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Top 25 Photographs from the Wilderness #16

We are rediscovering that only through sharing will we save this magnificent planet. Social media gives us the ability to share photographs, thoughts, ideas, and knowledge almost instantaneously with powerful effects. A great example of this is National Geographic’s “The Great Nature Project”. This is a worldwide celebration of our diverse planet through photographs submitted by people around the world. WE must all participate by tag all photograph uploads of plants and animals #GreatNature Become part of a Guinness World Record attempt to upload the largest-ever online photo album of nature photographs. The Great Nature Project is part of a new age of exploration by millions of people around the world with cameras and instruments gathering important data and research for a better world.

Guides, rangers, researchers, ecotourists, photographers, artists and conservationists around the world apply themselves everyday to sharing, studying, photographing, writing about 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 splendour of the wilderness to as many people as possible around the world.

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.

 

Lion pride feeding, by guide Greg McCall-Peat. All love is lost when it comes to the pride’s dining table. Photographed in Balule, Kruger Park, South Africa.
Lion pride feeding, by guide Greg McCall-Peat. All love is lost when it comes to the pride’s dining table. Photographed in Balule, Kruger Park, South Africa.

 

In the words of Aldo Leopold: “Wilderness is a resource which can shrink but not grow… Creation of new wilderness in the full sense of the word is impossible.” Wilderness is connected to eternity by an unbroken chain of billions of events over millions of years. Cataclysms have wiped out most large terrestrial life on earth before. The mass extinction underway at present is faster than ever before. The remaining natural habitat is now, for the first time, ring-fenced by human development. Most forests and grasslands cannot migrate over thousands of years in reaction to climatic changes. They are trapped and vulnerable to disturbance. We are going to lose millions of species in the next few decades as we approach a tipping point. In the next 10-15 years we will lose our last true wilderness areas and never see them again. We would have to go to Mars to find terrestrial wilderness…

 

“Unless you respect the earth, you destroy it.”  -  Oren Lyons, Onondaga chief -

 

Misty morning, by Ken and Michelle Dyball. Topi and plains zebra survey their surroundings. Photographed in the Masai Mara, Kenya (purenaturesafaris.com)
Misty morning, by Ken and Michelle Dyball. Topi and plains zebra survey their surroundings. Photographed in the Masai Mara, Kenya (purenaturesafaris.com)

 

Landscapes maintained by free-living wildlife populations have a heavenly character to them at dawn and dusk. Sunrise and sunsets seem more alive with color and vibrance. Nature appears to shine as it captivates the imagination and provisions rich bounty. A living planet without such wild places is in decline.

 

Lion eye, by Philip Baertschi (philipbaertschi.ch)
Lion eye, by Philip Baertschi (philipbaertschi.ch)

 

Know that he has the ability to hear your heart beat. He can smell your hormones and hear you breathing. He is absolutely focussed on you, and he has been aware of you for longer than you have been aware of him.

 

Blue wildebeest, by Ken and Michelle Dyball. Photographed in the Masai Mara, Kenya (purenaturesafaris.com)
Blue wildebeest, by Ken and Michelle Dyball. Photographed in the Masai Mara, Kenya (purenaturesafaris.com)

 

Perception of wilderness by the human mind is integral to our interaction with it. At night when we dream we are practicing for real-life experiences in the wilderness.

 

Golden yawn, by guide Brendon Cremer. “The pride began to wake and survey the area for the buffalo herds that were a little distance away on the horizon. The fresh morning together with the rising sun produced some great natural backlighting”. Photographed at Duba Plains, Okavango Delta, Botswana. (brendoncremer.co.za/ outdoorphoto.co.za).
Golden yawn, by guide Brendon Cremer. “The pride began to wake and survey the area for the buffalo herds that were a little distance away on the horizon. The fresh morning together with the rising sun produced some great natural backlighting”. Photographed at Duba Plains, Okavango Delta, Botswana. (brendoncremer.co.za/ outdoorphoto.co.za).

