This week in pictures …

Elephant – Baobab – Sunset – Airport – Lion – Rhinos – Barbet – Bushbuck – Oysterbox

One picture per day …

Sunday: An old Elephant bull in musth – he has been there before and was therefore quite calm – good for us watching him … | Canon 1 D Mark IV – f2.8 – 300mm L
Monday: The only Baobab tree at Thanda – in my front garden … | iPhone 7 Plus
Tuesday: Sunset at Thanda’s larget dam … | Canon 1 D Mark IV – f2.8 – 70-200mm L
Wednesday: A Weaver trying to share my lunch at Durban airport | iPhone 7 Plus
Thursday: A Lion male in morning light … | Canon 1 D Mark IV – f2.8 – 300mm L
Friday: Approaching Rhinos … | Canon 1 D Mark IV – f2.8 – 70-200mm L
Friday (2): A Crested Barbet posing for a photo shoot … | Canon 1 D Mark IV – f4 – 500mm L
Saturday: Weather change sky … | iPhone 7 Plus
Sunday: Bushbuck at iSimangaliso … | Canon 1 D Mark IV – f4 500ml L
Extra: Sunrise at The Oysterbox Hotel | iPhone 7 Plus

I hope your like my weekly summary. For many more pictures please subscribe to my Instagram channel (ChristianSperkaPhotography).

PS: Based on recent requests I have added some camera information.

http://www.sperka.com

#christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography

 

Bird ID help welcome …

I am currently sorting through hundreds of my bird pictures which I took since 2002. Most of them I was able to ID positively.

But there are quite a few for which I either cannot find an ID at all or which I am not able to give a clear ID (multiple options).

If you would like to try to ID some of them for me then have a look at my bird ID page. I have uploaded the first 26 images, more to come soon 🙂

Click here to view the page https://sperka.info/id/

Thanks for the help from all the birders!

This week in pictures …

Arrival – Surroundings – Big – Majestic – Snakes – Creche – Ultraviolet– Crazy

One picture per day …

Sunday: New game arrival at Thanda – A Waterbuck jumping into the new home … | Canon 1 D Mark IV – f2.8 – 70-200mm L
Monday: One of the two new Cheetah brothers getting used to the new surroundings … | Canon 1 D Mark IV – f3.5-5.6 – 28-300mm L
Tuesday: A little Elephant letting me know that he is big already … | Canon 1 D Mark IV – f3.5-5.6 – 28-300L
Wednesday: Majestic look into the sunset … | Canon 1 Ds Mark III – f2.8 – 300mm L
Thursday: My last snake awareness class for this year – 10 classes with a total of over 100 people – Done! | iPhone 7 Plus and Canon 1 D Mark IV  – f3.5-5.6 – 300mm L and f4.0 – 500mm L
Shopping for my little creche project … More info at https://sperka.info/2018/06/14/please-read-this-message/ | iPhone 7 Plus
Saturday: Before my Rhino Talk the boys in the guest group showed me this Scorpion with an ultraviolet torch … | iPhone 7 Plus
Sunday: The craziest sighting so far this year – am mouse with no fear! | iPhone 7 Plus
Extra: Stepping out of my room into a glorious morning … | iPhone 7 Plus

I hope your like my weekly summary. For many more pictures please subscribe to my Instagram channel (ChristianSperkaPhotography).

PS: Based on recent requests I have added some camera information.

http://www.sperka.com

#christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography

 

The first goodies …

INKANYISO CRÈCHE UPDATE

The first batch of goodies is ready for delivery to the crèche. I will make a visit soon after the school holidays are finished.

They will get tables, crayons, paper, some educational toys, balls, a large trash container and plastic boxes to store everything in. Thanks to Michelle from Outtheredesign I got nice INKANYISO CRÈCHE labels on everything. Michelle and I have also created 11 baby animal posters with names in isiZulu and in English.

Thanks to the generosity of so many of you I will be able to continue to help with some more things for them for a while. My next project is some ‘outside playground setup’ and more educational toys. I will keep you updated.

