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Top 25 Photographs from the Wilderness #12

Explore the wilderness with us… Edward O. Wilson was awarded the Hubbard Medal at the 125th Anniversary Gala of the National Geographic Society last week. Here we share some of his quotes from a 5 decade long career that revolutionized our thinking on the natural world. Within the next 10-15 years we will see the last-remaining wilderness area on earth dominated by the demands of growing human populations and undermined by accelerated climate change. When the earth’s last wild places are gone, all we will have are fenced off protected areas dependent on constant intervention to persist and marginalized by the demands of sustained development in emerging markets. Guides, rangers, researchers, ecotourists, photographers, artists and conservationists around the world apply themselves everyday to sharing, studying, photographing, writing about, protecting, conserving and celebrating the “wild” with their guests, co-workers, colleagues, and local communities. These amazing photographs are a window into their world, a world where the lions, elephants, orangutans and leopards still reign supreme and we can dream of that perfect morning in the wilderness.

 

Ranger Diaries and The Bush Boyes have teamed up to bring you the “Top 25 Photographs from the Wilderness”. These stunning photographs are selected from hundreds of submissions and are intended to bring the beauty, freedom and splendor of the wilderness to as many people as possible around the world. Please submit your best photographs from the wildest places to the The Bush Boyes Facebook page or Ranger Diaries website, and stand a chance of being featured in the “Top 25 Photographs from the Wilderness” published each week. This initiative is all about SHARING and CARING about wild places. Please “Like” this blog post and share this link with as many people as possible… So begins the “Ranger Revolution”… Anyone can be an “Honorary Ranger” if they share and care about the wilderness, stimulating positive change for wild places around the world… Join the “Ranger Revolution” now!

 

Buffalo herd chases lion, by guide Carl Walker. Photographed at Zuka, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. A buffalo herd interrupted a mating pair of lions. The pride male took offense at this and attempted to charge the herd males. They were oblivious to his growling and paw-thumping and chased him off. (zuka.co.za)

Buffalo herd chases lion, by guide Carl Walker. Photographed at Zuka, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. A buffalo herd interrupted a mating pair of lions. The pride male took offense at this and attempted to charge the herd males. They were oblivious to his growling and paw-thumping and chased him off. (zuka.co.za)

 

“You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give.” E. O. Wilson

 

Elephant tussle, by Craig Young, photographed in the Kruger National Park, South Africa.

Elephant tussle, by Craig Young, photographed in the Kruger National Park, South Africa.

 

“The essence of humanity’s spiritual dilemma is that we evolved genetically to accept one truth and discovered another. Is there a way to erase the dilemma, to resolve the contradictions between the transcendentalist and the empiricist world views?” E. O. Wilson

 

Giraffe herd, by guide Andy Biggs. Photographed in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. (andybiggs.com)

Giraffe herd, by guide Andy Biggs. Photographed in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. (andybiggs.com)

 

“If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.” E. O. Wilson

 

The art of camoflague, by guide James Suter. “These animals have the uncanny ability of disappearing right before your eyes.” Photographed at Singita, Kruger Park, South Africa. (singita.com/ jamessuter.com)

The art of camoflague, by guide James Suter. “These animals have the uncanny ability of disappearing right before your eyes.” Photographed at Singita, Kruger Park, South Africa. (singita.com/ jamessuter.com)

 

“We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom. The world henceforth will be run by synthesizers, people able to put together the right information at the right time, think critically about it, and make important choices wisely.” E. O. Wilson

 

 

Wildebeest battle for dominance, by guide James Haskins. Photographed at Nxai Pan, Botswana. “Rutting males will protect territory and females from intruders. They will not typically engage in ritualized challenges when with the females, instead resorting to a run and head-butt.” (wildlandsafaris.com)

Wildebeest battle for dominance, by guide James Haskins. Photographed at Nxai Pan, Botswana. “Rutting males will protect territory and females from intruders. They will not typically engage in ritualized challenges when with the females, instead resorting to a run and head-butt.” (wildlandsafaris.com)

 

“If those committed to the quest fail, they will be forgiven. When lost, they will find another way. The moral imperative of humanism is the endeavor alone, whether successful or not, provided the effort is honorable and failure memorable.” E. O. Wilson

 

