2014 01 Newsletter, African Photo Safaris

Renner Safaris

Dream, Explore, Discover

 

You’ll find information and prices for our 2014 Safaris below in the Newsletter. 

What a year we had! Each of our safaris in 2013 was tremendously rewarding not only photographically, but each trip also gave us a lifetime of memorable experiences. For good reason, most were sold out eight to twelve months prior to the safari! During our safaris we were immersed in the best of what Mother Nature had to offer from deep in the wild heart of Africa!

In this newsletter, I am sharing some of my favorite photos taken on our 2013 African photo safaris. This year our trips to Botswana and South Africa yielded amazing photography opportunities with the big cats. I can hardly wait to get back in 2014! Two spaces have become available on the spectacular Botswana safari in May, and seven spaces are available on the recently opened South Africa safari in September. Why don’t you join me for your trip of a lifetime?

Leopard-1571

Watchful Eyes
Sabi Sabi, South Africa
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

Because of their elusiveness, spectacular beauty, and cunning, leopards are one of my favorite animals to photograph.  We were extremely fortunate early one morning, as we happened upon this adolescent leopard, who stayed on and around a termite mound in front us for over an hour. He was waiting for his mother to call him to breakfast.

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Giraffes Fighting-8246

Rothchilds’s Giraffes Fighting
Lake Nakuru, Kenya
Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens: Canon 100-400 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS  USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

Giraffe fight in silence.  The only sounds emanating from them is the heavy thud of horns and head slamming into each other’s body with each powerful blow. I have seen this go on for hours!

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What can I say about lion cubs?  They are just way too cute!  The longer you watch them, the more you will love them!

Check Out These Paws
Masai Mara, Kenya
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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Picking up speed as he strolled downhill toward the river, the pads of this elephant’s feet stirred up layers of dust creating a more interesting photo.  Always keep an eye out for nature’s subtle additions to a photo.

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Rushing to Water
Laroo La Tao, Botswana
Canon EOS-1D Mark III, Lens: EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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We spotted the leopard higher up on the bank, nearly concealed in the brush, so we decided to wait to and see if she would come out.  Before long our patience paid off when she climbed down the riverbank to the pools of perfectly calm water for a cool early morning drink. Both the lighting and the reflections were beautiful.

Leopard and Reflection-5224

 Leopard Reflecting
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013 

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A magnificent lion in early morning light. The lighting is always critical, and sometimes a little space around the subject is good too. I like seeing the lion’s shadow off to the right.

Male Lion, Masai Mara, Kenya

Black Maned Lion
Masai Mara, Kenya
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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After sunset we returned to find the leopard up in a tree sprawled on a branch. The leopard ignored us, but did keep a watchful eye on the hyenas patiently waiting under the tree for him to drop some tasty scraps.

I am not usually fond of the effects of a flash in an animal’s eyes, so I rarely use one on safari. However, when I saw the warm golden glow cast by the floodlight that was used for spotting animals at night, I opted to take some photos using it instead of the camera flash. I found the results to be quite and pleasing. I underexposed the photo by 1 stop to keep the light areas of the leopard from blowing out and becoming pure white.

Leopard in Tree Under Spotlight-9712

Relaxed Leopard
Timbavati, South Africa
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Canon S18-135 mm, f3.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

We were thrilled by the leopards in South Africa! They were very cooperative when we wanted to photograph them.  It was as though they enjoyed posing for the camera!

Leopard Looking Up-1969

Looking Up
Timbavati, South Africa
Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens: Canon 100-400 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS  USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013 

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White rhinos have a wide mouth making it practical for them to graze on grass as they move along the ground. In days gone by, they were named wide rhinos but through mispronunciation they have become known as white rhinos. These are endangered animals sought after and killed by poachers because some people think it is a status symbol to own a piece of the horn, and they are willing to pay poachers exorbitant prices for it. The horn is made of carotin, the same thing as human fingernails.White Rhino Turning-0433

White Rhino
Sabi Sabi, South Africa
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Canon S18-135 mm, f3.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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This leopard in the Okavango Delta showed a curious interest in our vehicle and seemed to want to check out our engine. We weren’t able to actually see what the leopard was doing, but clients in our other safari Land Crusier took lots of photos of the moment, and happily shared them with us._Leopard Mechanic

What Do You Have For An Engine Under The Hood?
Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana
Nikon D600, Lens: 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6
Copyright: Deborah Pelton, 2013

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Believe it or not, elephants are quite good swimmers.  Sometimes when crossing a river they will be in deep water, and all you will see is their trunk poking out of the water enabling them to breathe while they swim. It looks like this one didn’t want water in its eye! In Botswana some of our game-watching activities are done in boats, offering us a unique viewing perspective.

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Fording the Chobe
Chobe National Park, Botswana
Canon 1D Mark lll, Lens: EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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Often sunrises and sunsets in Africa can be very dramatic.

