On my hard drive I have a very well organised system for all the photos that I take. All the folders are labelled by year and then by month. I can get lost for hours going through all the images chronologically, reminiscing over past sightings and remembering various different leopards and lions that are no longer around.
One of my best sightings of the Piva male late one afternoon. He was in his prime when he was unfortunately killed by the Avoca male lions but we will always remember him as an exquisite example of a beautiful dominant male leopard. Tracker Life Sibuye is smiling at the camera.
One of the members of the famous Majingilane coalition. A sunrise with the sounds of lions roaring is the quickest way to get moving in the morning, and these male lions would often be found as the sun was coming up roaring from the Londolozi airstrip close to camp.
There is one folder that doesn’t have a date and that is labelled “Sunset/Sunrise” and is probably one of my favourite ones to go through. As I open it each time I think to myself how it really is quite special that even though sunset and sunrise happen every day they never seem to lose their magic. Each photo is different despite it effectively being of the same thing and each photo triggers a flood of memories from that particular day. Some of the photo’s have animals in them whilst others have the dramatic backdrop of the Drakensberg mountain range that we see the sun disappear behind. Some have water which makes for great reflections and lots have the silhouette of a tree. Some have a great story behind them and others are just simple reminders of a magical scene. There are too many to share all but here are a few of my favourites.
Sunset reflections over Camp Dam. I love this photo because it’s not a sight that you get to see very often as sunset is usually spent out on the reserve somewhere during game drive. If you do happen to come back to camp early though its always a stunning sight as you pass Camp Dam with the sun setting in the background.
This photo was taken at sunrise and it’s one of my favourites because the hippo looks as though its in a waterhole made up of liquid gold. During the golden hour by shooting straight into the sun you can get some really stunning results.
When watching the sun set behind the Drakensberg mountains I love to take a panoramic photo to try and capture as much of the scene as possible.
The Finfoot female was found one evening with a kill in a tree and we knew she would most likely be there the next morning. We spent the night dreaming about a silhouette of her in the tree with the sun rising behind and made sure we were there first thing to make it happen.
Lions roaring as we got going on our morning drive led us to the scene of a kill where they had been feeding during the night. The hooded vultures are always very quick onto the scene and these ones were there as the sun was rising.
Dusk and dawn are a lot of people’s favourite time of the day and I am no different. As you watch the sun crest the horizon in the east at dawn you can’t help but get this excited feeling as to what lies ahead of you on game drive and as it sets in the west you can’t help but reflect on the day just passed. A lot of my best memories in the bush involve a sunrise or a sunset.