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 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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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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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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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[…]

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