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…