Animal Kingdom's Kilimanjaro Safari w/ an 18-135mm lens

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zackiedawg
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Animal Kingdom's Kilimanjaro Safari w/ an 18-135mm lens
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Last month, I got my second chance to get back up to Disney World since the pandemic mess started - usually I go 4-5 times a year since it's so close to me, and I have a villa up there, and friends and family in the area.  I enjoy just walking around the parks, hitting the bars and restaurants, enjoying the live music, and really don't spend a lot of time on the rides.

Of course, being a bird and wildlife photographer, I enjoy Animal Kingdom park quite a bit - always love to see animals - especially if the zoo or park has them in more open, free-roam type enclosures without the severe fencing and tiny spaces - and when most or all of the animals are sourced from other zoos to provide better care, or captive pet animals taken in for shelter - most zoos today don't go out and 'hunt' for wild animals to capture and stick in the zoo, and most of the animals at the better parks are better cared for than they were at their previous zoos or in captivity in tiny houses.

The Kilimanjaro Safari is a truck-ride through open savannahs and sections filled with animals that are unfenced and free roaming - there are hidden berms, moats, and chain grids that hoofed animals won't cross to keep predators away from prey ,and dangerous animals away from the people, but for the sake of photography it's nice to just be able to see the animals out in a natural setting, and have those random moments where a stubborn rhino decides to stand in the middle of the road in front of the truck and they're not allowed to force it or move it.  It can be a bit challenging too, as the truck bumps and moves constantly, so it's not always easy to get a steady focus and shot!

Being September in Florida, which is still firmly summertime, the temps were in the brutal 90s with humidity right around 80% - not real pleasant for carrying heavy camera gear...so I just went to the park with my APS-C camera (Sony A6600) and my 18-135mm lens attached - no bag, no extra lenses...just light and easy.  Here are some of the animals from the safari ride, all posted at 1800 pixels on the long side if you view them in original size:

Male lion doing what else...sleeping!

Masai giraffe searching out the food

Ankole cattle

Zebra grazing out on the savannah - this is a large section of the safari where various grazing animals are all allowed to mingle together: wildebeest, springbok, zebra, giraffe, ankole, etc.

Hippo, out of the water to enjoy some lettuce, with the vultures looking on - no good scraps from that meal!

There's a continuing theme - a hyena eating its meal, with a vulture looking on.  Now this meal might yield some better scraps for the vulture.  All the vultures are local Florida birds, who just love to hang out at the park near the exotic animals who get free food daily

Central Africa is hot too, so at least most of these animals won't be shocked by the Florida heat - as they do at home, they often look for a shady spot to have a rest - fortunately here without worrying about a predator leaping out of the forest at any moment

The park will usually 'hide' the food for the animals in various spots around their sections, so they have to go find it ,and so the park visitors don't see too much of what the carnivores eat.  This warthog seemed quite pleased with whatever treat they hid in the stump

Speaking of predators, the cheetah are kept across a large moat from the trucks, with room to roam - the only animals they can see from their enclosure are the white rhinos - as it might be too cruel to have gazelle or springbok visible but unattainable.

Speaking of the white rhinos, here are two who had a recent mud bath to cool off and keep the pests off - they spent 5-6 minutes standing in the middle of the truck's path before casually walking off into the grass

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Justin
galleries: www.pbase.com/zackiedawg

 zackiedawg's gear list:zackiedawg's gear list
Sony a6600 Sony FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 Sony FE 200-600 F5.6-6.3 Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake +21 more
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