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Wildlife Safaris in Africa

Africa hosts a lot of the biosphere’s most majestic and marvelous creatures. Regardless of where you go on safari, you’re given the assurance of once-in-a-lifetime wildlife, historical and cultural experience.

Birding Safaris in Africa

Ornithologists, bird lovers and like-minded twitchers searching for resident and migrant feathered animals will really love Africa. Africa is known around the world for its birds and the experience is sure to be a highlight of your trip!

Photo Safaris in Africa

Taking photos in African Safari is more than just reaching the best locations to get wonderful pictures. The unique landscapes, ancient cultures and incredible land, water and air wildlife of Africa make the perfect subject.

Africa Bush and Beach Safaris

The juxtaposition of inland wilderness and coastal warm beach locations makes Africa among the best vacation spots for adventure travelers. Get ready to experience terrestrial, avian and aquatic fauna together with unique flora.

5 Tips On How to Photograph Birds on Your Safari

Whenever you are on safari, you want to capture the vast variety of flora and fauna with your camera. This experience is exhilarating, especially if you are a professional photographer. Since the best memories are those captured by photographs, you will need to have a good camera whenever you are taking a safari.

Everyone who has travelled will tell you the thrill that comes with a jungle safari. But then, there is more than enjoying the fun. How do you ensure that this experience remains memorable for years to come? It is apparently by seizing every moment of capturing the breathtaking scenes of the jungle via your camera. Here are five tips you need for the perfect bird photography whenever you are on safari:

1. Choose the right park

With thousands of parks all over the world, selecting the best one for bird watching is vital. Not all parks are endowed with a variety of bird species. If you take a safari in a park with numerous bird species, you will have an easy time taking those shots of attractive birds.

For instance, Madikwe park in South Africa is considered one of the best safari destinations in Africa. It hosts the big five and other cats, and most interestingly, numerous bird species. The park is home to 350 bird species, therefore, ranking highly in a tourist’s list of bird watching sites. Though this might seem so obvious, it is the first step to taking the perfect photos of birds whenever you are on safari.

2. Equip yourself with the right gear.

Taking the perfect photos of those birds you see on a safari requires some professionalism. Just as any job would need the right tool combination, photography is no exception. Bird photography requires a combination of great autofocus and high frame rates, which should have the reach of long focal length lenses. Using the full gear of the most established camera brands such as Canon and Nikon gets your bird photography session covered. Specifically, such gear includes the professional 1Dx camera body coupled with various lenses. An example of such lenses is the Canon 600mm F4L lens.

3. Choose even lighting

Capturing light is often considered the ultimate photography. Therefore, before capturing that shot, consider the amount of light available. Generally, all birds have a standard behaviour of perching on tree branches. This means that whenever you want to take such bird photographs, you have to shoot upwards and the light from the sun will be dominant.

On the other hand, a bird might be located on a dimly lit branch. In this case, the background becomes brighter than the bird. Therefore, lightening the bird to ensure that photos are captured with even lighting. Alternatively, you may decide to focus on the birds whose surrounding is evenly lit. The perfect shots are that colourful bird you see should not be bright and should not have dark spots either.

4. Ensure stability.

This will be crucial for anyone using large lenses to get close to the action. Most of these lenses are quite heavy. Therefore, if you need that perfect photo of a bird, rest your arms so that your camera becomes stable. Use stabilizing equipment if need be. Since most bird photography will be done on a drive, stability bean bags are recommended for photographers. A vehicle mount could also come in handy so that you end up with the perfect photograph.

5. Capture the personality or behaviour of the bird

Make your photos stand out! Separate them from the ordinary photographs. The perfect bird photo would be the one that brings out the behaviour of the bird. Capture that eagle soaring high or a vulture hovering around a carcass.

Showcasing a bird’s behaviour or attitude on a photo makes you a stand-out photographer. It also brings the bird photograph to life, saucing up the scenery.

So, whenever you are out on safari, remember to take a shot any time a bird gets to your camera frame. Seize every opportunity. In any case, that bird photo will stand out if it bears the unique features highlighted above. While maintaining professionalism in your photography, don’t forget to enjoy yourself.