The Chase by Frederick van Heerden. Photographed at Etosha National Park, Namibia. “On a freezing cold morning in Etosha we found a pride of lions at a waterhole. A herd of 500 zebra arrived. The lead zebras suddenly came to a dead halt, and uttered a warning snort. The whole herd froze... they did not look left or right, just straight at the lions, not daring to move. Three of the lionesses got up, had a drink of water and lay down again on the opposite side to the zebra and pretended not to be interested in the masses. With a desperate thirst for the refreshing early morning water, the zebras finally started edging forward with extreme caution. Suddenly a heavily pregnant springbok ewe walked past the lions (maybe three meters from them, if even that far)….” (frederick.photium.com)

The Chase by Frederick van Heerden. Photographed at Etosha National Park, Namibia. “On a freezing cold morning in Etosha we found a pride of lions at a waterhole. A herd of 500 zebra arrived. The lead zebras suddenly came to a dead halt, and uttered a warning snort. The whole herd froze… they did not look left or right, just straight at the lions, not daring to move. Three of the lionesses got up, had a drink of water and lay down again on the opposite side to the zebra and pretended not to be interested in the masses. With a desperate thirst for the refreshing early morning water, the zebras finally started edging forward with extreme caution. Suddenly a heavily pregnant springbok ewe walked past the lions (maybe three meters from them, if even that far)….” (frederick.photium.com)

The Chase 2, by Frederick van Heerden. Photographed at Etosha National Park, Namibia. “This was simply too tempting for the three big cats, and within seconds they jumped up at an incredible pace to set off behind the little ewe, chasing her into the dam. I have never seen any living creature accelerate so fast from standstill to full speed as that springbok ewe. I could hear my own heartbeat from all the adrenalin flowing (…flying) through my veins as I witnessed this incredible spectacle.” (frederick.photium.com)

The Chase 2, by Frederick van Heerden. Photographed at Etosha National Park, Namibia. “This was simply too tempting for the three big cats, and within seconds they jumped up at an incredible pace to set off behind the little ewe, chasing her into the dam. I have never seen any living creature accelerate so fast from standstill to full speed as that springbok ewe. I could hear my own heartbeat from all the adrenalin flowing (…flying) through my veins as I witnessed this incredible spectacle.” (frederick.photium.com)

The Chase 3, by Frederick van Heerden. Photographed at Etosha National Park, Namibia. “I was confident the ewe had now lived her final day, but to my amazement she was gaining distance between herself and the lions. Through the water, she made an exit on the other side of the dam where the zebras were standing. She switched direction and ran straight towards the motionless crowd. The chasing lions were now heading straight for the herd! Like an erupting volcano they all jumped around and started galloping away from the danger. Hundreds of them…stripes everywhere.... this was excitement at its best!” (frederick.photium.com)

The Chase 3, by Frederick van Heerden. Photographed at Etosha National Park, Namibia. “I was confident the ewe had now lived her final day, but to my amazement she was gaining distance between herself and the lions. Through the water, she made an exit on the other side of the dam where the zebras were standing. She switched direction and ran straight towards the motionless crowd. The chasing lions were now heading straight for the herd! Like an erupting volcano they all jumped around and started galloping away from the danger. Hundreds of them…stripes everywhere…. this was excitement at its best!” (frederick.photium.com)

 

“Without a trace of irony I can say I have been blessed with brilliant enemies. I owe them a great debt, because they redoubled my energies and drove me in new directions.” E. O. Wilson

 

The feast, by Grayson Dicks (nyamazanephotography.co.za)

The feast, by Grayson Dicks (nyamazanephotography.co.za)

 

“Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction.” E. O. Wilson

 

Fever tree lioness, by guide James Kydd. “This lioness climbed the fallen tree to look for some of her pride that were missing. The incredible luminous fever tree forests of Lake Nakuru provide an ethereal backdrop for the wildlife in this part of Kenya.” (indritours.com/ outdoorphoto.co.za)

Fever tree lioness, by guide James Kydd. “This lioness climbed the fallen tree to look for some of her pride that were missing. The incredible luminous fever tree forests of Lake Nakuru provide an ethereal backdrop for the wildlife in this part of Kenya.” (indritours.com/ outdoorphoto.co.za)

 

