Heads up – Just for fun!

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I usually do not manipulate my images except to ‘restore’ them to what I recall as the best representation of what I actually saw. This normally includes the adjustment of color, brightness, contrast, sharpness and some minor cloning and makeup work.

This picture is an exception. It is a merger of four images of a female Giraffe raising her head after she was finished drinking. An interesting study 🙂


One of my favorite shots this year!

This morning three beautiful Kudu bulls came to drink at small waterhole at Thanda. After they had quenched their thirst a herd of Cape Buffalo started stampeding the scene. The Thanda guests enjoyed this excited sighting after a action-filled game drive with a pride of eight Lions interacting with four White Rhinos (meaning: getting chased around by them :-)) while three Giraffe watched the turmoil.

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

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Thanda Private Game Reserve is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World

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Large and fast!

This Mozambique Spitting Cobra is one of the largest snakes I have ever captured and released. I caught her on Thursday at Thanda House and I released her at one of the Mduna river crossings in Thanda’s western part. 

She was very ‘active’ during capture and quite defensive during the release. My normal release procedure did not work as she spat venom copiously and was quite stressed. So I did a ‘dip barrel’ release and then made sure she moved towards the river (a save place for her!). Job done!

PS: I have slowed down the video to 10% speed, otherwise the snake would be gone in a blink 🙂

South Africa’s Heritage Day

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Today South Africa celebrates Heritage Day to commemorate the heritage of the many cultures that make up the population of South Africa. In the region where I live we especially celebrate the culture of Zulu people, who have inhabited this region for hundreds of years.

The Zulu were originally a major clan of Nguni decent, in what is today Northern KwaZulu-Natal, founded around 1700. In the Nguni languages Zulu means heaven. Nguni communities had migrated down Africa’s east coast over centuries, probably arriving in Southern Africa in about the 9th century.

The Zulu formed a powerful state and empire after King Shaka Zulu became their leader in 1816. They conquered large parts of Southern Africa using their superior military skills and tactics to subdue many other nations. They were defeated by the British in July 1879 but retain their identity with a King as their leader until this day. The Zulu Kingdom still exists under the traditional leadership clause of the South African constitution.

Thanda Private Game Reserve, my employer in South Africa, has 180 employees, of which more than 90% come from the local rural Zulu communities surrounding the Reserve.

This portrait shows one of the young ladies working on Thanda. Her name is Khethiwe Sphesihle Jiyane from the Magolwane clan. The gallery below shows a few more images of people in Zululand, which I took over the last three years.




A great day between two important days!

SA and ME

Yesterday was World Rhino Day, tomorrow is South African Heritage Day.

Well, today was the day when I got my work permit renewal for South Africa approved.

It took almost eleven month to accomplish this 🙂

So, I will be able to live and work for another five years in my favorite country. Now I am able to travel again and I am planning a trip to Europe before the end of the year and a trip to the USA in 2016.

Thanks South Africa and thanks to everyone that helped me getting this done!



Support the fight for the survival of these magnificent creatures! ‪

In South Africa alone over 700 Rhinos were killed this year, that is almost three for every day …….

#worldrhinoday #savetherhino

Death of a Rhino CSP 4


Some of you may know about 500px. This web-based photo community is known for the high quality of its image content. I joined 500px today and I will regularly upload some of my best images onto the site.

If you are a photo enthusiast then you might want to join 500px (if you have not already done so) and FOLLOW me and other photographers!


I selected this – my favorite – leopard image as the cover image for 500px!

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A ‘cool’ snake!

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Sal (on Facebook) was the first to get the correct answer. We found this Puff Adder at Thanda House under a stack of fire wood. Due to the cold temperature it was very slow and did not react at all when Letishia took a piece of wood from the pile and discovered the snake.

I captured it and relocated it this morning away from Thanda House. After the release it took a few minutes before this incredibly camouflaged sake moved into the undergrowth.

Puff Adders are one of the most dangerous snakes in Africa. They have a very potent cytotoxic venom and are one of the fastest-striking snakes on earth. Due to the relatively low temperatures at this time of the year this specimen showed no aggression and could be handled quite easily.

This series of pictures were taken by Warren Beets (Thanda Reserve Manager) and myself during the release operation. Thanks Warren!

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This picture shows me transferring the Puff Adder from the transport barrel to nice spot on the ground (near some undergrowth). 20150905 - CS1_0889 - E

Placing it on the ground 20150905 - CS1_0894 - E

Just in front of my GoPro camera 20150905 - CS1_0883 - E

This is the release from the GoPro angle 20150905 - CS8_1049 - E

And then the snake disappeared into the bush 20150905 - CS1_0897 - E