FROM THE BLOG

Lost baby elephant wanders into research camp

The team at Save the Elephants’ research centre in northern Kenya got the surprise of their life when a lost baby elephant walked into the middle of their camp recently. The team are used to monitoring and occasionally rescuing wild elephants in the field but this was the first time an elephant had ever approached them for help! The 300kg baby’s unannounced visit came just thirty minutes after a nearby tourist facility, Samburu Lodge, reported seeing a small calf alone on the river bank. STE immediately dispatched a team to investigate. While the team were still in the field, a[…]

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The Land Of A Thousand Hills: Rwanda in Black and White

Some of my favourite photos taken during my trip to Rwanda in 2017 to see the endangered mountain gorillas … (main image: This gorilla structure is located at the site of Kwita Izina -a centuries old Rwandan tradition for giving a name to a new born baby gorilla. The structure was blown over in a storm but has since been rebuilt.)   Innocence – this tiny fluffy baby would wander up and stare intently  SaveSaveSaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave

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Travelling on the Lunatic Express

In May last year, the colonial-era metre-gauge Lunatic Express sleeper train from Nairobi to Mombasa, which used to last anything from 16 – 24 hours, ended. It was replaced by a new fast standard-gauge line (SGR) taking only four hours and 30 minutes. I’ve yet to travel on the new line but needless  to say, travelling on the Lunatic Express (that really was its name) is an adventure I’ll never forget. The train travelled through the middle of the most expansive slums I’ve ever seen and cut a swathe through acres of new development where the remains of villages clung[…]

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Gorillas in the Mist, Rain and Hail

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. It’s been fifty years since Dian Fossey began her ground-breaking work to study and protect gorillas in Rwanda high up in the misty Virunga mountains. There she lived for 17 years deep in the jungle studying and monitoring the behaviour and movements of gorillas until her brutal unsolved murder in September 1985. I’ve always been fascinated by the story of Dian Fossey and still remember the first ever Nat Geo cover of her with a gorilla. I must have been only a toddler when I first saw the[…]

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World Ranger Day

Today is World Ranger Day where we remember all those courageous men and women around the world who put their lives on the line every day to protect our natural heritage.  I’ve been fortunate to go on patrol with local rangers and to witness them in action here in Samburu as we work to protect elephants and to spend time with them in Rwanda during a recent trip to photograph mountain gorillas. Here are some of my images of rangers from the Nasuulu conservancy and STE’s Security Liaison officer Chris Leadismo on patrol in Buffalo Springs and of rangers who[…]

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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.   SaveSave

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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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