morning. We crossed the Talek river without a problem and started our search for the five cheetah brothers. They didn’t hunt yesterday and we hoped that they would be back in action today. We arrived where they had been just as glimmers of colour stared to show in the sky. And there we found hyenas where the cheetahs had been. The brothers had moved off and it took us almost an hour to find them again. They were hunting, but were not really being very enthusiastic about it. They would lie down periodically and look around for prey, so there was not too much effort there.

At one stage a number of animals were in very close proximity. Included in this we could see a Topi with a small calf. One of the cheetahs saw this, and within seconds all five brothers were up. All the animals scattered, including the Topi and her calf. The cheetahs focused on the young calf and there was mayhem as animals streaked in all directions across the large plain. We really thought that the Topi had no chance, but they are extremely fast, being one of the fastest of the antelopes, reaching speeds of up to 70km per hour. And they can run for long distances. This time they outran the cheetahs and both mother and her calf escaped unharmed.

After this the cheetahs were exhausted so they went to have a good rest while we went for coffee.

We returned to find them still flat, and although we waited for some time, the cheetahs did not stir.

After a very late breakfast that doubled as a lunch for us at noon we returned to the cheetahs again. We stuck around there partly because our vehicle developed battery problems and a new one had to be brought for us.

Eventually, our wait was rewarded as the cheetahs were finally up and hunting.

4 Cheetahs Walk in Single File_2929

They walked right past our vehicle onto a plain. We drove around to intercept them. As the cheetahs walked onto the open area they spotted a very large lion walking across the same plain. The cheetahs immediately dropped flat and watched the lion, trying to keep a very low profile. Then the lion also lay down and flattened himself. As the lion lay there looking around, unconcerned and relaxed, he suddenly noticed the cheetahs. We parked right behind the cheetahs to see what would happen next. When the lion saw the cheetahs he was up in a flash and started to stalk them. We watched in amazement as he started towards them. Our hearts were thudding – what would happen now? The lion came right past our vehicle – within two meters – and ignored us with our cameras. The next second he charged – and five terrified cheetahs scattered in all directions. The cheetahs ran onto the plain and tried to escape from the charging lion. We spent the next hour and a half watching incredulously as the lion kept chasing the brothers in all directions around the plain. The lion chased the cheetahs until he was out of breath, when he would lie down, catch his breath, and a few moments later another chase would begin. The cheetahs were exhausted, especially when a lioness came to join in and they faced double trouble. And we weren’t the only spectators of this amazing scene. Hundreds of animals including Wildebeest, Topi, Zebras, Thomson’s Gazelles watched the spectacle. It was almost as if they knew that they were OK as long as the predators were at war with each other. Our photographs from the sustained drama are outstanding!

We left them all on the plain with the cheetahs huddled together in a group while the lion and lioness lay about 100 meters away, catching their breath. As we left we saw the remainder of the pride close by. The pride is from the eastern section of the Mara, and they are really intent on giving the cheetahs a very tough time.

We are back at the camp, still trying to absorb what we witnessed this afternoon. It was almost like a Nat Geo documentary unfolding right there in front of our eyes. In the morning we would like to return to the scene for our final game drive …

Okavango, Savute, and Chobe Photo Tour: Three Predator Groups and one Kill …

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Brendon Reports from Khwai River Lodge on the Okavango, Savute, and Chobe Photo Tour:

We headed out and when we very quickly found lion tracks we followed these. We found the two lionesses in beautiful early morning golden light and were able to photograph them as they walked along to find a comfortable, cool spot to rest.

While we were photographing the two cats, everything was very relaxed and peaceful – but that changed in a split second when the lionesses leaped up together and bolted off at full speed. They had spotted the pack of Wild Dogs that had caught an impala on the far side of the river. Hyenas then stole the kill from the dogs. The dogs naturally objected angrily and very vociferously, and the lionesses, hearing the commotion were now investigating the cause of the fuss. But because the drama was unfolding on the far side of the river, the lionesses could do nothing about it.

But we captured as much as we could of the action. It was fabulous to be there with three major predators all focussed on the same kill.

We spent much of the morning concentrating on birds, elephants …

… and the other wildlife in this lush part of the world. Wattled Craned, Saddle-billed Storks, African Barred Owlets were particularly well placed for photography.

This afternoon we checked on the lionesses again, but as they were fast asleep where we left them this morning, we left to try and find a leopard again.

