Imagine …

Imagine …

… you left your office for a short drive in nature

Imagine …

… you spend a warm summer evening on an open savanna

Imagine …

… a lite drizzle of rain and strong winds cool you down

and imagine …

… you watch a beautiful male Lion drinking, observing his surroundings and sleeping

Well, if you can imagine that then you shared one of my evenings this week 😊

Have a good weekend!

#Thandasafari @thandasafari #christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography

Bad Monkey – Good Monkey!

A bad monkey rampages houses, takes goods from tables, threatens women and children to give up their meals and is not afraid of humans.

A good monkey forages in the wild, avoids human habitation, is quite afraid of people and can only be observed from a distance.

And who turns a good monkey into a bad monkey: Humans … by leaving food in the open, by feeding the cute creatures and teaching them the wrong behavior.

Only a monkey that has the natural fear of humans will remain to be a safe monkey. Once a monkey has lost that fear he is no longer safe.

Please keep them safe!

PS: A troop of Vervet Monkeys is stopping most afternoons at the Thanda House gardens to feed of and around the trees. They get nowhere near the house. If they see me and if they think I saw them then they immediately disappear into the crowns of the trees. If I am around and one gets to close to the house I give a quick shout and all of them take flight. At Thanda House we keep all food in fridges or in sealed containers and keep all doors and windows closed if we are not around. Safe for us and safe for the monkeys.

This picture was taken with a 500mm lens. The little guy has not detected me yet. As soon as he heard the click of the camera and saw me he bolted.

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography

#Thandasafari @thandasafari

The year in twelve pictures!

It seems that the years go faster the older I get. But my mother tells me that is the ‘modern’ world around me going faster and faster. Be that as it may, this busy year went by very quickly.

Here are 12 pictures. One for each month as a reminder of an interesting and eventful time.

I wish all of you a Happy New Year 2019!

In January I took this picture of a Secretary bird during a visit to Ithala Game Reserve. One of my favourite national parks in KwaZulu Natal.

On 19 February we had over 100 mm of rain and the Thanda House waterhole was full to the rim. In my over six years at Thanda I had never seen so much water!

I call March the month of the Lions. All North pride females presented their litters to the world and all the sudden we had 10 new Lion cubs!

One of my favourite subjects to photograph are White Rhinos on the Thanda Safari savanna. I really like this shot taken in April. The savanna was still quite green at the time.

It is always very existing when a herd of Elephants appears around a corner and one has to practice driving backwards to get out of their way. On this day in May the herd was in a hurry to get to a waterhole. And so was I!

Chewing the cud. This Giraffe was supplementing its body with calcium and phosphorous from an old bone by chewing on it. This picture was taken in June, one of the winter month when this behaviour can often be observed.

I love the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and Lake St.Lucia. A boat cruise on a day in July presented many opportunities to take pictures of sparring Hippos.

Thanks again to many of you around the world who help me supporting Inkanyiso Creche in one of our local communities. In August I delivered a first batch of goodies (tables, games, pictures, …). More will follow in the new year!

A visit to Tembe Elephant Park is always worthwhile. In September I had the opportunity to visit again and I got some great Elephant and Buffalo images.

October: A bit of hanky-panky in spring. The most natural thing in the world. Making new Zebras! Note the Buffalo in the background watching with interest.

Baby animals are always cute, but little Hyena puppies win this year’s price for cuteness. Since November we had many sightings of them around their den.

Summer rains have started properly and the savanna is turning green again. Our new Cheetah males love the open areas which they share with many species. In this December image Zebras, Impalas and Rhinos are posing in the background for this Cheetah portrait.

And in case you would like to view more of my 2018 pictures just have a look at my images on Instagram – www.instagram.com/christiansperkaphotography

I will now take a few days off relaxing at Pakamisa Private Game Reserve.

I will be back in 2019 with more pictures from Thanda Safari and many other places in the South African Wild.

www.sperka.com | www.thanda.com

Help! – My Thanda Cats Book – 2nd Edition

A few weeks ago I have finally started working on the revision of my Thanda Cats book, which is planned to be published soon.

