Houbara Bustard (Chlamydotis undulata)
Twitch: a British term used to mean “the pursuit of a previously-located rare bird.”
During our previous visit to Kutch, Gujarat, we had manage to photograph almost all the major bird species, however, the Houbara Bustard (Chlamydotis undulata) had eluded us. Yes, we had managed to get a sighting but I was not happy with the quality of pictures that we had… Continue reading for details and 4 more pictures
Tea estates under the clouds
I am Wookie - A young lion-tailed macaque looks me in the eye
Click for 13 more pictures, map and the GPX file
Honestly till some time ago I had never heard of Valparai. It was Kalyan and a few others who mentioned it on twitter off and on. Being creature of arid or dry deciduous forest, I had resisted the rain forests for a long time. Seeing the lush green, HDR without the HDR kind of landscapes and the amazing macros of creatures unseen was tempting but the real lure however was the opportunity to photograph one of the most rare of the primates; the Lion Tailed Macaque
Valparai is located about 100km from Coimbatore; unfortunately from Nagpur there are no direct flights and it meant hopping flights in Mumbai. Till a few hours before our departure Mumbai had been experiencing the heaviest downpour of the season, I was a bit worried about flights getting delayed and we might miss the connecting flight. The rain Gods relented and we landed in Coimbatore dot on time. The drive to Valparai was one of the most enchanting drives that we have ever experienced. The 40 hairpin bends around the hills which give a progressively awesome view of the Aliyar Dam and reservoir is something to be experienced. The drive also gave me the opportunity to test my new GPS – Garmin 60CSx
As we drove up it was raining… If you want just pictures wait for part 2 else read on….
Indian Muntjac (Muntiacus muntjak)
All my previous sighting s of this animal have been fleeting glimpses as it disappeared into the bushes. Indian Muntjac commonly known as the Indian barking deer is a small, very alert and shy member of the deer family. Read more with one more photograph
The camp fire
The seed for the trip to Botswana was planted when we were in the Serengeti plains of Tanzania in May. Amit Sharma, my good friend of many years said that there was a great price deal and photographer Vincent Grafhorst will be our host. I was instantly hooked. Six months was a long time but there were things which took long, like the Johannesburg visa, plans were changed which meant re-booking tickets several Times. Continue reading, 14 more pictures of the camp
The King eats!
Now that I am back from another wildlife photo tour in Botswana, Africa. It became imperative that I finish posting the pictures and experiences from the previous ones. Continue reading for GPS trail and mapped photos
With so many pictures from our Tanzania trip I wanted to something different than my usual wildlife photography style. I have tried to compile a series of five pictures which I call “Animal Portraits”. Each of these animals are from a group referred to as the African Big Five. Continue reading and grab the other 4 too!!
Secretary-bird - Sagittarius serpentarius
As we drove towards the Central Serengeti plains a head bobbed up from behind a rising – I immediately exclaimed – Vulture!! But as the bird continued to come towards us it became apparent that the bird was taller than any vulture I know of, as the legs came into view they were more like that of a Stork or a Crane. This was my first encounter with the Secretary-bird. Continue reading has 2 more pictures…
Grey Crowned Crane - Balearica regulorum
Lake Manyara was our first game drive destination on our 9 day travails through Tanzania. After landing at Nairobi we traveled for nearly 7 hours before we could reach here. Even though we were very tired the abundance of birdlife and wildlife made up for everything. Continue reading there are 20 more pictures!!
- Carry a good bean bag, Even with a small lens your wrists can get tired pretty soon and tripods are not very useful inside a vehicle.
- Do not overlook taking wide angle shots – carry a good wide lens – a 10-20mm Sigma is a nice starter lens.
- A 400mm lens is mostly reach enough, you will not miss much if you do not have a longer lens – but do carry your big guns if you can.
- Do not ignore the birds there are plenty of them in Manyara, Serengeti as well as Ngorongoro.
- Use the biggest vehicle you can find and afford and do not fill it – have one photographer per row of seats.
- Pick up cans of Insect repellent sprays, they will be there in your rooms, wear full sleeves shirts. Avoid wearing blue and black – the Tsetse flies can be very irritating though the Serengeti ones are not disease carrying.
- Learn the Swaheli words for the common animals – the guides and drivers keep up a constant chatter on the radio and won’t share unless you specifically ask.
- Do day long game drives – unlike in India they are allowed in Tanzania and most resorts will give you packed breakfast as well as lunches.
- Rhinos in Ngorongoro are always very far off – get hold of a friendly Ranger who has the authority to go on “Ranger only” tracks and somehow convince him to take you in his vehicle.
- Carry enough storage cards for your camera and also spare batteries – you will certainly shoot more than you anticipated. Do not delete pictures in the field.
And this last one is a general tip for travelers using Kenya Airways – board early. Kenya airways has a monopoly in the sector and treat passengers like shit. You may want to read what we went through while flying back