 

In the morning the lions go to bed to haunt our dreams that night…

 

Green eyes, by guide Keith Connelly. Photographed at Motswari, Timbavati, South Africa (motswari.com)
Green eyes, by guide Keith Connelly. Photographed at Motswari, Timbavati, South Africa (motswari.com)

 

Leopards have managed to remain invisible on a rapidly developing continent. Habituated leopards are the ambassadors of thousands of their kin hidden in the remaining forests and mountains that can still support them.

 

Quiver tree forest by guide Kyle de Nobrega. Quiver trees are a rare and ancient species of tree found mostly in the arid parts of Namibia and South Africa. The San people used their branches for quivers, hence the name.  (tswalu.com/ inthestixx.com)
Quiver tree forest by guide Kyle de Nobrega. Quiver trees are a rare and ancient species of tree found mostly in the arid parts of Namibia and South Africa. The San people used their branches for quivers, hence the name. (tswalu.com/ inthestixx.com)

 

It is not hard to understand why the wilderness is the birthplace of all religions. The stars, the grandeur, the peace…

 

Lion splash, by guide Brendon Cremer. “We were very fortunate to witness some of the great interactions between the lions and buffalo that Duba has become so well know for. Early one morning we saw a young lioness charge back through the water towards a buffalo herd as she saw a young calf lagging behind, unfortunately for her some of the herd bulls spoiled her attempt and kept her at a safe distance. Photographed at Duba Plains, Okavango Delta, Botswana.  (brendoncremer.co.za/ outdoorphoto.co.za)
Lion splash, by guide Brendon Cremer. “We were very fortunate to witness some of the great interactions between the lions and buffalo that Duba has become so well know for. Early one morning we saw a young lioness charge back through the water towards a buffalo herd as she saw a young calf lagging behind, unfortunately for her some of the herd bulls spoiled her attempt and kept her at a safe distance. Photographed at Duba Plains, Okavango Delta, Botswana.
(brendoncremer.co.za/ outdoorphoto.co.za)

 

“Swamp Cats” of the Okavango Delta…

 

Fiery stallion, by guide Tristan Dicks. Plains zebra photographed at dawn at Lion Sands, Sabi Sands, South Africa (nyamazanephotography.co.za)
Fiery stallion, by guide Tristan Dicks. Plains zebra photographed at dawn at Lion Sands, Sabi Sands, South Africa (nyamazanephotography.co.za)

 

Several massive zebra migrations have been crushed by hunting, fences and poor water management in the last 200 years. The millions of zebra in South Africa and central Botswana that used to migrate between summer and winter feeding grounds have all disappeared. There is now no chance of bringing those herds back.

 

Young sprinters, by Ken and Michelle Dyball. Photographed in the Masai Mara, Kenya (purenaturesafaris.com)
Young sprinters, by Ken and Michelle Dyball. Photographed in the Masai Mara, Kenya (purenaturesafaris.com)

 

Cheetahs have been pushed to the periphery of protected area in Africa or forced to hunt on adjacent stock farms by more dominant predators like lion and hyena occupying conservation areas. We need to make sure that landscapes are protected and managed to accommodate endangered species like cheetah, the fastest runner on earth.

 

Aardvark, by guide Etienne Oosthuizen. In the winter months the aardvark in the Karoo become more active during the day time, coinciding with the activity of their termite prey. Photographed at Samara, Karoo, South Africa.  (samara.com / photographicafrica.com)
Aardvark, by guide Etienne Oosthuizen. In the winter months the aardvark in the Karoo become more active during the day time, coinciding with the activity of their termite prey. Photographed at Samara, Karoo, South Africa.
(samara.com / photographicafrica.com)

 

You need to refocus your eyes and then you see the aardvark… Every time I cannot believe my eyes.