Sunrise in the Mara-4788

Sunrise in the Mara
Masai Mara, Kenya
Canon 7D, Lens: EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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While on safari in Botswana, we fly between the lodges thereby avoiding long drives on rough roads. This also affords us more time for game drives.

Air Travel in Botswana-9545

Our Flight to Moremi
Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana
Canon 7D, Lens: EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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In Botswana’s Chobe National Park, resides one of Africa’s most elegant animals, the sable antelope. When threatened by predators, including lions, they will confront them using their scimitar-shaped horns. Many large cats have died during such fights. The sable’s horns are effective weapons when used defensively but as highly prized hunting trophy, they have also contributed to the sharp decline in numbers of this beautiful animal. 

IMG_2495

Sable Antelope
Chobe National Park, Botswana
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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Nature provides many great patterns that can be interesting to photograph. I particularly enjoy photographing zebras for this reason.

IMG_8154

Dare To Be Different!
Laroo La Tao, Botswana
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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Highlights and shadows can be fun too. Expose for the highlights so you don’t blow them out, because if you lose the detail, the highlights become pure white, and you cannot get them back.

IMG_7913

 Walking Through The LIght
Laroo La Tao, Botswana
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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One evening, just before sunset, our guide said our other driver had found another leopard in a tree and he wanted to get us there quickly. Upon arrival we found the animal was calm and not bothered by the vehicles. By this time, the sun had set and daylight was fading quickly. We were able to drive off-road to get close to the tree, and started shooting with what daylight we had left. Then the driver switched on the flood light to see what it would do. See the second photo below. I liked the warm light, but some of the group preferred the photos in natural light. Okay, so I like them both! After all, it is a leopard and up close! (In parts of South Africa driving off-road to see the “big five” is allowed.) Leopard Eye Contact-00291

Well, Hello There!
Timbavati, South Africa
Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens: Canon 100-400 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS  USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

Leopard  Gazing-00313

Golden Glow
Timbavati, South Africa
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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At a height of 5.75 feet, these are the tallest cranes in Africa. Their wingspan is between 7.5 and 8.5 feet. They are both tall and beautiful!

Wattled Cranes-8602

 Wattled Cranes
Laroo La Tao, Botswana
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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We found birds in various assortments of colors, shapes and sizes. This Red Billed Hornbill landed on a nearby log, and stayed just long enough for me to get a few photos before flying off.

IMG_0548  

Red Billed Hornbill
Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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African Photo Safaris in 2015

Keep your eyes open for the details of our upcoming 2015 safaris.

Lion Eyes-0643

Lion Eyes
Sabi Sabi, South Africa
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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When the kudu moved, it stirred the plants and scared fish out into the open, which helped the kingfisher to spot its meal more easily.

IMG_8419

  Greater Kudu Bull and Pied Kingfisher
Laroo La Tao, Botswana
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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Lion cub buddies.

Lion Cubs Resting-7230

Lion Cubs Huddled on Rock Kopje
Masai Mara, Kenya
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013 

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African Photo Safaris in 2014

Four of our 2014 safaris have been sold out for months. Two spaces (one room for 2 people sharing one room) have become available on our always fantastic Botswana photo safari May 21 – June 2, 2014 . Our recent South Africa safari was amazing for the big cats and we have adjusted the itinerary to make next years even better! Click here for details on new September 19-October 02, 2014 safari to South Africa. Be sure and book your 2014 trip early to avoid disappointment.

Tanzania and Kenya-17 Days – Birthing Season for the Great Migration(sold out) Feb. 1-17, 2014 Itinerary and Pricing
Botswana-15-Days  (Sold Out)  May 21-June 2, 2014 Itinerary and Pricing
Tanzania and Kenya-18-Days – Season for Great Migration Crossings at the Mara River (sold out) July 16 – Aug.2, 2014 Itinerary and Pricing
Tanzania and Kenya-17-Days – Season for Great
Migration Crossings at the Mara River (sold out)
Aug. 28 – Sept. 13, 2014 Itinerary and Pricing
Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Trek (sold out) Sept. 13 – 17, 2014 Itinerary and Pricing
South Africa Photo Safari (only five spaces available) Sept. 19 – Oct. 3, 2014 Itinerary and Pricing

African Photo Safaris In 2015

Our 2014 safaris are almost sold out, so either sign up now or ask to be placed on our waiting list for your 2015 safari early so you won’t be disappointed. We will be getting prices for our 2015 safaris in the beginning of May 2014. Dates subject to change slightly due to lodging availability.

Tanzania and Kenya-17 Days – Birthing Season for the Great Migration Feb. 1-17, 2015 Details coming in May
Botswana-15-Days May 20-June 5, 2015 Details coming in May
Tanzania and Kenya-18-Days – Season for Great Migration Crossings at the Mara River
July 16 – Aug.2, 2015 Details coming in May
Tanzania and Kenya-17-Days – Season for Great
Migration Crossings at the Mara River
Aug. 28 – Sept. 13, 2015 Details coming in May
Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Trek
Sept. 13 – 17, 2015 Details coming in May
South Africa Photo Safari Dates to be determined Coming in May

 

Leopard -1408

Why wait? Just Book Your Safari now! 
Sabi Sabi, South Africa
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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Important information about our safaris:

Prices for our safaris to Kenya & Tanzania, and South africa include international airfare from LAX – most other companies do not include airfare.
We have only three passengers per nine passenger 4×4 safari Land Cruiser so 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.

