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Old 13th September 2019
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Mara River Crossings

The second instalment of my Maasai Mara trip.

https://www.microcontrast.com/new-bl...iver-crossings
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Old 13th September 2019
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Re: Mara River Crossings

Simply stunning photos Mark !

Jax
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Old 13th September 2019
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Re: Mara River Crossings

Amazing photographs and brilliant text Mark. Great stuff.

Ron
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Old 13th September 2019
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Re: Mara River Crossings

Wow! Wow! Wow! Amazing photographs Mark. A great article / blog overall.
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Old 14th September 2019
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Re: Mara River Crossings

Got to agree with the others absolutely superb images and narrative. I didn't think I was too bothered about going on safari in my dotage but you are starting to change my mind. My guess is that you'll have enough photographic work for a great exhibition when you've finished.
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Old 14th September 2019
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Re: Mara River Crossings

Very nice photos framed by informative narrative. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 14th September 2019
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Re: Mara River Crossings

Many thanks, everyone.
Frankly it was difficult not to get decent images with the opportunities on offer plus the experienced advice from the Wild-Eye photo guides and drivers.

The Oly gear worked very well for me - having 2 bodies with the 40-150 f2.8 on one and the 300 f4 on the other (+/- 1.4 converters when the light allowed) was a good way to cover most of the bases. Although having a panny 100-400 instead of the 300 would have added some flexibility, I don't think I'd actually have got any better images, just different ones. I do know the field of view of the 300 very well now, so I know when to reach for it and when not to.

I also took the 15 f1.7 and the 45 f1.2, which were really useful around camp (more images to come on that), plus my IR converted M10ii with 12-32 (again, more to come). The only gear I took but didn't use was the Laowa 7.5 f2, but that's no carriage.

This was a real bucket-list tickoff for me.
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Panasonic GM5, 12-32, 12-35, 15. Laowa 7.5.
Assorted legacy lenses, plus a Fuji X70 & a Sony A7S.
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Old 14th September 2019
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Re: Mara River Crossings

Great set of photos there Mark, a real pleasure to see.
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Old 14th September 2019
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Re: Mara River Crossings

I really enjoyed the narrative and photos. It should inspire Phill D and others to take the plunge. There's nowhere quite like Africa for getting stunning wildlife photos. Our next trip is pencilled in for February.
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Old 14th September 2019
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Re: Mara River Crossings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaka View Post
I really enjoyed the narrative and photos. It should inspire Phill D and others to take the plunge. There's nowhere quite like Africa for getting stunning wildlife photos. Our next trip is pencilled in for February.
Yes, I strongly agree everyone should go at least once if they can possibly afford it (and David has given some wonderful advice on how to do it as economically as possible). The SA Rand is one of the few currencies sicker than sterling at the moment, so once you’ve covered the airfare (not cheap, of course) a self drive works out comparable to spending a couple of weeks driving round wildlife reserves in Scotland in a hire car and staying in midrange B&Bs. There are also _loads_ of other interesting things to do in SA.

For someone’s first self-drive trip I’d recommend they began with one day of game drives with a lodge guided group - I think you’d learn a huge amount which you could put to good use in the remaining days. Best would be to go with someone who’d been before.

The sooner you go the better, too, since climate change and human development pressures are taking their toll in many areas, and the opportunity won’t be there for long, I fear.

Where are you planning in February, Dave?
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http://www.microcontrast.com
Too much Oly gear.
Panasonic GM5, 12-32, 12-35, 15. Laowa 7.5.
Assorted legacy lenses, plus a Fuji X70 & a Sony A7S.
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Old 15th September 2019
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Re: Mara River Crossings

We'll be back to the Kruger again, probably for a fortnight which will give time to do the northern part where we haven't been for several years. For anyone thinking of going the SAN Parks website has loads of useful info, especially for those new to safari, https://www.sanparks.org/forums/

Even with the depressed pound you get a lot of Rand and the cost of living isn't very high anyway. There can be few more self drive friendly parks than the Kruger.
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Re: Mara River Crossings

Great.
We must get back to the Kruger, too.
I'd fancy spending at least a day or two doing the walking safaris available in the north of the Park - Pafuri is one of the places, I think.
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Panasonic GM5, 12-32, 12-35, 15. Laowa 7.5.
Assorted legacy lenses, plus a Fuji X70 & a Sony A7S.
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Old 15th September 2019
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Re: Mara River Crossings

We've never done a walking safari and as as we're both over 75 I think the time may have passed for that. Several camps do them. There are also a few driving trails only open to 4x4 which you have to book in camp. These are distinct from the 4x4 trails marked on the map and only require a 4x4 to avoid damaging the track by wheelspin if it is wet. We may be tempted to hire a 4x4 so as to be able to do one. Usually we hire a 4x2 RAV4.
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Old 15th September 2019
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Re: Mara River Crossings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaka View Post
We've never done a walking safari and as as we're both over 75 I think the time may have passed for that. Several camps do them. There are also a few driving trails only open to 4x4 which you have to book in camp. These are distinct from the 4x4 trails marked on the map and only require a 4x4 to avoid damaging the track by wheelspin if it is wet. We may be tempted to hire a 4x4 so as to be able to do one. Usually we hire a 4x2 RAV4.
I’ve done a few game walks, in several SA parks and in Malawi. On none of them have we walked more than a mile or three, but the Pafuri camp specialises in longer ones, and there are some other areas that do as well, like Mana Pools in Zimbabwe where you get amazingly close to massive tuskers.

Around those areas that specialise in them the animals are accustomed to seeing humans on the ground, and essentially ignore you, and since you’re with expert guides problems are very, very rare. In SA there are strict limits on the number of guides and guests, and on the number of those guides carrying rifles.

I have enjoyed the shorter walks I’ve done so far - it really does put you in your place as part of the food chain, of course!

Normal safari walks are not very photographically interesting because obviously in standard game reserves you don’t go at all close to any large or dangerous animals. However you do have a great opportunity to see tracks, scat, insects and plants close up.
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Too much Oly gear.
Panasonic GM5, 12-32, 12-35, 15. Laowa 7.5.
Assorted legacy lenses, plus a Fuji X70 & a Sony A7S.
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Old 15th September 2019
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Re: Mara River Crossings

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmarkf View Post
I’ve done a few game walks, in several SA parks and in Malawi. On none of them have we walked more than a mile or three, but the Pafuri camp specialises in longer ones, and there are some other areas that do as well, like Mana Pools in Zimbabwe where you get amazingly close to massive tuskers.
Mana Pools remains my most favourite National Park. We camped there while paddling canoes down the Zambezi back in the late 1980s and went for a game drive in the back of an old Land Rover before heading off back to Kariba, where we had left our cars.

Now that will have me looking up all my old photos which I have scanned from slide into digital.
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