We passed a vehicle that informed us that they had seen a leopard across the river. So we went through the river and started to search the area, but the leopard was hiding and we actually went past where she lying flat in the grass a few times before she suddenly popped up. She was exactly where we had searched and checked and checked again many times. But anyway, there she was at last! A welcome sight!

The afternoon light was wonderful, and when she climbed a tree, we had everything we could wish for. We used our flash as the sun started to disappear.

On the way back to the Lodge we had another great sighting of a couple of hyenas. They looked quite fearsome in the darkness.

Tomorrow we have a final game drive here at Khwai before we move on to Savuti …

Endangered species and where to find them

Endangered Species – Facts and Where To Find Them

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It’s a sad yet known fact that many animals, even the most common of species, are fighting for survival. They constantly battle against habitual loss, human civil wars and trade – among many other unfortunate and cruel reasons.

Although this guide isn’t definitive, it is intended to help you identify some of the most beautiful creatures – and potentially aid in planning your next safari. It will also show you some unique facts and figures to give you a better understanding of just how precious these animals are.

The endangered species listed in our infographic range from “vulnerable” to “critically endangered” – with populations as little as 400 in the entire world. Know of any emerging endangered species and other unique facts about these creatures? Let us know.

Here is an infographic of endangered species, including facts and where to find them:

Endangered species and where to find them

 

A Guide To The Best DSLR Cameras for Beginners

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It’s easy to think that the words ‘Best’ and ‘Beginners’ contradict each other, especially in a world of high tech gadgets and ever-evolving cameras.

At first glance, DSLR cameras are overwhelming and the terminology is a minefield; however with this guide you’ll learn and build upon the basics, whilst embarking on your journey to becoming a professional photographer!

If you’re keen to take the plunge into the DSLR territory you’ll be open to a world of cutting edge technology, immense quality and most of all – more control over the composition of your shots. Being equipped with the right camera body will get you more detail than the average point-and-shoot.

In this article we will cover what to consider when buying (or upgrading) your DSLR camera, as well as a list of DSLR camera bodies from our favourite brands.

Here is the guide to the best cameras for beginners:

Megapixels: Megapixels (MP) affect the amount of information the sensor is able to process. This is probably the first term you’ll come across for any camera-based product. The more megapixels your camera has the more information it can process – resulting in a more detailed photograph. If your intentions are to post pictures for your leisure on social media then the amount of megapixels shouldn’t be an issue, however if you plan to set up a professional photography website then you want the megapixels at the highest you can afford.

Don’t get bogged down if you can’t afford that camera with 40 megapixels – if you’re starting out, a camera with at least 15 megapixels is fine to begin with.

Sensors: A sensor’s purpose is capture the light needed to create your digital image. The inner workings and how they work is a whole other blog post – what you need to look for in product descriptions are the following types of cropped sensors you might come across in entry-level cameras:

Follow this resource for a more detailed guide on sensors in the mean time.

‘Kit’ lens: Kits are a great way to keep costs down especially if you’re just stepping into the world of DSLR cameras. Kits come with a lens when you buy the body of the camera – while most of the kit lenses are lower grade, they’re the best to start out with in order to get used to your new camera.

Frames Per Second (FPS): As the name suggests, this is the amount of shots your camera can take in a second. This is especially useful if you aim to pursue wildlife, motor or sports photography as this will ensure faster trigger rates.

ISO: This simply means the light sensitivity of your camera – the higher the number it goes up to, the more sensitive to light your camera will be. Be wary of using too high of an ISO in an already well-lit area as this will over-expose your image. But on this note – too low of an ISO will underexpose it.

Flip-screen: This isn’t a necessity to capture amazing photos, however it’s great for experimentation and to practice your framing techniques for the likes of portrait or landscape photography. It’s also great if you plan to record videos or vlogs.

An important question you need to ask yourself – Is a DSLR camera right for me?

It allows flexibility: DSLR’s allow you to change lenses at your will. Interchangeable lenses therefore means your camera is open to achieving a variety of shots and effects. For example a telephoto (zoom) lens will allow you to zoom in on subjects whereas as macro lens allows you to take close up detail shots. A DSLR also allows you to create stunning different effects with the use of accessories such as colour filters, flash guns and many more.

Be aware of the (few) downsides. Unfortunately DSLRs aren’t cheap to come by, however many places offer second-hand cameras, not to mention you have options of buying a kit to reduce your overall spend. This being said – it’s worth the buck for the amazing photos you’ll capture!

