Bushtracks traveler Larry William is just back from his 5th Bushtracks safari, this one in the company of his wife, daughter and teenaged granddaughter. Here he shares some stunning African wildlife photos taken in Chobe National Park, Victoria Falls, Linyanti Wildlife Reserve, and the Okavango Delta.
Dr. William's medical work has brought him to Africa a dozen times since 1965. While his work with the Fistula Foundation has taken him into the DRC, and other places few tourists frequent, his latest trips have been designed to share his lifelong interest in Africa with his children and grandchildren. In 2012 he visited Kenya with his son Paul and his family, and this latest Botswana safari and Victoria Falls tour included Dr. William, his wife Judy, daughter Lisa, and 13-year-old granddaughter, Dahlia, herself a nascent photographer. Here are some of his photos, in his words.
"Our first stop was Chobe and the Ngoma Safari Lodge, and even though the park is home to about 120,000 resident elephants and another 60,000 refugee elephants, I told Dahlia not to get her expectations too high about seeing an elephant. She was thrilled to see her first one, and later took the picture below from a boat on the Chobe River."
The William family at Victoria Falls in August when the flow of the water is low enough to allow visitors to sit at the edge at Angel's Pool and enjoy a stunning view with rainbows.
But sitting at the edge of the Victoria Falls wasn't enough for Dahlia who was happily strapped into a Gorge Swing, plummeting over 200 feet, before being hoisted up and proclaiming it the best experience of her life!
"This young male lion was one of two groups of males vying for territorial rights at Kwando Lagoon. There had been a fire the day we arrived, and I saw this lion laying in a patch of burned grass and covered in soot, and thought the streaks on the animal's body were better highlighted in black and white. Ultimately this young male walked away from a potential conflict with the older, resident males, who had huge manes, and huge roars."
"The bee eaters at Kwando Lagoon were lots of fun to spot. I wondered how the birds were able to catch the bees, but the bees actually come to them, drawn in by the birds' colorful plumage. The birds dart off the stick to catch the bee, and then return to the same stick, which makes them easier to photograph. It was fascinating to see them knock the stinger off the bee before eating it."
"In the past I've worked with the San people, and have always been highly impressed with their skills as trackers. This was the last day of our trip at Little Kwara Camp, and as we were driving out to meet the plane, our guide was studying the dust on the road. To my untrained eye, it was just dimpled dust, but he deduced that a female leopard had just walked past and turned off the road. In five minutes he'd located her in a tree. She was a gorgeous animal, and I've never seen one in such beautiful lighting. Our guide was not only a talented tracker, but also an amateur photographer, and took care to position the vehicle for my photo."
From never having seen an elephant in the wild before the safari, Dahlia was practically an elephant whisperer by the end of her adventure. This elephant at Little Kwara Camp was focused on the task of gathering the Marula fruit that had dropped on the roof of the tent and all around camp, allowing Dahlia to get quite close to the animal, to her great delight.