Silly face and memorable moment!

20140729 - CS1_4673 - E

Well, I usually try not to publish pictures of me making silly faces. But this one I have to post. While I was at a Cheetah interaction this week I tried to demonstrate to my guests how close you can get to these beautiful cats. But this Cheetah male decided I needed to be smacked for my daring. No harm done, but it was a great laugh for all the people watching.

A memorable moment with a silly face 🙂

PS: Thanks Grasie for taking this great picture – even with my silly face in it!

Wake up dad!

Imagine a conversation between a large male Lion and his son ….

20140730 - CS1_4718 - ECub: Wake up dad, mum and grandma are moving on …

20140730 - CS1_4729 - ECub: Come oooon, they will leave us behind …

20140730 - CS1_4739 - EDad: You are a little pest, let me sleep…

20140730 - CS1_4747 - ECub: Get up dad, you are sleeping too much…

20140730 - CS1_4750 - EDad: And where are you now…

20140730 - CS1_4761 - ECub: Just follow me, I know where they are …

Story and pictures by Christian Sperka – Specialist Photography Guide and Resident Wildlife Photographer – Thanda Private Game Reserve

Never miss a message from Thanda! Sign up to the Thanda Blog and receive an email with every new post – and/or sign up to our Newsletter –

View original post

Imagine …

20140727 - CS1_4008 - E

… you are sitting quietly in the bush and watching six little Lion cubs playing all around you. Well that is the experience we had on today’s evening game drive. While the adult Lions were sleeping soundly in the thick bush little ones moved about, climbed trees, stalked one another and ran around like all small kittens do.

This picture is my favourite shot from this magic encounter! The little Lion on the left got interested in the clicking of my camera and posed for a portrait.

Nashville Zoo Memories

20140612 - CS0_2039 - E

I promised a few more images from my recent trip to the USA. I am still working on sorting out all the images, but I had to put these four together to a collage. Thanks to Chris M. for taking me around the zoo during my visit to see all my old friends.

As much as I love my cats at home (Lion, Leopard and Cheetah) I miss the Eurasian Lynx, the Bengal Tigers, the Clouded Leopards and the Cougars/Mountain Lions at the Nashville Zoo. Jackson, the old gentlemen in this picture (mountain lion) is one of my favourite (and one of Heather’s favourite, too :-).

Coming and Going!

20140708 - CS0_1702 - E

Not everyone is a bird enthusiast. But, most guests do not only enjoy experiencing mammals but also enjoy sightings of colourful birds and large raptors. One of the most fascinating birds to watch is the Little Bee-eater. This small insect-hunter often chooses a convenient branch as its base of operation. From this single location it will repeatedly depart to and arrive from short hunts. If the observer is very lucky, he or she can even observe a “kill” :-).

The collage above is a merger of nine hand-held images of this fast flying bird. The camera was set on ten frames per second to record this sequence.

The picture below shows a Bee-Eater and a Bee!

20120623 - CS1_9776 - E

And it is a good idea to bring binoculars, which are a great safari tool for observing small birds, as one cannot get too close before most birds get scared and leave.

Just like the uncle :-)


My oldest nephew Alexander is currently on a “post-high school-graduation vacation” in the western part of the USA. Together with his friend Nina they are travelling all over the place. A few days ago he sent me this postcard via email. They took all the images at Yosemite NP and then designed the card themselves. Well, Alexander – as his uncle – seems to have an eye for an image and a bit of talent for photography 🙂

Gate guards and models!

The last few days I have been working in my office. Which is not bad, but not nearly as good as being out there on game drives. Even so, staying at Thanda house has its merits, too.

This morning our two male Cheetah came for a visit and acted as gate guards for a few hours.

20140718 - CS1_3452 - E

They also posed as models 🙂

20140718 - CS1_3449 - E

Yesterday, a journey of Giraffes and a dazzle of Zebras was grazing in front of the gate during midday.

20140718 - CS1_3407 - E


20140718 - CS1_3422 - E

And the day before our Elephants had a late afternoon drinking and bathing session at the waterhole on the south side of Thanda house.

20140716 - CS3_9906 - E

So, my time at the office got interrupted by some of my “wild friends” offering good sightings!

Close encounters!

20140421 - _MG_1400 - E_1

I was sorting and filing images when I came across some recent images Isabella took of me at Pakamisa Private Game Reserve. I miss the place and I am looking forward to going back there soon.

Enjoy the images of my close encounters!

PS: I am sure Badger is waiting – not so much for me, but for the apple treats 🙂 …

… and if you wonder who Badger is – well, he is the horse in all the pictures!

Pictures by Isabella Stepski – Pakamisa Private Game Reserve

20140421 - _MG_1386 - E_1


20140421 - _MG_1438 - E_1



Just in case anyone would like to visit me soon – today is a good day to book at Thanda 🙂

As part of our 10th Anniversary celebrations we are offering our friends and followers 10% off all direct bookings made in the next 24 hours! (17 July 12:00pm – 18 July 12:00pm South African Standard Time) Email us now on or call +27 35 573 1899 and quote ’TAD01′ to make a booking! Terms & Conditions apply.


View original post