Here are the 5 best cameras we recommend for beginners:

Canon EOS 750D

The ISO range of this enthusiast – level camera ranges from 100-12800 (expandable up to 25600)and a DIGIC 6 processor which allows this camera to fire up to 5FPS. Although this camera was released in 2015, the 750D has more megapixels than its predecessor – the 700D (24.2 vs. 18) and is able to produce twice as many autofocus points. The Canon EOS 750D also provides a flip-out screen allowing you to make effortless changes on the menu, also making it great for a budding filmmaker!

Nikon D5500

The D5600 is considered an entry to mid-range camera with a small body. It’s a crop sensor camera ideal for a pro-am and is a great choice for a beginner wanting to upgrade or simply to get stuck in on a camera with more advanced features. This intermediate camera has burst rate of 5 FPS coupled with 24.3 megapixels. This camera also boasts a 39-point autofocus and shoots 1080p video – making it an all-rounder for photography and film with yet another swivelling LCD touch screen.

Pentax K-70

The K-70 is an upgrade of the K-S2 – bumping up the megapixels from 20.2 to 24.2. It has built in features that reduce the troublesome ‘moire’ effect, resulting in less noise and improved colour detail with ISO running up to 102400. The biggest asset of the K-70 is its reputation as a weather-resistant DSLR, ranking highly for this purpose in the photography community with its ability to shoot in -10 C temperatures.

Canon EOS 1200D

The most affordable of the lot and a great introduction to the world of Canon and packs a punch for its buck – with 3FPS and 1080p video capture as well as an on screen shooting guide to help you compose your shots. This camera boasts an epic 18MP and ISO beginning at 100-6400 and expanded all the way up to 12800 when fully expanded. This is the best beginner budget camera that’s packed with lots of technical features as well as playful special effects such as the ‘Toy Camera’ and ‘Fish Eye’.

Nikon D3300

The D3300 has been known to give the Canon 750D a run for its money. It’s a really well-priced, versatile camera with a burst rate of 5 FPS and 24MP. It has a fixed 3” LCD making it a great choice for aspiring videographers too, coupled with the ability to record at 1080p video. The best thing about this camera is its more commonly sold in camera shops as a kit – giving you more value for your money.

We hope this beginners photography guide was helpful – remember that whether you’re looking for an entry-level DSLR to get started with or an intermediate camera to get stuck in, there will always be an option for every level of photography out there.

If you’re still spoiled for choice –  we highly recommend renting out cameras and see which ones you feel most comfortable with before you fully invest. When you find the right camera, you’ll know.

Further reading:

Photoshop Training Classes​

Quick Guide to Features of DSLR Cameras

36 Photography Composition Rules You Need To Know

26 Wildlife Photography Blogs to Check Out in 2017

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As with any art, wildlife photography takes a good dose of inspiration, luck, and skill. But if you’re new to the hobby, finding that inspiration and the advice you need to get started can’t prove difficult. Which are the best websites to visit on the web? Which sites will offer genuinely useful advice? Which photographers will really inspire you?

To help you grow your budding enthusiasm at Tusk Photo we have put together our favourite 30 Wildlife Photography blogs of 2017. They aren’t in any particular order, but please do browse the sites below. We promise you won’t be disappointed!

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

If you’re looking to find the home of some of the world’s best wildlife photographers online, look no further than the Wildlife Photographer of the Year’s blog. They regularly take guest posts from up and coming and established photographers from around the globe, showcasing the best of their work.

Photoblog

While it isn’t strictly just about Wildlife Photography, Photoblog is a site that every keen wildlife photographer should be checking out. It allows you to create you very own photo blog, on which you can showcase your work, completely free of charge. The ‘learn’ section is packed with full of helpful advice for all photographers, too.

Moose Peterson

Moose Peterson and his wife have dedicated their lives to photographing endangered wildlife since 1981. The aim? To educate the public about the issues facing many of our favourite animals every day. The blog is full of inspirational images, tips on getting to know your camera, and how you can help your local wildlife.

Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography

Burrard-Lucas is a wildlife photographer from the UK. He has created is very own range of products designed for wildlife photographers and become one of the world’s most famous photography bloggers. His site showcases both his art and his inventions and on his blog you can follow along on his breathtaking adventures

Londolozi

If you are on the hunt for a blog in which you can immerse yourself into the African wildlife, then look no further than Londolzi. The site covers stories daily of everything from the Leopards of Londolzi, the lion prides, photographic journals and so much more.

