Reflections of Southern Africa – The New Website

Today, exactly six years ago, I launched my first photographic website and what an experience and adventure it has been! Now, six years later, it is a time of change in my life and maybe also the perfect time to launch my new look website under a fairly new name and with a look that have been on the designing table for more than a year…

I suppose it all started with my first Canon DSLR camera that I purchased at the end of 2007 and this little rascal that I photographed (in “program” mode and only a JPEG file) on 26 January 2008 at Mabalingwe Nature Reserve…

 

African Wildlife Photography Prints - Squirrel

 

And of course my first “award winning bird in flight photograph” of a sacred ibis at the Duck Pond in Secunda, Mpumalanga, South Africa…

 

 

Then, during March 2010 I met an older guy, with a few grey hair on his head, at Mankwe hide in the Pilanesberg National Park… He approached me without much ceremony and offered that I replace my 70-300mm lens with his enormous 600mm Canon lens on my Canon 400D camera – The first few images were blurry, but his advice to make use of his bean bag opened a whole new world to me! Photography got a whole new meaning and to be able to see the detail on these water lilies astonished me!

 

African Wildlife Photography Prints - Lillies

 

 

I later got to know the “older guy with a few grey hair on his head”… Gerrie van Vuuren became a good friend and mentor and until today he is famous for his passion about photography and the legendary space at Mankwe Hide in the Pilanesberg National Park that he so regularly occupies.

During May 2013 Gerrie also invited me to join him and Milanie Roos for a weekend at Giants Castle Nature Reserve and I was introduced to the “vulture magic” of the Drakensberg. Needless to say, it was an experience I will never forget (the experience also included yours truly to help Gerrie to arrange the wrotten meat and bones around the escarpment to entice the vultures to land).

 

African Wildlife Photography Prints

 

 

Then there was the life changing discovery of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park! Those that know me and that have followed my posts on social media and elsewhere, will know that this barren land lies very close to my heart and is in fact my favourite destination by far! My first lion image in the kalahari desert was nothing to write home about, but man… it was special! Little did I know what kalahari magic I will capture in the years to come…

 

 

I have made several trips to the Kgalagadi in the past few years, but nothing beats the deafening silence of being alone next to a campfire at the unfenced Rooiputs camping site… and the unexpected excitement of a lion or hyena that can pop out of the darkness at any time… The latter actually happened one night and believe me, a hyena is much bigger when you sit about ten feet away from him at eye-level!

 

 

Needless to say, having good friends joining you on a safari to the kahalari is also great! Like the trip during June 2014 with Japie Maritz… and some other four legged friends…

 

 

Then there was the unexpected invitation by Mark Dumbleton, a well-known and respected nature photographer in South Africa, to join him and Carl Smorenburg on a hike up the Drakensberg Amphitheatre during March 2016. It was a big challenge for me personally – I stopped smoking after almost 26 years and started exercising to make the trip. It was well worth the effort and a couple of amazing trips to the Drakensberg followed after that. New friendships saw the light and landscape photography got a whole new meaning to me!

 

 

African Landscape Photography Prints - In the Beginning

 

I want to thank at the same time, all the people that inspired me to pursue this photographic journey and those that have had the patience to endure my endless aspiration to see more and to capture the natural wonders of this (not so dark) African continent. I know it has not always been so easy for those that had to stay behind at home, but hopefully one day my images will be a fresh reminder of the magical journey I undertook and intend to complete…

 

 

 

 

 

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