Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Something different !!

During March we visited a few of South Africa's other National Parks and wanted to share some info on them as far as photography goes and some photos of the species found there.

Karoo National Park near Beaufort West in the Cape was our first stop - beautiful park, rugged and dry with a few very scenic drives. Stunning night skies - but not so productive from a wildlife photography point of view.

Mountain Zebra National Park near Cradock in the Cape - by far our most favourite of the three parks we visited. Absolutely stunning mountain views, a good deal of wildlife and quite easy to photograph. Some good opportunities here !! There are 24 cheetah in this park but sadly we did not get to see any. They would make for some great photos on the open grasslands with mountain scenery all around - maybe next time !!
Excellent for Black Wildebeest and Mountain Zebra.

Addo Elephant National Park near Port Elizabeth - a nice big park which is expanding all the time, good news for conservation !!
There are different sections of the park, with different access points. We stayed at the main camp / wildlife viewing area. A good road network of roads but the vegetation is not friendly to photography - scrubby Spek Boom everywhere !! and not much else. Some open patches which used to be farm fields - still look like cleared areas, not so natural looking. Good opportunities for photographing herds of elephants, but not much else. There are Lion in the park but we did not get to see them.

It was lovely to see these parks, but for wildlife photography Kruger is still tops !! the variety is unrivalled !!

Here are some of the different species we photographed on the trip - not found in Kruger - it was great to see and photograph these !

Gemsbok or Oryx


Red Hartebeest

Black Wildebeest - endemic to Southern Africa

Ground Squirrel - larger than the lowveld tree squirrel
the Endangered Cape Mountain Zebra - more compact stripes and all the way down the legs.
Black Wildebeest in the Mountain Zebra National Park