tirsdag 17. januar 2023


 Newborn Grant gazelle calf, still wet from birth .... enduring some very vulnerable moments until it`s able to run fast with mom

The Grant Gazelle mother had just given birth and the calf was still wet from birth on the ground as a couple of Blackbacked Jackals came by trying to snap the newborn for their own familiy meal. The gazelle mother bravely  defended  her "baby" risking her own life with the jackals. The chase went back and forth, sometimes jackals attacking gazelle mother and sometimes the gazelle fighting back. The jackals knew their business, probably having done this before, they were patient and never gave up. After 1 1/2 hours (!!) of intensive battling the jackals finally had a chance to access the calf and as they managed to chew a hole in the calf`s stomach ... the drama was over. 

None of these pics are great photography and the light was hard, but they tell a story ... and that`s what my photography is all about ... so I still post them.

Maasai Mara, Kenya, March 2022. Thanks to Oltepesi Tented Safari Camp. 

With the calf flat on the ground the gazelle mother aggressively defending her offspring

A jackal bite to the legs could be fatal for the gazelle, so she tries an escape leaving the calf unprotected on the ground.

A bite to the legs could make the adult gazelle "jackal-food" as well, and only a limping injury would make her extremely vulnerable for lions & hyenas ... and she knows this !

Gazelle mother bravely turning around to confront the attacking jackals.

The gazelle mother is exhausted and jackals access the calf

 Chewing a hole in the calf`s stomach finishes the drama. This was of course tough to watch as a human, but nature`s rules are consequent ... the jackals were hungry and needed that food, and besides if we had interfered in the situation to scare the dogs away, the gazelle mother would have been chased away too ... and the calf would still have ended up as predator food .


onsdag 4. januar 2023


Variable Bush Viper (Atheris squamigera)

Nikon D5, Nikkor 105 mm 2,8 macro, 1/320, f/8,0, ISO 8000

I had this great adventure with ICONIC UGANDA SNAKES in sept 2022 ... as I travelled directly from Nairobi Kenya and guiding in Maasai Mara to Kampala Uganda to meet up with my photographer friends Thor Håkonsen & Are Hogner ... and of course our reknown guide Dadaire Alphar of Uganda Herping Tours & Safaris.  5 full days and one night of intense herping in Uganda jungles on the northern coast of Lake Victoria (Mabira & Mityana Forests). We found all the iconic snakes I hoped for ... except Bitis hispida (Rough Scaled Bush Viper) & Naja melanoleuca (Forest Cobra). Our dedicated guides Dadaire Alphar, Eazy Isborn, Charles Mutbazi & William ... worked really hard for us. Thanks guys !

Variable Bush Viper (Atheris squamigera)

Nikon D5, Nikkor 105 mm 2,8 macro, 1/320, f/8,0, ISO 9000

The beautiful Variable Bush Viper (Atheris squamigera) has a potent hemitoxic venom causing extreme bleeding from the wound site, all "body openings" and finally internal bleeding. Several human fatalities are known.

Nikon Z9, Sigma 180 mm 2,8 micro, 1/500, f/5,6, ISO 2500

Variable Bush Viper (Atheris squamigera) in situ. The green motionless, relatively small snake could be extremely difficult to detect up in the green foliage in 4-5 m`s hight. I would never have found this by myself, cred to our experienced guides !

Nikon Z9, Sigma 180 mm 2,8 micro, 1/500, f/5,6, ISO 2500

Variable Bush Viper (Atheris squamigera).

Nikon Z9, Sigma 180 mm 2,8 micro, 1/400, f/5,0, ISO 560

 Nosehorn Viper (Bitis nasicornis), another iconic species of central and western African forests ! A solid and pretty massive snake that can grow up to 1,2 m, basically spending most of it`s time lying motionless on the ground waiting for a prey to pass by. Slow moving but strikes like a lightning with potent hemitoxic & neurotoxic venom. 

Nikon Z9, Sigma 180 mm 2,8 Micro, 1/640, f/6,3, ISO 720

  Nosehorn Viper (Bitis nasicornis), such a beauty !! 

Nikon Z9, Sigma 180 mm 2,8 Micro, 1/640, f/6,3, ISO 720

Fangs of Nosehorn Viper (Bitis nasicornis). The big, hinged fangs are normally folded up in the upper jaw,  but here folded down as they will be when the snake performs a strike. The fangs are covered in soft skin tissue that is pushed back as fangs penetrate the skin of a prey.

Nikon Z9, Sigma 180 mm 2,8 Micro, 1/640, f/6,3, ISO 720

Iconic Gaboon Viper (Bitis gabonica) ! One of my dreams to see !! Can grow up to almost 1,8 m and weigh up to 11 kg ... with the longest fangs (5 cm) and biggest venom yields of all snakes !! Venom cytotoxic & cardiotoxic. Human fatalities are rare because the snake appears non-aggressively.

Nikon Z9, Sigma 180 mm 2,8 Micro, 1/320, f/5,0, ISO 2200

Gaboon Viper (Bitis gabonica) 

Nikon Z9, Sigma 180 mm 2,8 Micro, 1/320, f/5,0, ISO 1400

Blandings Tree Snake (Boiga blandingi / Toxicodryas vexator) ... a big one this ! ... approx 2,5 m. Venomous and backfanged with powerful neurotoxins, however not aggressive and bites are rare. Arboreal feeding largely on birds.

Nikon Z9, Sigma 180 mm 2,8 Micro, 1/500, f/6,3, ISO 3200

Jamesons Mamba (Dendroaspis jamesoni) ... like other mambas with deadly neurotoxic venom. However not as aggressive and unpredictable as it`s cousin, the Black Mamba, and human fatalities are rare. A beautiful arboreal, green snake with a golden shine around the neck !! ... claiming a lot of respect !

Nikon D5, Nikkor 105 mm 2,8, 1/400, f/3,5, ISO 1800

 Jamesons Mamba (Dendroaspis jamesoni) ... one out of 4 mamba species of the world ... all of them African south of Sahara. 

Nikon Z9, Sigma 180 mm Micro 2,8, 1/400, f/6,3, ISO 6400

Jamesons Mamba (Dendroaspis jamesoni) ... in the dense Uganda jungle with green thickets, little light and light reflexes on foliage behind 

Nikon D5, Nikkor 105 mm 2,8 Macro, 1/400, f/3,5, ISO 360

Jamesons Mamba (Dendroaspis jamesoni) ... usually beeing non aggressive, but this time confronting photographer 

Nikon Z9, Sigma 180 2,8 Micro, 1/400, f/5,6, ISO 4500

Jamesons Mamba (Dendroaspis jamesoni). It`s a kick to handle a snake like this ... certainly done with great respect !

 Getting into "The Mamba Zone".  The jungle is dense and difficult to walk ... often with thorns, burning nettles, biting insects .... and snakes !!

 Our local guide Charles Mutbazi has spotted a Mamba in the tree high above ... and carefully bringing it down with experienced moves. Thanks Charles !

Uganda jungle !!

 Our hard working guides having a break in the jungle : Eazy Isborn, Dadaire Alphar & Charles Mutbazi !