2014 07 Newsletter, African Photo Safaris

Renner Safaris

Dream, Explore, Discover

In May we had another fabulous photo safari in Botswana! I particularly enjoy the wide variety of wildlife we see there.  What makes it even more special is the fact that Botswana controls the number of tourists in an area so you don’t come across large groups of vehicles at a good animal sighting.  The lodges are smaller and hold fewer people.  It feels like you are on safari in the “old” Africa.  It is a very special place!

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This handsome impala buck was running hard on the tail of another male trespasser.  Impala bucks gather as many females into their harem as possible. Problems develop for the buck because other males constantly try to lure the females away and seduce them into their harem. The herd buck spends so much effort protecting his own harem that he can get weak from not eating and then other bucks take over his females. Tough life!

Impala Running-0544

Impala Rounding the Corner!

Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana

Canon EOS 7D , Lens: Canon EF400mm f/5.6L USM

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

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In Moremi I was a thrilled to find the same young leopard we had spent two hours photographing last year in May when was just a year old.  Now he was a year older and bigger but still tolerant of the vehicles. He seemed to enjoy posing for us again. Squirrels in the surrounding trees kept him entertained until he could stand it no longer and raced downhill trying to catch one that quickly scampered up a tree trunk and out of sight. The leopard obviously had more lessons on hunting to learn but we all enjoyed watching his effort.

Leopard -8880

Leopard Resting Against Termite Mound

Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana

Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 IS

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

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Early one morning we encountered two beautiful dark maned lions walking through the bush.The sun was still low on the horizon and I loved the way that is shone on this one as he stepped from the shadows and into the light for just a second.

Male Lion-2

Emerging From the Shadows

Savute, Botswana

Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens: Canon EF400mm f/5.6L USM

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

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Watch this short video.

Turn your sound up and click on the picture of the lion below to hear two lions roaring at each other. Camille Sindell took it with her little point and shoot camera as one lion walked by only a few feet from her open vehicle! It was a cold morning so you can see the lion’s breath when he roars! (Remember to come back to the newsletter after viewing the video.)

Video taken by Camille Sindell in Botswana May 2014

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Male Lion-1701

Backlit Lion

Savute, Botswana

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

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

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The antics of baboons are always enjoyable to watch and they entertain us on many occasions. Chacma baboons, that are found in southern Africa, are larger than the Olive and Yellow baboons that are found in east Africa. Their arms and legs are longer so they also appear to be considerably larger.

Baboon Riding on Mother's Back-8598

Young Chacma Baboon on Mother’s Back 

Chobe National Park, Botswana

Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 IS

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

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Cruising up and down the Chobe River in a boat is one of my favorite ways to see the wildlife there.  We were able to watch herds of elephants and other animals coming to the river’s edge for their daily drink and play time in the water. Under the Blue Botswana Sky-2454

Elephants Under Blue Botswana Sky

Chobe National Park, Botswana

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

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

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Our plane was desending  toward the runway to land at the airstrip in Savute. I felt exhilarated when I spotted elephants standing along the Stolen River. I take seeing them as a good, positive sign. The river has been dry for the majority of the last twenty years so it was refreshing to see flowing water again.  Did you spot the elephants? They are about three quarters of an inch above the sharp bend in the lower left hand corner of the photo.

Elephants at the Stolen River, Botswana-0935

Elephants Along the Stolen River

Savute, Botswana

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

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

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At Savute one night,  we waited patiently for total darkness which would happen when the camp generator would be shut down and the lights switched off for the night. As we sat quietly waiting, we watched the looming hulks of elephants shifting to and fro at the waterhole before us. Suddenly we spotted movement in the dark. The bright beam of light from my flashlight reveled a leopard slinking along the electric fence only about 25 yards from us.  It easily made its way under the fence and silently moved between two of the rooms. From there it could search the large trees for unsuspecting sleeping guinea fowl. Not long afterwards, the generator was shut down so the camp lights went out and we were left with only light from the night sky.  We photographed the spectacular star-filled sky using the dead tree to create an interesting foreground. We light-painted the tree with a flashlight for only a few seconds so as not to over expose the branches. The exposure was taken in Bulb mode for 38 seconds at f/3.5 with ISO at 640. Starlit African Night-2164

Stars in the Clear Botswana Sky

Savute, Botswana

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

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

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In Savute elephants visited the camp waterhole throughout the day to refresh themselves with a drink and stand in the cool water. The waterhole was just below the deck that was part of the dining area.  This old fellow came within a few feet of us offering good opportunities for close up photos.

