It’s been over six months since my trip to Africa last year. I’ve shared a little on that trip but one of the main reasons for going, photographing the wildlife has been in the blog queue for some time. Not for a lack content, quite the opposite in fact and with a super busy 6 months of photographic weddings sharing these images got put on the back burner.
If I could do anything in the world I’d be a Wildlife Photographer for National Geographic (and an NBA player 2nd!). Every few years I head over to Africa to experience the rawness of the landscape, the wildlife and the people that live on the continent. This particular trip was focussed on climbing Mt.Kilimanjaro (and you can read about that whole experience in a dedicated post on this site) and spending time on safari in the Moremi Game Reserve & Chobe National Park in Botswana. It was an experience I’ll never forget. The wildlife was amazing. Below are some of my favourite images of my 3 weeks away, a story of my time on this crazy and wonderful continent. I will be going back one day, soon I hope.
This post isn’t short but worth setting a few minutes aside to view it in it’s entirety. Grab a drink, a snack, play the Lion King sountrack and relax and enjoy just a glimpse of what I was able to document.
First up. The Kilimanjaro Experience and some street photography in Moshi (Tanzania).
Having left Tanzania, We arrived in Botswana, via South Africa. The safari commenced with an overnight stopover in the Khama Rhino Sanctuary.
Arriving in the Okavango Delta, we spent a few nights free camping in the bush. We accessed our camp via a series of waterways on Mokoro Canoes and quite literally there was nothing separating us from the abundance of wildlife. An elephant walked though our camp and only a campfire was there to ward off the big cats. Leaving the tent at night was a big no no. The Okavango provided some amazing light and some adrenaline fuelled foot safari’s. Being on edge for 3 straight hours with a heightened sense of awareness was certainly something and I did run from a Hippo when I was certain it was coming for us, lucky it was balking.
I’d heard many stories of the Moremi Game Reserve and the abundance of wildlife it has. I didn’t expect it to be as big as it was and with such diverse vegetation. That created so many environemnts for all different kinds of animals. The game drives were enthralling and patience testing. I only really had one animal on my to see list and that was a Leopard. The only animal that I hadn’t seen on my previous trip. Once we found one it was amazing, such a beautiful and graceful creature. Later that day we saw another (or perhaps the same one) hunting, stalking a herd of antelope.
The Moremi Game Reserve is just a small part of the Okavango Delta. It was time to move on but not before jumping in a small plane for some aerial views of this natural wonder.
The Chobe National Park is best known for the Chobe River and the absolute abundance of Elephants that live in the area. It’s amazing really and words can’t properly do it justice. It is like a nature documentary unfolding right before your eyes. This is where I captured one of my favourite ever images, A Black & White portrait of some Elephants crossing the river. This image won a national award at the 2014 Australian Professional Photographers print competition and I’m quite proud of that. This herd of Elephants took a good hour to decide wether to cross or not. It was like a committee meeting with the Matriarch literally testing the waters. After some hesitation they made the dash, we cheered them on and they made the safety of the longer grass free from predators for the night.
The below images were the end of a sequence of a clearly unhappy Hippo. We were quite some distance away so something else was bothering it. Perhaps it was the Croc as this Hippo walked over and did its business all over it then chased some birds away. Entertaining to say the least!
Leaving Botswana we crossed the border into Zimbabwe and spent the last few days in Victoria Falls. An impressive waterfall for sure. If you have been to Victoria Falls and have been to a BOMA Dinner then you know what I’m talking about, what a crazy and fun night but the highlight for me was walking with Lions. Wow. Dream.Come.True.Africa, you didn’t disappoint. Some things didn’t go to plan but there are no guarantees in Africa and that I think is the beauty of this continent and what has people keep coming back.
Africa, I will be back, I promise.