It’s Monday 30th March 2009 and lights, camera, action

Last week I promised that we would show you some of the photos taken by the photographic workshop with David Rogers – there really are some marvellous pictures. All the RPS budding photographers have been suffering from serious lens envy, drooling as lenses the size of baby elephants were sprawled across the bar.

The photpgraphic team - with their serious lensesWoodland kingfisher, Kathryn Richardson

Every year the group varies according to focus, experience and equipment, but they all had one thing in common – serious enthusiasm for the bush, wildlife and of course photography. This year we even had a video-grapher, adding a new dimension to the group.

The late rains caused the river to rise dramatically which put everyone on Flood Alert. Vehicles were moved to prime evacuation spots and a couple of people even packed up their belongings (just in case). Needless to say the photographers loved every minute of it.

Boating in the ebony groves - David RogersYellowbilled stork - Peter McKellar

Since the waters were so high, the journey up to Nsefu took a little bit longer than usual; but not because the current was too strong for the ali boat. Rather there were so many flooded lagoons, ponds and channels to explore along the way that our photo team got sidetracked.

Lion licking - Kate BoswellFish eagle - Peter McKellar

The river bend at Nsefu this year was enormous; a beautiful bow of silvery water where yellow billed storks patrolled the margins and crocodiles lurked in search of prey. No doubt, judging by all the activity, there were plenty of fish to be had in the shallows.

Nsefu at last light - David RogersZebras - Dale Morris

The high waters in the park made for an excellent adventure, allowing our photo team to get up close to all manner of wildlife including our famous stork colony which this year was accessible by boat. There were serenely beautiful flooded ebony groves to drift around in and there were open lakes full of honking hippos and mewling cranes. The team also saw a Pel’s fishing owl (a birder’s Holy Grail) but alas it took off for deeper cover before anyone could snap off a shot.

Stretching lion - Kathryn RichardsonColourful grasshopper - Kathryn Richardson

While relaxing on the boat journey back from the colony Kate spotted a flash of brown amongst the green and upon further investigation found seven lions lazing on the river bank. One of them was obviously a poser and performed brilliantly for the cameras by stretching up against a tree.

The team in action - Dale MorrisZebra Synchrony - Kate Boswell

Back at Nkwali the group ended their photo workshop with a magical morning spent, in part, with a leopard and her cub. Jacob had heard monkeys alarming and it wasn’t long before the group were treated to the sight of a beautiful cat slinking through the tree tops. The monkeys were having a fit… “It didn’t look like a serious hunt” Dale, one of the photographers later told me. “More like a mother teaching her cub how to climb.” The two leopards soon gave up their half hearted attempts at giving monkeys heart attacks and slinked off into the undergrowth only to appear moments later in an open glen. There they spooked a couple of crowned cranes and caused a puku to almost jump out of his skin before vanishing completely (as leopards tend to do) like shadows in the dark.

Leopard - Dale MorrisLeopard

The photo team had so many exciting stories to tell from their time spent in South Luangwa that I’m sure I could write a book about it all, but alas I’ve already run out of space.

Cheers

Fiona

PS Remember our 2009 Photographic Competition – submit your fab photos and get free nights on your next safari!

Buffalo - Kate Boswell

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