After reviewing almost 5,000 Lion, Leopard and Cheetah images I have come up with a selection of 170 pictures which are candidates to be included in the new book. But only between 20 and 40 images will be added to the existing 90 book pages to create the new edition.

This means I could use some selection help. I would appreciate if as many of you as possible could look over the gallery with the new images and pick your favorites (not more than 20). And it would be good if you could include all three species in your choices – Lions, Leopards and Cheetahs.

Gallery Link: https://www.sperka.biz/y67

I am also looking for some great new quotes related to animals, nature, conservation or the world in general. As with the first edition each book page will include a good quote. So please forward me any quote(s) you might like.

Send your image selection and/or quotes via email to info@sperka.com. From all the ‘help emails’ I receive I will draw one ‘winner’ who will get a complimentary copy of the new book once it is published.

Thanks a lot for your help and good luck!

PS: This is a link to the PDF of the original edition in case you would like to have look: https://christiansperka.files.wordpress.com/2018/11/thanda-cats.pdf

www.thanda.com | www.sperka.com

Ten Crazy Weeks

The last ten weeks have been by far the busiest since my arrival in South Africa over six years ago. They were exciting, interesting and exhausting.

But there was no time for blogging. Nevertheless here are my twenty favorite images from this period. I hope you enjoy the pictures!

No kidding – that sign is appropriate! | Canon 1D Mark IV – f3.5-5.6 – 28-300mm L
A Cheetah chasing an Impala – taken during a photo shoot game drive at a Thanda Wedding in August | Canon 1D Mark IV – f3.5-5.6 – 28- 300mm
An aerial image of a painting session in the bush. Johan Falkman, a painter from Sweden, started his three month residency at Thanda Safari’s Intibane Lodge | Drone DJI Phanton IV Pro
Mariana Venter (Thanda Wildlife Manager) opens the cage for a new Cheetah lady arriving at Thanda | Canon 1D Mark IV – f3.5-5.6 – 28- 300mm
A happy day – I delivered my first set of goodies to the Inkanyiso Creche | iPhone 7 Plus
One of many images from a multi-day photo shoot at Thanda Tented Camp | Drone DJI Phanton IV Pro
A most pleasant site inspection – Thonga Beach Lodge – A fabulous place | Drone DJI Phanton IV Pro
An afternoon of relaxation at my favorite hide at Mkuze Game Reserve – Bird, birds, birds … | Canon 1D Mark – f2.8 – 300mm L
Photo shoot at Tembe Elephant Park – one of my favorite National Parks | Canon 1D Mark IV – f3.5-5.6 – 28-300mm
My favorite image from a two day safari with friends from Richards Bay | Canon 1D Mark IV – f3.5-5.6 – 28- 300mm
Zulu Mamas providing entertainment for a group of guests from The Netherlands – what a rare occasion to be able to take pictures of the ladies at daylight | Canon 1D Mark IV – f2.8 – 70-200mm
A few game drives with a Media Group from South Africa – The male Lions ‘performed’ beautifully | Canon 1D Mark IV – f3.5-5.6 – 28- 300mm
With a Pakamisa riding and photo group at the beach in St.Lucia – I love the place | Canon 1D Mark IV – f2.8 – 70- 200mm
The busiest week ever – I was hosting a film team at Thanda for seven days to take footage for a new brand film – these are some of the models – three Humans and a Lion | Canon 1D Mark IV – f3.5-5.6 – 28- 300mm
A community visit to my favorite homestead – the ‘master of the house’ explaining his daily schedule to the guests | iPhone 7 Plus
And another Media Group – this time from the UK – our Lions were most impressive | Canon 1D Mark IV – f3.5-5.6 – 28- 300mm
Two new male Cheetahs on the reserve – the coalition is doing well | Canon 1D Mark IV – f3.5-5.6 – 28- 300mm
Our older Cheetah male vocalizing as he met the new-comers – they went their separate ways – no harm done | Canon 1D Mark IV – f3.5-5.6 – 28- 300mm
Rutting in October – these Impala males were sparring and fighting at the wrong time of the year 🙂 | Canon 1D Mark IV – f2.8 – 300mm L
And last my favorite shot of them all – Dung Beetles at work – burrowing their ball in the ground – gone in five minutes – macro photography from a distance 🙂 | Canon 1D Mark IV – f4 – 500mm L

