Monthly Archives: January 2011

Kidepo Valley National Park

Hi Guys,

As you may know I was able to get away over the New Year to one of my favourite places in the world.  Think of the Masai Mara without the tourists and you wont be far off in imagining the Kidepo Valley.  For years isolated in the north of Uganda due to the civil war it has in the last couple of years been opened up to a greater numbers of tourists.

Caught on the border with Sudan and Kenya and surrounded by arid lands the 1,442 square kilometres of the park are a veritable oasis in the dry season.  Kidepo is great place to go because there are so many species found within its borders that cannot be found elsewhere in Uganda, the most elusive being the cheetah and ostrich.

The density of the game however is normally low and in the past i have found it difficult to see the game and have instead been quite content getting images of the breathtaking scenery in Kidepo.  This trip turned out to be vastly different and i think i had the most productive 24 hours game driving of any safari i have been on.

In short we saw lion, leopard, caracal, jackal, hyrax, elephant, buffalo, reedbuck, waterbuck, bushbuck, hartbeest, , zebra, oribi, dik dik, warthog, giraffe, ostrich, secretary bird, Abyssinian Hornbills, and a huge amount of raptors.

The only thing that tarnished my enjoyment of the safari was the knowledge that i had a new 5D MkII, 24-105L, 70-200L II, and 100-400L all waiting for me in the UK.  Luckily the wait is almost over and my new equipment gets here on Tuesday!!

This is a male Abyssinian Ground Hornbill and these birds became my mission for this safari.  There were plenty of pairs around but it was a case of waiting until the right light came and the positioning was good.  This guy hung around long enough for me to get a couple of good pics but it was tough trying to get the focusing spot on because of all the tall grass between myself and the bird.  This is one that worked out.  I wont show you the ones that didn’t turn out but rest assured there were lots of fuzzy birds and pin sharp blades of grass!  Given the continual movements of the birds and the swaying elephant grass it was nothing short of a miracle that i got the ones that i did get.  More pics to follow…

Stay well,

Chris

In tribute to Hendri Coetzee

Happy belated New Years to everyone!

If the truth be told I have postponed writing a blog for the last month as my thoughts have been consumed by other events and photography has taken a back seat.  However, now feels like a good time to get back in touch with you all again.

2010 will always be the year where I took the plunge, overcame my fears, and decided to take what had until then been a guilty pleasure and turn it into a full blown business!  In November The Photographic Safari Company became a reality and it has been a period of my life filled with both sheer excitement and equal measures of sheer apprehension.  I would like to thank everyone for their support and kind words which have helped to reduce the apprehension and focus on the excitement!

On safari in 2010 I have had the privilege to spend time with Mountain Gorillas in their volcanic rainforest, lions and leopards in their rolling grasslands and visited almost every corner of Uganda, from its northern arid lands, its central swamps and into its southern mountain ranges.  I couldn’t have been more fortunate than I have and I can’t wait to share all of this in 2011 with the lucky clients that get to experience Uganda and its spectacular beauty.

The excitement of starting my business during the last month has been shared with the loss of one of my greatest friends, Hendri Coetzee.  Hendri tragically died whilst trying to kayak some of the most remote and unexplored rivers in Africa and bring awareness to the plight of safe drinking water in the region.  Hendri was able to mix equal amounts of intelligence, kindness and unquestionable courage in his short life and he will always remain a mountain of a man who I, like countless others, aspire to emulate through our achievements, our pursuit of the best day ever and through the strength of our relationships with our family and friends.  His death has left a huge void in all those who knew him but time has helped me to understand that Hendri will remain with all of us and he will help guide the course of all our lives in the years to come.

I managed to spend five days in Kidepo Valley National Park over New Years and had the most amazing safari experience i have had yet.  I will fill you in on all the details in my next blog and post the photographs as soon as i get finished with them.

Have a great year everyone,

Chris