 

On our Tanzania/Kenya safaris we have only three passengers per nine passenger vehicle giving you plenty of space for you and your photo equipment. You can photograph through windows on BOTH sides of the vehicle and also from the top, which pops up to create shade so you are protected from the hot, equatorial sun. Compared to other tours that pack the vans with up to eight people, this is a huge deal. 

When using six great guides, you will hardly believe all of the wildlife they find. We have trained them to understand lighting, composition and what we are trying to achieve. Our guides are awesome! As we leave the lodges on our game drives to hunt for animals, the vehicles separate and spread out. This allows us to have up to six guides each looking for wildlife. They each have radios to share what they find so no one misses out. Our safaris are designed for the ultimate photographic experience, however please don’t be intimidated from enjoying one my photo safaris just because you are not a photographer or you don’t use a “great camera.” If you enjoy wildlife you will love these safaris and more than likely you’ll come home with your own great photos too! I will be photographing on our game drives too, but I am available to answer your questions and am happy let you know how I am photographing each subject so you can learn more about photography and bring home your own great photos too. To avoid disappointment, make your reservations today.

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 Best Safaris (800) 757-6625

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Cute Lion Cub-0630

When are YOU coming to take MY picture?
Sabi Sabi, South Africa
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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Cape Buffalo may be one of the fiercest animals in Africa, but they still love their bath time! 
Cape Buffalo in Mud Bath-0136

Cape Buffalo
Lake Nakuru, Kenya
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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Lion Flehming-8609

Male Lion Flehming
Masai Mara, Kenya
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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We found birds in various assortments of shapes and sizes. This Red Billed Hornbill landed on a nearby log and stayed just long enough for me to get a few photos before he flew off.
IMG_0548  

Red Billed Hornbill
Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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At times life can be quite hazardous for a baby hippo. As small as they are, they could be easily crushed in a crowded hippo pool filled with up to a hundred large animals.
Baby Hippo-4307

Baby Hippo
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013 

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Hiking up mountains through dense rainforest and into the heart of a family of mountain gorillas can be one of your lives most exciting adventure! These gentle giants appear to think of us a just more forest dwellers and don’t mind us going in to photographing them. It is as though they welcome us into their living room!

Giant Silverback Gorilla-8595

Day Dreaming Silverback
Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Canon 7D, Lens: EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

Mother and Baby Mountain Gorilla-8329

Mother and Baby Mountain Gorilla
Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Canon 7D, Lens: EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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When we stay in permanent tented camps, on our safaris, they are very nice accommodations. Each unit includes an attached bathroom with hot and cold running water, sink and tub or shower. The tents are set in beautiful locations often along rivers or overlooking scenic valleys. 
Tented Camp-1020877

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Visiting a Masai village is a great way to experience a culture very different from our own.  The people are always warm and friendly, and eager to see their photos on the back of our cameras.

Masai Woman-5112

Masai Woman
Masai Mara, Kenya
Canon 7D, Lens: EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

Masai Elder-7820Masai Village-7790

Masai Making Fire-5022

Masai Woman-7803

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I like the concentric rings created from dipping his tongue in the water. Leopard Drinking Water-2444-2

Serious Drinker
Timbavati, South Africa
Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens: Canon 100-400 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS  USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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Cheetahs Watching Prey
Masai Mara, Kenya
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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  Giraffe and in Lake Ndutu
Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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  Hyena and Wildebeest
Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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Thrilling Moments Create Lifelong Memories
Masai Mara, Kenya
Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens: Canon EF100-400mm, f4.5-5.6 IS USM 

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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Great Migration-0934

Safety in Numbers
Masai Mara, Kenya
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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Zebra-0758 Common Zebra
Cheetah Plains, South Africa
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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Zebra Reflecting-1867  Zebras Reflecting
Etosha, Namibia
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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Sunset in the Mara, Kenya-5536

 Sunset in the Mara
Masai Mara, Kenya
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Canon EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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Each of our safaris has been a tremendous photographic experience!  I can hardly wait to go back in to Tanzania and Kenya in February 2014!  Why not join us on one of our safaris for the excitement of taking your own photos in the wilds of Africa!

Please feel free to forward the newsletter on to friends that might enjoy it.

For more safari information, prices and itineraries click here.

I hope that you will be able to join us on one of our safaris in the not so distant future. It will be your trip of a lifetime!

Enjoy each day.
Paul Renner

paulrenner3@cox.net

www.rennersafaris.com

(949) 295-3136

Read more about what our clients have to say about our safaris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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