Tag Archives: Republic of South Africa

RIP Ximpoko

I recently learned some tragic and disturbing news, and further reading today has confirmed it is 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Last weekend, I re-visited some of my unprocessed and/or unpublished images from our epic African trip in 2012, and dragged out from the archives another image of the stunning night sky over Africa.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 is good to go back through older images with fresh eyes and see if there is 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 will do so in 2014