Hot, flat & crowded: Etosha in the Dry Season
It's HOT. The puddles of the past rainy season have long dried up. The lush, green grass has turned into yellow, hard stalks. Clouds are a memory of the past.
Every single day the relentless sun dominates the blue sky. The midday-heat is numbing, making every movement difficult.
This is a time when a lot of the animals' activities centre around the waterholes of Etosha, and where you - and us - want to hang out too, for there are great opportunities to observe & photograph wildlife.
3 things about Etosha's waterholes that make for great photographs:
1. During a single day thousands of animals may visit a waterhole. Peak times are often around mid morning, when most animal species come in to drink.
>>> This gives you great chances for interesting photographs of various game species in one single frame (see top image).
2. With so many thirsty creatures gathering at the waterholes, the animals often line up tightly packed at the water's edge to drink.
>>> Look out for groups & frame your images accordingly.
3. When the animal pressure is high, competition for drinking space is fierce. Then springbok or other smaller animals often wait patiently for hours for their chance to drink after dominant species, like elephants and gemsbok, have moved off.
>>> These springbok waited until sunset for their chance to drink. The setting sun colors the dust they kick up nicely and adds some atmosphere to the image. Look out for back-light to add the extra 'umpf'.
Every day & situation is different as change is the one stable component in a natural system. But the important point is to look out for these opportunities and use the special moments as they arise. Good luck & keep shooting.
Best regards, Claudia xxx