It’s not often that we as photographic guides are given the privilege of being able to set up in advance for the ‘perfect’ photograph. We are usually trying to predict the future and capture the moment in split seconds. On this particular day we used our knowledge of animal behaviour and this allowed us to prepare for the shot; to align ourselves in a good position and to ensure the settings on our cameras were what we needed to ensure we got the shot!
We had been following two of the Majingilane Coalition members for the entire morning and when we saw what route they were taking we knew that we had landed on a gold-mine. They were heading north and they were going to cross the river at the notorious and beautiful Finfoot Crossing. David and myself, two passionate photographers sped ahead and went to the crossing point leaving the lions still moving. We knew it was a risk…what if they decided to change course ? What if they simply found shade and fell asleep ? Or worse still; what if they attempted a kill on the journey of giraffe we had just looped around? We took the risk…15 minutes later and our risk paid off beautifully.
The crossing is perfect for a situation like this although it can be a little tricky to maneuver around without getting stuck. Together David and I decided that he would cross the crossing and face onwards to get the lions full frontal as they crossed. I was going to park in the middle of the river and get them side-on as these brutes braved the Sand River.
Below you will see some of the pictures we took. There is of course fun rivalry and competition between guides so don’t feel afraid to cast your vote in the comments section…just for fun of course!
Written by Adam Bannister
Photographed by Adam Bannister and David Dampier