The Natureslens photography tour to Calera has been running for a few years now & always offers a wide variety of birds to photograph on the plains & the mountains close to the area. 2018 was my first visit here after taking over guiding from the incredibly talented Dan Trim. Having seen his images from the previous trips he led for NaturesLens, I couldn’t wait to see them for myself. Calera y Chozas is just two hours drive from Madrid & is an area with many locations for photographic opportunities. In previous years, when David, Pui Hang & Dan have led trips there, the bar had been set high with images of Azure-winged Magpie, bee-eater, black kite, black vulture, black-winged kite, cuckoo, great bustard, great grey shrike, griffon vulture, hoopoe, kestrel, lesser kestrel, little owl, red kite & red-legged partridge & more all being captured. Continue reading →
April 2018 saw my third visit to photograph the Tigers of India, although this was the third time, the anticipation of that first tiger sighting was still as exciting as ever. That first glimpse of a tiger walking freely in their space sends a tingle down the spine & we didn’t have to wait too long.
Our clients made a point of noting it took only 25 minutes, & what a fantastic sighting it was to start our Bandhavgarh-based Tigers of India adventure. Our first encounter was with one of Spotty’s cubs. She has three cubs, approximately 18 months old, but they’re now rarely seen all together. As our guide liked to say – they’re in their ‘probationary period’ learning to be independent & to develop their hunting skills, but still coming together as a family on occasions. We could see one of the cubs resting in the leaves by the waterhole & what a fantastic treat it was to see her cooling down in the water a few hours later. Continue reading →
Last month I had the pleasure of guiding a great group of guests on our South African Wildlife of Zimanga photography holiday. This tour is the perfect blend of traditional safari game drives coupled with some extraordinary hide sessions. There was something for everyone – majestic mammals, beautiful raptors & little birds.
Zimanga, the South African wildlife reserve is a 3-hour drive from Durban airport. Upon arrival at the reserve entrance, we transferred to the lodge by a land cruiser. We were greeted by giraffe, buffalo, impala, warthog, kudu & nyala as we drove the short distance to our accommodation – what a great start to the trip!
Andrew was one of the guests on this year’s Tigers of Tadoba photography holiday. We arranged the tour for Derek & Andrew after we learnt that two of the tigresses in Tadoba had recently given birth, which meant there was the possibility to photograph tiger cubs.
Jessica was a guest on one of the Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece Photography Workshops that we conducted in January 2018. Having run this tour for the past four years, the itinerary is now, in our opinion, the perfect experience. But it’s not what we think that matters, the view of our guests matters more.
Jessica said, “I had the pleasure to go to Greece in January 2018 to photograph the Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece & I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Not only were there plenty of opportunities to capture images of these big & charismatic birds in various conditions, but we also had a lot of fun with the group. Our guide Sean was always attentive & ready to answer our questions & give photography advice. The accommodation was ideal & the trip very well organised. Being able to photograph the pelicans very early in the morning & late in the afternoon added a special touch to the photos. I would certainly recommend going on this photography trip in Greece.” Continue reading →
David learnt that there were two female tigers who had recently given birth to cubs in Tadoba National Park. This was probably around late November 2017 & two other females had also given birth a little earlier. It seemed that a visit to see the Tigers of Tadoba was on!
David & I, plus my friend Andy, could not miss this great opportunity of hopefully viewing 3 to 4-month-old tiger cubs. So, we caught a plane to Nagpur & then travelled to Tadoba for some excellent tiger viewing & photography. David is always networking which helps significantly in the meticulous planning NaturesLens always carry out when preparing wildlife photographic trips & workshops. This was no exception. If you want to get the best possible viewing in the core tiger zones, you usually have to book at least three months in advance. David learnt that two of the Tigers had made their home outside of the core zones of the reserve. We therefore decided to take a gamble & arrange some of our drives in the lesser used reserve areas. We hoped this would increase our chances of seeing as many different cubs as possible. Of course, this could have gone wrong if the Tigers had returned to the main areas but we felt confident they would not. Our gamble paid off! In reality, this was probably not an enormous gamble due to the planning by David. Most tourists tend to stick to the traditional core areas as they believe they offer the best sightings. I believe we were the only westerners in the areas where these two females were to be found, which made our viewings & images even more special. Continue reading →