If you want more information about my little crèche project go to https://sperka.info/2018/06/14/please-read-this-message/

Thanks for all the help – Have a good weekend!

Ulwazi 2019 – a very special way to experience the South African wilderness

A perfect way to experience the South African wilderness ‘hands-on’ is to spend a few weeks on Thanda as a volunteer.

Thanda Safari’s volunteer organization is called ULWAZI. They have just released their program dates for 2019:  https://ulwaziresearch.com/dates-rates/

For more general information go to https://ulwaziresearch.com/ or send an email to ulwazi@thanda.co.za.

PS: My oldest niece and two of her friends participated in the program last year and loved it!

PPS: And I provide free photography lessons to all volunteers 🙂

This week in pictures …

Zebra Sunset – Hyena Night – Red Sunset – Lion Evening – Hornbill Day – Rhino Sun – Lion Dusk

One picture per day …

Sunday – Zebras at sunset …
Monday – Hyena near a Giraffe kill …
Tuesday – The most beautiful sunset …
Wednesday – Tails in the air …
Thursday – Yellow-billed Hornbill …
Friday – White Rhino quarrel …
Saturday – Very full 🙂
Extra – Bheki, his two sons Boy and Lee, my drone and me …

I hope your like my weekly summary. For many more pictures please subscribe to my Instagram channel (ChristianSperkaPhotography).

http://www.sperka.com

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography

This week in pictures …

Off Time – Pakamisa – Sunbirds – Ndumo – Ostriches – Relax

One picture per day …

Sunday – Ready for another day at Thanda …
Monday – Looking forward to a week at Pakamisa – this heaven for horses – where dogs are spoiled – and humans are tolerated 🙂 www.pakamisa.com
Tuesday – Scarlet-chested Sunbird photography – a birthday treat …
Wednesday – First time at Ndumo Game Reserve – I like it … – Read more at https://sperka.info/2018/06/22/nudomo-game-reserve-a-birders-paradise/
Thursday – Ostriches at the end of the day – and what a day …
Friday – My favorite bird picture of the week – a White-bellied Sunbird having a feast …
Saturday – On the way home – The Aloes are blooming …

I hope your like my weekly summary. For many more pictures please subscribe to my Instagram channel (ChristianSperkaPhotography).

http://www.sperka.com

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography

Nudomo Game Reserve – A Birder’s Paradise

This week I visited Ndumo Game Reserve for the first time. With its 10,000 ha it is located directly at the Usuthu river on the South Africa / Mozambique border.

I just wanted to get a first impression during this day visit, but I will certainly be back for a few days of bird photography.

Here is a little summary of my Ndumo visit:

I think the best way to experience Ndumo is by booking guided walks and guided drives as one is not allowed to walk on the reserve (they have Buffalo and Hippo). The the really good bird-photography-spots cannot be reached by self-drive. Currently their game drive vehicle is out of service, but the guides are happy to go along in your car. You sould have an SUV (high clearance) to drive the roads in comfort and without damaging your car. A 4×4 is not required during the dry season.


My guide Josef and me walking 🙂 at Shokwe Pan.

I will book at least four such walks/drives during my next visit:

1 – Sand Forest Walk (morning or afternoon)

2 – Pongola River Walk (morning)

3 – Nyamithi Pan North-Shore-Drive (morning)

4 – Shokwe Pan Walk (morning or afternoon)

I did the last two midday, which is obviously not ideal for birding, but it was enjoyable and I got a few good pictures (see below).

The Ezulweni Hide on the south/east side of the Nyamithi Pan (there is only one hide on the reserve) was rather disappointing as it is set too far east on the pan. During normal winter conditions there is no water in front of the hide and most of the photo targets are too far away for good shots.

The Red Cliffs picnic area has a beautiful view of the river and is worth visiting.

Most of the reserve has very thick vegetation. Therefore mammal sightings (general game) are not very good and usually brief.

Conclusion: I will be back and I can recommend the place for any bird lovers. I recommend that ‘regular game drivers’ and mammal enthusiasts go somewhere else (Huluwe-Imfolozi, Tembe, iSimangaliso, Mkuze, Ithala, …).

