kenya

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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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 in Samburu 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 work in the Virungas in Rwanda protecting[…]

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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 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 find a monkey or two sitting in the wall of your outdoor shower[…]

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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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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[…]

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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.

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