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Southern Greater Kruger, South Africa

The game viewing is always phenomenal in this area, especially towards the end of the dry season and it again lived up to its reputation of being one of the best places to see big game, particularly leopard.  We were fortunate to see 4 different individuals during our stay, including 2 different and very large males that entertained us with their rasping territorial calls at night.  On the first afternoon we also came upon a female with a fresh nyala carcass in a tree.  Rhinos were also out and late one afternoon we found a big bull in a clearing that immediately wandered off.  We followed and after about 500m of driving through some interesting terrain found that he had led us to a mother and calf.  For the next 20 minutes we watched as the bull approached and backed away from the female.  He was obviously interested in her but she was having none of it and eventually gave him the slip.

The lion males were playing hard to get but the females and cubs in the area were full value.  We followed a pride one morning and had great views as they sat at the river’s edge – the females apparently looking for a safe place free of crocodiles to take a drink.

Unusual sightings

Lets chat about some of the more unusual or funning things we have seen in the bush.

One of my favourite was watching a lion trying to get a tortoise out his shell for about 30 m minutes, it was a real case of cat and mouse and the tortoise ended up walking away!! Smile

Kruger National Park

It just holds something against, other reserves, it smells better!

River lines and so much diversity, that you can never get tired of this park. We all have our favourite parts and memorable sightings, which keeps us going back!

Off to the Kalahari next week for the first time!! so maybe things will change. Smile

Private light aircraft charter flights

'Private' means that there will be no other people other than your party on the aircraft.
The cost of Private Charter Flights is more expensive than Shared Charter Flights as you are charged for all the seats on the plane.
These flights do however give you greater flexibility than shared charter flights in terms of destinations and flying times which are tailor-made to suit your requirements.

How to maintain focus

Switch to MANUAL focus when the subject is moving through vegetation that partly obscures the the body or face. Track the subject by keeping fingers on the focus ring.

Manual focus is the best option in these circumstances because Auto focus will constantly be adjusting between vegetation and the subject resulting in the camera not 'locking-on' and the photos will be out of focus (if the camera allows you to take them).
In other circumstances, leave the camera on Auto focus.

It is also an option to adjust your cameras focus setting to centre-weighted to ensure that focus at the centre of the frame is the priority. This basically means that all the small red squares except the centre one, in the viewfinder should be deactivated.

When viewing photographs the observers eye is naturally drawn towards the eye of the subject and it is most important that the face and eyes in the photograph are in clear focus, even if the rest of the body is slightly out of focus. Animals are often seen in side-profile when looking at you, resulting in the head and eyes being a little closer to you than the body.

Having the body placed centrally in the frame will result in the body being in clear focus but the eyes being slightly blurred. To overcome this, centre the frame on the eyes and press the shutter half down to lock shutter speed, aperture and focus and then (while still holding the shutter button half down) recompose the frame and press the button all the way down to take the shot.

Bigger lenses are not always the best eg. 500mm but it is better to get faster lenses which have the biggest front lenses for light assimilation and therefore the biggest aperture - the lowest F number eg. F2.8.

These lenses allow for optimal functioning and focusing with higher shutter speeds in low light and they therefore perform better for clearer pictures.

Remember, good pictures are primarily the result of good lenses, NOT good cameras.

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