And here are a few pictures …

Red Cliff Picnic Site
Nyamithi Pan
Nyamithi Pan with White-faced Whistling Ducks and lots of Crocodiles
Josef in front of a large Sycamore Fig tree at Shokwe Pan
Sycamore Fig Trees and Fever Trees on Shokwe Pan
Ezulweni Hide on Nyamithi Pan
Water Monitor at Nyamithi Pan
Knob-billed Ducks and White-faced Whistling Ducks at Nyamithi Pan
Nile Crocodile at Nyamithi Pan
Yellow-billed Stork at Nyamithi Pan
Hammerkop at Nyamithi Pan
Kittlitz’s Plover and Black-winged Stilt at Nyamithi Pan
African Spoonbills at Nyamithi Pan
Female Saddle-bill Stork walking along Nyamithi Pan
Yellow-billed Stork at Shokwe Pan
Black-winged Stilt at Shokwe Pan
White-eared Barbet at Shokwe Pan
Saddle-billed Stork chasing a Wildebeest at Nyamithi Pan

Please let me know if you have any questions or additional comments.

www.sperka.comwww.kznwildlife.com/Ndumo.html

PS: Josef, my experienced Ndumo tails guide, showed me three new bird species for my list, which I had never seen before – White-eared Barbet, Squacco Heron and Kittlitz’s Plover!

This week in pictures …

What a week – Crèche – Teach – City – Rhino – Arrival – Meal – Mate

One picture per day …

Monday – Visit to a crèche – create a project …

Tuesday – Teaching students and a very unusual sighting (Pied Kingfisher @ Thanda) …

Wednesday – Korean Dinner in Durban @ The Crazy Korean – what a treat …

Thursday – A Rhino at sunset – so special …

Friday – Two new Cheetah boys arrived at Thanda …

Saturday – The two males’ first meal …

Sunday – Mating Giraffes – a rare sighting …

I hope your like my weekly summary. For many more pictures please subscribe to my Instagram channel (ChristianSperkaPhotography).

http://www.sperka.com

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography

PLEASE READ THIS MESSAGE …

This week I visited a crèche for small children in one of Thanda’s neighboring communities.

With the help of some guests’ donations Thanda Safari has built this little school house, provided a water tank, got the material for a fence and the materials to complete the interior.

The crèche is located in one of the poorest areas of Zululand.

I was tasked to take some pictures with camera and drone to document the development progress.

I had not been there before.

At the crèche two volunteer teachers look after around 30 2-4 year old kids every morning for three hours.

When I saw the place in grey with no color, no toys, no teaching materials, no tables , no … I made a decision:

In the next few weeks I will personally get them some materials for teaching, some toys and whatever else I can afford to buy. I will not give them money (as I am afraid that would end in the wrong pockets), but I will buy them things they need.

Some of my friends have already promised me to help with useful materials they got or to help me with money donations to buy stuff.

If any of you – wherever you live in the world – would like to help with a little donation (or not so little 🙂 then please contact me at christian@sperka.com – I have bank accounts in Europe, USA and South Africa and I also have a PayPal account. So transferring any funds would be simple and would not cost a lot. Even the smallest contribution will be very much appreciated.

Be assured that 100% of whatever is donated will be used to buy things for the crèche.

I will post regularly pictures on my social media accounts (Instagram, Facebook and Twitter) and on my blog.

In the great scheme of things this neither big or important, but I hope it will make a difference to these children, their teachers and their parents.

PS: When I (a huge, bearded white man) stepped into the small classroom most of the children started crying. I was a bit puzzled until one of the teachers told me that some of the kids thought I was a doctor coming with inoculations :-). I had – wisely – bought a little drink, an apple and a small snack for each child which I gave to each of them. That calmed them down immediately.

But I really won them over when I flew the drone. They loved it and demanded many take-offs and landings. There were many friendly shouts of good-bye when I left. Modern technology can help in many ways 🙂