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The Beauty Of Birds - And Some Examples

We live on a planet that is filled with natural wonder. Everyday we are surrounded by natural wonders both great and small, from soaring majestic mountains to trees which sway in the wind. However, to compliment these wonders we find our eyes drawn to the myriad of animal species that call Earth home. And for many people some of the greatest of these wonders can be found among the many bird species that we encounter, either through direct observation or from afar when we watch nature documentaries or see images of the many species of bird across the globe.

What is it that fascinates us about birds?

Firstly there is the sheer beauty of many representatives of the avian kingdom.

If we had to examine a list of the most beautiful birds in the world (an almost impossible task given the many species and individual taste) which birds would make the list of those which are most pleasing to the eye?

These are only some of the birds that have been recognized for their unbelievable beauty.

Hyacinth Macaw

Parrot species will always be high of the list. The sheer number of different species of parrot found across the globe makes it extremely difficult to single out one representative - but for many people the magnificent Hyacinth Macaw would be one of the prime candidates for the award as the most striking of parrots. This bird is the largest of the all the parrots with a length of around 100cm. They can be found in the Savannah of Northern Brazil.

The almost luminescent blue plumage, long flowing tail and yellow rings around the eyes of this species makes it immensely attractive.

Blue Jay

In Eastern and Central North America the Blue Jay would take top honors as one of the most beautiful birds in that part of the world. The black, white and blue plumage makes this species incredibly striking. They are also capable of mimicking other bird species (and even human speech) making them even more interesting. They can in fact even mimic hawks in an effort to scare off competitors.

When it comes to the 'cuteness' factor few birds can match the

Atlantic Puffin

Atlantic Puffin. These diminutive birds can be found off the coastlines of Canada and the Northern parts of the United States. The outsize multi colored bill and coloration that is almost reminiscent of a penguin and the hunting behavior (which allows them to almost 'fly' underwater) in search of their preferred prey of eels and other fish species have made them a favorite of those who film nature documentaries.

Keel Billed Toucan

South and Central America play host to another bird that is tremendously attractive. this is the Keel Billed Toucan. It is the bill of this bird that has also made in a favorite with those filming nature documentaries. The bill appears almost comically outsize when compared to the body of the bird. However, what is most striking is the coloration of the bill. A kaleidoscope of greens, yellows and reds immediately draw the eye. The habits of this bird also mark it apart from many other bird species. the sheer weight of the bill means that they are poor flyers, preferring to hop from branch to branch in the forest canopy.

No list of the most beautiful birds in the world would be complete without at least mention of the Peacock. The Indian species is the one that most people are familiar with. The males of the species sport an incredible tail which is used in courtship displays. Magnificent iridescent coloring and eye spots are apparent when the bird is displaying.

Of course these few species are only a small set of those birds which have caused human beings to view birds as some of the most beautiful living things on the planet. Explore the world of birds and find out for yourself why we are so fascinated at the wonder of the many species that represent the avian kingdom.

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A Few Amazing Birds You Can Find In Londolozi In Southern Africa

While birds are not the main reason most visitors to the great continent of Africa make a grab for their cameras, there are some specimens that are well worth the time and patience to view. Birdwatchers will find an African safari to be a veritable paradise with many impressive and beautiful birds to add to your observations.

Following are some of the most spectacular bird you will find in the regions of Southern Africa and the Okavango River.

Martial Eagle

One thing for sure, Africa makes them big. The Martial Eagle is a ponderous airborne predator capable of swooping down and carrying off young antelope, monkeys, pigs and all types of lizards and desert rodents. The nest of the Martial Bird is high in the Marula tree where it litters its lair with the bodies of its prey. You can find evidence of their presence by strewn skeletal remains of monkeys, lizards and other local wildlife at the base of these trees. This bird is not one that can be missed as its imposing size can be seen at great distances in the trees or circling the skies.

Ostrich

An Ostrich is certainly one of the most commonly observed birds on the African Plains. At over 2-meters in height and a top-speed of 70MPH, the ostrich is by far the most impressive bird you will ever see and never forget. Armed with a fearsome kick and admirable parenting skills the connection between these birds and human observes is always one of respect and awe. There is little doubt you will identify these unmistakable birds from even a great distance.