Art in Nature Photography

Run and authored by a young and passionate wildlife photographer, Floris Van Breugel, Art in Nature Photography journals his outdoor experiences. His breathtaking images are sure to inspire your own work and will hopefully motivate you to journey into your own landscape, learning both its history and what is required to preserve it.

Richard Peters Photography

A Nikon Ambassador and innovative wildlife photography, Richard Peters’ blog is a haven for those interested in the hobby. He covers everything from stores about how he got some of his best shots to tips and advice on how you can get the most out of your gear.

Matthew Maran Photography

Get inspired and enjoy Matthew Maran’s vast array of wildlife and nature images. His blog is jam packed with stories from his day to day life working as a wildlife photographer across the globe. He even captures some of his adventures on video!

Visual Wilderness

Want to learn from some of the best photographers out there? Visual Wilderness’ contributors can help you get to grips with some of the basics of wilderness photography. Their blog covers everything from composition to quick tips to help you capture the best shot going.

John E. Marriott

Run by John E. Marriott is a Canadian wildlife photographer. With a wealth of experience, John offers some of his favourite photographs and tales from his photography adventures. He provides a tonne of advice on how you can better your wildlife photography, too. 

Tusk Photo

We wouldn’t create a post on wildlife photography blogs without including our own now, would we? On our blog you can find fun and useful posts just like this one, designed to help amateur wildlife photographers find their feet. And we also regularly publish pieces on our adventures out in the field!

Jules Cox Wildlife Photography

Jules Cox is a wildlife photographer from the UK that captures images of the British countryside like no other. His blog is a real inspiration and takes us through his adventures and some of the best images he captures on each outing (they’re always incredible!).

Jess Findlay Photography

Jess Findlay was raised in Vancouver, British Columbia. His natural surroundings inspired him to become an avid wildlife photographer from an early age. He’s gone from strength to strength ever since, winning awards like the prestigious BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

Martin Harvey Productions

With over 20 years’ experience, Martin Harvey, has created a vast collection of incredible images and videos of wildlife across the globe. On his blog you can keep up-to-date with his latest adventures, journeying with him to Namibia, Kenya, and everywhere else he travels too.

Looking at the West

Looking at the West is a blog run by photographer Andrew McAllister. He regularly takes expeditions, as the name suggests, out into the American West. His images travel through old American towns, architecture, and to the wilderness, where Andrew’s images truly come to life.

Ron McCombe’s Wildlife Photography Blog

This wildlife photography blog is run by Ron McCombe, a full time wildlife photographer in Scotland. Ron runs a range of wildlife photography workshops that help those new to the hobby capture images of various wildlife known in his local area. His blog is a great place to keep up-to-date with the latest pictures he’s snapped.

Franzfoto

Yellowstone is one of the world’s most popular places to visit for wildlife photographers. FranzFoto is the home of D.Robert Franz a wildlife photographer who specialises in capturing the incredible, teeming life of Yellowstone. His blog covers his adventures into the wild.

Alice Hunter Photography

Combining images of her local plants and wildlife, Alice Hunter depicts an accurate representation of habitats and nature of every place she visits. On her blog, you can follow her travels across the globe, check out some of her latest work, and read the occasional newsletter.

Show Me Nature Photograpy

Jim Braswell retired from working pharmaceuticals in 2007. Since then he has been focusing on his passion for wildlife photography, conveying the complexity of the day-to-day lives of each of his subjects. He offers workshops too, where he shares the tricks of the trade he’s learnt over the past ten years.

Ben Andrew Wildlife Photography

In 2007, Ben Andrew had his first taste of the photography bug and has been dedicating as much time as possible capturing photos of wildlife ever since. He’s won plenty of competitions in that time, too. His site is a source of inspiration for anyone else looking to take up the hobby.

Matthew Jones Photography

Matthew Jones is a nature, wildlife, and bird photographer. As a photographer he has been featured in prestigious awards such as the Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year. On his blog he showcases some of his latest work.

Andrew Sproule

If you’re looking to get inspired before heading out with your camera, Andrew Sproule’s site is the place to visit. It’s a beautifully designed site that perfectly showcases some of his best wildlife photography work. His blog helps keep you abreast of everything he’s up to, too.

Brad James

Brad James is an incredible wildlife photography hobbyist. With a passion for animals, wildlife, and preservation, Brad sends incredible message through his work. He’s garnered international recognition with his work, too, making his site a must visit.

