Best Moments from my Recent Safaris

My two group safaris in Limpopo started just as the season initiated its change from late summer to autumn.  The days were still warm but the nights were cooling slightly and the ample rains and vegetation were finished not to appear again until October.   Conditions were right for some really exceptional game viewing and it was indeed very memorable.  Here are some moments on safari that stood out for me.

Family Moments with a Lion Pride

We had the chance to spend time observing and photographing .  It was a great chance to watch how members interact: greeting each other, lying down together resting, the shared responsibly of leadership of the two brothers.  These were peaceful family moments where they were well fed and cubs were safe.  Contrast may present itself if we find the pride on a kill in the next few days.

photographing lions in South Africa
Female lions greet each other
two male lions in a private big 5 reserve
Lion brothers relax with their female pride members

Subjects a Bit More Rare

Despite many trips to Africa, there are still subjects that elude me.  These species are not the famous and charismatic ones, but they are  key players in the ecosystem and very photogenic.  I was lucky to catch a curious bush baby in a natural pose  – normally they are way up in the trees and lightning fast.

bush baby
A bush baby looks down at us
African hoopoe
Among the drama of the mammals, it is easy to miss the beauty of the bird life

I always see the African Hoopoe when I don’t have the camera with me. This seemed to be their season and was happy to meet up with them 3 times while armed with the camera.

The Beauty  and Grandeur are Still Humbling

I can still be moved by the beauty of landscapes I see daily.

Blyde River Canyon, South Africa
A view of the Blyde River Canyon from the observation platform. The water is home to crocodiles and hippos
Giraffes in Kruger
Sometimes you need a reminder how huge the animals are. I would not have driven so close to them – it is a good way to get kicked.

A dose of perspective and contrast: Our smallness against the huge scale of the African fauna and the clash of the natural world and our manufactured one.   Each animal has a role and is perfectly adapted to that role. I am never bored watching animals living in their perfect niche.

Too Cute

In contrast to the struggle to survive and graphic violence, the babies make you laugh and melt your heart.  No wonder photographers like myself keep coming back.

baby elephant in Sabi Sands
A baby elephant plays in the dust thrilled at his ability to make a cloud
leopard cubs on photo safari in Sabi Sands
A very cute leopard cute out with his mother and sister.

We  Briefly Get to Share Their Lives

The male leopard was just walking down the road at sunset, but he let us follow him.  He had recently had a meal so this was a survey of his territory. We watched him observe the herds moving,  smelled for females and competitors,  and looked for anything new.  Thank you Mr. Leopard for letting us go on rounds with you.

Leopard photographed on safari in Sabi Sands
A large male leopard out for a walk in the evening. It looks like he had a big meal recently.