Malachite Kingfisher

Across the waterways of southern and Western Africa there lurks a hunter with deadly efficiency and techniques that put modern fighter pilots to shame. The Malachite Kingfisher is stunning Azure blue and if it weren’t for its bright markings, it would be impossible to detect the Kingfisher with its hypersonic speeds and minuscule dimensions. If you are lucky enough to glimpse this bird it will probably be near the banks of a river filled with fish.

Lilac-Breasted Roller

Not many people know this, but the Lilac-Breasted Roller is the show stopper of the African safari and probably the most photographed bird of its kind. It features a full seven shades of blue as well as greens, pinks and purples. Furthermore, they offer an amazing spectacle as they swoop through the air to catch flying insects. Their mating rituals include a lot of bobbing and swaying and it is a site sure to capture the mind and attention of all. Furthermore, they are a common sight on most African safaris.

African Fish Eagle

The fish eagle is found in all areas of Africa where there is a water supply rich in their favorite food. Like many eagles, the Fish Eagle mates for life and pairs will be found soaring high over the lakes and rivers in a stunning skyward dance. They feed almost entirely on fish and are capable hunters. But, they can also be found swooping in and taking the fish caught by herons and other waterfowl.

Lesser Masked Weaver

Human invention and architectural innovation pales in the craftsmanship and ingenuity of this tiny bird. There are actually two types of Lesser Weavers in the African scene and some build giant communes where hundreds of birds can exist happily for hundreds of generations. But, the type that builds its own free-swinging next is the favorite. It is unfathomable to think that this tiny builder equipped with nothing more than a beak can weave and construct a full sized home where he and his family will be safe and happy – and this is accomplished all in one day.

if you are looking to go on a guide bird watching course while in Africa try Ecotraining. They offer a number of wildlife school including field guiding, wildlife photography and bird watching.

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The Top 8 Affordable Safaris In East Africa

There are so many places that you can visit in Africa if you want to go on a safari. It is an enormous continent, the second largest in the world, one that is also extremely populous. East Africa is extremely popular for safaris, and if you are like to go on one, there are many countries that you can visit. This would include places like Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, and even Tanzania. You will have to choose the proper time to go. There are certain areas where there are both rainy and dry seasons. If you can catch the tail end of the wet season, leading into the dry season, this is where you are going to see the most wildlife activity. Here are the top eight affordable safaris that you can go on if you are going to travel to East Africa this year.

The Top 4 Locations For Affordable East African Safaris

The first place that you need to go is called Maasai Mara, Kenya. It is a place where safaris can be quite expensive. In US dollars, it comes out to roughly $300 a day. However, there are budget options that are available. If you do travel during July through October, you will see what is known as the great migration. It is an incredible experience where you will see wildebeest migrations, as well as those that are done by elephants and lions. You can also head into the Serengeti which is very popular. The second place is to track gorillas in Uganda. You can actually see them in their natural habitat. The best time to go is during April or May and these safaris are done through the Ugandan Wildlife Authority. The third location is in the North sector of Kenya. There are safaris that can last as long as 10 days. You will get to see the highest mountains, breathtaking landscapes, and lions that will be along the way. Finally, you need to do the safari that lead you to Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania. It is absolutely immense, and the annual migrations will be seen traveling through this location.

4 Additional East African Safaris That Are Affordable

If you are on a really tight budget, you can still go on a safari. The only significant cost will be the plane ticket to and from the location. There may also be subsequent plane tickets that you will have to purchase to get to certain areas. However, the safaris are very inexpensive. The first one would be in Rwanda where you can actually see chimpanzees. There are also mountain gorillas. If you are into birding, this area of Rwanda is complete with over 300 different species of birds, plus you can find guides that will help you track gorillas. The second is in Nairobi Kenya which will be done primarily by living in tents. Despite the living conditions, you will get to see leopards, lions, giraffes and zebras. Third, you will head to the Bale Mountains of Ethiopia to track wolves. Finally, you can head into Kampala where you can see the beautiful Murchison Falls, go on a Nile boat cruise, and also track a rhinoceros.

These are just a few ideas for you to consider if you would like to go to Africa soon. It's a wonderful place to go, and if you travel at the right times, you will get pleasant weather, very little rain, and you will get to see the great migrations. At the very least, you will be able to track some of the most magnificent animals. That includes the rhinoceros, gorilla, and even lions. The guides that will be with you will make your safari expedition very memorable, regardless of how much you paid to go on one of these exceptional adventures.

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