wildlife

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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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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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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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[…]

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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[…]

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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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