GUEST TRAVELERS: January 2019
"OUT OF AFRICA" with Geoff & Jill
Come on a photo tour of Africa with Geoff Annesley-Smith and Gillian Mathew who have been visiting Africa for over thirty years and have spent time in fifteen different African countries.
They have a passion for wildlife and have accumulated over 20,000 stunning wildlife photographs.
Here is a selection of some of their photos from their 2018 trips to the Masai Mara in Kenya and Kruger National Park in South Africa.
There are also some recommendations and practical tips for those of you who are planning on visiting these areas in the future.
This yawning male lion in the Masai Mara is doing nothing as usual! He sleeps for eighteen to twenty hours a day while the female lion does most of the hunting and looking after the cubs.
Jill photographed these male kudu with their stunning horns at Kruger National Park. The kudu are a type of antelope.
Geoff managed to get these shots of a small number of wildebeest crossing the Mara River. The wildebeest had turned around early in 2018 and some had already gone back to Tanzania. The Mara River water level was very low this year and the fear is that with global warming and pollution, the river bed will dry up completely in the future.
These African Wild Dogs, also known as Painted Dogs are not easily seen these days.They are an endangered species with fewer than 5,000 left living in the wild.
They live and hunt very effectively for small antelopes, in packs of up to 40 animals. After the kill the young are given first feeding.
Geoff's favourite animals are elephants and the matriarchal herds do an amazing job of educating and bringing up the young. However, humans need to be very cautious around mother elephants with their babies, as although they usually look very calm, they are fiercely protective of their young.
PLANNING A TRIP TO KRUGER NATIONAL PARK? Here are some tips.
Firstly, keep in mind that you may need to pre-book your accommodation at the park a year in advance.
Fly into Johannesburg and stay overnight at an airport hotel.
Pick up a rental car the next day and drive five to six hours to Kruger National Park. Do not stop for anyone waving you down. There is a "safe" roadside cafe called Milly's Restaurant at Machadodorp en route which has a cafe, petrol station, restaurant and boys to guard your car!
Try to avoid arriving at the Park on a Saturday or Sunday or South African school holidays, as it will be very busy with the locals.
The park is very well organised with all types of accommodation facilities. Geoff & Jill recommend the bungalows which have all facilities and are air conditioned. Stay for two or three days in different locations and check out the "sighting boards" to see where the action might be!
Remember your good quality binoculars and malaria tablets. The shops in the park are well stocked and have maps.
Majestic cheetah checking out the landscape
Buffalo at Masai Mara