Red Lechwe - Okavango Delta
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|This is a scanned slide - taken on a Pentax Z1 with a 28-80 zoom using Fuji Velvia. I took the shot at sunset from a helicopter. I have noticed that a lot of the shots I have posted could be entitled 'where and how NOT to take a photograph', as I am either in a zodiac/plane/helicopter/4x4 - or hanging onto something with one arm!! Anyway, although rather old, I have always liked the colours here.|
The Lechwe, or Southern Lechwe, (Kobus leche) is is divided into three sub species. In the Okavango Delta of Botswana is the Red Lechwe, the Kafue Flats in Zambia is the Kafue Lechwe whilst in the Bangweulu Swamps also in Zambia is the Black Lechwe, there are also some in the very southeast of Democratic Republic of the Congo. There is also a Northern Species called the Nile Lechwe(Kobus magaceros) which is found in the swamps of southern Sudan.
Lechwe stand 90 to 100 centimetres at the shoulder and weigh from 70 to 120 kilograms. They are golden brown with a white underbelly and black legs. Males are darker in colour. The long spiral structured horns are vaguely lyre-shaped, they are found only in males. The hind legs are somewhat longer in proportion than in other antelopes, to ease long-distance running in marshy soil.
Lechwe are found in marshy areas where they eat aquatic plants. They use the knee-deep water as protection from predators. Their legs are covered with water repelling substance allowing them to run quite fast in the knee-deep water.
Lechwe are diurnal. They gather in herds which can include many thousands of individuals. Herds are usually all of one sex but during mating season they mix. The herds on the Bangweulu swamps ("Black Lechwe") are noticeably darker than those found elsewhere ("Red Lechwe").
One of my most enduring memories is lying in a camp bed in the Bangweulu swamps listening to the sounds of tens of thousands of Black Lechwe running back into the swamp for the night. The spectacle during the day was also amazing - thousands and thousands of them on the floodplain - more impressive (to me) than the wildbeest in the Serengeti.
ramthakur, JPlumb, Adanac has marked this note useful
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- [2007-03-21 8:47]
Magnifique festival de couleurs.
- [2007-03-21 9:48]
great colors interesting action and good focus.
What is a highly professional photographer of your calibre and experience doing amongst us the rank shutter-happy amateurs :-)?
Goodness gracious, this is from a chopper which you must be hanging out of with one arm to capture this amazing action shot!
Obviously, this is a perspective most of us could not even think of.
Great image and an equally well managed scan from a slide.
Thanks for sharing this picture. It has been a delight to read your note too.
- [2007-03-21 18:33]
Hi James, I used to shoot velvia when I wanted warm shots, and I found slide always processed better than C41 film anyway. I'm seeing further confirmation of this through your shot. This is a nice warm shot, and no evidence of noise. It's well composed, with great colour.
- [2007-03-21 20:13]
This fantastic composition has as you mentioned in your note amazing colors and lovely atmosphere, thanks James for sharing.
- [2007-03-27 19:16]
I agree with you the colours are wonderful.Almost a full spectrum of colour there.The POV adds to the grandeur of the shot... I see you were in a helicopter ,when I first saw the shot I thought maybe hot air balloon.It has a very nice atmosphere to it ,and feeds the imagination about the wilds of the African continent.I appreciate being able to see these beautiful photos.TFS