Join Date: Feb 2004
Thanks Dave, Geoff, Norm, Mullen, Bentlysmom and Barracuba, I really appreciate your time to look in and comment.
Geoff, if you ever get the chance to come out, take it - it really is a different world out there. When we go, my wife and I decide to not listen to any radio or even look at newspaper headlines, etc. , we basically switch off to the rat-race and enjoy nature to the fullest. Even the type of accomodation we select is the most remote, which lends itself to all the night sounds : Ie - We heard leopard most nights, lion every night , the trumpeting of elephants, jackal howing, hyena hooting and laughing, hippo grunting and cavorting, and best of all was the little scops owl which chirped frog-like all night long.
Just a word of caution : I feel sorry for those who go to the KNP, rush in for a day or two, try and see the BIG FIVE [and miss out on the 1000 smalls] and don't really experience the bush. The KNP is about 20,000 sq km's of natural bush, the wildlife is as it always has been, "untouched" by man to a large degree, and to really enjoy it, you have to spend at least a week in the park and FEEL it. I think a lot of tourists, local and visiting, get very despondant because they expect to see everything as one would in a zoo, however to see [and photograph] the wildlife takes a good amount of "hunting", eg: we have rarely seen leopard in the 26 years that we have been going, some do see them quite often. My brother visited there a week before us for 2 days and never saw a zebra, we must have seen literally thousands. Why I am writing this rather long dialogue is perhaps because I saw so many unhappy faces due to unfulfilled expectancies, and if any of you who might read this are deciding to come out to Africa, and the KNP in particular, try and avoid the "Must see the BIG FIVE quickly and nothing else matters syndrome", and rather endeavour to enjoy the "whole experience"
For photographing, this is particularly important, because, yes, you can take a shot of a elephant or impala or lion, but to get a GOOD shot takes quite a bit of sitting and watching for that brief moment when the animal does something unusual or different, and then of course your lighting has to be correct, your camera settings have to be correct for THAT moment, not the one 2 minutes before [Ask me, I have many duds, including a rare sighting of a very close leopard at it's kill because I forgot to change my iso, focus point, auto-focus, forgot the flash, etc.]
Anyway, thanks again for your comments !!