 

Lion and hyenas, by guide Matthew Copham (safarifootprints.com)
Lion and hyenas, by guide Matthew Copham (safarifootprints.com)

 

The age-old conflict between lion and hyena still plays out in many protected areas in Africa. Every year poisoning and shooting destroys prides and clans, adding to the annual decline towards population collapse across their distributional range.

 

Hyena cubs, by guide Tristan Dicks. Photographed at Lion Sands, Sabi Sands, South Africa (nyamazanephotography.co.za)
Hyena cubs, by guide Tristan Dicks. Photographed at Lion Sands, Sabi Sands, South Africa (nyamazanephotography.co.za)

 

With advanced problem-solving abilities and complex social structure hyena have been able to dominate the African savanna for millions of years.

 

Nectar wars, by guide James Kydd. Two male malachite sunbirds battle for feeding rights on a flowering Karoo boer-bean tree. Photographed at Kwandwe, Eastern Cape, South Africa (kwandwe.com/ indritours.com)
Nectar wars, by guide James Kydd. Two male malachite sunbirds battle for feeding rights on a flowering Karoo boer-bean tree. Photographed at Kwandwe, Eastern Cape, South Africa (kwandwe.com/ indritours.com)

 

“If all the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beasts also happens to man. All things are connected.”  – Chief Seattle -

 

Stealing from a leopard, by guide Calvin Kotze. An African wild dog launches itself at the remains of an nyala stashed by a leopard in a marula tree. Photographed at Ulusaba, Sabi Sands, South Africa. (ulusaba.com)
Stealing from a leopard, by guide Calvin Kotze. An African wild dog launches itself at the remains of an nyala stashed by a leopard in a marula tree. Photographed at Ulusaba, Sabi Sands, South Africa. (ulusaba.com)

 

“In the silence of the woods, you will not be alone.”  – Chief Seattle -

 

Elusive feline, by Ken and Michelle Dyball. The Caracal’s name is derived from the Turkish words kara kulak, which means "black ear". These hunters are famed for their ability to jump seemingly impossible heights in pursuit of birds. Photographed in the Masai Mara, Kenya (purenaturesafaris.com)
Elusive feline, by Ken and Michelle Dyball. The Caracal’s name is derived from the Turkish words kara kulak, which means “black ear”. These hunters are famed for their ability to jump seemingly impossible heights in pursuit of birds. Photographed in the Masai Mara, Kenya (purenaturesafaris.com)

 

“Nature is so powerful, so strong ….  It takes you to a place within yourself.”  -  Annie Leibovitz  -

 

Golden eagle ready to strike, by Lennart Hessel . Photographed in Kalvträsk, Västerbottens Län, Swedenjpg (lensman.se)
Golden eagle ready to strike, by Lennart Hessel . Photographed in Kalvträsk, Västerbottens Län, Swedenjpg (lensman.se)

 

“In Wildness is the preservation of the World.” – Henry David Thoreau -

 

Foxing around, by guide James Haskins. Cape fox pup playing in the Central Kalahari, Botswana. (wildlandsafaris.com)
Foxing around, by guide James Haskins. Cape fox pup playing in the Central Kalahari, Botswana. (wildlandsafaris.com)

 

“Wisdom begins in wonder.”  – Socrates -

 

Meerkat kill by guide Kyle de Nobrega.  “The atmosphere was calm and serene while we stood facing the rising Kalahari sun and watching meerkats pop their heads out of their burrow. However this calm was violently broken by the arrival of an African wild cat. It was so well concealed that not even the meerkats had noticed it. For the first few seconds I was totally confused as everything happened so fast. It took a bit of time for me to realize what was going on. It is hard to describe the feeling of excitement and adrenaline as the sequence unfolded in front of me (a mere five metres away). The hidden killer came from a nearby bush where it had been patiently waiting for the right moment to strike.” This incredibly rare image was photographed at Tswalu, Kalahari, South Africa.(tswalu.com/ inthestixx.com)
Meerkat kill by guide Kyle de Nobrega. “The atmosphere was calm and serene while we stood facing the rising Kalahari sun and watching meerkats pop their heads out of their burrow. However this calm was violently broken by the arrival of an African wild cat. It was so well concealed that not even the meerkats had noticed it. For the first few seconds I was totally confused as everything happened so fast. It took a bit of time for me to realize what was going on. It is hard to describe the feeling of excitement and adrenaline as the sequence unfolded in front of me (a mere five metres away). The hidden killer came from a nearby bush where it had been patiently waiting for the right moment to strike.” This incredibly rare image was photographed at Tswalu, Kalahari, South Africa.(tswalu.com/ inthestixx.com)

