Giraffes seen on our Namibia Photo Tour.
In colloquial terms, a herd of giraffes is called a journey of giraffes – and it’s appropriate, since they travel over vast areas on a journey to find food in the savannas and bush of Africa. On our photo tours in Etosha National Park, Namibia, I had only ever seen a few giraffe together at once at the water hole or on the grasslands. Yet this past summer, giraffe numbers were high – and we saw many grazing and visiting the waterholes. So when we were driving towards Chudob waterhole in eastern Etosha, we were very excited to see a bunch of heads and necks from a distance away. We started photographing, but that’s when the challenge began – how to compose such a group! I talked to the group in my vehicle about watching all of them, in terms of their positions, to watch for overlapping bodies, heads, etc., and do the best you could at trying to make a photo when it looked pretty ‘clean’ and organized.
We talked about the ‘moment’, too, and it seemed that when all three went down to drink that it was as good a time as any to get some photos. But many of my images still had problems with overlapping giraffes in the background. So we kept photographing and watching for a time when they might all be either seperated enough, or if together, that they were interacting in some way. Not easy with 10 live subjects of anything! Patience, I kept saying – and telling myself at the same time – patience. Finally, the two in the background middle separated enough and the ones on the right were ‘necking’ and it all just felt like it came together. At least as together as it could in that moment! We hoped the fourth giraffe in the foreground would spread to drink, but it was nervous, being young. But in the end, I liked this result. It was worth waiting for, and feels like a diorama in a museum, with the layers of animals suggesting depth. You have to work with what you have at the waterholes, which is both exciting and challenging every time I visit.
Etosha is the culmination of our Wonders of Namibia Photo Tour this July, and I’m really looking forward to sharing it with those joining us, as it’s a very special place to observe and photograph a variety of wildlife of Namibia. If you want to join us, go here, and also visit Strabo Tours page on this tour. Just a few spaces remain!