Dawn Monrose

Dawn Monrose, has been a passionate photographer since getting her hands on her first ever SLR as a teenager. Over time she started to develop her own style, a style that’s prominent today in her wildlife photographer. If you’re looking for some stunning wildlife images, look no further.

Bret Charman

After a brief stint at university studying Architectural Technologies, Bret Charman decided to strike out to Zambia and work in the Safari Industry. He took along his camera, which has, over time, meant that wildlife photography has become his main gig. 

Richard Costin

Richard Costin is a wildlife photographer from the UK. He travels around the globe extensively capturing images of his incredible wildlife experiences. On his blog you can keep abreast of everything he’s up to, including checking out some of the latest images he’s captured.

How you can help Africa’s most endangered animals

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It is now thought that 20,000 species the world over are near extinction. A startling figure given our vamped up conservative efforts in recent years.

In some cases, the damage is so irreversibly done that saving the species seems an almost impossible uphill battle. But work can be done to help. Below we have looked at some of the most endangered species in Africa showing you why they’re endangered and providing that charities you can get involved with to help.

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED

The Black Rhino or hook-lipped rhinoceros is native to eastern and southern Africa. They stand roughly 140-180 cm in height at the shoulder, but unusually large males have been discovered. Their thick layer of skin helps protect them from thorns and sharp grass.

Reason for endangered status:

Hunters can be held responsible for the early decline of the black rhino population. When European settlers arrived in Africa in the early 20th century, it wasn’t uncommon for five or six black rhinos to be killed in a day for amusement or food.

How you can help:

Want to help? Here are the charities to check out:

https://www.savetherhino.org

https://gifts.worldwildlife.org/gift-center/gifts/Species-Adoptions/African-Rhino.aspx?sc=AWY1705OQ18316A01275RX&_ga=1.239625092.640662490.1484751313

The Cross River Gorilla is very similar in appearance to their relative, the Western Lowland Gorilla. Very slight differences are found in the skull and tooth dimensions. They were named as a new species in 1904 and we first captured on professional video in 2009.

Reason for endangered status:

The main reason for their endangered status is that humans are starting to encroach on their territory, often clearing out forest habitats where they live. Poaching also occurs in these forests, diminishing their numbers rapidly.

How you can help:

Want to help? Here are the charities to check out:

https://gifts.worldwildlife.org/gift-center/gifts/Species-Adoptions/Gorilla.aspx?sc=AWY1705OQ18316A01275RX&_ga=1.235425542.640662490.1484751313

http://www.crossrivergorilla.org/

The Pangolin is a nocturnal animal that’s easily recognised by their scaly armour. There are four species found in Africa and four found in Asia. All eight of these species are protected under national and international laws.

Reason for endangered status:

Their habitat has suffered from heavy deforestation over the years. Couple this with the fact that they are one of the most trafficked animals in the world, and it has led many to believe that all subspecies of Pangolin are endangered.

How you can help:

Want to help? Here are the charities to check out:

http://www.pangolinsg.org/get-involved/donate/

http://savepangolins.org/help/

The Addax, also known as the white antelope lives in the Sahara desert. They mainly eat grasses and hers were led by the oldest female. While their numbers are few in the wild, in captivity they are quite common.

Reason for endangered status:

Their slow movements mean that they make easy pickings for predators like lions, hunting dogs, and cheetahs. Unregulated hunting, however, has been the main cause for their decline.

How you can help:

Want to help? Here are the charities to check out:

https://www.wwf.org.uk/

This gorilla is one of two subspecies of the western gorilla. They primarily live in lowland swamps and dense forests in Africa, Cameroon, and Angola. While actually the smallest subspecies of gorilla, they still wield incredible strength.

Reason for endangered status:

Poaching and disease have caused rapid decline in the number of Western lowland Gorillas in the wild. It is thought that their population has dropped over 60% over the last 20-25 years and even if all threats to the animal are removed, it would still take them 75 years to recover,

How you can help:

Want to help? Here are the charities to check out:

https://gifts.worldwildlife.org/gift-center/gifts/Species-Adoptions/Gorilla.aspx?sc=AWY1705OQ18316A01275RX&_ga=1.236348934.640662490.1484751313

https://virunga.org/?gclid=Cj0KEQiA5IHEBRCLr_PZvq2_6qcBEiQAL4cQ0yEZY6pb_JdIP8QyrFaXKSeEXZcFQsxef_t-qvJDrZ4aAvB58P8HAQ

Also known as the bushman rabbit – this is one of the most endangered mammals on the planet. They have a longer body and longer ears than other rabbits and are found in the Karoo Desert of South Africa’s Cape Province – an unprotected area.

