Chameleons of Kruger

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

These little guys are amazing creatures and it’s actually quite sad how many of them fall vicitm to cars in the Kruger National Park.  You’ll be amazed at that you see if you keep your eyes on the road.  I spotted this little Chameleon crossing the road and waited for him to get to safety before I moved along.  A lot of people were so stoked when they stopped to see what it was we were looking at and saw this little dude.

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Malachite Kingfisher with it’s Prize

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

If you sit quietly at Lake Panic Bird Hide in the Kruger National Park, you’re bound to see some cool stuff.  Having been there so many times, I’ve gotten to know the perches where these little guys like to fish from.  I managed to capture this little bird as it returned to one of the many perches it was fishing from.

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Woodland Kingfisher

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

We saw these guys everywhere in the Kruger National Park.  I made it my goal to get a shot of one of them in flight.

Here’s my shot.

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White Backed Vultures

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Seeing any animal that is critically endangered is something special and rather lucky.  These Vultures, like many other species have been pushed to the critically endangered list by the ever growing meat industry which strives to take away land from the Natural world so that live-stock can use it for grazing.  As the land is used up for this, natural predators are all wipedas they pose a direct threat the live-stock and to the farmers pockets.  Since these birds are scavengers and feed on the carcasses which get left behind by the predators, it becomes harder and harder for them to survive.  Live-stock farmers have also been known to put out poisoned carcasses to kill off predators, not realising that these innocent birds will also come and feed on the same meat.  You might be wondering why I am writing such a long blog post for one photo…  Well, the answer is simple.  I care.  People need to be educated about what it is exactly they are supporting everytime they walk into a grocery store and buy that meat off the shelf.  Look a little deeper, stop covering your eyes to the realities of the destruction of our beautiful planet, stop only thinking about yourselves and start caring.  There is a lot of attention on the destruction of the Rhino in Africa at the moment but what people do not realise is that thousands of animals are dying on a daily basis, all thanks to the meat industry.

I shot this photo of these 2 Vultures on an early morning drive through the Kruger National Park in January 2014.  The silhouette of Vultures on a dead tree is something of an African icon and always a welcome photograph.

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Giraffe at Sunset.

Monday, January 27th, 2014

A Giraffe’s pattern and colors are best expressed at dusk or dawn.  That is all.

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Hyena Pup in the rain.

Friday, January 24th, 2014

Always stop and chat to other people when driving around in the Kruger National Park.  They’ll tell you what they’ve seen and where it is…  Sometimes people go as far as even setting their odometers to zero so that they can measure the exact distance to a sighting.  We’ve seen a lot of cool stuff that way and it can be a life saver when you’ve been driving around all day and seen nothing.  This little Hyena Pup was hanging around his den on a rainy afternoon and it was thanks to some friendly tourists that we got to spend some time with him and watch him running around and interacting with vehicles around him.  At one point, he was even under our car and then he was licking water off one of my car’s mud flaps.  These are some of the shots I took him before and after he got wet in the rain.

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Separate ways.

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

On a recent trip to the Kruger National Park here in South Africa I heard that an Elephant was shot and killed because it had showed aggression towards some tourists and destroyed their car.  No one knew the full story at the time but my gutt feeling was that the tourists had driven to close to the animal and ignored the warning signs.  Wild animals almost always give a warning before attacking, even a Bull Elephant that weighs anything from 6 to 9 tons and knows he can destroy just about anything will give a warning.  A video was eventually released showing that the toursits were being complete idiots and drove right up to the Elephant and did not back away when he turned around and showed that he was not enjoying them being that close.  Made me sad to know that his had to pay with his life because he stood his ground and the tourists had to pay a small fine of R1500.  Disgutsing actually, when you really think about it.  Anyways, I had a great time respecting and observing these giants as they came together at one of the water holes, drinking and interacting with one another and then walking off in seperate directions.

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Wildebeest of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

I just spent about 10 days in the Kgalgadi National Park which is situated between Namibia, Botswana and South Africa in the heart of the Kalahari Desert.  It’s known to be one of the best destinations for for viewing Africa’s big cats, especially the Black Mained Kalahari Lion which we did actually see, just not close enough to get a shot of.  The days became long as we searched for the elusive cats, only to spot them way off in the distance.  It’s easy to become trapped in th search for what seems to be the only cool thing to photograph, as a photographer you constantly need remind yourself to get creative and make the most of every situation.  The light’s not always gonna be perfect, your favorite lens may have been left back at camp and of course, Lions and Leopards aren’t just gonna present themself to you around every corner.  In this shot I made the most of a dry dusty, otherwise pretty boring morning drive up the Nossob River where we spotted a herd of Wildebeest on the move, the sun was comin up over the horizon and the animals were kicking up some dust as they moved, these shots were almost too obvious.

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Braydon Szafranski and Garrett Hill on Safari

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Being a photographer at the Maloof Money Cup is definitely a great experience, watching the pros skate and getting to shoot photos with them is such a pleasure!  I spent more time this year hanging out with the guys and gettin to know them a little better.  It seriously helps for the photography side of things and you are no longer just some random guy shooting photos.  I took Braydon and Garrett to see the Lions at a sanctuary just outside of Kimberley…  All the animals on this farm were pretty much rescued from being hunted.  There are many ‘canned’ Lion Hunting farms around Kimberley, it’s absolutely disgusting on every level.  I was really stoked to take these guys to this farm and see that there are still people trying to do some kind of good out there.  Braydon was definitely not too sure about being in the cage with the Lions, as you can see…  Garrett didn’t mind it too much!  Braydon did teach a small Bat Eared Fox about Ozzy Osbourne though…

 

Cheetah in the Okavango Delta

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Cheetah are most certainly a treat to see in the wild, if you’re lucky enough that is!  We haven’t seen them often in the wild and on the rare occasion that we have, they’ve usually been far off in the distance with no photo oppertunities.  While on our trip through Botswana recently, I spotted these 2 from a long way off…  They were relaxing in the early morning sun on top of a Termite mound.  It was picture perfect so I decided to take the road that would lead us right next to them but as we approached, they got scared and ran off!  I really thought we had lost them but we managed to keep our eyes on them as they went from Termite mound to Termite mound and finally close enough for me to snap this shot with my 400mm lens.  I think it was a mother and her not so young cub. Pitty about the collar around her neck.