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Smaller Mammals Archives

Banded Mongoose Adult & Youngster

Banded Mongooses

Photo Details: Banded mongoose (Mungos mungo) adult and youngster scan for potential danger while foraging for insects and larvae under decaying log, Mashatu Game Reserve, Tuli Block, Botswana.

Camera: Canon EOS 400D Digital; Lens: Canon EF70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM; Focal Length: 240mm; Shutter speed: 1/200; Aperture: f5.6; ISO: 400.

Additional Info: The characteristic feature of this species is the series of transverse bands from mid-back to the base of the tail. Banded mongooses (total length about 55cm/21inch ) are diurnal and live predominantly on insects and insect larvae which they find under fallen logs and vegetable debris. They are social creatures, living in packs of up to 30 and, when out hunting as a group, keep in contact by constant twittering and chirping.

Zebra Herd at Waterhole

Zebra Herd

Photo Details: Zebra herd (Equus quagga) congregating at waterhole to drink, Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe.

Camera: Canon EOS 400D Digital; Lens: Canon EF70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM; Focal Length: 100mm; Shutter speed: 1/800; Aperture: f8; ISO: 200.

Additional Info: If you’re on safari in a game reserve or national park carrying only a digital compact camera with a limited zoom range, you can still take photographs that capture the atmosphere of the location, as in the image above. You will be able to get shots of the “bigger picture” – the herds of animals, the topography, and the colors of the landscape.

But you’ll also miss out on many potential photo opportunities, simply because a camera with a 3x zoom lens – roughly equivalent to 35-105mm – can’t pull the more distant subjects closer, as can a camera with an ultra zoom. These “super zoom” digital cameras now come with 10x, 20x or more zoom lenses, providing the magnification previously only possible with SLR cameras fitted with hugely expensive telephoto lenses.

This is good news for anyone going on safari who’d like to take memorable pictures without spending a fortune on camera equipment. Find out more in our article, How to Take Great Safari Photos Using Affordable Gear.

Wild Dogs at Play

wild dogs at play

Photo Details: Young wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) at play, Mashatu Game Reserve, Tuli Block, Botswana.

Camera: Canon EOS 400D (Canon Rebel XS 10.1MP); Lens: Canon EOS 80-200 F2.8 zoom; Focal Length: 125mm; Shutter speed: 1/800; Aperture: f2.8; ISO: 400.

Additional Info: The social system of the African wild dog is based totally on co-operation, from hunting as a pack to helping feed the alpha female’s pups. After many years of persecution by people, wild dogs are now critically endangered. Fortunately they are extremely efficient hunters, with a high success rate.

You can find out more about wild dogs, their social behavior and hunting techniques, in these two articles by safari guide Roddy Smith: Wild Dog Society – All About Co-Operation and Wild Dogs – Efficient Hunters that Kill to Eat

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