2012 January Photo Safari Newsletter

Renner Safaris

Dream, Explore, Discover

I had the great fortune to lead six photo safaris in Africa in 2011!  Each trip was filled with limitless opportunities to photograph and watch the exciting behavior of wildlife we encountered on our photo safaris. Throughout the newsletter I will be sharing some of my favorite photos and stories from the trips.

Playful Lion Cubs

Masai Mara, Kenya

Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Canon EF100-400mm, f4.5-5.6 IS USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2011

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Newsletter Highlights:

Tanzania and Kenya: July 18 – August 14, 2012. The safari had been sold out but a space has become available on the trip for a man willing to share a room with me to save the cost of the single supplement. If you are interested in joining us, 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, please sign up soon as possible because the permits in Rwanda will be sold out soon. Only four spaces available. Trip details

Photo Workshop in Death Valley, CA. January 12-16, 2012, Workshop details ( four spaces have just become available)

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It is an understatement to say “I was thrilled beyond belief” when this giant silverback walked down the hill and passed by so close he almost stepped on my feet!  It is difficult to find words to describe the range of emotions I felt coursing through my body as we entered the private world of the magnificent mountain gorilla! It is a thrill of a lifetime that relatively few people have had the great fortune to personally experience!  Join me for one of life’s most exciting adventures when visit these gentle giants again in September 2012.

Giant Silverback Mountain Gorilla

Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Canon EF-S18-135mm, f4.5-5.6 IS

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2011

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Interaction between lions is always a big hit. On our safaris to Kenya and Tanzania, we typically encounter between one hundred and two hundred lions. This provides us numerous opportunities to photograph the behavior of these exciting big cats.

Mating Lions

Masai Mara, Kenya

Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens: Canon EF100-400mm, f4.5-5.6 IS USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2011

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On our January/February safari to Tanzania and Kenya, we visit the great migration during the birthing season. It is always a thrill to witness the birth of a newborn animal. In only ten minutes this baby wildebeest was not only standing and walking, but then actually ran away with it’s mother to rejoin the rest of the herd.

Newborn Wildebeest

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Canon EF100-400mm, f4.5-5.6 IS USM

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2011

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In May, I went to Kruger National Park in South Africa. One evening at Sabi Sabi, a private reserve on the edge of Kruger NP, we found this beautiful leopard right next to the road. He soon got up and walked to this nearby pond for a drink. While drinking, he didn’t even look up at us so I thought about how I could get him to make eye contact. I put my camera into high speed shooting mode and as he heard the sound of the rapidly clicking shutter he glanced at me just for a second, but it was long enough to get the photo I was hoping for. I love the tongue in the water, his reflection, and the four leaf clover in the pond for good measure.

Thirsty Leopard

Sabi Sabi Private Reserve, South Africa

Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens: Canon EF100-400mm, f4.5-5.6 IS USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2011

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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 (4 spaces available) Sept. 12 – 17, 2012 Itinerary and Pricin

**The trip had been sold out but space for a man willing to share a room with me to save the cost of the single supplement has become available. If you are interested in joining us, please contact me as soon as possible at (949) 295-3136. Trip details.

Photo Workshop in the United States

Death Valley, CA January 12-16, 2012 Details

Contact Paul Renner at (949) 295-3136 or by Email: paulrenner3@cox.net

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One of the special things about our safaris is that with only three passengers per vehicle, you have the freedom to enjoy watching the behavior of the wildlife for as long or as short as you want. On this particular morning, we followed the four brothers for nearly a mile as they played and chased each other through the brush and red oat grass.  I then spotted a large puddle in the track ahead of us. I asked the driver to quickly get ahead of the lions and go beyond the puddle so that if they stopped for a drink we would be in the best position to photograph them. Knowing their habits also helps a lot in capturing the photos we want.

Four Thirsty Brothers

Masai Mara, Kenya

Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens: Canon EF100-400mm, f4.5-5.6 IS USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2011

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He stood motionless before us. As I looked into the eye of this elephant, he appeared to be contemplating memories of days gone by. It made me wonder what experiences he had lived through and what he remembered about them. I know, that for elephants, life can be very difficult but at times the families appear to actually have fun.

