Another Impala turns away.
“Take it anyway,” I said.
“Africa seen from behind will be a fun page to write.”
In truth what I really said was...
“You always give me a bad time when I take photos of the backsides of animals…
...But this time, why don’t we just take a bunch of butt shots.”
So we did.
Even when we were getting great shots of the animals, I was asking if Mark got a good shot of the animal's rear end.
Once we got home and started to write, I had trouble deciding what to call this page...
Butt shots just seemed a little too crude.
That was a brief contender.
African backsides almost won…
And after we wrote this page, we went back and wrote Backsides of Africa with just the close-up shots.
It’s probably not like you found this page by searching for any of those terms. We even thought of using Africa scenes from behind, but we settled on Africa seen from behind.
You find yourself taking LOTS of pictures on safari. African sunsets are amazing. And in truth, with a little patience, it’s easy to get good shots of most of the animals. This was just a fun way to put a different twist on things.
This is going to be a long page with lots of pictures… it’s hard to choose just a few. So...
Click on any of the photos;
That starts a slide show with larger size photos.
OK… here are some of the stories behind that cute bumm. It’s said that they are African fast food… because they are fast, and they’re the right size to be food for almost all of the predators.
Guides will tell you that Impala are called the McDonald’s of Africa because of the bum markings… see how it looks like an “M”? That’s disruptive coloration… As they’re running away from predators, those black markings break up their silhouette giving them a little better chance.
It’s easy to start overlooking them as you’re driving around on safari because there are so many, but they really are beautiful animals…when they’re standing still or when they’re bounding away… like Impala.
OK… let’s get this one out of the way early… the Vervet Monkey.
Can you guess what his nickname is? Yep, Blue Balls.
And yes, they really are blue... all the time.
.Warthogs are Africa seen from behind at its best. They’re always eating with that strange posture.. crouching with their fanny in the air… or they’re running away with their tails flying…
Or they’re doing something impossibly cute like drinking out of this swimming pool in our tented camp.
Cheeky little fellows… they are one of my favorites because they are so darn ugly that they’re cute.
Elephants are pretty imposing front or back. The maternal group below was resting in the shade... with babies lying down underneath them.... nope, they never get stepped on.
Of course Eles are pretty easy to photograph from the front too... You just don't want to do anything to annoy them. Even when they get a little testy, if you're quiet, they'll just veer off around the vehicle.
We saw our Wild Dog coming to a water hole full of Elephants. The Wild Dogs just wanted a mud bath and a drink this time, but the Elephants didn’t know that.
There were several small, baby Elephants, and the Eles did NOT want the dogs there. One young Elephant charged, trumpeting and slinging mud, running the Wild Dog off.
Cheetahs are beautiful whether you just see their bumm or the whole animal. It’s nice when they’re quiet though. Much easier for photos… front or backside.
We once visited the Cheetah Conservation Fund headquarters in Namibia and got to watch their first “Ambassador Cheetah” Chewbaaka go for his exercise run. They told us to be ready with the camera because when he took off it would be fast…. we got one photo, a blurry one, of the tip of his tail.
I don’t feel too badly about that though… a few months ago National Geographic mentioned that years ago they had also tried to photograph Chewbaaka running and couldn’t capture it… (They since have, with new technology… and a new Ambassador Cheetah.)
Leopards are hard to spot when they’re lying in the dappled shade under a tree or draped across a branch. Sometimes all you can get a photo of is their backside, and Africa seen from behind is as lucky as you get… but seems we’re luckier than that, and…
It’s really nice when their up and strolling around like this mum and cub.
It’s hard not to show you way too many photos of Lions. And butt shots are a little contrived with them, because many times they’re just “lion around”… (sort of an Africa Lion joke).
And watching a snoozing Lion is sort of like watching paint dry. But I mean… they are LIONS!
Sometimes you get lucky and get to see them on the move, but it can still be hard to get more than the backsides.
But here’s one we had to show you… this Lioness was moving very little cubs to a new bush when we stopped. We saw her move two… and she was coming right at us. Doesn’t get much luckier than that!
You hear about Laughing Hyenas That’s a sound you don’t often hear. It's made when they are frustrated and fighting among themselves for food or status in the group…
Most often you hear them “whoo-ooping” in the middle of the night.
“Spotting” them is good, front or rear.
Sometimes it seems like if they’re not browsing with their bumms toward you, they’re on the other side of the tree, and all you can see is their heads.
You often come across Ostrich along the side of the road… and they’ll turn away almost every time… whether they’re alone or doing a dance with their lady friend.
What can I say? Cape Buffalo are not the prettiest of the animals from the front or the rear. But they are impressive and unpredictable… and one of the “Big Five”.
It’s always fun to catch Hippos out of the water, but you can bet that they’ll soon be heading back in… and I’m yelling to Mark, “Get me that butt shot!”
Impala are not the only antelope with a distinctive rear end.
When we’re talking Africa seen from behind, we need to include Waterbuck… this is one critter you almost WANT to get a rear end shot of.
I'll let you enjoy the rest without comment... they're so varied and pretty.
You can't talk about Africa seen from behind without including at least a couple of shots of Zebra.
They say that the stripes on Zebras are like fingerprints… no two are alike. You can see that from the butt shots we got too…
After one drive with more animals hidden in the bush than out in the open, we took our own backside photo. Oh yea, we said it was a picture of the hats… butt…
An African safari is fun, but don’t believe all the documentaries… there are times when you drive along and don’t see anything… and then there are the frustrating times when it seems that all you can see is the backside of those animals. That doesn’t make a good photo… or does it?
Sometimes a sense of humor is good, and we’re not the first to say just take that picture of Africa seen from behind!