2012 February March Photo Safari Newsletter

Renner Safaris

Dream, Explore, Discover

Our February safari to Kenya and Tanzania was another amazing photo adventure!  February is the the birthing season for the great migration and we encountered lots of baby zebras and gazelle.  We also saw many baby wildebeest but not in the huge numbers we normally see at this time of year.  Due to the current dry conditions in the southern portion of the Serengeti, the large herds of wildebeest were holding off the mass birthing of their babies.  The clients in one of our vehicles however, were lucky  enough to watch the live the birth of a baby wildebeest. Our group was also  fortunate to watch a newborn zebra from seconds after its birth (it was still in the embryonic sack when we arrived) to taking its first steps and then trot off with it’s mom all in a span of thirty minutes.

White Rhino

Lake Nakuru, Kenya

Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens: Canon EF100-400mm,  f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2012

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Newsletter Highlights:

Tanzania and Kenya: July 18 – August 4, 2012: Due to work related and for personal reasons, three spaces have just become available for on this years July-August safari to visit the great migration during the season of the Mara River crossings.  A river crossing is one of nature’s most exciting spectacles.  If you are interested in joining us on this thrilling safari, please contact me as soon as possible at (949) 295-3136 or by email. Trip details.

For more information on our safaris in 2012, Kenya and Tanzania, Botswana and Rwanda: See the tables in the newsletter below for information, itineraries and trip prices.

Gorilla Trek in Rwanda, September 12 through 17, 2012. If you are serious about joining us,   sign up soon as possible because the permits in Rwanda will be sold out soon. Only four spaces available. Trip details

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At Ndutu Safari Lodge they have installed a bird bath that is constantly active with bird life. It is a wonderful place to photograph many different species of birds in what looks like a natural setting.  At times it is difficult to isolate one species because so many birds show up for the water. These are wild Fischer’s Lovebirds.

Fischer’s Lovebirds

Ndutu, Tanzania

Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Canon EF400mm, 5.6L USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2012

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While driving back to the lodge, we came upon this zebra and her newborn baby. She was still lying down and had just given birth.  The baby was still encased in the embryonic sack and was just beginning to attempt to move. After a little cleaning from mom, it wasn’t long before it wiggled free of the sack and began stretching what looked like rubber legs! Before long it was standing, then walking and then they trotted off together to join the herd. They say that the baby can recognize it’s mother by her stripes.  Amazing!  Try it once in a herd of zebra!

Newborn Zebra

Serengeti, Tanzania

Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Canon EF100-400mm, f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2012

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Mean and nasty tempered!  That is the legend of the Cape Buffalo. We left the lodge early and it was still before sunrise when we encountered this herd.  If threatened, the bulls will form a defensive barrier around the cows and babies making it as difficult as possible for predators to attack them.  The one in the foreground was very curious about the scent coming from our vehicle.  He held his nostrils up into the wind to check the breeze to make sure everything was okay for the herd.

Cape Buffalo Sniffing the Breeze

Masai Mara, Kenya

Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens: Canon EF100-400mm, f/4.5-5.6L IS USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2012

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It was just before sunset when we found this beautiful cheetah.  She was sitting up and scanning the plains for gazelle and dangerous predators that could try to harm her and her adolescent cub.  Night can be a very dangerous time for cheetahs in the Mara.  Lions and hyenas don’t like competition for food, so to them a good cheetah is a dead cheetah.

Cheetah

Masai Mara, Kenya

Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens: Canon EF100-400mm, f/4.5-5.6L IS USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2012

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Lake Nakuru received much rain last September and October.  In fact, so much so, that the lake is extremely full making it difficult for the flamingos to find their food. This forced them to move to other soda lakes in the Rift Valley where food is available.  Presently they are at Lake Natron in Tanzania.  We missed the flamingos but we did enjoy photographing the thousands of White Pelicans that gather in large flocks where the streams of fresh water flow into the lake.  White Pelican Lifting Off

Lake Nakuru, Kenya

Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Canon EF100-400mm, f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2012

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Sometimes, I just have to enjoy what I am seeing.  Mother Nature has a wonderful sense of humor.

   Zebra Resting

Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens: Canon EF100-400mm, f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2012

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I felt honored to see this huge old elephant.  Obviously, by the size of his tusks he has lived a long life.  It is extremely sad and angering to me that even in this world of supposedly educated people, there are those who kill these magnificent creatures just for their tusks!  There are so few large elephants still in existence that it is always a thrill to see one, even if at a great distance such as this one.

Old Tusker

Tanzania

Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Canon EF400mm, 5.6L USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2012

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I called these two Masai Giraffe in the Mara the greeters because each afternoon as we left our camp they were on the hill next to the road as if to greet us.

The Greeters

Masai Mara, Kenya

Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens: Canon EF100-400mm, f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2012

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Even though vultures are not considered to be the most beautiful of birds, the clean up work they do in the wild is extremely important.  We watched as lions left a kill and went to lay in the shade of a tree.  Next on the scene were the hyenas and jackals followed in turn by the vultures and Marabou Storks.  Together they make up quite the interesting clean up crew.

Rupell’s Griffon Vulture

Serengeti, Tanzania

Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens: Canon EF100-400mm, f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2012

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In the Serengeti some wildebeest were running past this herd of elephants at a distance of about twenty yards.  Elephants’ vision is not very good, so it was difficult for them to see the wildebeest at that distance, but they could easily hear them running. To defend the babies and young ones, the adults quickly gathered their young behind them and all came forward in a defiant show of force.  It was an interesting display of protective behavior.  I always enjoy watching animal behavior.

