Cold Sunrise!

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When I left Thanda at sunrise our two male Cheetah walked directly towards me. In this picture the “visible” Cheetah’s breath is a sign for a cold winter’s morning in Kwazulu Natal.

I spent an enjoyable day at a hide in Mkuze Game Reserve and I will post a few of today’s images in the near future :-).

… and thanks for all the kind birthday wishes!

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A Bloody Portrait!

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Literally! – This is a portrait of a Cape Hunting Dog which was taken when the pack was feeding on a kill. The face of the dog was still wet from the Wildebeest’s blood.

Giant Pictures

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When one is taking close-up pictures of two male Elephants sparring it feels a bit like taking pictures of two giants. In this case the two young bulls were close enough to merit the use of a wide angle lens which is not used too often for wildlife photography :-).

The Thanda guests on my vehicle and on the vehicle in the picture enjoyed this action-filled sighting.

Solid Food!

Thanda’s small Cheetah cubs are already eating some solid food. Their mum had hunted an Impala and they joined in the – for Cheetah typical – hasty meal. The  three month old the cubs are also still suckling.

The pictures show the cubs in the road waiting for their mum to return from her hunt, mum looking for the cubs and the cubs in the high grass around the kill.

Patience for almost two hours was rewarded with these images!

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The First Wild Leopard

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Showing a Leopard to his guests is a pleasure for any field guide.

But being able to show one of these magnificent creatures to someone who has never seen a Leopard before is very special.

This happened to me on Friday evening. One of the Thanda guests on my vehicle saw her very first wild Leopard!

Welcome home!

Our dominant male Lion gave me an impressive “Welcome Home” at the end of today’s evening game drive.

The Thanda guests on my vehicle were most impressed … and so was I 🙂

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A very special place…

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Today it is one year since I have arrived at Thanda Private Game Reserve. It is a very special place to work and to live at.

Having three jobs (Field Guide, Photography Teacher and Resident Wildlife Photographer) at the same time is demanding, but I really enjoy doing all three!

This is a collage of some of my favorite images which I have taken since my arrival at Thanda.

Thanks Thanda!

What a feeling!

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Being chased by a male Lion is an incredible feeling.

Even if the chase is not meant for the vehicle but for other Lions nearby. When this huge predator runs to close the distance to the vehicle your instinct is telling you to get away while your knowledge tells you to stand your ground.

While the experienced Thanda guides take the proper decisions – keeping a cool head – some of our guests have one of the most exciting moments in their life.

What a feeling!

A Lion’s drink!

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This young male Lion is having a drink at one of Thanda’s waterholes. We were watching the Lions in the early morning going to drink after they had feasted the in the night on a Wildebeest kill.

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More about cats drinking (quoted from ANTRANIK.ORG):

Cats lap water so fast that the naked eye can’t follow it fast enough to notice. When a cat is going to drink water, it will stick its tongue out, curl the tip of its tongue backward, not forward. This curled tip will touch the liquid, barely penetrating the surface, then retract its tongue back into its mouth very, very fast. The water sticks to its tongue and a mini-stream subsquently shoots up into its mouth thanks to the power of adhesion and cohesion, respectively. The cat will then close its mouth at exactly the precise moment where the most water will be in its mouth, just before gravity starts to pull it down.

And this is a link to a short video showing a cat drinking (really slow :-)):