After witnessing the amazing percolating crater of Nyirangongo Volcano and Virunga’s mountain gorillas, we flew to one of Tanzania’s most remote and rarely visited parks, Katavi National Park. Here in the dry season the Katuma River slows to a trickle and becomes the only source of drinking water for miles around. Wildlife in unbelievable densities is forced to converge on the riverine pools. Already the most dangerous animals in East Africa, hippos erupt in territorial disputes and crocodiles lurk nearby in an uneasy truce. This is one of the few places I have been where so many huge, dangerous animals have been so concentrated. In the midst of it all, an annular eclipse occurred, which seemed a sideline to this gritty wildlife spectacle. To answer your question: the crocodile did manage to wriggle away to safety.
Take a virtual journey and check out a selection my new imagery taken between April 1st and June 30th. Locations include Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park & the Atacama Desert, Argentina’s Los Glaciares National Park, the Bolivian Altiplano, the Galapagos, birding in Texas, Washington’s temperate rainforest, and Tanzania. It’s been a busy schedule to keep, but these locations and workshops have provided wonderful opportunities to shoot along with the chance to get to know some new faces. I’m looking forward to what the rest of 2016 brings!
My recent trip to Tanzania included a visit to Lake Natron, where I hoped to capture the colonies of lesser and greater flamingos who rely on the area as one of its few consistent breeding grounds in East Africa. As you’ll see from the slide show, our subjects did not disappoint! The salt water lake is home to organisms that manage to thrive in the high salinity and ultimately give the water the rich and varied hues, providing a beautiful backdrop for our shoot.
Pelicans and other birds also made an appearance, and zebras kicked up dust as they traveled through the same region. As mentioned in my previous post – this trip was short but satisfyingly productive and well worth the aggressive travel schedule. I feel this is my strongest work yet in this region, and I hope you enjoy these images!
I have just returned from a short, but very productive, trip to Tanzania. First up: photos from Ngorongoro Crater, which is the world’s largest inactive caldera covering an area of 100 square miles. The crater is a highly productive grassland, home to thousands of large animals, including wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, rhinos, lions, servals, and hyenas.
I last photographed in Mahale Mountains National Park, Tanzania for my Y2K project The Living Wild. In the intervening years it seems the chimps have become even more nonchalant around people, brushing past like a person would on a crowded street. There is a definite mental connection, but when they come that close you want to be careful in your movements and eye contact. They are incredibly powerful animals and powerfully intelligent so R-E-S-P-E-C-T is in order.
Lake Natron is a soda lake in the Rift Valley of Tanzania that I have photographed many times. But each time it feels like a new experience. The light, patterns, colors, and textures vary immensely from year to year, even hour to hour. These photos are from my latest trip in October.
On the last leg of our east African sojourn earlier this year, we stayed at the idyllic Mnemba Island Lodge on tiny Mnemba Island adjacent to Zanzibar. Within twenty minutes of arriving we witnessed the last batch of green sea turtles leave their nest and enter the Indian Ocean. One in a thousand will return twenty five years later.
No trip to east Africa is complete without a visit to the magnificent Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania. It is the largest unfilled, inactive volcanic caldera in the world. Various hominids have lived here for 3 million years and currently about 25000 large mammals from rhinos to hippos to zebras make this area home.
Nothing is more exciting than flying for 8 hours above herds of wildebeest and other critters of the Serengeti, above Lake Natron’s spectacular mineral deposits and lesser flamingos, and finally around the summit of “Ol Doinyo Lengai” volcano the Maasais call the home of the gods. The surface of Natron is surreal, colorful, and geometric, seemingly made for me. In some of the flamingo images you will see both reflections and shadows from the same birds resulting in beautifully complex compositions.
See the First and Second videos in the series of East Africa Video Journals.
While the Serengeti always offers its share of fine wildlife sightings, I was quite excited by seeing the 120,000 year old Engaresero Footprints. These are among the oldest modern human tracks in the world.