I am sent hundreds of hours of video and thousands of photos every year, and I love watching them all. But this takes the prize!
The prize winner is by one of the nicest guys I’ve ever guided on safari, Cleveland veterinarian, Dave Koncal. He is not a photographer or cinematographer by trade, but he has acquired a necessary skill that the vast majority of travelers don’t have: patience.
Dave doesn’t take 2-3 second clips then swerve the camera around. He’s not counting the megabytes clicking through his camera chip. He stays… focused and patient and I imagine he has hundreds of hours of video that he discards.
This is one clip that’s been passed around YouTube and throughout the universe of wildlife lovers. It’s definitely one that won’t be discarded!
We were in the crater at dawn. We’d just come down from Sopa Lodge and the sun was just rising. We had hardly reached the floor and had taken a right after the ranger’s hill before coming upon this night-time kill. The lions were gone, and the birds and hyaenas were having a heyday. Obviously, the lions had gone down to the Muigie River to drink, which they have to do after gorging themselves.
Nothing particularly unusual yet. This was a Cleveland Zoo safari, and by the end of the safari we would have seen nearly 120 lions and four kills.
But Dave was… patient! And as everyone else was starting to yawn:
Lions hate birds, hyaenas and everything else that disturbs their dominion over meat. But I had never seen, and probably never will again, a scene like this!
Here’s another fabulous Dave clip. It was around 8:30a and we’d been in Tarangire since dawn, traveling the east river road down from Sopa. We saw some lions along the river and a fabulous collection of elephant where the river swings out of the swamp near the broken bridge, and it had been pretty good game viewing all around.
We were hungry for breakfast, but had to get down to the south end of the swamp before turning up along the swamp edge to the picnic site at the north end, so we had a bit of a ways to go.
I don’t think I was alone in contemplating danishes, boiled eggs, bacon, sausage, cheeses, honey and marmalades, scrumptious Parker rolls, sizzling hot tea, coffee, hot chocolate, yoghurt, lots of fresh fruit… well, you get the picture.
We were in the lead car when our track was blocked by a humongous ele. I knew that if we didn’t do something, she’d just stay there all day proving her dominance. She was just not going to move. Her youngster had just moved in front of her into the bush, and she was a proud lady. Well, as you can see, we finally made a move:
It was one of the few times on safari that Dave stopped filming! So I guess I’ll finish the story:
We forgot about the danishes.