Mapungubwe 2017

It has been too long.

Charmain and I needed a bush break and after more than 5 years we returned to Mapungubwe.

Our blog was not up at that stage but we did post a trip report here.

We had a wonderful time as we did the last time and even though some things did change most of the magic(and not so magic) stayed.

Many people always ask about equipment we used for our photographs etc. so I thought I would add some tidbits going forward.

For this trip we hired the Gimpro door mount and gimball head from Lensrent. It took me a day or so to get the hang of it but it beats my old trusty beanbag hands down.

The service from Anton at Lensrent was first class and I can really recommend his business.

Charmain only shot video during this trip and we plan to upload the video as soon as we tried our hand at video editing. (Might take a while)

I am uploading bigger pictures so please click on the photos in this post to get a much nicer picture.

Back to Mapungubwe.

We saw elephants every day as with our previous trip.

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The animals operate mostly between the river and the waterhole and that is exactly where most of the photos were taken.

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The waterhole was much bigger this time around with the added benefit of much more birds and animals including crocs.

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It is always interesting to see the interaction between crocs and other animals coming to drink water.

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The birdlife in and around the water was magical so please excuse the abundance of bird pictures.

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Lets get back to the Ellies. As mentioned we saw them every day and very close up. The peacefulness of these big animals is intoxicating.

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The veld was dry and overgrazed (more about that later) in parts even though good rain fell recently.

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Being in one place for more than a week helps in getting nice pictures, since you get to know where the animals and birds operate.

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We drove the eco 4×4 route again and even though portions were totally overgrown and inaccessible  the quietness and beautiful landscape still takes ones breath away.

Obviously with animals around to keep it interesting.

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The day we visited the eastern part of the park.

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Apologies for all the pics but to pick the best ones out of more than a1000 can be difficult 🙂

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One of the biggest troops of baboons I ever saw came to munch on some water lilies.

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And then this beauty pitched up (Saddle billed stork)

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A few more bird pics.

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Nothing like parking in the veld and having a snack.

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Charmain spotted this fish eagle and he was such a poser.

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Back at the waterhole.

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Sitting in the hide, not much happening while the light is getting better.

What to do?

Well, I have never tried my hand at inflight bird photography and it is actually one of the weak points of the Tamron 150-600 (its lack of fast enough focusing and focus tracking).

I also did not have a gimball so had to shoot freehand.

I bumped the ISO (the 6d is forgiving with higher ISO) set my aperture at f8, maximum zoom(birds were quite far) and shot away.

I am quite happy with some of the results.

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Too soon our time in the bush was over, and the sun was setting on a memorable time.

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There are some things in Mapungubwe that still bothers, like the abundance of fences (without obvious purpose) that causes over grazing in certain parts. The thick wire against the Limpopo river. The overgrown state of some of the trails, and the lack of viewpoints on the riverbank.

In conclusion I would like thank my better half for an awesome time together in the bush.

Categories: 4x4, Discovery 4, LR 4 | Tags: , | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “Mapungubwe 2017

  1. fanie

    Baie mooi.

  2. Beryl Venter

    Stunning photo’s!!! We were there in March and would love to go back next year.

  3. Awesome pics pappa, I am gonna HAVE to up my game with my pics now, especially with the in flight bird foudies. Well done!!! Can’t wait to see the bush again.

  4. Willem & Avril Snyman

    Geluk met die Cheetah. Interesante veranderinge wat jy laat aanbring het. Hoop jy geniet hom soos ons onsen geniet

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