“When you have seen one ant, one bird, one tree, you have not seen them all.” E. O. Wilson

 

. Relaxed aardvark by guide Marco Tonoli. Photographed at Tswalu, Kalahari, South Africa. “Not only does the Aardvark facilitate the supplementary feeding of other species during the harsh winter months, but old excavated mounds may also be utilized by various species as hideouts. Termite mounds that have been opened by aardvark provide a safe refuge for many species, especially if the mound has been cleaned out by an aardvark and no longer houses termites. With harsh winter nights and scorching summer days, an underground refuge is vital to the survival of many desert species. Nesting within the mounds provides a safe microclimate, especially for the small shrews that are sensitive to temperature changes. The burrows are also utilised by many species who are often unable to make their own. These include various species such as the ant-eating chats, jackal, hyenas, warthogs, aardwolfs, mongoose, black-footed cats and porcupine.  In fact, as many as 17 species of mammals utilise aardvark burrows and the survival of some of these species may depend on the shelter which these burrows can provide.” (4elements.co.za/ tswalu.com)

. Relaxed aardvark by guide Marco Tonoli. Photographed at Tswalu, Kalahari, South Africa. “Not only does the Aardvark facilitate the supplementary feeding of other species during the harsh winter months, but old excavated mounds may also be utilized by various species as hideouts. Termite mounds that have been opened by aardvark provide a safe refuge for many species, especially if the mound has been cleaned out by an aardvark and no longer houses termites. With harsh winter nights and scorching summer days, an underground refuge is vital to the survival of many desert species. Nesting within the mounds provides a safe microclimate, especially for the small shrews that are sensitive to temperature changes. The burrows are also utilised by many species who are often unable to make their own. These include various species such as the ant-eating chats, jackal, hyenas, warthogs, aardwolfs, mongoose, black-footed cats and porcupine. In fact, as many as 17 species of mammals utilise aardvark burrows and the survival of some of these species may depend on the shelter which these burrows can provide.” (4elements.co.za/ tswalu.com)

 

“Political ideology can corrupt the mind, and science.” E. O. Wilson

 

Cheetah hunting, by Pia Derickx. Photographed in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania.  www.nature-photography.be

Cheetah hunting, by Pia Derickx. Photographed in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. www.nature-photography.be

 

“Every major religion today is a winner in the Darwinian struggle waged among cultures, and none ever flourished by tolerating its rivals.” E. O. Wilson

 

Meal time chaos, by guide Lee Whittam. Photographed in the Lamai Wedge, Northern Serengeti, Tanzania. “This was part of a group of 30 plus hyenas devouring a half-submerged topi.” (essentialafrica.co.za)

Meal time chaos, by guide Lee Whittam. Photographed in the Lamai Wedge, Northern Serengeti, Tanzania. “This was part of a group of 30 plus hyenas devouring a half-submerged topi.” (essentialafrica.co.za)

 

“Ants have the most complicated social organization on earth next to humans.” E. O. Wilson

 

Ambush, by guide Lee Whittam. Photographed in the Sabi Sands, Kruger Park, South Africa. “This young male was ambushing his brother early one morning and put on a great show for us as we followed him.” (essentialafrica.co.za)

Ambush, by guide Lee Whittam. Photographed in the Sabi Sands, Kruger Park, South Africa. “This young male was ambushing his brother early one morning and put on a great show for us as we followed him.” (essentialafrica.co.za)

 

“Blind faith, no matter how passionately expressed, will not suffice. Science for its part will test relentlessly every assumption about the human condition.” E. O. Wilson

 

Golden Tsessebe, by guide Brendon Cremer. Photographed at Duba Plains, Okavango, Botswana. “A Tsessebe stands alert in a low lying mist as the sun slowly rises and gently starts to warm the vast plains of the Duba Island and the moody mist slowly burns away.” (brendoncremerphotography/ outdoorphoto.co.za)

Golden Tsessebe, by guide Brendon Cremer. Photographed at Duba Plains, Okavango, Botswana. “A Tsessebe stands alert in a low lying mist as the sun slowly rises and gently starts to warm the vast plains of the Duba Island and the moody mist slowly burns away.” (brendoncremerphotography/ outdoorphoto.co.za)

 

