Category Archives: Wildlife & nature destinations

Ngorongoro Crater – The hunt

Dear all,

A few years ago (2007), I made it to the Ngorongoro Crater for the first, and up to now only time. To me, the Ngorongoro Crater is one of these mythical places that does something to you, like seeing the Nile for the first time, or the first time you watch deep into the eyes of a Mountain Gorilla (cfr. my former posts: Gorilla’s in the mist, Gorilla’s in the mist ctd., And one last gorilla post for the road), …

The Ngorongoro crater is a stunning place. We approached it from the Serengeti side and although it is a stunning drive, it must be one of, if not the most horendous stretch of currogated road on this planet. The type of currogation where it is simply impossible to find the right speed. Usually somewhere around 50-60 k/hr does the tric, yet here, I tried everything between 10 and 80 k/hr, none of them advisable, since in both cases I would’ve probably not made it. At one of the gates, I actually went up to one of the rangers, indicating that instead of making me pay, they should actually give me some money for willing to bring my car in there, leaving bits and pieces along the road as they fell off. Enough about that stretch of road (I heard recently it didn’t improve much), lesson learned, if you think about a trip to the Crater, approach it from Arusha!

That being said, once you made it to the crater, make sure you have a decent 4×4 (getting in is pretty easy, getting out on the contrary is another story) and when you sleep on the rim, make sure to enter as early as you are allowed to, even when the crater seems to be covered in clouds. You will actually drop through them, providing you with some of the most dramatic backdrops you can imagine, photographically speaking (just ordered that book by the way ;-)): no blown out skies, yet always a stunning background being provided by the crater rim. On top of that, by going in early, you are ensured not having to share the crater with all the other safari vehicles.

Canon 350D, Canon 75-300 @ 75mm, 1/500, f/11, ISO 200

What is also special about the crater is that when you see it from above, you actually wonder whether there’s anything in there, because it gives you the impression you can oversee it, … NOT! From the rim it’s a 600 meter drop to the crater floor which measures 260 square km. Amongst many other sightings, we found this cheetah, hanging out along the road, until all of the sudden it started showing interest in what seemed to be an ostrich. After some sneeking up, the cheetah started gathering speed, one of the most amazing things I have ever witnessed. The ostrich took off, at which point in time I also saw a hare trying to get out of the way. Up to date I suspect the hare being what the cheetah was really after. Yet the hare not being captured in the following picture, it resulted in one of the most funny scenes I ever captured.

Canon 350D, Canon 75-300 @ 75mm, 1/320, f/5.6, ISO 200

What’s the most amazing about this story, is that the ostrich decided to turn around and actually managed to chase off the cheetah, in the process also allowing the hare to escape, … No matter how much time you spend out there, nature will keep on amazing you.  This particular cheetah gave us the cherry on the cake by catching it’s breath close to the road again!

Canon 350D, Canon 75-300 @ 300 mm, 1/320, f/5.6, ISO 200

Be prepared to spend time out there, to be amazed and to get surprised!

Warm regards,



With the earth as our witness

Dear all,

The year’s end is always a busy time, reviewing, reporting, planning, … On top of that I’ve just been out for a week of non photography related work to Zambia, hence the fact I’ve not been in a position to stick to my intention to come up with a post per week.

That doesn’t mean I havn’t been busy with my photography, on the contrary. I sold off my old and trusted 350D (now that my second hand 5D arrived, the 350 became superfluous, more about the 5D in one of my next posts). I’ve been uploading pictures to the Wild Eye gallery, where 2 shots are doing really well, and some others following closely. I’ve been exchanging a bit about the site and based on that I decided to minimize the number of categories in the portolio’s to allow for more easy viewing of our pictures, after all, that is what this site is all about. I’ve also been developing my 500px portfolio in an attempt to create some more visibility for my work.

Talking about 500px, I started to upload some pictures now 3 weeks ago. At first I thought you would get traffic and votes for your pictures straight away, yet that is not at all the case. Didn’t get how the others actually managed to get so much traffic. What I learned from it is that you should actually not start with your best pictures, yet first you should put some of your work up, enough to create interest, then you have to start commenting on people’s work and start following some of the people whose work you like. By doing so, people will also watch your work and start following you, and that is what you need. Once you have some followers, you can add more work, your followers will then see your pictures as soon as you post them, and if they like them, your picture will make it to the upcoming and favorite category. Quick votes, shortly after your upload are key in the 500px scoring algorithm, explained here.

Here’s my most appreciated picture from 500px.

Canon 350D, Canon 75-300 @ 150mm, 1/100, f/5.6, ISO 1600

And that actually brings me to what I originally wanted to write about, this stunning place, Mt Nyiragongo, on the rim of which I proposed Sietske to marry me, with Mother Earth as our witness, … yet that will now become another story.

Canon 350D, Canon 18-55 @ 18mm, 1/250, f/10, ISO 400

And before I forget, most importantly, last WE, Sietske’s mom was visiting and we were out along Lake Naivasha and in Lake Nakuru NP. Pictures will follow soon.

All the best,