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 motor, sit quietly, camera ready and wait to see what happens.  The results are often very rewarding …. Here are some of my favourite shots from the field so far….

male baboon

This very large male baboon was part of a troop that were walking in single file towards me near the river one evening. He sat down right in front of the car while waiting for his family and stayed still enough so that I could get this shot. His nose is just fascinating!

Seconds after I photographed this zebra, an enormous lioness chased him and his family down the riverbed. Fortunately for the zebra, but unlucky for the lioness, the family managed to get away and live to see another day.

This handsome fella is one of four male lions now living in Samburu National Reserve. They moved in from Laikipia several months ago and have already caused a huge fracas with the local lion population, attacking cubs and eating livestock.

Magnificent Malaso is one of three bull elephants who regularly visits our research camp on the shores of the Ewaso River in Samburu. He’s usually on the lookout for fresh acacia flowers which he hoovers up with his enormous trunk like a giant vacuum cleaner.

We spied this baby baboon hanging off its mum on the side of the road. She was busy gobbling down berries while her infant played peekaboo with us.

Possibly too young to forage, this baby elephant decided it would try to eat some grass, roots and all. The novelty didn’t last long and he ended up flinging it away and running to his mum for proper sustenance.

I just love the look of this mournful mountain gorilla. I photographed her in the Virunga Mountains in Rwanda in April. Her expression is so human-like, her eyes so penetrating, that I felt like she was staring straight into my soul. She lives with a troop on the edge of the Virunga National Park.

When one of the Dian Fossey research gorilla groups disappeared to the Congo for several months, leaving the researchers at the centre very worried for their safety, they returned with this tiny baby mountain gorilla. He’s only a few months old but extremely curious. In fact, while the rest of his family tried to sleep, he spent most of the time stalking me and my companions.

The amber eye of an elephant. So intelligent, so curious, so beautiful.





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