There is very little in this world that captures my attention like photographing African wildlife. I’ve joked with my friends that I am addicted, but I only half jest.
When I’m in the African bush, I feel totally at ease and fully present. When I am away, there’s always a nagging desire to return.
Not too long ago I indulged my habit in both the Timbavati Game Reserve of South Africa and Kenya’s Amboseli National Park— two very different, but equally stunning locations —during a two-week African photo safari.
Timbavati is known for its leopards and dense, rugged terrain, while in Amboseli, elephants are the heroes along with its wide-open plains and lush marshes.
Combined together in one epic journey, I experienced an unforgettable adventure that did nothing to quell my love of African wildlife. Instead, my African photo safaris only fueled the fire…
READ MORE: Animals in Kenya: A Guide to 40 Species of Kenyan Wildlife
Rockfig Jr.—named for the tree under which her mother was born—is an extraordinary leopard with aquamarine eyes. We came upon her after she fed on an impala, relaxing in the grass before digging in again. ~ Timbavati Game Reserve
READ MORE: Maasai Mara Conservancies: A Model for Community-Based Conservation in Kenya
Two zebras joust: A playful interaction I saw almost daily during my visit. ~ Amboseli National Park
A magnificent bull elephant with impressive tusks. This handsome devil I’m pretty sure had modeled before. He stayed near our vehicle and provided us with a variety of wonderful poses. ~ Timbavati Game Reserve
Two male buffalos horn-wrestle in slow motion. Whether it was a true quest for dominance or simply a way to cut the boredom I’ll never know, but they fought for nearly an hour. ~ Timbavati Game Reserve
Vultures are far from beautiful in my opinion, but it’s amazing how you can find something to love in everything. In flight, a vulture is quite elegant. I loved the curve of his body as he flew from one limb to the other. ~ Amboseli National Park
It’s early morning and a large herd of elephants walks toward a marsh in the distance. Their sheer size and number contrasted against the simplicity of the landscape had me spellbound. ~ Amboseli National Park
One of four lions in a coalition, this male continued to eat his fill of a buffalo carcass while his companions lounged lazily in the grass nearby. ~ Timbavati Game Reserve