This week in pictures …

Elephant – Baobab – Sunset – Airport – Lion – Rhinos – Barbet – Bushbuck – Oysterbox

One picture per day …

Sunday: An old Elephant bull in musth – he has been there before and was therefore quite calm – good for us watching him … | Canon 1 D Mark IV – f2.8 – 300mm L
Monday: The only Baobab tree at Thanda – in my front garden … | iPhone 7 Plus
Tuesday: Sunset at Thanda’s larget dam … | Canon 1 D Mark IV – f2.8 – 70-200mm L
Wednesday: A Weaver trying to share my lunch at Durban airport | iPhone 7 Plus
Thursday: A Lion male in morning light … | Canon 1 D Mark IV – f2.8 – 300mm L
Friday: Approaching Rhinos … | Canon 1 D Mark IV – f2.8 – 70-200mm L
Friday (2): A Crested Barbet posing for a photo shoot … | Canon 1 D Mark IV – f4 – 500mm L
Saturday: Weather change sky … | iPhone 7 Plus
Sunday: Bushbuck at iSimangaliso … | Canon 1 D Mark IV – f4 500ml L
Extra: Sunrise at The Oysterbox Hotel | iPhone 7 Plus

I hope your like my weekly summary. For many more pictures please subscribe to my Instagram channel (ChristianSperkaPhotography).

PS: Based on recent requests I have added some camera information.

#christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography


Bird ID help welcome …

I am currently sorting through hundreds of my bird pictures which I took since 2002. Most of them I was able to ID positively.

But there are quite a few for which I either cannot find an ID at all or which I am not able to give a clear ID (multiple options).

If you would like to try to ID some of them for me then have a look at my bird ID page. I have uploaded the first 26 images, more to come soon 🙂

Click here to view the page

Thanks for the help from all the birders!

The first goodies …


The first batch of goodies is ready for delivery to the crèche. I will make a visit soon after the school holidays are finished.

They will get tables, crayons, paper, some educational toys, balls, a large trash container and plastic boxes to store everything in. Thanks to Michelle from Outtheredesign I got nice INKANYISO CRÈCHE labels on everything. Michelle and I have also created 11 baby animal posters with names in isiZulu and in English.

Thanks to the generosity of so many of you I will be able to continue to help with some more things for them for a while. My next project is some ‘outside playground setup’ and more educational toys. I will keep you updated.

If you want more information about my little crèche project go to

Thanks for all the help – Have a good weekend!

This week in pictures …

Off Time – Pakamisa – Sunbirds – Ndumo – Ostriches – Relax

One picture per day …

Sunday – Ready for another day at Thanda …
Monday – Looking forward to a week at Pakamisa – this heaven for horses – where dogs are spoiled – and humans are tolerated 🙂
Tuesday – Scarlet-chested Sunbird photography – a birthday treat …
Wednesday – First time at Ndumo Game Reserve – I like it … – Read more at
Thursday – Ostriches at the end of the day – and what a day …
Friday – My favorite bird picture of the week – a White-bellied Sunbird having a feast …
Saturday – On the way home – The Aloes are blooming …

I hope your like my weekly summary. For many more pictures please subscribe to my Instagram channel (ChristianSperkaPhotography).

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography

This week in pictures …

What a week – Crèche – Teach – City – Rhino – Arrival – Meal – Mate

One picture per day …

Monday – Visit to a crèche – create a project …

Tuesday – Teaching students and a very unusual sighting (Pied Kingfisher @ Thanda) …

Wednesday – Korean Dinner in Durban @ The Crazy Korean – what a treat …

Thursday – A Rhino at sunset – so special …

Friday – Two new Cheetah boys arrived at Thanda …

Saturday – The two males’ first meal …

Sunday – Mating Giraffes – a rare sighting …

I hope your like my weekly summary. For many more pictures please subscribe to my Instagram channel (ChristianSperkaPhotography).

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography


This week I visited a crèche for small children in one of Thanda’s neighboring communities.

With the help of some guests’ donations Thanda Safari has built this little school house, provided a water tank, got the material for a fence and the materials to complete the interior.

The crèche is located in one of the poorest areas of Zululand.

I was tasked to take some pictures with camera and drone to document the development progress.

I had not been there before.

At the crèche two volunteer teachers look after around 30 2-4 year old kids every morning for three hours.

When I saw the place in grey with no color, no toys, no teaching materials, no tables , no … I made a decision:

In the next few weeks I will personally get them some materials for teaching, some toys and whatever else I can afford to buy. I will not give them money (as I am afraid that would end in the wrong pockets), but I will buy them things they need.