 

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”  – Marcel Proust -

 

Rain, by Marina Cano (marinacano.com)
Rain, by Marina Cano (marinacano.com)

 

“Allowing nature to take over proved easier than I imagined.”  – David Masumoto -

 

Lion crossing, by guide Marlon du Toit. A lioness with very young cubs cross quickly over the Sand River, hoping to avoid the attention of crocodiles. Photographed at Singita, Sabi Sands, South Africa. (singita.com)

 

“In big wilderness we have a chance to seek answers to questions we have not yet learned to ask.”  – David Brower -

 

Morning grazing, by guide Calvin Kotze. A plains zebra grazes on top of a termite mound as the sun rises. Photographed at Ulusaba, Sabi Sands, South Africa. (ulusaba.com)
Morning grazing, by guide Calvin Kotze. A plains zebra grazes on top of a termite mound as the sun rises. Photographed at Ulusaba, Sabi Sands, South Africa. (ulusaba.com)

 

“Now I know what it is to sit enthroned amid the clouds of sunset.”   -  Rudyard Kipling -

 

Serval kitten, by Ken and Michelle Dyball. Photographed in the Masai Mara, Kenya (purenaturesafaris.com)
Serval kitten, by Ken and Michelle Dyball. Photographed in the Masai Mara, Kenya (purenaturesafaris.com)

 

“Everything natural  -  every flower, tree, and animal – has important lessons to teach us. Stop, Look, and Listen.”  -  Eckhart Tolle -

 

Struggle for life, by guide Matthew Copham. Two cheetahs battle to pull down what for them is an enormous prey item. Photographed in the Serengeti, Tanzania. (safarifootprints.com)
Struggle for life, by guide Matthew Copham. Two cheetahs battle to pull down what for them is an enormous prey item. Photographed in the Serengeti, Tanzania. (safarifootprints.com)

 

“In the end, our society will be defined not only by what we create but by what we refuse to destroy.”  -  John Sawhill  -

 

Wild eyes, by guide Morkel Erasmus. Alert leopard photographed in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. (morkelerasmus.com/ wild-eye.co.za)
Wild eyes, by guide Morkel Erasmus. Alert leopard photographed in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. (morkelerasmus.com/ wild-eye.co.za)

 

“Nature is so powerful, so strong ….  It takes you to a place within yourself.”  -  Annie Leibovitz  -

ODP banner big copy

 

“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

Comments

  1. Karen S Ross
    Kenya
    October 13, 2013, 3:05 pm

    Great selection Steve … thanks for sharing and inspiring!

  2. ernest Childs
    United States
    October 13, 2013, 11:36 am

    Very good.Reminds me of what needs to be cared for.

  3. hadi
    iran
    October 13, 2013, 3:01 am

    i enjoy,your group are really professional,thanks a lot

  4. Leenoh
    October 13, 2013, 2:29 am

    Thx for letting me see these beautiful photos. I appreciate your great work sincerly.

  5. Dativa Moshi
    London BBK university of London
    October 8, 2013, 8:13 pm

    Helpful meaning and example of Wilderness,please send more photos.

  6. David Mas Masumoto
    Del Rey, California USA
    October 7, 2013, 6:06 pm

    I’m honored to be a part of these images and photographs – and the wild that exists in our world and in a full life.
    David Mas Masumoto
    author and organic farmer