Category Archives: South Africa

Articles relating to travel and photography in South Africa

Presenting a Wildlife Photography Talk

We recently had some good friends over for dinner and a good catch-up.

They’re both passionate and very capable photographers, and I met them when I was involved with the camera club scene some years back.

Last year they started their own club, and during the course of the night I mentioned that I’d be happy to appear some time as a guest speaker to deliver a presentation and talk about wildlife photography and our trips to South Africa and Kenya.

Sure enough, today an invitation arrived via email, inviting me to deliver a talk and audio-visual presentation at the club next week.

I was delighted to be asked, and I’m very much looking foward to this.  I gave a couple of talks when I was still a member of my old club, and while I loved presenting, I also found a lot of enjoyment in listening to the guest speakers we had there.

With two major African wildlife photography trips and the experience, knowledge, images and video footage I’ve gained, I have a wealth of material to cover.

My plan is to present a slideshow of my stand-out images (including videos), discuss our adventures and experiences, relate what it was like to experience Africa and its wildlife not only as a photographer, but as a person; tell some of the stories behind the images, discuss techniques, tips and equipment (including some show-and-tell); and also reveal some behind-the-scenes material.  I may even delve into post-processing if there is sufficient time.

Hopefully the other photographers at the club will gain something from my presentation, and be inspired to travel to Africa where a world of amazing and potentially life-changing experiences awaits them.

RIP Ximpoko

I recently learned some tragic and disturbing news, and further reading today has confirmed it’s true.

Ximpoko, a very large male lion who inhabited the Timbavati region of Greater Kruger National Park in South Africa, was killed by trophy hunters in July of 2013.

Ximpoko was one of the first male lions we ever encountered in the wild.  He was a magnificent lion, and was considered to be the largest in the Timbavati.

Ximpoko and another large male lion (possibly Mabande at the time), had formed a coalition, and they roamed the region as nomadic males.  They were not siblings, and were not even from the same pride.

We spent time with Ximpoko and his companion in their natural habitat on Saturday, 6th October, 2012.

Here is an image I captured of Ximpoko, showing him in life:

The King's Face

The King’s Face

The Timbavati, South Africa, and indeed the world, is a lesser place due to the horrible and unnecessary loss of Ximpoko.

Some creature I struggle to regard as human sought entertainment at the expense of the life of an amazing lion, and an endangered species.

Ximpoko deserves to be running around the African savannah, continuing his lineage, not hung on someone’s wall as a decoration.

This was not nature’s way.

I hope that when Ximpoko‘s killer meets his maker, he is shown no mercy.

Big Nigrescens: Revisiting the African Night Sky

Last weekend, I re-visited some of my unprocessed and/or unpublished images from our epic African trip in 2012, and dragged out from the archives another image of the stunning night sky over Africa.

This is Big Nigrescens, a spot in the Timbavati region of South Africa, through which we had passed during a morning game drive.

Big Nigrescens

Big Nigrescens

I wanted to capture stunning silhouettes of jagged, dead trees against the magnificent night sky over Africa.

After some fantastic wildlife spotting and photography, including pursuit of a leopardess on a stalk some thirty minutes earlier, we returned to Big Nigrescens where I shot this image and a few others in the pitch blackness of a warm African night.

 

Bukekayo Ingwe: Re-visiting the Archives

Sometimes it’s good to go back through older images with fresh eyes and see if there’s anything which was captured and forgotten, but which has potential to be a great image.

The other day I went back through my shots of Rockfig Jr, a magnificent female leopard we encountered in the Timbavati region of greater Kruger National Park during our trip to South Africa in October of 2012.

While I have a similar profile of Rockfig Jr, I thought this second version was worth publishing:

Bukekayo Ingwe

Bukekayo Ingwe

I cannot wait to head back to Africa to surround myself with incredible wildlife, and capture more images of the ever-elusive leopards.  Hopefully we’ll do so in 2014…

One Year Since Africa

On this day last year, we were in the African wilderness, on the final day of our magical photographic safari in Motswari Private Game Reserve.

It has been a while since I posted an image from that trip, so here is a new image of one of the magnificent Jacaranda Pride lionesses we encountered on a morning game drive in the Timbavati.

Panthera Leo

Panthera Leo

Seeing images like this and others from my collection, as well as remembering what we were doing and the magical sensory overload we experienced on that trip a year ago, makes me want to go back there and experience it again.

We’re still keen on heading back to Africa in 2014 and have some planning to do, so perhaps at this time next year, I’ll be writing about what we are doing in Africa rather than what we did a year ago.

Makepisi’s Afternoon Rest

It has been a while since I posted an image I captured during our epic African safari adventures in October of 2012.

I still have quite a few images from that trip to publish.

I thought it was time for some leopard love, so here is Makepisi male, a resident of the Timbavati region of South Africa.

Makepisi's Afternoon Rest

Makepisi’s Afternoon Rest

This was our second encounter with Makepisi male, 48 hours after we first met him, and in almost the exact same spot.

On the first encounter, he was perched on top of a mound, resting and soaking in the last rays of the sun for the day.

Here, he was also resting and soaking in the afternoon sun before a long night of hunting impala.

Big Cat of the Kruger

It’s been a while since a leopard turned up ’round these parts, so here is another tight view of Rockfig Jr female, a stunning leopardess who inhabits the Motswari Private Nature Reserve in the Timbavati region of greater Kruger National Park, Mpumalanga province, South Africa.

Big Cat of the Kruger

Big Cat of the Kruger

We had a fantastic morning with Rockfig Jr, and she was all too happy to sit and look stunning as we snapped away.