Some of my friends have already promised me to help with useful materials they got or to help me with money donations to buy stuff.

If any of you – wherever you live in the world – would like to help with a little donation (or not so little 🙂 then please contact me at – I have bank accounts in Europe, USA and South Africa and I also have a PayPal account. So transferring any funds would be simple and would not cost a lot. Even the smallest contribution will be very much appreciated.

Be assured that 100% of whatever is donated will be used to buy things for the crèche.

I will post regularly pictures on my social media accounts (Instagram, Facebook and Twitter) and on my blog.

In the great scheme of things this neither big or important, but I hope it will make a difference to these children, their teachers and their parents.

PS: When I (a huge, bearded white man) stepped into the small classroom most of the children started crying. I was a bit puzzled until one of the teachers told me that some of the kids thought I was a doctor coming with inoculations :-). I had – wisely – bought a little drink, an apple and a small snack for each child which I gave to each of them. That calmed them down immediately.

But I really won them over when I flew the drone. They loved it and demanded many take-offs and landings. There were many friendly shouts of good-bye when I left. Modern technology can help in many ways 🙂

Smart Phone Safari …

It is often said that one ‘must’ have a decent camera with a reasonable long tele-focus lens, when going on safari.  However, while it is certainly an advantage to have such a camera, today a lot of people have very good smart phones (iPhones or Android-based) and prefer to travel light.

Here are five reasons why a smart phone safari can work …

Smart phones are very good when taking a wide angle picture (no pinching!). Focus on the beautiful scenery with wildlife in it and you will create some great memories. Zooming in on pictures (pinching) should be avoided as most smart phones only provide digital zoom (equivalent to picture cropping). It is best to take the picture ‘un-zoomed’ and crop it later. Some very advanced smartphone (eg iPhone 7+, 8+ and X) have a second tele-focus lens, which do provide optical zoom capability.

Picture: Elephants at Thanda Safari – iPhone 7+

Picture: White Rhino just after sunset at Thanda Safari – iPhone 7+

Picture: Giraffe at Thanda Safari – iPhone 7+

Smart phones are great in difficult light situations such as sunsets, sunrises and interesting cloud formations over beautiful scenery. These are  often easier to capture, than with a regular camera. Combined with a good ‘enhancement app’ like an excellent ‘Camera+ for iPhones’, amazing pictures can be created.

Pictures: Mganhla dam at Thanda Safari – iPhone 7+

Clip-on tele-focus lenses are available at very little cost and having such a lens will make it possible to get a good shot of far away targets (eg Lions, Birds). Binoculars can also serve as a tele-focus lens (make sure there is a small distance between the camera lens and the binoculars ocular, focusing first on the subject with your binos, before using your smartphone camera).

Picture:  iPhone 7+ with 12x telefocus clip-on lens

Picture: iPhone 7+ using binoculars as a telefocus lens

Picture as taken …

Picture once cropped …

This picture was taken with an iPhone 7+ and a 12x telefocus clip-on lens.

Smart phones are excellent at taking macro-shots. Anything from plants to small creatures can be captured very well. Make sure to check with your guide, if it is safe, to get close to any creatures.

Pictures: Splendid Locust – iPhone 7+ help ‘upside-down’ to get on eye-level 🙂

Pictures: Giant Snail- iPhone 7+ help ‘upside-down’ to get on eye-level 🙂

Private game reserves, such as Thanda Safari, are great for smart phone photography as one usually gets much closer to wildlife than in a national park. A professional and experienced guide knows exactly how close he can get safely to animals, to ensure a good picture. Get as close to eye-level with your picture subject and you will create some great shots.

Pictures: African Rock Phyton at Thanda Safari – iPhone 7+

Pictures: Elephants at Thanda Safari Lodge – iPhone 7+

Pictures: Lion at Thanda Safari – iPhone 7+

Pictures: Lion at Thanda Safari – iPhone 7+

If you have any questions about a Smart Phone Safari or Photo Safaris feel free to contact me directly (

For Thanda Safari guests – staying 2 nights or longer – I offer a 30 minute free ‘smart phone photography lesson’ (subject to availability). Session should to be booked well in advance.

All pictures in this post were created with an iPhone 6+ or iPhone 7+ with most being cropped.

#thandasafari #christiansperkaphotography #SmartPhoneSafari #iPhoneSafari

I personally work with Canon DSLRs, Apple iPhones and a DJI Phantom drone. #canonglobal #apple #djiglobal