When you're planning a trip to Namibia, the Etosha National Park is most definitely on your itinerary. That's great, because Etosha is a wonderful wilderness for you to encounter lions, elephants & other wildlife and to feel & experience a truly wild place.
You'll undoubtedly have great sightings of big & small game - unless you are in a deep sleep on your game drives ;-) - BUT you'll most likely miss many unique photo opportunities, if you lack the insider's knowledge of what's going on in the park at the time of your visit.
The most important fact to know is that Etosha's ecology & wildlife is very much driven by the dramatic changes between the dry & rainy season. We've written an entire book about this subject, so if you want to know more, have a look at our book 'Etosha. Rhythms of an African Wilderness' or get a FREE chapter here.
In short: The seasonal changes influence the major events in the park, such as the migration patterns of the grazers, the hunting behavior of the predators, the concentrations of the wildlife, the birth of the young & many other happenings in this wilderness.
With our upcoming blog series we will give you some insight into what you can expect & what you should be looking out for at the time of your visit, so that you'll have the best sightings & photo opportunities possible on your visit to the Etosha National Park.
Today we'll start with the rainy season, which usually marks the months January to April, if Mother Nature plays according to the rules and doesn't throw in a drought.
1. Become a Storm Chaser
Great opportunities for impressive images are the build-up of huge storm clouds over the course of a few hours or even days. Often times the cloud cover is most dramatic & best lit towards the evening.
Our tip: Grab your camera & head-out towards those promising clouds. In the golden hour before sunset you might be rewarded with a stunning scene, where the sun just blinks over the horizon (see photograph above & below - photo above © Wynand du Plessis - photo below © Claudia du Plessis).
2. Look out for the Pot of Gold
Sometimes nature is even more generous and rewards the lucky storm seeking photographer with a 'pot of gold': a magical rainbow over the African savanna. (see photograph below - photo © Wynand du Plessis).
Our tip: If you happen to witness this rare spectacle, look for a charismatic Acacia tree and compose your rainbow & storm clouds around it. In this way the image becomes more powerful.
3. Zoom out to capture the real scale
Some storms are HUGE and mighty impressive, especially if you are stuck in the middle of them. While we'll cover the photography of taking images from inside the storm in one of the next blogs, we suggest you keep your distance for now and try to capture the immensity of the storm in an image that shows the scale.
Our tip: Include a tree or animals in the image - such as zebras - to help show the immense scale of this natural spectacle (see photographs below & at the top - both photos © Claudia du Plessis).
We hope you've enjoyed this introductory blog about the photo opportunities in the Etosha National Park during the rainy season. If you'd like to know which unique images you can take from within the storm, click here to read on.
Please stay tuned for our upcoming blogs, 'cause we have more in store for you, such as how to photograph from within the storm, special bird sightings in the rainy season, finding & taking photos of lambs, calves & foals in Etosha and much much more...
Until then, keep well and thank you for being part of our Namibian tribe. You are the reason & motivation for us to share our stories... great many thanx xxx
Claudia & Wynand du Plessis
Namibia wildlife & nature photgraphers