Africa

Up close and personal with Africa’s wildlife

Some of my favourite moments as a wildlife photographer have been when I’ve been able to get as close to my subjects as possible (without getting eaten of course!) and capture their facial expressions.  There’s nothing like spending several hours just quietly observing animal behaviour on your own whether it’s a haughty leopard staring at you from a tree stump as seen in the above photograph, or a curious baby baboon hanging precariously from its mum’s fur. As long as it’s safe and I’m not too close, I’ll switch off the jeep motor, sit quietly, camera ready and wait to[…]

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One Kiwi’s journey from PR maven to wildlife photographer

I’m so thrilled and humbled to have been profiled in Your Weekend Magazine in New Zealand and to have had my image of the mournful female gorilla in Rwanda featured on the cover! The interview was written by acclaimed author Kelly Ana Morey, whom I once shared a room with in Sixth Form at New Plymouth Girl’s High boarding school, and published in print in New Zealand’s Dominion Post, Waikato Times and Christchurch Star and online.  Reading the piece over the weekend I still can’t quite believe it’s me! Read the full story here.  

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Cheeky thieving monkeys

The vervet monkeys at the Save The Elephants research camp on the banks of the Ewaso river in Samburu National Reserve, Kenya are such characters … I love watching them at play – they jump all over the elephant collars on the branch outside, chase each other all over the river bank and swing off tree branches. They’re also opportunist thieves and since I’ve been here, they’ve swiped a banana from my hand, a bounty bar off the table and an entire bacon sandwich from a friend of mine as he was about to take a bite! It’s also not uncommon to[…]

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The death of a matriarch

Yesterday I came face to face with a shocking and disturbing reality of elephant conservation when I witnessed a gentle intelligent matriarch who had seemingly been shot in the leg, die before my very eyes. We found her collapsed in a remote part of the reserve, frightened, severely ill and dehydrated and despite keeping her calm and cool with water, she sadly succumbed to her injuries and died.   In her last moments, I watched her gasping for breath, her back arched, her legs rigid, mouth trembling and eyes wide in shock. It was one of the most saddest things[…]

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Working with elephants

I’m back in one of my most favourite places in the world – Samburu National Reserve in Northern Kenya – where I’m working as a photographer and volunteer PR consultant with Save The Elephants. Save the Elephants works to secure a future for elephants in Africa.  Specializing in elephant research, STE provides scientific insights into elephant behaviour, intelligence, and long-distance movements and applies them to the challenges of elephant survival. Our research camp is located on the banks of the Ewaso River and we’re surrounded by wildlife from cheetah families at the end of the driveway hunting impala to huge[…]

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David M

My journey to Rwanda – an awakening

This sweet young Rwandan boy pictured above with the expressive eyes and shy glance is David Mugiraneza. David used to love football, enjoyed making people laugh and hoped one day to become a doctor. At the age of ten, he had his whole life before him and was no doubt the apple of his mother’s eye – from all accounts a caring and sweet son. In 1994 before he’d even had the chance to see the world, experience his first love, marriage, have a family of his own, or even pursue his dreams of becoming a doctor, David’s short sweet life came to[…]

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Hyrax: The fang-toothed rock creature related to elephants

In Africa there live a group of curious, fuzzy, squat, rodent-looking creatures called rock hyrax. Also known as rock badgers, rock rabbits and rock dassies (it’s a wonder these creatures don’t suffer personality disorders!) these little toothy guys build their homes in a labyrinth of tunnels and holes in rocky canyons.   And boy are they fun to photograph. They just stare and stare, frozen as if they think you can’t see them, but as soon you blink or look away boom! they disappear like rabbits in a hat. Or badgers or hyrax.  The dassie above, which I photographed near Windhoek in Namibia, was sporting a rather dashing toothbrush[…]

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Meet the colourful and comical birds of Africa

As well as photographing elephants, lions, leopards, cheetah and baboons during my recent trip to Africa, I also managed to take a few shots of the amazing birdlife from honking hornbills to grumpy vultures. In fact the very first photograph I took in Africa was of a yellow weaver bird on a fence. We were having breakfast at the Ole Sereni hotel in Nairobi en route to Diani for the first leg of our travels.  The weaver suddenly hopped onto the fence and kindly stood there in perfect profile while staring out at the national game reserve. I couldn’t have asked for a better photographic subject! Most[…]

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Vaccines to visas: How to prep for a trip to Africa

In three weeks I’m heading back to Africa – to Rwanda this time to photograph the mountain gorillas and golden monkeys in the country’s Volcano National Park. As I start prepping my gear for my next wildlife adventure, my thoughts wander back to my most recent three-month trip to Africa and the amount of time, work and effort it took me to prepare for that trip. I spent hours and hours googling, phoning and wandering the high street looking for the bits and pieces I’d need for my trip (and that’s not even counting the hours of research I did into my photography gear prior to leaving! –[…]

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