“By any reasonable measure of achievement, the faith of the Enlightenment thinkers in science was justified.” E. O. Wilson

 

Leopard and winter dawn, by guide Jason Glanville. “Perched on a termite mount this young female leopard was scouting for prey at day-break.” (kirkmanskamp.com)

Leopard and winter dawn, by guide Jason Glanville. “Perched on a termite mount this young female leopard was scouting for prey at day-break.” (kirkmanskamp.com)

 

“I tend to believe that religious dogma is a consequence of evolution.” E. O. Wilson

 

Blue-eyed elephant, by guide Richard de Gouveia. Photographed at Sabi Sabi , Kruger Park, South Africa.  There are few records of blue-eyed elephants. This seems to be an effect of partial albinism, where some residual pigmentation has remained. (sabisabi.com)

Blue-eyed elephant, by guide Richard de Gouveia. Photographed at Sabi Sabi , Kruger Park, South Africa. There are few records of blue-eyed elephants. This seems to be an effect of partial albinism, where some residual pigmentation has remained. (sabisabi.com)

 

“We should preserve every scrap of biodiversity as priceless while we learn to use it and come to understand what it means to humanity.” E. O. Wilson

 

Lion on a zebra kill, by Alistair Swartz. Even an adult male lion must be vigilant while feeding: meal-time is also the perfect place for one’s enemies to lay an ambush. Photographed in the Kruger Park, South Africa.

Lion on a zebra kill, by Alistair Swartz. Even an adult male lion must be vigilant while feeding: meal-time is also the perfect place for one’s enemies to lay an ambush. Photographed in the Kruger Park, South Africa.

 

“Individual versus group selection results in a mix of altruism and selfishness, of virtue and sin, among the members of a society.” E. O. Wilson

 

Young buffalo grazing at sunset, by guide Calvin Kotze. Photographed at Ulusaba, Sabi Sands, South Africa. (ulusaba.com)

Young buffalo grazing at sunset, by guide Calvin Kotze. Photographed at Ulusaba, Sabi Sands, South Africa. (ulusaba.com)

 

“The human mind evolved to believe in the gods. It did not evolve to believe in biology.” E. O. Wilson

 

Moth wing, by Grayson Dicks. Photographed in the Kruger Park, South Africa. There is evidence that eyespots in moths and butterflies are an anti-predator adaptation, either to startle or scare off predators, or to deflect attacks away from vital body parts. Eyespots may also play a role in sexual selection. (nyamazanephotography.co.za)

Moth wing, by Grayson Dicks. Photographed in the Kruger Park, South Africa. There is evidence that eyespots in moths and butterflies are an anti-predator adaptation, either to startle or scare off predators, or to deflect attacks away from vital body parts. Eyespots may also play a role in sexual selection. (nyamazanephotography.co.za)

 

“Even as empiricism is winning the mind, transcendentalism continues to win the heart.” E. O. Wilson

 

White lions of the Timbavati, by guide Chad Cocking. Photographed at Motswari, Kruger Park, South Africa. Seeing these white lions in the wild was a childhood dream come true, but sitting at a waterhole one afternoon waiting for them to come and drink, and then having them line-up so perfectly was more than I could ever have wished for! (motswari.com)

White lions of the Timbavati, by guide Chad Cocking. Photographed at Motswari, Kruger Park, South Africa. Seeing these white lions in the wild was a childhood dream come true, but sitting at a waterhole one afternoon waiting for them to come and drink, and then having them line-up so perfectly was more than I could ever have wished for! (motswari.com)

 

“The education of women is the best way to save the environment.” E. O. Wilson

 

Lion’s leap, by guide Brendon Cremer. Photographed at Duba Plains, Okavango, Botswana. “We photographed this young sub-adult together with the rest of the pride shortly after we found them finishing off the remains of a lechwe they must have killed during the night. The pride was moving through the network of open plains and the ever increasing water channels that a filling daily as the flood waters arrive in the delta. This afforded us some great photographic opportunities such as this one as the pride jumped one by one over some of the narrower deeper channels.” (brendoncremerphotography/ outdoorphoto.co.za)

