Wild Dog Photographic Safari - 2013
Madikwe Game Reserve
A photographic safari and photographic workshop with the renowed Roger de la Harpe at the famous Madikwe Game Reserve. Staying at the fabulous Jacis Lodges, this is a safari for the real photographer and photographic safari enthusiast.
Perhaps the most successful hunter in Africa, the African wild dog, Lycaon pictus, ironically finds itself on the brink of extinction. Part of the Canidae family, and sharing a general similarity with the various canids worldwide, the African wild dog differs fundamentally from other canids: it belongs to the genus, Lycaon, which formed a new branch on the family tree some 3 million years back and subsequently evolved independently. Today it is the only survivor of this unique line and, because of its genetic difference, is unable to interbreed with any of its canid relatives or even with the domestic dog. Previously found in diverse habitats across the continent, it has tragically disappeared from much of its former range. Today there are only an estimated 3 000 to 5 500 wild dogs left in the whole of Africa, a mere 500 of which occur in South Africa.
Madikwe Game Reserve, is about four hours to the northwest of Johannesburg.
The reserve is located in a transition zone of lowveld, mixed bushveld and Kalahari thornveld and the resultant diversity of habitats is part of its attraction. It is scenically beautiful with rocky outcrops, wooded thickets and sweeping plains that slope gently towards its main water course, the Marico River. The imposing Dwarsberg Mountains dominate the southern region,rising some 200 metres above the surrounding terrain, while a series of hills known as the Rant van Tweedepoort roughly divides the reserve into two equal parts.
This is where we much of the photography and research for the book, In Search of the African Wild Dog was done. We know Madikwe well, and it can be very productive from a photographic point of view. Good sightings of wild dogs are not uncommon as is the case with elephant, lion and general game. Additionally, the reserve is beautiful, enhanced by the gorgeous "Kalahari light".
17 to 20 March 2013
20 to 23 June 2013
25 to 28 August 2013
The program is fairly general and could change on the day. Nature does not operate by the clock and we'll need to be able to respond to whatever is happening out there. If the idea is to photograph scenery and we hear about a leopard nearby then we'll change our plans quickly.
Arrive at Jaci's Lodges between 12:00 and 14:00 for check in. At about 15:00 we'll meet for registration followed by an introductory talk, show and for setting up laptops and programs and then it's off on our first game drive.
Days 2 and 3
Meet on the deck at 05:00 for coffee and a light snack and leave on a game drive by about 05:30. As the light starts to change we will stop for an extended coffee break at a suitable spot where we will work through various photographic issues. About 2 hours after sunrise we'll head back to camp to download images onto our computers. Participants then select 3 images to include in the evaluation session and at about 09:30 we head into the dining room for a scrumptious breakfast.
The day continues with discussions, Photoshop tutorials and image analysis. This part of the workshop is critical – we work with your images, looking at composition, impact and technical details. We hold these sessions in an open and constructive environment and group participation is encouraged – it's where we can make a significant difference to your images very quickly. A delicious lunch is served between 13:00 and 13:30 after which we'll break for a spot of free time.
High tea will be served at about 15:00 and then we head out on a game drive. We will work different areas to the morning's drive, staying in radio contact with other vehicles so that we have more “eyes” out there and if we spot anything we can quickly meet up. We'll do sundowners before returning to camp just after dark for dinner.
We follow the normal morning routine and depart after the mornings evaluation session.
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