30 March, 2009

"...I bless the rains down in Africa..."

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Giraffes in the rain
Photo: © Daniel De Granville, 2009


The introduction to my first African safari could not be more instructive. While contemplating the savanna landscape from our bus’ window, a short while before arriving at Pilanesberg National Park, situated inside the crater of an extinct volcano, the local guide gives the instructions that I should pass on to my clients:

“During the safari you must tell your clients to remain silent and avoid keeping their bodies outside of the vehicle, or else...”

Remembering my work in the Pantanal, I mentally concluded the phrase and was about to say “the animals might get scared and go away”, but she was faster than I and completed: “... might cause them to attack the vehicle”.

Welcome to Africa, Daniel!

Our tour began through a landscape that, if I showed only the photos, with no captions or animals, many observers would be sure that I was in the Brazilian Cerrado. But the scene that followed came to show that we were at a very different place.

African Savana: any resemblances with the Cerrado
are not mere coincidences
Photo: © Daniel De Granville, 2009


A few minutes after we left the lodge, the weather changed abruptly and our fear of rain was justified, including a severe hail storm. Even so we decided to follow on, after all the chance of coming to Africa doesn’t happen every day... A couple of miles ahead, we saw some safari trucks stopping and pulling back. We thought that they had seen something by the road, as our guide talked over the radio and also began to pull back. Only then we noticed this enormous elephant walking towards us and not willing to change its route. We kept on playing this game of backing and stopping, until finally the animal decided to leave the road and followed on through the savanna, calmly starting to devour the leaves of a tree.

Make way for the elephaaaaant!
Photo: © Daniel De Granville, 2009


After this came gnus, impalas, jackals, rhinos, hippos, zebras. The twilight brought us the icing on the cake: a pride of ten lionesses climbing up the hill to hunt. Lightened up by our handheld beam, their twenty eyes shined pretty much like the caimans in the Pantanal. Unforgettable. Welcome to Africa, see you next time!

Impossible not to think of those
lion chases at Animal Planet:-)
Photo: © Daniel De Granville, 2009



To see the image gallery of these four days, two safaris and a lot of rain in Africa, please click on the "MONTH'S GALLERY" icon, located on the right-side column of Fotograma’s main page. If you experience any problems, please try this alternative link.



A lazy moment for this lion
Photo: © Daniel De Granville, 2009

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1 comment:

"As 3 Marias Atelier " said...

Caro Daniel, adorei suas fotos, onde poderia comprar o livro sobre aves?
no aguardo,
Regina
visite meu blog...
http://as3mariasatelier.blogspot.com/