Archive for ‘April, 2016’

A little kiss :-)

It is customary to take a picture with a tranquilized wild animal and the involved personnel at the end of a procedure. So after today’s rhino darting operation I did the usual ‘photo shoots’. But today was a special day. It is very seldom that I get my own picture taken. Warren, Thanda’s Reserve Manager, took my camera and got ready to take a picture with me and the Rhino. And I gave it a little kiss to show my support for this endangered species. A rather rough kiss :-).

Look out for another blog about these Rhino Management Procedure in the next few days!

Thanks to Warren for taking the pictures!

 

A Little Detour

Today a little detour was required on my way home from the Thanda Safari Lodge. The two Cheetah brothers were resting in the shade under a tree in the middle of the road, so I had to get a bit of the street as they would not move for my car 🙂

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The Two Boys!

Backlight

 
Lions at one of Thanda’s waterholes – I was able to play with the light from another game viewing vehicle (thanks to my fellow guide) – despite the fact that I did not have the right lens for the job I like the atmosphere of the scene!

The sky was on fire!

Today’s sunset was one of the best I have seen since I arrived in Africa almost four years ago. What an evening!

Thanda Safari

Today’s sunset at Thanda Safari – just fabulous. Imagine yourself creating truly African memories 🙂

The sky on fire!

Creating memories!

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Picture by Christian Sperka – Resident Wildlife Photographer – Thanda Safari

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The Sun, The Moon and a Giraffe

The ideal sighting for teaching about evening light 🙂

Thanda Safari

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At this time of the year the moon rises very early and is visible above the horizon before the sun has set. So both sun and moon provided the backdrop for these two images of a male Giraffe browsing around our safari vehicle. First posing before the moon and then providing a stunning sunset silhouette.

During the same game drive we encountered and herd of Cape Buffalo, three Black Rhino after the sun had set and a Pride of Lions when all natural light was gone.

What a Thanda Safari evening!

Pictures by Christian Sperka – Resident Wildlife Photographer – Thanda Safari

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Nashville Memories

Clouded Leopard portrait

An artist named Martyn Norris has recently asked for permission to use one of my Clouded Leopard images as a basis for one of his drawings. I really like the result – thanks Martyn!

And looking at this image took me back to when I was working as photographer and photography teacher at Nashville Zoo at Grassmere. I really enjoyed my time in Nashville and I miss my friends in the Music City USA. I hope to visit again, soon.

If you are travelling to Nashville make sure you visit this excellent zoo – http://www.nashvillezoo.org

… and also have a look at Martyn’s other work (if your are on Facebook 🙂 – http://www.facebook.com/martynfoxart.

The South African Kingfishers

Kingfisher Collage

After yesterday’s post about a Malachite Kingfisher on Thanda a few people have asked me about the various South African Kingfishers. So, here is a short post about them:

There are ten Kingfisher species in South Africa. Five are aquatic species and five are considered woodland Kingfishers. Up til now I took pictures of eight of these ten species. I am still missing the Half-collared Kingfisher and the Grey-headed Kingfisher.

Four of them (Woodland Kingfisher, Striped Kingfisher, Brown-hooded Kingfisher and African Pygmy Kingfisher) are regularly seen on Thanda Safari Private Game Reserve and I had one – rare – sighting of a Malachite Kingfisher. Giant Kingfishers, Mangrove Kingfishers and Pied Kingfishers are aquatic species and are therefore not resident on Thanda.

Enjoy the pictures!

Not supposed to be there! – Bird of the Day – Malachite Kingfisher

It is always very exciting to see a bird in an area where it usually does not occur. Malachite Kingfishers are one of the aquatic Kingfisher species. They live on Rivers or other large bodies of water. Finding one on Thanda Safari – Private Game Reserve was a very special treat for our bird-loving guests. Bheki (my Zulu tracker) spotted it at the waterhole near my home.

These are not my best Malachite Kingfisher images, but they are very special to me!

To view more of my Malachite Kingfisher images go to http://www.sperka.biz/sgb10

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The Malachite Kingfisher (Corythornis cristatus) is an aquatic, small Kingfisher which is widely distributed in Africa south of the Sahara. It is only 13 cm (5.1 in) in length. This species is common to reeds and aquatic vegetation near slow-moving water or ponds. The flight of the Malachite Kingfisher is rapid, with the short, rounded wings whirring until they appear a mere blur. It usually flies low over water. The call of this kingfisher is then a short shrill seek. The breeding song is a chuckling li-cha-cha-chui-chui.

Malachite Kingfisher

 

A bath to cool down – a drink to refresh …

I really enjoyed this one. Thanks to Ali (Thanda Safari Wildlife Department) for calling me in.

Thanda Safari

Elephants are smart. First the Thanda Safari Herd of Elephants had a refreshing bath at one waterhole (chasing away some Buffalo to get the tub for themselves). Then they moved to the next waterhole for a drink of clean – non-muddy – water.

How many Elephants do you count? It was the complete herd, and a few adult bulls joining the ladies and the youngsters for the refreshment.

Video and Pictures by Christian Sperka – Resident Wildlife Photographer – Thanda Safari

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