A&P Back from two weeks in South Africa v.firstbatchofpics

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by Mutombo, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. Mutombo

    Mutombo New Member

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    Just got back from traveling in South Africa for the last two weeks. I'm still really out of it, it took almost 40 hours of flying to get back to SF from Cape Town over the weekend (opposite side of the world).

    My fiancee is just finishing up med school so she did a month long rotation in a township hospital outside of Cape Town. I was able to meet up with her afterwards to travel around the country.

    Still going through the pictures, and have yet to get anything from my fiancee from when she was in the townships, but thought I'd share some from the first batch.

    1. Spent two nights in Cape Town. During the day we took the tram up Table Mountain for some of the most spectacular views I've ever seen.
    [​IMG]

    2. More views from Table Mountain. You can see the new World Cup stadium in the center, and Lion's Head on the left.
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    3. Another view facing towards the East.
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    4. Drove to the edge of the world to see the Cape of Good Hope.
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    5. And further along the coast along a scenic route called Chapman's Peak.
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    6. At one point along the drive a tunnel was carved into the side of the mountain. I loved how the fog was spilling over the tops of the mountains.
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    7. The clouds in Cape Town were beautiful, we don't get clouds like this in California.
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    8. More clouds.
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    9. View of Lion's Head from Camp's Bay.
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    10. From Cape Town we drove north about an hour to the wine country in Franschhoek. It was absolutely beautiful. Most of that tastings were either free or 10-15 Rand (about $2).
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    11. More from Franschhoek.
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    12. After spending some time in the Eastern Cape, we flew up to Mpumalanga for some of the most breathtaking views I've ever seen (again). The whole region is national parks and home to the 3rd largest natural canyon (and largest overgrown/green canyon) in the world. This canyon is called the Blyde River Canyon. On the right you can see three round peaks, they are called the Three Rondavels.
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    13. Here's another shot of just the Three Rondavels.
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    14. When we were in Mpumalanga, we stayed at a Castle that two Austrian guys built with the money they got when Heineken bought out their brewery.
    [​IMG]

    15. After Mpumalanga, we drove to Kruger National Park for three days on Safari. It's summer in South Africa now, but it's also the wet season. Most of our days out were pretty overcast and rainy, so I was dealing with pretty tough lighting conditions. Had to shoot mostly between ISO 800 and 1600 to keep the shutter speed fast enought for my 500mm lens (Bigmos). One of the biggest Leopards in Kruger park snarling at our driver because he made eye contact.
    [​IMG]

    16. Lion
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    17. Lions hunting wildebeast.
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    18. More of the lions hunting and the wildebeast staring back at them. Unfortunately the wildebeast took off, and the lions were too lazy to chase them.
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    19. The lions napping after deciding not to hunt the wildebeast.
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    20. The rest of the big 5. This baby elephant was only a week old.
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    21. This baby was a month old.
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    22. Rhinos
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    23. These birds land on the big animals and eat ticks and provide an early warning system.
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    24. Last of the big 5, the Buffalo. These fuckers are mean and are considered the most dangerous to humans of the big 5. The males will charge you and kill you if you come across them in the wild.
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    25. Giraffe
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    26. This was taken at iso 6400. It was really dark out.
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    27. An antelope nursing her young.
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    28. Another species of antelope with HUGE ears.
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    29. Zebra.
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    30. These guys had the coolest horns.
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    31. This guy was born an hour before we got to him. He was still wet from the birth.
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    32. A mother leopard sleeping with her male cub after a kill.
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    33. Vulchers fighting over a dead giraffe after the hienas were done with it. This one alpha male vulcher kept chasing off all the others.
    [​IMG]

    I've got tons more pictures to go through, so I'll share some more as I get to them. I've also got all my fiancee's pictures to go through, she took a bunch from the townships, so if OT is interested I can share some stuff that really shows the poverty and hardship in the country.

    Some more are posted on my flickr.
    http:[email protected]/sets/72157622826805421/

    C&C welcome
     
  2. isaac86hatch

    isaac86hatch This thread sucks

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    Nice set. Looks like a beautiful place.
     
  3. Girth

    Girth ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ OT Supporter

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    I want to ride that zip line. :eek3:

    Great set. :bowdown:
     
  4. xenon supra

    xenon supra OT Supporter

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    awesome!
     
  5. ace3

    ace3 mouthify my wang.

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    fucking awesome. you went most everywhere that we went too.

    what lodge did you stay at in Kruger? We stayed at Sabi Sabi. Got the honeymoon suite. :cool:

    i want to go back so bad
     
  6. ace3

    ace3 mouthify my wang.

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    i think we were standing in the exact same place on the Cape :rofl:

    yours:
    [​IMG]

    mine:
    [​IMG]
     
  7. dres2k

    dres2k OT Supporter

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    great pics! looked like fun
     
  8. Girth

    Girth ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ OT Supporter

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  9. legendr34

    legendr34 Titanium Member

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    great set
     
  10. Waddup you?

    Waddup you? OT Supporter

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    awesome set. :bowdown:
     
  11. Mutombo

    Mutombo New Member

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    Yeah, I think it's the most beautiful place I've ever been. There are so many unique climates and areas in the country, you feel like you are in 3-4 different places.