Reason for endangered status:

They regularly come under pressure from hunters, trapping, and predation by feral dogs and cats. Their slow breeding also contributes to their steady decline.

How you can help:

Want to help? Here are the charities to check out:

http://www.waza.org/en/site/conservation/waza-conservation-projects/overview/riverine-rabbit-conservation

ENDANGERED

The African Wild Dog is a social animal, living in packs with different hierarchies for males and females. The species hunt antelope and have few predators themselves apart from Lions and spotted Hyenas. The majority of the population now resides in Southern and Eastern Africa.

Reason for endangered status:

Their decline is a result of habitat fragmentation, human persecution, and consistent disease outbreaks.

How you can help:

Want to help? Here are the charities to check out:

https://www.save-wildlife.org/en/our-work/save-african-animals/african-wild-dogs/save-the-last-african-wild-dogs

http://www.defenders.org/african-wild-dog/what-you-can-do

The Ethiopian wolf has extrememly specific habitat requirements and unlike other candids which are generalist feeders, they feed on Afroalpine rodents. More than half of the entire population of Ethiopian Wolves can be found in the Bale Mountains.

Reason for endangered status:

Threats to these animals include expanding pressure from human populations, which in turn has caused disease and habitat degradation.

How you can help:

Want to help? Here are the charities to check out:

http://www.awf.org/wildlife-conservation/ethiopian-wolf

http://www.ethiopianwolf.org/help

The African Penguin (also known as the jackass penguin because of its donkey-like brey) lives in oceans around southern African waters. They’re very recognisable thanks to their thick band of black in the shape of an upside down horseshoe.

Reason for endangered status:

There are a number of threats to the African Penguin including oil spills, habitat reduction, and human interference.

How you can help:

Want to help? Here are the charities to check out:

https://sanccob.co.za/

http://dict.org.za/

One species of the African Elephant, the bush elephant, is actually the largest living terrestrial animal. Their tusks occur in both males and females and are used in fights, for feeding, and for digging. Their large ears allow them to radiate excess heat.

Reason for endangered status:

The main threat to elephant population is poaching

How you can help:

Want to help? Here are the charities to check out:

http://savetheelephants.org/

https://www.elephantvoices.org/support-now/what-you-can-do-support-now-70.html

Also known as the imperial zebra, this is the most threatened of three zebra species. Grevy’s Zebra is distinguishable by its height, large ears, and narrower stripes. They can live for up to five days without water and mate and give birth all year-round.

Reason for endangered status:

The main reason for their reduction in population is loss of habitat. Their young have a low survival rate due to overgrazing and competition for water, also.

How you can help:

Want to help? Here are the charities to check out:

http://www.awf.org/projects/grevys-zebra-protection

https://wildnet.org/wildlife-programs/grevys-zebra

Khwai, Savuti, Chobe Botswana Safari: A Kill Is a Game for a Leopard Cub

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Wim Reports:

(Images from back of Brendon’s Camera)

This morning we went straight to an area just west of Machaba where we were told that a leopard, Nsele, with her cub had been sighted in a tree with a kill.

After a quick search we found them just as a most glorious sunrise provided a magnificent morning and photographic opportunities.

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The kill was hanging down from the tree, almost dropping right off. The cub found this very enticing and started to play with it.

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He swung around on it, batted it, and tried to feed off it from time to time.

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We then carried on to the other female and added to our collection of images as she jumped into the tree, then out, then back again – up and down.

There are elephants everywhere – we saw them coming down to the water to splash and drink during almost the whole game drive, and could point our cameras at almost any time to have one or more in the viewfinder.

By then it was time to return to the Lodge, and when we set out this afternoon we started with Nsele and her cub. They were lying in the tall reed so we returned to the female with her kill at Mogothlo. She was sill feeding on her carcass and we lined ourselves up for a possible tree exit – and got excellent shots as she did just that. And then up she went again – and down again … another two or three times, giving us all a chance to get amazing shots with the dramatic sunset sky in the background.

By now it was really late and the in darkness we used spotlights for backlit and side-lit images before we started to head back to the Lodge.

In addition to the leopards and elephants, there was scarcely a moment without fabulous birds, general game and wonderful scenery, and although we had reports of lions and Wild Dog, we decided to concentrate on the leopards to collect those quality images – and maybe we will follow up on the other predators tomorrow …