2014 05 Newsletter, African Photo Safaris

Renner Safaris

Dream, Explore, Discover

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We found this old elephant before sunrise and watched him for quite some time.  As he grazed, moving slowly towards us, he wrapped the end of his trunk around the base of large clumps of grass and effortlessly pulled them out of the ground. Before lifting the grass to his mouth he shook the clump to remove dirt that clung to the roots. Deliberately taking his time, he eventually moved to within ten feet of our vehicle. I felt I was witnessing something extremely special and was honored to be in his company! It was an exhilarating experience that I would love to repeat on many future safaris.

Elephant With Large Tusks- 7290

Oh the Stories He Could Tell!

Canon EOS 1D Maark lll, Lens: Sigma 150-500 IS

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

I wish this old bull could talk and that we could gather around a campfire and listen as he shared fascinating stories of his life’s adventures. Imagine the experiences he has encountered on his journey through life. I was honored to spend time photographing him that morning and I hope that our paths may cross again in the not so distant future.

Elephant Giving Himself A Dust Bath-5926

Dust Bath Elephant Style

Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Canon EF-18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

Elephant Giving Himself A Dust Bath-5936

Elephant Dusting 

Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Canon EF-18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

Elephant Giving Himself A Dust Bath-5934

Elephant Blowing More Dust

Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Canon EF-18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

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On this particular morning there was an almost erie fog that hung in the air.  I like the effect that it created as this family of giraffes walked between us and a herd of Cape Buffalo.  The  tall Acacia trees in the forest created a nice background.

Family of Giraffe-7418

Family of Rothchild’s Giraffe 

Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya

Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens: Canon EF400 mm, f/5.6L USM

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

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Southern Ground Hornbills forage on the ground, where they feed on reptiles, frogs, snails, insects and mammals up to the size of hares. They are large birds with males weighing up  14 pounds with a wingspan of up to 52 inches.

Ground Hornbill-7573Southern Ground Hornbill

Ndutu, Tanzania

Canon EOS-1D Mark III, Lens: Canon EF400 mm, f/5.6L USM

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

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Grey Crowned cranes are omnivores eating plants, seeds, grain, insects, frogs, worms, snakes, small fish and the eggs of aquatic animals. Stamping their feet as they walk, they flush out insects which are quickly caught and eaten. The birds also associate with grazing herbivores, benefiting from the ability to grab prey items disturbed by antelopes and gazelles. They spend their entire day looking for food. At night, the crowned crane spends it time in the trees sleeping. Grey Crowned Crane-7867

Grey Crowned Crane

Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Canon EF400 mm, f/5.6L USM

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

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On safari, your guide is a critical part of your experience because he controls what and how you see things. Teaching our guides to use our camera equipment is an excellent way for them to learn about composition and lighting and gives them a better understanding of what photographers are looking for. Our guide John Mamai, a local Maasai, is also one of the best safari guides in Kenya. Each of our guides is well trained and knowledgeable in the ways of the wildlife. Their knowledge is a critical ingredient that makes our safaris unique and so desirable.

John Mamai, One of Our Driver-Guides-7420

John Mamai

Masai Mara Kenya

Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Canon S18-135 mm, f3.5-5.6 IS

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

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Handsome Male Lion walking past zebra and gazelle.  It was obvious that  he was not hunting so they remained calm as he strolled past them.

Lion Walking Among Zebras-5519

It Is Great To Be King

EOS 7D, Lens: Canon S18-135 mm, f3.5-5.6 IS

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

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Sometimes photographing patterns can make an interesting photograph. This one of course leads to the age old question “Are zebras white on black or….?Zebra Patterns-7464

Zebra Patterns

Canon EOS 7D, Lens:Canon, EF400 mm, f/5.6L USM

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

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The agility of this Secretary Bird was astounding as well as entertaining. It was  difficult to photograph because of the speed at which it ran while trying to chasing a large, four inch long flying grasshopper (It is the light blur just below the birds outstretched foot). He chased it for over three hundred yards but in the end it appeared that the grasshopper finally escaped unscathed.