Lion’s leap, by guide Brendon Cremer. Photographed at Duba Plains, Okavango, Botswana. “We photographed this young sub-adult together with the rest of the pride shortly after we found them finishing off the remains of a lechwe they must have killed during the night. The pride was moving through the network of open plains and the ever increasing water channels that a filling daily as the flood waters arrive in the delta. This afforded us some great photographic opportunities such as this one as the pride jumped one by one over some of the narrower deeper channels.” (brendoncremerphotography/ outdoorphoto.co.za)

 

“Sometimes a concept is baffling not because it is profound but because it is wrong.” E. O. Wilson

 

Knee-deep, by Dana Allen. If you are a Red Lechwe (Kobus leche) the flood waters of the Okavango are your friend. Not only do these antelope thrive on aquatic plant species but the knee-deep marshy water provides them with excellent protection from predators who are unable to match their speed and agility in this aquatic environment. (photosafari-africa.net)

Knee-deep, by Dana Allen. If you are a Red Lechwe (Kobus leche) the flood waters of the Okavango are your friend. Not only do these antelope thrive on aquatic plant species but the knee-deep marshy water provides them with excellent protection from predators who are unable to match their speed and agility in this aquatic environment. (photosafari-africa.net)

 

“Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.” E. O. Wilson

 

Inquisitive chimp, by Andy Biggs. Photographed in the  Mahale Mountains National Park, Tanzania. (andybiggs.com)

Inquisitive chimp, by Andy Biggs. Photographed in the Mahale Mountains National Park, Tanzania. (andybiggs.com)

 

“Competing is intense among humans, and within a group, selfish individuals always win. But in contests between groups, groups of altruists always beat groups of selfish individuals.” E. O. Wilson

 

A new generation, by Brendon Cremer. “A new generation of African jacana feed along a water lilly bank on the Chobe River, Botswana.” (brendoncremerphotography/ outdoorphoto.co.za)

A new generation, by Brendon Cremer. “A new generation of African jacana feed along a water lilly bank on the Chobe River, Botswana.” (brendoncremerphotography/ outdoorphoto.co.za)

 

“Every year, my brother (Chris Boyes), Pete (“the Nare”) Hugo, Giles (“Prince William”) Trevethick and I (Dr Steve Boyes) cross the Okavango Delta, top to bottom, on mokoros (dug-out canoes) to survey the distribution and abundance of wetland birds, advocate for World Heritage Status, and share this amazing wilderness with accompanying scientists, explorers and special guests. My wife, Dr Kirsten Wimberger, joined us for the first time this year. No one will forget what happened on the 2012 expedition…”

See: http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2012/07/26/bush-boyes-on-expedition-okavango-wetland-bird-survey/

In 2013, we are embarking on the Okavango River Expedition. This will be a 1,750km odyssey down the Okavango River from the source near Huambo (Angola) all the way down the catchment, across the Caprivi Strip (Namibia), and into Botswana to cross the Okavango Delta via one of our planet’s last untouched wilderness areas. Our objective is to support the Okavango World Heritage Project and achieve UNESCO World Heritage Status for the Okavango Delta and the entire catchment. See: http://www.okavangofilm.com/

 

“Like” the Bush Boyes page and stand a chance to WIN one of two amazing Citizen watches… Go to: http://www.facebook.com/bushboyes

 

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Comments

  1. Wendy Hawkins
    South Africa
    October 6, 2013, 6:52 am

    These are all fantastic! Congratulations to Brendon – well done young man :) and all the other photographers too.

  2. Vinsen Muliadi
    Yogyakarta, Indonesia
    June 30, 2013, 10:25 pm

    Awesome.. Thanks for sharing..

  3. Tracey Robinson
    Canada
    June 30, 2013, 10:48 am

    Gorgeous photographs………Awesome!!!!!!

  4. Abu Faisal
    Middle East
    June 27, 2013, 2:04 pm

    Gorgeous life better than our human wild life

  5. Ashly
    CN
    June 23, 2013, 12:01 am

    Fabulous!Good job!

  6. wushan
    TIANJIN MARITIME COLLGE
    June 22, 2013, 11:48 pm

    NO

  7. Samir Desani
    Bhavnagar, India.
    June 21, 2013, 12:35 am

    Stunning shots ever!!!!

  8. sarwat
    egypt,cairo
    June 20, 2013, 8:36 am

    very nice,with fine impression