    Yeah the zip lines were a blast. The highest point was 30 meters above ground :run:

    Thanks

    We stayed at Arathusa Safari Lodge in the Sabi Sands Private reserve. I bet we were roaming around the same parts.

    :h5:

    I have a pic from the "lower" vantage point too.

    Thanks

    :h5:
     
  12. ThexToddster

    ThexToddster New Member

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  13. HighTachPres

    HighTachPres New Member

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    damn man you sure know how to go on a vacation :eek3:
     
  14. JDizzy92

    JDizzy92 New Member

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    Awesome pictures dude. Makes me want to go to South Africa... Nah, not really. Africa is one of the last places I will visit. Pretty cool to see all those animals.
     
  15. Gvidon

    Gvidon New Member

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    :bowdown:
     
  16. Bob Loblaw

    Bob Loblaw Guest

    amazing photos
    cant wait to see more :bowdown:
     
  17. Run N. Gun

    Run N. Gun Active Member

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    Great photos, must have been a wonderful time!! :cool:
     
  18. calips0

    calips0 New Member

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    awesome pics. im heading to sa in a few days for 6 weeks. what's your top 5 list of things i have to do / see
     
  19. tom37211

    tom37211 New Member

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    Awesome pics! :bowdown::bowdown::bowdown:

    Great write up as well. Thanks for taking the time to do this. (I love the pic threads!)

    I am going to SA in June. We are going to do Kruger. Any tips?
     
  20. David

    David New Member

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    Wow, awesome pics. What lens(es) are the wider angle pics?
     
  21. ace3

    ace3 mouthify my wang.

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    it gets FUCKING COLD at night. bring gloves, a stocking hat, and many layers. a nice scarf is a VERY good idea.

    we went on 2 safaris each day ... one in the morning, one at night. the morning one would start off a bitter bitter cold, then get really warm. opposite goes for the evening safari. i had some under armor pants & shirts that i brought (the spandex-type stuff), and those were great. also had a few Columbia 'safari-type' shirts (very vented, sleeves roll up, etc) and pants (pant legs unzip to make shorts) ... those were great.

    camera & a big lens is a no brainer. i brought a monopod with me, but only used it once ... it was a bit of a pain. rented a 100-400mm, and wish i would have just rented a 500mm. 24-70mm came in handy often too. wish i had two bodies with me.

    i brought a GPS logger with me .. it's fun to see the routes we took while on safari. Sony GPS-CS1 is what I have. You can see part of our trip here. crazy how much we THOUGHT we saw of Kruger:

    http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=25003

    they told us to wear neutral colors (tan, green, etc) while on safari, which i think is a good idea.

    unless you like malaria, visit your local "international travel doctor" (look in the phonebook) ... they'll give you malaria pills and some immodium-on-steriods stuff in case you get the squirts. we never had an issue, but you can never be too careful.

    hopefully you get a chance to visit cape town as well. it's a beautiful place.
     
  22. ace3

    ace3 mouthify my wang.

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    even the dudes that live there & do this every day were fucking cold. :rofl:

    [​IMG]
     
  23. wrong1

    wrong1 Member

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    great bunch of pics!
     
  24. Mutombo

    Mutombo New Member

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    Before I went I said the same thing. I never had any real desire to go. It really scared the hell out of me, especially if you start reading about all the crime, murders, poverty, rape, AIDS, etc.

    But once I was there all those fears went away. It was just so beautiful. And everyone was SOOOO friendly. Kids stand in the street and wave when you drive by. Random people come up and ask you to take their picture. The average "family" in the townships gets by on $600 a year. And when they say family, they mean the groups of people that all cram into a single room shanty, sometimes 12-13 people. Yet these people still manage to be happy and friendly and so full of life, it really makes you reflect on what you have and take for granted here in the states.

    Anyways, don't discount it just yet :)

    Cape Town - hike Table Mountain and Lions Head. Drive to the Cape of Good Hope. See Camp's Bay and Chapman's Peak. Go Great White Shark cage diving (the ONLY thing I wanted to do but couldn't because of time).

    Winelands - Go to Franschhoek and Stellenbosch. Drink free wine. Eat great food.

    Mpumalanga - absolutely beautiful. We stayed in the town of Graskop, which was central to all the sights.

    Kruger - safari is a must. Spend at least 3 nights on one.

    I guess I just told you to do my trip :mamoru:

    Take a long lens. The longer the better. Buy or rent just for the trip if you have to (and sell after).

    Take a monopod. This was a lifesaver for me, I wouldn't have been able to get sharp shots without it due to the lighting conditions. I used it fully retracted and just placed it on the seat between my legs in the Land Cruiser. Didn't get in the way at all.

    June, I believe, is the dry season, so I don't think you'll have the lighting woes I had. I'm not sure what the weather is like in June either though since technically it's winter there.

    Take malaria pills. We took Malarone, which has the least side effects but is the most expensive. The only real side effect of Malarone is really intense dreams.

    All pics taken with a D700. I used the 14-24mm on the wide angle shots, and a few shots taken with the 50mm af-d. All the safari pics are with the Sigma 150-500mm OS.
     
  25. Mutombo

    Mutombo New Member

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    Also, I wish I had taken the 70-200 VR. Most of the time you get right next to the animals, and I really could have used the extra stops. Shooting at a max aperture of 6.3 with the Bigmos was a pain in the ass.
     

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