Secretary Bird Trying To Catch Grasshopper-7092

 Secretary Bird Doing the Grasshopper Dance

Canon EOS 7D, Lens:Canon, EF400 mm, f/5.6L USM

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

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The Village Weaver builds a nest that hangs from a tree branch. It is intricately woven from grass and leaf strips. A downward facing entrance makes it more difficult for predators such as snakes and lizards to enter the nest. The birds live in colonies, so many nests may hang from one tree. It is told by our guides that the male builds the nest and then the female comes to inspect it.  If she is not happy, he either has to rebuild the nest or find a different mate. Hmmm….

Village Weaver-7759

Village Weaver

Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya

Canon EOS 7D, Lens:Canon, EF400 mm, f/5.6L USM

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

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Without warning, our driver made a sudden U turn on the track and took us back about 25 yards to where he had spotted a chameleon.  As it walked it rocked back and forth taking seven seconds from the time it raised a foot off of the ground until it set it down and then it would do it again, over and over until it finally crossed the trail and moved on.

Chameleon Walking-5247

Chameleon, On the Road Again

Ndutu, Tanzania

Canon EOS 1D Maark lll, Lens: Sigma 150-500 IS

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

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I could tell instantly that this old boy was excited to see us!  In reality, he is a splendid looking male and we had just found him napping, something lions are excellent at doing.

Lion Ho Hum-7686

Sleepy Lion

Masai Mara, Kenya

Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens:Canon, EF400 mm, f/5.6L USM

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

Lion and Our Safari Vehicle-7577

Lion and Safari Vehicle (View from the Back)

Masai Mara, Kenya

EOS 7D, Lens: Canon S18-135 mm, f3.5-5.6 IS

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

Lion and Safari Vehicle-7551

Lion and Safari Vehicle (Side Profile)

Masai Mara, Kenya

EOS 7D, Lens: Canon S18-135 mm, f3.5-5.6 IS

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

Lion and Our Safari Vehicle-7587

Okay, Time to Rejoin the Pride

Masai Mara, Kenya

EOS 7D, Lens: Canon S18-135 mm, f3.5-5.6 IS

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

Mother and Cub Lions-7361

Mother and Cub Relaxing

Masai Mara, Kenya

Canon EOS 7D, Lens:Canon, EF400 mm, f/5.6L USM

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

Lion Cub With Attitude-7281

Cub With Attitude

Masai Mara, Kenya

Canon EOS 7D, Lens:Canon, EF400 mm, f/5.6L USM

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

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Servals are medium sized cats and are excellent hunters.  They feed primarily on rodents, birds and occasionally small antelope.  They are capable of leaping ten feet into the air to catch birds in flight. They are usually nocturnal so it is a treat when we do find one on safari.  Serval Cat Sniffing Grass-6599

Serval Cat

Ngorongoro Crater, Kenya

EOS 7D, Lens: Canon S18-135 mm, f3.5-5.6 IS

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

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African Photo Safaris in 2014

The first six of our 2014 safaris are sold out so we have just added a seventh. Last year’s South Africa safari was a tremendous  success with the big cats and we have added to the itinerary to make this years even better! At the time of my last newsletter I had four spaces available on our Sept/Oct safari to South Africa but we had eleven people requesting those spaces so I have added a second safari to South Africa, directly following the first one. For trip details to the October 3-18, 2014 click here.  We  currently have six spaces still available on the second safari. It is an amazing trip at a very reasonable price and even includes the  airfare! 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 the 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 (sold out) Sept 17-Oct 3, 2014 Itinerary and Pricing
Due to high popularity an additional South Africa Safari has been added running October 3-18, 2014 (six spaces available) Oct 3- Oct 18, 2014 Itinerary and Pricing
       

African Photo Safaris In 2015

Now you can feast your eyes 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, 2015