http://www.sperka.com

#christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography

Ten days in pictures …

Sun | Speed | Mamba | Relax | Cross | Wet | Rain | Walk | Anger | Lazy | Color

One picture per day …

For the last ten days I hosted a private photography safari guest on Thanda Safari. The lady from Switzerland had booked nine nights of private photo drives and photo lessons. These are a few of the best pictures which I took during her stay. We had a great time!

I hope you like my summary for these 10 days.

For many more pictures please subscribe to my Instagram channel (ChristianSperkaPhotography).

Monday – Day 1 | A beautiful Thanda Safari sunset | Canon 1D Mark IV – f4 – 500mm L

Tuesday – Day 2 | A speed run after a Wildebeest resulting in a kill | Canon 1D Mark IV – f3.5-5.6 – 28- 300mm

Wednesday – Day 3 | The Green Mamba 1 at Thanda’s largest waterhole | iPhone 7 Plus

Thursday – Day 4 | Lion cubs relaxing in the warm morning sun | Canon 1D Mark IV – f3.5-5.6 – 28- 300mm

Friday – Day 5 | An Elephant her crossing the Mduna River | Canon 1D Mark IV – f3.5-5.6 – 28-300mm L

Saturday – Day 6 | A wet Brown-hooded Kingfisher at the kuMasinga hide on Mkuze Game Reserve | Canon 1D Mark – f4 – 500mm L

Sunday – Day 7 | Vervet Monkey on a rainy day | Canon 1D Mark IV – f4 – 500mm L

Monday – Day 8 | Little Elephant and her mum walking towards my vehicle | Canon 1D Mark IV – f3.5-5.6 – 28-300mm

Tuesday – Day 9 | Angry dad! A male Lion telling a youngster to keep his distance | Canon 1D Mark IV – f3.5-5.6 – 28-300mm L

Wednesday – Day 10 | A lazy Cheetah male in the early morning | Canon 1D Mark IV – f4 – 500mm L

Extra | One of my favorite shots: A Knob-thorn tree and a Giraffe in the morning light | Canon 1D Mark IV – f3.5-5.6 – 28-300mm L

http://www.sperka.com

#christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography

This week in pictures …

Luxury – Surfing – Cleopatra – Gourmets – Giants – Tsessebe – Dung – Flowers – Giraffe

One picture per day …

Sunday: Pure luxury on the Indian Ocean – The Oysterbox Hotel in Umhlanga – https://www.oysterboxhotel.com/ | iPhone 7 Plus
Monday: A rooms with a view – Watching surfers from my room at The Oysterbox | Canon 1 D Mark IV – f4 – 500mm L
Tuesday: What a nose 🙂 – Cleopatra Mountain in the Drakensberg | Canon 1 D Mark IV – f4 – 500mm L
Wednesday: A gourmet’s delight – Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse – https://www.cleopatramountain.com/ | iPhone 7 Plus
Thursday: Egyptian Geese in front of the Giants Castle mountain chain | Canon 1 D Mark IV – f4 – 500mm L
Friday: Running Tsesebe at iSimangaliso Wetland Park | Canon 1 D Mark IV – f4 – 500mm L
Saturday: Dung Beetles at work | iPhone 7 Plus
Sunday: A Scarlet-chested Sunbird feeding on a Sausage Tree flower at Pakamisa – http://www.pakamisa.co.za/ | Canon 1 D Mark IV – f4 – 500mm L
Extra: Resting Giraffe at Pakamisa – http://www.pakamisa.co.za/ | Canon 1 D Mark IV – f4 – 500mm L

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

http://www.sperka.com

#christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography

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.

http://www.sperka.com

#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 https://sperka.info/id/

Thanks for the help from all the birders!