Ten years for Thanda and two years for me :-)

ADOL Dance

Lots to celebrate: Thanda its ten year anniversary (see http://wp.me/p43t9J-10s) and me living for the last two years in South Africa!

But the next five weeks I will be back in Europe (28 May to 1 June / 16 June to 26 June) and the USA (3 June to 14 June).

So there will be no messages from the African wild, but I hope to blog a few nice travel pictures/stories. Stay tuned ……

PS: During my stay in Tennessee I will give a few presentation about South Africa. For more information go to http://wp.me/p1rzfb-16r and http://wp.me/p1rzfb-16C

Travel 2014

Back at the First Saturday Nashville Art Crawl


ZULULAND – Wildlife and People in the African South

At the June Nashville First Saturday Art Crawl I will exhibit a few of my recent images, taken around my new home in the Heart of Zululand. Unusally for me, I will also show People images besides Wildlife pictures :-). Come and have a look.

The event at the Nashville Arcade is open to the public. I am looking forward to seeing many of you at the Art Crawl!

When: Saturday – June 7, 2014 – 6:00-9:00pm
Where: Ultraviolet Gallery @ Nashville Arcade, Downtown Nashville

Thanks to Amiee Stubbs, who invited me to her UltraViolet Gallery, I am able to exhibit again in Nashville. Amiee is the Official Photographer and Photography Teacher for the Nashville Zoo and Photojournalist for Animal Rescue Corps. She is a very accomplished professional photographer with a wide portfolio (www.amieestubbs.com). But her passion is definitely animal photography!

PS: I will also give a few presentations about Photography, Wildlife and Conservation – For more information go to https://sperka.info/2014/05/15/two-years-in-the-wild-and-keepers-of-the-wild-presentations-in-tennessee/

“Two Years in the Wild” and “Keepers of the Wild” – Presentations in Tennessee

I am looking forward to my visit to the USA in June. After another year in the bush it will be great to see my Tennessee friends again. During my stay I will be giving two different presentations about my work in South Africa. All presentations are open to the public and no reservations are required.

I hope to see many of you on either of these occasions 🙂

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“Two Years in the Wild” is the first presentation about my experiences in South Africa and my methods to get good wildlife images. This presentation is open to the public. I will be giving this talk in Nashville and in Cookeville.

When: Tuesday – June 3, 2014 – 6:30pm
Where: Brentwood Photography Group Meeting @ Otter Creek Church of Christ, Franklin Road, Brentwood, Tennessee – http://www.brentwoodphotographygroup.org/

When: Wednesday – June 11, 2014 – 7:00pm
Where: Cookeville Camera Club Meeting @ First Presbyterian Church, 20N Dixie, Cookeville, Tennessee – http://www.cookevillecameraclub.com/



“Keepers of the Wild” is the second presentation about the conservation efforts and challenges for a private game reserve in South Africa and about the rising threat to Africa’s Rhino population.

When: Thursday – June 5, 2014 – 6:00pm
Where: Nashville Zoo at Grassmere, Nolensville Road, Nashville, Tennessee – http://www.nashvillezoo.org/events/lecture


See you in Nashville or Cookeville!

Christian Sperka

Clean-up Crew!


Hyena are one of the most fascinating mammal species to observe . They are an important part of the bush clean-up crew and play a vital role in the circle of life.

With their grinning smiles and their awkward walking style (their very strong front legs are longer than the back legs) they are often disliked by many people.

But in this picture one of Thanda’s Spotted Hyenas shows itself from its “cute side” 🙂


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Sometimes pictures tell an exciting story. So do these!

They were taken with a 28mm (wide-angle) lens and not cropped.

Our oldest North Pride Lioness had decided to walk up to our vehicle and she had first a good look at me (picture below) and then at the guests behind me (picture above). My instruction to hold still and not move was followed without any discussion :-).

As she was in touching distance I took the picture above without moving the camera and without looking through the viewfinder (hence the funny composition). Nevertheless I thought many of you might enjoy this awesome predator’s look.

If you are interested why we were not in danger during the encounter with this dangerous cat go to https://sperka.info/why/.

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Not only milk!

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Our little Lion cubs have graduated to meat dishes 🙂

Their mum – Thanda North Pride’s oldest Lioness – had caught a Warthog for dinner. As the sun set she moved the kill into a thicket not far from one of Thanda’s main roads. And as the light fated she fetched her little ones for dinner.

The image above shows one of the youngsters with a red nose from enjoying one of its first meat meals.

The collage below shows a small Lions’ feeding frenzy, a watchful mum and another on of the cubs showing some interest in my clicking camera.

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What a sighting!

And this last collage shows the young Lions two weeks ago venturing very close to the game viewer before their mum led them away into the bush.

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Pictures (1-4) by Christian Sperka

Pictures (5-9) by Bheki Ngubane – Senior Tracker – Thanda Private Game Reserve