As the winter months are slowly but surely coming to an end, the vegetation across most of Southern Africa is getting drier and drier. Recently I had the privilege of visiting both Mana Pools and Hwange National Park and since they have had a very bad summer rainfall (usually between November and March) conditions were drier than usual.
Our first stop of the Safari was Mana Pools where we would be spending the next 5 nights on the banks of the Zambezi River. The focus in Mana Pools is intimate on foot encounters of various species, most notably of big Elephant bulls and if you are very lucky of African Wild Dogs. Unfortunately for us, the Wild Dogs were denning and getting a glimpse of them this time simply was not possible.
During the 5 nights we had some incredible encounters of Elephant Bulls, both in the stunningly beautiful forests but also in Camp. Since there are no fences around the Camp, wildlife is free to come and go as they please and most days we had Elephants in Camp, the resident Hippo Bull was ever present and we even had a Pride of Lions moving through whilst having dinner. It is simply breathtaking being in this environment that is wild and untouched.
The light in Mana Pools is something that has been well documented and finding ANYTHING in the golden light makes for incredible photographic opportunities.
The breathtaking light passing through the forest late in the afternoon
One of the very well known Bulls in Mana Pools, Boswell
Known as the provider in Mana Pools, Boswell with his crowd around him
One of the reasons why Mana Pools is so special, the intimate on foot experiences
After 5 fantastic days in Mana Pools we connected on a chartered flight for the second leg of our trip in Hwange National Park.
Upon arrival it was clear that Hwange was also extremely dry for this time of the year, but what it did mean was that we were treated to some incredible game viewing during our stay.
A great surprise finding this Female Cheetah who had just taken down a Steenbok
A scene that is not uncommon at this time of the year as big Lions start taking down young, weaker Elephants.
Both these parks offer incredible experiences and photographic opportunities and make a great combination and this trip was no different.
A special thank you to Joe, Rose and Conrad for another incredible adventure.