Reliving Memories

Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens: Canon EF100-400mm, f4.5-5.6 IS USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2011

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At Savute in Botswana, we had enjoyed watching a herd of zebra that stayed near a watering hole for 30 or 40 minutes. It was the males in the herd that had our attention. They would circle through the herd fighting, rearing up, biting and kicking at each other, all the while trying to prove their dominance.

Zebras Fighting

Savute, Botswana

Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Canon EF100-400mm, f4.5-5.6 IS USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2011

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In South Africa at a private reserve bordering Kruger NP, I knew I was in wild country when we drove to the airstrip and discovered these lions walking up the runway to meet up with the cubs they had hidden before leaving on their unsuccessful hunt.

Lions Walking the Runway

Sabi Sabi, South Africa

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

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2011

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We were just reaching the crater floor in Ngorongoro Crater when one of the guides spotted this Caracal. They are extremely rare cats and very shy, in fact, this is the first one I have ever seen in the wild. It was crouched low and appeared to be stalking something. It remained motionless but looked ready to pounce. Suddenly there was movement about 15 feet down hill from it. It was a big rat! We could hardly believe what happened next! The rat suddenly ran up the hill straight toward the caracal and almost right into it’s mouth! The cat barely had to move to catch the rat for a nice tasty meal.

Caracal

Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens: Canon EF100-400mm, f4.5-5.6 IS USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2011

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As we drove up to the elephant, it raised it’s trunk and checked the wind for scents that might identify any danger approaching in our vehicle. It quickly decided we were safe! I enjoy watching elephants putting their multipurpose trunk to good use for eating, smelling, pulling, drinking, carressing each other, using the end like fingers to grasp and the list goes on…

Elephant Checking The Breeze

Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens: Canon EF100-400mm, f4.5-5.6 IS USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2011

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This mother gorilla was comfortable enough with our presence that she brought her baby to within fifteen feet of where we were standing and started grooming the little one right in front of us. To our delight they stayed for twenty minutes allowing each of us to get many photos of them. It was as if she was a proud mama showing off her new little baby! Watching the tender and intimate moments between the two was heart warming. I felt very privileged to have been allowed to wittness their interactions.

Mountain Gorilla Mother and Baby

Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

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

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2011

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From the deck of my room at Savute in Botswana I watched the elephants, most often bulls, as they came to drink during the night. In the photo the elephant on the left appears to have a shorter trunk. Actually it looks like that because it is a long exposure and when the animal moved it’s trunk the camera didn’t pick it up. The watering hole was lit by a bright flood light and no flash was used.

Elephants at Watering Hole In the Night

Savute, Botswana

Canon EOS7D, Lens: Canon EF100-400mm, f4.5-5.6 IS USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2011

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We were watching this leopard lazily relaxing on a branch when it caught sight of a herd of zebra about three hundred yards away. Her demeanor instantly changed and she snapped to attention. I usually like to get direct eye contact with both eyes of my subjects, however in this case, I love the intense look and the side view of the loepard.

Vigilant Leopard

Okavango Delta, Botswana
Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens: Canon EF100-400mm, f4.5-5.6 IS USM

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2011

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This is a typical scene on our safaris.Three passengers in one of our 4×4 Land Crusiers,  stopped to watch and photograph the lion.  With only three passengers per vehicle everyone gets a great view of the animals.  Whatever the animal, it is always a thrilling adventure loaded with photographic opportunities!

King of the Mara

Masai Mara, Kenya

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

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2011

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It was a fabulous surprise for eveyone when we drove out of the bushes to find MC (the lodge manager) had set up the table and drinks for our sundowner at the very pond we were going to for sunset photography. They sure know how to provide great hospitality and excellent service in Botswana!

Botswana Sundowner

Savute, Botswana

Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens: Canon EF100-400mm, f4.5-5.6 IS USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2011

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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, 2011

Picture yourself here sitting around the campfire. I hope you can join us. We are saving a chair for you.

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.

Wishing you each a Happy and Prosperous New Year and as always, remember to enjoy each day.

Paul

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