FROM THE BLOG

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[…]

READ MORE »

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! –[…]

READ MORE »

How I become ‘mother’ to an orphaned baby baboon

I’ve had some great adventures in my life from climbing icy mountains to fishing for piranha in the Amazon, but nothing quite compares to the experience of babysitting a smelly, mischievous orphaned baby baboon in Namibia. During a recent trip to Africa I volunteered at the Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary near Windhoek where part of my ‘work’, alongside food prep, carnivore feeding, game counts and cheetah walks, was to spend the night with a baby baboon, bottle-feeding him and changing his nappy. As my friend Anneli said, ‘good baby practice!” There are currently several orphaned baby baboons at Naankuse  – all bought to the[…]

READ MORE »

Stunning images of Namibia’s Himba tribe

It was with a bit of trepidation that we first met the traditional Himba people of Namibia – an indigenous people of about 50,000 living in Northern Namibia and Angola.  We were on our way back from Etosha and our guide had warned us the Himba were aggressive business people, wouldn’t like being photographed too often and would most likely cover our arms in bracelets and try to get us to buy everything! While the latter was true (and I did end up buying a few bracelets after they covered my arms in them), I found the Himba despite their serious business demeanour to be warm, friendly and[…]

READ MORE »

Fuchsia flamingos of Namibia

Having spent a month in the Namib Desert since my last post with no internet access, temperatures of 50 degrees celsius and the nearest town 200km away, I’ve got very behind in keeping my blog up to date!  In fact I have a tonne of stories and images to post including tales about baby-sitting a tiny baboon for the night, being chased by an Ostrich and searching for Hyena in Kanaan. Firstly though, I have to share some of my favourite pictures from one of the highlights of my visit to Namibia – seeing the incredible Flamingo colonies at the lagoon in Walvis Bay near Swakopmund. There[…]

READ MORE »

Meet the shy clicking San people of Namibia

On my second day in Namibia, I was introduced to a fascinating yet shy group of people called San people. Also known as the bushmen or Basarwa, they are the oldest inhabitants of southern Africa where they have lived for at least 20,000 years. While many San people have adapted to modern ways and no longer live the traditional lifestyle in Namibia,  it was fascinating to learn about their culture and see how they lived off the harsh African landscape and nature.  We listened to the chief of the group speak in the click language ‘Khoisan’ as he showed us how to hunt wildlife in the traditional San way using poison[…]

READ MORE »

Why everyone should become a wildlife volunteer

I’ve spent the past week volunteering at the N/a’an ku se wildlife sanctuary in Namibia – established in 2006 by Rudie and Marlice van Vuuren, with friends Chris Heunis and Jan Verburg, to protect and improve the lives of the country’s people and wildlife. The world famous sanctuary provides a haven and second chance for countless injured, orphaned, and conflict animals. The sanctuary’s goal is to release them whenever possible so that they may be free to live a natural life in the wild. In the sanctuary, they have cheetahs, lions, leopards, troops of baboons, warthogs, meerkats, kudu, a beautiful Hartebeest called Elsa, herds of[…]

READ MORE »

How an orphaned baby elephant overcame tragedy to lead her own herd

This elephant collar, held by Save The Elephants’ Research Assistant, Benjamin Loloju Ltibikishe, was once worn by a great matriarch of the Swahili family called Khadija. During the poaching crisis of 2011/2012, she was the only remaining female – the last matriarch – left in the herd that roamed around the south side of Buffalo Springs, not far from Samburu. A mother to three babies, she was a compassionate and special elephant who had earlier adopted her niece, the baby Habiba, after her mother was killed by poachers when Habiba was only a few months old. In 2011, Khadija was found wandering around in Samburu[…]

READ MORE »

The diving elephants of Samburu, Kenya

Is it a submarine, is it a lochness monster? No, it’s an elephant thoroughly enjoying itself in the Ewaso Nyiro River in Samburu, Northern Kenya during a particularly hot day. This elephant stayed in the river for about twenty minutes, sometimes submerging himself under water for at least several minutes, before splashing about, spraying water with his trunk and then  heading off in search of food. Elephants are good swimmers and can stay underwater for quite some time by using their trunks as snorkels. Check out more pictures of this particular and very happy bathing elephant below.

READ MORE »

The cruel reality of nature

This looks like a sleeping baby monkey but the harsh reality is that nature can be as cruel as it can be cute and fluffy. This is in fact a dead baby vervet. It had just been killed seconds before we arrived. It’s grief stricken mother sat with it briefly and then walked away. Two other monkeys nearby – a mother and baby – had terrible bite marks on their backs so we can only assume that a male vervet attacked both mothers and babies. New dominant males in monkey families will kill all the babies that aren’t sired by[…]

READ MORE »