Formidable Front Line

Serengeti, Tanzania

Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens: Canon EF100-400mm, f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2012

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African Photo Safaris In 2012

Tanzania and Kenya – 17 Days – Birthing Season for the Great Migration Jan. 28 – Feb.13, 2012 Itinerary and Pricing
Botswana and Zambia 16 Days
(Sold Out)
May 10 – 22, 2012 Itinerary and Pricing
Tanzania and Kenya – 18 Days – Season for Great Migration Crossings at the Mara River (1 space available) July 18 – Aug.4, 2012 Itinerary and Pricing
Tanzania and Kenya – 17 – Season for Great Migration Crossings at the Mara River (4 spaces available**) Aug. 27 – Sept. 12, 2012 Itinerary and Pricing
Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Trek (Sold Out) Sept. 12 – 17, 2012 Itinerary and Pricing

 

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Important information about our African safaris:

Prices for our safaris to Kenya and Tanzania include international airfare from LAX – most other companies do not include airfare.
We have only three passengers per nine passenger 4×4 safari Land Crusier. You will enjoy plenty of space for you and your equipment.
We stay in luxury safari lodges and tented camps.
You do not have to be a photographer but you must enjoy watching the wildlife because that is what we do!
I will be there to photograph with you and available to answer your questions.
Parks we visit on our African safaris.

Our 2012 African Photo Safari’s are selling well. Don’t miss your opportunity to experience some of the most exciting wildlife and magnificent scenery in the world.
I hope you will join me for an African Safari; your adventure of a lifetime! For more information, prices and itineraries Click Here.

To reserve your space on a safari, please call
Paul Renner at (949) 295-3136, or
email him at paulrenner3@cox.net
or call Prem Sharma at Somak Safaris (800) 757-6625
experience some of the most exciting wildlife and magnificent scenery in the world.
I hope you will join me for an African Safari; your adventure of a lifetime! For mor
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It was still early when we arrived in the area along the stream bed where lions had been seen the previous evening.  We were pleasantly surprised to find this big beautiful male lion walking along the road in our direction.  On safari excitement can build instantly, especially when we come face to face with a large lion in beautiful early morning light.

Early Morning Meeting

Masai Mara, Kenya

Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Canon EF400mm, 5.6L USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2012

With an elegant dark mane and well defined muscles that rippled as he walked, he was magnificent. Judging by his many scars, he was an older lion possibly just past the prime of his life.  Suddenly he stopped and keyed in on something ahead.  It was two lioness and they were part of his pride.  They greeted each other and then continued walking together.

Male Lion

Masai Mara, Kenya

Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens: Canon EF100-400mm, f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2012

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In just a short distance we found more lions and suddenly it seemed as if they were everywhere!  Four more more lioness with three small cubs soon got out of the Red Oat grass up and started walking in the road. My heart was pounding hard when the lead female walked past our 4×4 Land Cruiser, just inches away from my camera.

Yielding the Road to the Pride

Masai Mara, Kenya

Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Canon EF-S18-135mm, f/3.5-5.6 IS

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2012

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It was obvious from their behavior, that the lions were ready to eat.  The problem for them was that there were no other animals to be seen.  It seemed as if the plains animals knew the lions were hanging out along the stream bed and had evacuated the area.  It was fascinating watching the lions continuing to look for food.

Hungry Lioness

Masai Mara, Kenya

Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Canon EF-S18-135mm, f/3.5-5.6 IS

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2012

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Masai Mara, Kenya

Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Canon EF-S18-135mm, f/3.5-5.6 IS

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2012

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As these lions moved almost invisibly through the grass, I was glad I was not prey they were hunting.

 Hidden Danger

Masai Mara, Kenya

Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Canon EF-S18-135mm, f/3.5-5.6 IS

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2012

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My thoughts went to zebras or wildebeest and how skittish they are when visiting a watering hole. The slightest movement or sound can send them running from the water and obviously sometimes it is for good reason.

Zebras Scrambling From Water Hole

Serengeti, Tanzania

Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens: Canon EF100-400mm, f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2012

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Our first class luxury lodging accommodations are clean and comfortable. Each room has it’s own attached bathroom with flushing toilets and showers with hot and cold running water.  Permanent Tented Camp Accommodations

Masai Mara, Kenya

Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Canon EF-S18-135mm, f/3.5-5.6 IS

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2012

In Kenya and Tanzania we have only three passengers per nine passenger 4×4 Land Cruiser safari vehicle. This allows plenty of space for you and your equipment during game drives and also the advantage of being able to watch and/or photograph the animals until you are satisfied. On our safaris you will stay in first class luxury safari lodges or luxury permanent tented camps.

Join me on safari soon and capture your own personal photos of magnificent animals! I will be photographing right along side of you and giving helpful information about what to watch for in terms of wildlife behavior and sharing lots of photographic tips as well. You will have a wonderful time and learn a lot too!

To reserve your space on our photo safaris, please call Paul Renner at (949) 295-3136, or email him at: paulrenner3@cox.net or call Prem Sharma at Somak Safaris (800) 757- 6625.

As always, remember to enjoy each day.

Paul

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Zebra and Wildebeest, Dry Dusty Morning

Ngorongoro Crater,  Tanzania

Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens: Canon EF100-400mm, f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2012

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