Levaillant’s cuckoo. Lifer. Photographed on a getaway, workshop near the town of Hoedspruit, Limpopo, South Africa. Amazing what one can see when making the effort, taking the time and being persistent. A bit skittish it seldom allowed me to get close than about 3 or 4 car lengths and it would fly off to another tree further on up the road.
The Levaillant’s cuckoo occurs in huge areas of sub-Saharan Africa, preferring Acacia, miombo and broad-leaved Burkea woodland. It is extremely secretive and hard to find, foraging in thick undergrowth. It almost exclusively parasitizes babblers, for reasons not understood. Egg-laying is an elaborate process, with the male distracting the host birds, while the female sneaks into the nest to lay its egg. Unlike many other cuckoos, the chick does not kill the host nestlings, in fact they often co-exist quite peacefully. The chick stays in the nest for about 9-10 days, becoming fully independent 3-5 weeks later. – http://www.biodiversityexplorer.org/
The workshop took us to Ekuthuleni Lodge overlooking the Oliphant’s River, some 23km from Hoedspruit in Limpopo Province, less than an hour’s drive from both the Phalaborwa and Orpen gates of the Kruger National Park. Offering thatched self-catering chalets and caravan sites, the resort provides great options for a true African bushed experience. Guests can enjoy game drives, self drives, excellent birding opportunities and the excitement of being positioned on the banks of the Oliphant’s River, with abundant wildlife to be viewed. The wonders of the Mpumalanga escarpment; the Blyde River Canyon, Bourke’s Luck potholes and God’s Window are also within easy driving distance. The sheer beauty of the area and it’s abundant wildlife is a photographers dream.
A self catering long weekend trip (Friday-Sunday) starting from R7,000-00 per person sharing suited for couples sharing. 3 couples per unit. Discounts for groups up to 12 can be arranged.
A full week long itinerary can be arranged with visits to a number of wildlife rehabilitation centres, Blyde River Canyon, Three Rondawels and many other photographic opportunities; landscape, wildlife and people. Pricing from R10,000-00 per person sharing.
Includes: Accommodation, Tuition, Meals, OSV, Professional Guide, Guiding Fees. Excludes: Travel, Alcoholic Beverages, Incidentals. For a full package description please contact us.
GPS: 24° 12.766 S / 30° 49.091 E / Google Map Here
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Gear I use: Bodies: Nikon D-SLR’s / Lenses: Nikon, Sigma, Tokina, Vivitar
Filters: Hoya UV & Polarizing / Flash: Nikon Speed-lights / Bag: Lowe Pro
Tripods & Heads: Manfrotto / Grips, Triggers, Timers, Batteries etc: BandH
Editing Plug-in: Topaz Labs Noise Reduction, HDR, B&W Conversion & more!
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