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Mashaba 3:3 Female

Mashaba 3:3 Female

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About the Author

James Tyrrell

Photographic Guide/Media Team

James had hardly touched a camera when he came to Londolozi, but his writing skills that complemented his Honours degree in Zoology meant that he was quickly snapped up by the Londolozi blog team. An environment rich in photographers helped him develop the ...

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25 Comments

on 4 Things to Avoid on Safari

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Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

James all of four of your points are so true. My most favourite game drives are early morning when everything is fresh and you can actually smell the veld. I take hundreds of photos that is realy just for memories. The best is realy to just enjoy the moment spend with an animal.

Joanne Wadsworth
Digital Tracker

Wonderful and much needed advice. Thanks, James.

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

You’re welcome Joanne!

Jeff Rodgers
Senior Digital Ranger

A few more things to avoid: telling the Ranger, ‘today I want to see ______.’ Not fair to the Ranger or the other guests in the vehicle. Don’t avoid asking questions . . . pretty much the Rangers know almost everything about almost everything . . . from little bugs to the stars in the sky.

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

HI Jeff,
Haha, agreed about the “today I want to see”.

Karina Robin
Explorer

Important article, safari newbies take note! One thing I would add: stop worrying about not seeing the Big Five – there is so much else to see, smell, hear! Just enjoy being out in the bush – it‘s fantastic!

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Hi Karina,
Like in Point #3, it’s specifically when you aren’t worrying about the Big 5 that they often turn up!

Phil Schultz
Explorer

Fun fact about your talking point #2. When I visited Londolozi and Botswana a couple years ago, I memorized the names of (20) animal species in both Tswana and Shangaan for precisely the form of eavesdropping you’re discouraging. If there was Yingwe, Ngala or Xikankanka being seen somewhere out there, I wanted to know about it even if I understood the dynamic you describe in your post.

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Haha Phil you become your own worst enemy when you start tuning in to the radio! Although Xikankanaka is pretty exciting to hear…

Robert Walder
Explorer

Good post. We were at Londolozi in June and the blog is a wonderful way to relive the extraordinary experience we had.

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Hi Robert,
Thanks for the comments. Let us know if there’s anything you’d be interested in reading a post about.
Best regards

Darlene Knott
Senior Digital Ranger

I agree wholeheartedly, James. I have been on safari many times and have never missed a game drive. I know if I do, there will a fantastic sighting and I will kick myself for ever! I can sleep when I return home. I also think that you must have patience when on safari. Enjoy what is in front of you, the landscape, a herd of impala, or whatever. You do not know that a cheetah won’t come darting out looking for dinner! Or that a pack of wild dogs are lying just up ahead, getting ready to greet each other and head out for a hunt. We truly enjoy watching animal behaviors, whether it is a herd of elephants, a pack of dogs, a dazzle of zebras, or a flock of quelea drinking at the waterhole. Put a leopard in front of me and I can sit for hours just marveling at his or her beauty. Patience is key! Great article!

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Thanks Darlene!
Patience is indeed the key to seeing the real magic!

Ian Hall
Senior Digital Ranger

And there is no need for a Pith Helmet. I swear I actually saw a tourist wearing one (In Kenya). On a more serious note try to avoid Larium . It has a track record of extreme reactions.

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

I don’t know Ian, I’m kind of partial to a pith helmet from time to time… 😉

Callum Evans
Guest contributor

The first one is definetely a rule to live by in any natural area you are visiting. I’ve been up at 4 in the morniing in the Central Kalahari and was rewarded with a honey badger and my first ever Cape foxes! In Moremi we were out of the camp at 5:45 and as we turned onto a loop, we suddenly had 30 wild dogs filing past our vehicle (another first for me)! I do however sometimes worry about the photograph a bit too much, I have to work on that.

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Hi Callum,
I’m still working on it nearly a decade later!

Callum Evans
Guest contributor

Haha, understandable!!

Michael Kalm
Explorer

Four GREAT points – especially the “Don’t sleep in!”

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Agreed, Michael, sleeping in is an utter crime!

Denise Vouri
Digital Tracker

James, you are so correct in your safari assessment, especially the photography point. Image captures are usually the focal point of a safari, but oftentimes putting the camera down and just observing is a true safari experience. One other rule is “don’t move around, stand up or loudly speak” while observing wildlife. Rocking the rover can spoil photos for others who are quietly trying to capture a moment, balancing their camera on a beanbag or the railing- Good article.

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Hi Denise,
Some good points!

This was such an interesting blog to read!

This is so true! When you’re on safari just enjoy the moment, have eyes for the smaller things as well as the so-called spectacular things and you probably come back with better photographs than if you just focused on making images, because when your heart is in it the photographs will show that.

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Betty-Lou we agree completely!

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