Tanzania and Kenya – 18 days – Birthing Season with the Great Migration Feb 1-18, 2015 Itinerary and Pricing
Botswana – 15 Days May 10-25, 2015 Itinerary and Pricing
Tanzania and Kenya-18-Days – Season for Great Migration Crossings at the Mara River July 16 – Aug.2, 2015 Itinerary and Pricing
Tanzania and Kenya-17-Days – Season for Great Migration Crossings at the Mara River Aug. 28 – Sept. 13, 2015 Itinerary and Pricing
Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Trek Sept. 13 – 17, 2015 Itinerary and Pricing
South Africa Photo Safari Sept 17-Oct 3, 2015 Details Coming soon
 Namibia Photo Safari  October 4-19, 2015 Dates and details coming soon

 

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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As I mentioned in my previous newsletter, on our last evening on safari we had a very special wildlife encounter with a cheetah that  jumped up on the back of my Land Cruiser  to see if he could spot any gazelle. I am sharing some photos here of the encounter. Many people have asked me if it was scary. It was not because I have seen cheetahs do this on a number of occasions and understand that they do not eat vehicles. If you are inside the car, and remain calm, they are not interested in eating you because to them, you are part of the car.

Cheetah-2Cheetah on Our Vehicle Roof-7915Cheetah on Our Vehicle-1040820 Cheetah on Our Vehicle-7922 Cheetah on Our Vehicle-8139 Cheetah on Our Vehicle-8145 With the cheetah standing on the roof rack and only two feet away from me I had the opportunity to photograph his dew-claw.  It is the protrusion about four to six inches up the leg from the foot. When cheetahs are after prey, they do not jump up on the back of the animal to bring it down.  Instead, they run up behind it and reach out with their foot tripping it with their dew-claw. Once the animal is on the ground, they then  bite the throat to finish off quickly. Cheetah's Feet and Dewclaw-1040824 We found the cheetahs again the following morning and this time they got up on two different cars.  Even though they were not our cars it was exciting to see and photograph. Cheetah Posing for iphone Photo-8129 Here Cheetah, Cheetah-8191

Here Cheetah, Cheetah, Cheetah, Now, How About a Big Smile!

Masai Mara Kenya Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Canon S18-135 mm, f3.5-5.6 IS

Copyright: Paul Renner, 201

 I hope these two young cheetahs will be entertaining people for years to come.

Chillin Cheetah Brothers-8203

Chillin’ Cheetahs

Masai Mara Kenya Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Canon S18-135 mm, f3.5-5.6 IS

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

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Immediately following our February safari, my daughter Jenny and I flew to Selous National Park in southern Tanzania.  We had a fabulous time in the National Park. On our first day we did a full day game drive and only saw three other vehicles, and one of those was filled with game rangers who worked in the park.  In other word, very few other tourists!  It was a magical place! On our first day, I think that we encountered over two hundred giraffe. It seemed like they were everywhere! I have been considering leading a tour in Selous because it is large, remote and has an excellent wildlife population. The park is considered by some to be Tanzania’s answer to Botswana, in that there is lots of wildlife and very few tourists.  The Rafiji River cuts through the park dividing it into two sections. It’s a large river loaded with hippos and large crocs so traveling in a well built aluminum boat was an exciting experience. We enjoyed watching buffalo, baboons, monkeys, various birds and other wildlife that came to the water as we motored up and down the river.

Giraffe Forest-8315-2 Giraffe Forest Selous National Park, Tanzania Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens: Canon 100-400 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS  USM Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014 Giraffe Resting-8678

Giraffe Resting Selous National Park, Tanzania Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens: Canon 100-400 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS  USM Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

Giraffe Nursing-9009

Giraffe Nursing Selous National Park, Tanzania Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens: Canon 100-400 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS  USM Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

Zebras in Selous, Tanzania-8043 ——————————————————————————————— Zebras in Selous-8666 ——————————————————————————————— In Selous, I saw some of the largest Greater Kudu bulls I have ever seen. Their large spiraling horns were magnificent! Greater Kudu-8959

Greater Kudu

Canon EOS 7D, Lens:Canon, EF 100-400 f4.5-5.6L IS USM

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

Greater Kudu Eating Tree-8876

Greater Kudu Leaf Browsing Selous National Park, Tanzania

Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Canon, EF 100-400 f4.5-5.6L IS USM

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014 

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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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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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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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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 toBotswana next week!  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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