Elephant Texture-1412

Elephant Texture

Savute, Botswana

Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 IS

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

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The light was nice this morning when a herd of over 200 buffalo gathered at a pond to drink. I often like to isolate a single animal rather than photograph a group because I can get what I consider to be a cleaner photograph with fewer distractions.Cape Buffalo Drinking-9016

Cape Buffalo Quenching Thirst

Moremi, Botswana

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

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

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Action is normally more exciting than a standing still subject.  I continuously stress on my trips, “photograph their behavior and focus on the eyes.”  These young bucks practice fighting and learn how to eventually overpower a herd male and secure their own harem.

Battle for the Ladies-2313

Impalas Sparring

Savute, Botswana

Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 IS

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

Impala-8479

Impala Buck

Savute, Botswana

Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 IS

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

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Impala meat is one of the favorite foods of the African Wild Dog.  By percentage, the wild dogs are the most successful hunters in Africa.  They are successful on approximately ninety-five percent of their hunts. No other large hunters come close to that statistic.  They work as a pack, have great stamina and are able run down most of their prey in long distance chases. They are formidable hunters.

Wild Dog-1467

African Wild Dog

Savute, Botswana

Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 IS

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

Wild Dog Yawning-9360

Big Yawn

Savute, Botswana

Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 IS

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

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This family of Banded Mongoose was on guard.  We thought they had possibly seen a large snake but it turned out to be two Kori Bustards. The bustards are large birds and the mongoose were just being cautious.

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Banded Mongoose

Savute, Botswana

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

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

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Backs of Banded Mongoose

Savute, Botswana

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

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

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Zebra rolling on the ground giving itself a dustbath.

Zebra Enjoying a Dust Bath-8991

Zebra Enjoying a Dust Bath

Savute, Botswana

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

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

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Darkness was setting in when we saw this herd of elegant Sable antelope. They are magnificent animals weighing about 500 pounds when fully grown. They are both rare and elusive so we were fortunate to be able photograph them. Sable Antelope-2605

Sable Antelope

Chobe National Park, Botswana

Canon EOS 1D Maark lll, Lens: Sigma 150-500 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!  This year’s first South Africa trip sold out and we currently have only six spaces available on South Africa October 3-20, 2015 safari we recently added. It is an amazing trip at a very reasonable price and even includes the international airfare! Be sure and book your 2014 trip immediately 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

Feast your eyes our upcoming 2015 safaris.

Leopard Eyes-0796

Tanzania and Kenya – 18 days – Birthing Season with the Great Migration (Sold Out) Feb 1-18, 2015 Itinerary and Pricing
Botswana –  May 12-24, 2015 Itinerary and Pricing
Tanzania and Kenya-17-Days – Season for Great Migration Crossings at the Mara River (Sold Out) July 16 – Aug.2, 2015 Itinerary and Pricing
Tanzania and Kenya-17-Days – Season for Great Migration Crossings at the Mara River (4 Spaces Available) 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 Itinerary and Pricing
 Namibia Photo Safari  October 4-19, 2015 Itinerary and Pricing

Leopard-

Why wait?  Book Your Safari Now and Don’t Miss Out! 

Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana

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

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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Baby Vervet Monkey-8719

Young Vervet Monkey

Savute, Botswana

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

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

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Sacred Ibis Eating Frog-2926

Sacred Ibis Eating a Tasty Bull Frog

Chobe River, Botswana

Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 IS

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

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We came upon these baboons just after sunrise and they were still huddled together to stay warm.  During the cold nights they sleep together for protection as well as for warmth. Chacma Baboons-2735

Staying Warm

Chobe River, Botswana

Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 IS

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

Chacma Baboons Grooming-2802

Apparently Bliss is Being Groomed By Another Baboon!

Chobe River, Botswana

Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 IS

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

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In Botswana the vehicles we use on our game drives are 4×4 Toyota Land Cruisers that have been custom modified to be tough, rugged and also comfortable.  The canvass top is great for blocking out the overhead sun. They can go almost anywhere!

Our safari vehicles in Botswana-0911

The boats we use on the waterways in the Okavango Delta are well built and stable aluminum boats that can maneuver quickly and precisely through narrow river channels.

Photographing in the Okavango Delta-0726

Photgraphing in the Okavango Delta

Moreme Game Reserve, Botswana

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

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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These antelope look similar to impala but are larger, stockier and heavier.

Red Lechwe-8630

Male Red Lechwe 

Savute, Botswana

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

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

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Choppermania-2352

Chopper Town, Botswana

Chobe National Park, Botswana

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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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 Okavango Delta-0259

 Sunset in the Okavango Delta, Botswana

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

Copyright: Paul Renner, 2014

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Each of our safaris has been a tremendous photographic experience!  I can hardly wait to go back in to Botswana next year!  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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