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Top 25 Photographs from the Wilderness #20

“Okavango”, “Serengeti”, “Masai Mara”, “Zambezi”, “Kruger” and “Kafue”. These are some of the wildest places left and have hidden within them “wilderness” that can take those who visit it back in time on a powerful journey that explores our place on this blue-and-green planet. In this amazing collection of photographs is a glimpse into the awesome power of “wildness”, “the wild” and the part of us and nature that can never be predicted, controlled or overcome. In these last places on Earth, modern human beings are the refugees seeking sanctuary from the fast pace and frenetic activity of our daily lives. Wild places will always bring you firmly back into the present moment along with a mix of hormones that make us feel alive. I have guided people in all of these enigmatic destinations and have not yet met a person that were not struck silent by the inevitable and profound realisation that what makes our only planet so amazing is the beating heart of the wilderness, the source of the creativity, abundance and vibrance of life. The wilderness and these primordial landscapes are the birthplace of all religions. Every human being alive today should have their morals and belief systems rooted in a deep appreciation for the awesome power of the human mind in nature. In the coming decades we will dominate our last true wilderness area and lose those places that could have shown us how to persist for another 5,000 years and join species that have managed to fit in unchanged for generations.

We are rediscovering that only through sharing more, using less and caring about our actions will we save this magnificent planet. Social media gives us the ability to share photographs, thoughts, ideas, and knowledge almost instantaneously with powerful effect. 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. 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 Ranger Diaries website, and stand a chance of being featured in the “Top 25 Photographs from the Wilderness”! 

Elephant silhouette by guide Brendon Cremer. “An Elephant herd was feeding along the banks of the Chobe River at sunset. We sat there hoping one would stop a little and isolate itself from the rest of the herd which would make for a great silhouette opportunity, and our patience was rewarded.” Photographed on the Zambezi Voyager, Chobe River, Botswana. (brendoncremer.com/ outdoorphoto.co.za)
Elephant silhouette by guide Brendon Cremer. “An Elephant herd was feeding along the banks of the Chobe River at sunset. We sat there hoping one would stop a little and isolate itself from the rest of the herd which would make for a great silhouette opportunity, and our patience was rewarded.” Photographed on the Zambezi Voyager, Chobe River, Botswana. (brendoncremer.com/ outdoorphoto.co.za)

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

Caracals, by Ken and Michelle Dyball. A mother carcal and her almost fully grown cub. Photographed in the Masai Mara. (purenaturesafaris.com)
Caracals, by Ken and Michelle Dyball. A mother carcal and her almost fully grown cub. Photographed in the Masai Mara. (purenaturesafaris.com)

“Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.”
― Gary Snyder

Lion cub by Carole Deschuymere. Photographed at Mana Pools national Park, Zimbabwe. (carole-wildlife.com)
Lion cub by Carole Deschuymere. Photographed at Mana Pools national Park, Zimbabwe. (carole-wildlife.com)

“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.”
― Theodore Roosevelt

Zebra dust bath, by Ken and Michelle Dyball. Photographed in Tarangire National Park, Tanzania. (purenaturesafaris.com)
Zebra dust bath, by Ken and Michelle Dyball. Photographed in Tarangire National Park, Tanzania. (purenaturesafaris.com)

“If we kill off the wild, then we are killing a part of our souls.”
― Jane Goodall

Mother leopard and cub, by guide Keith Connelly. Photographed at Motswari, Timbavati, South Africa. (motswari.com)
Mother leopard and cub, by guide Keith Connelly. Photographed at Motswari, Timbavati, South Africa. (motswari.com)

“I really wonder what gives us the right to wreck this poor planet of ours.”
― Kurt Vonnegut

Gilded sapphire, by guide James Kydd. “Hummingbirds give me the impression of forest nymphys or fairies, appearing with their jewelled brilliance and presence and disappearing like magic.” Photographed at Refugio Ecologico Caiman, Pantanal, Brazil. (indritours.com)
Gilded sapphire, by guide James Kydd. “Hummingbirds give me the impression of forest nymphys or fairies, appearing with their jewelled brilliance and presence and disappearing like magic.” Photographed at Refugio Ecologico Caiman, Pantanal, Brazil. (indritours.com)

“The Holy Land is everywhere”
― Nicholas Black Elk

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

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

Tender care, by photographer Carole Deschuymere, photographed in the Masai Mara, Kenya (carole-wildlife.com)
Tender care, by photographer Carole Deschuymere, photographed in the Masai Mara, Kenya (carole-wildlife.com)

“The question is whether any civilization can wage relentless war on life without destroying itself, and without losing the right to be called civilized.”
― Rachel Carson

Serengeti pride, by guide Lee Whittam. “These were members of a larger pride that entertained us one afternoon in the rainy season in the southern Serengeti of Tanzania.” (essentialafrica.co.za)
Serengeti pride, by guide Lee Whittam. “These were members of a larger pride that entertained us one afternoon in the rainy season in the southern Serengeti of Tanzania.” (essentialafrica.co.za)

“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

Hippo attack, by Fred von Winkelmann. A mother hippo valiantly defends her calf from the attack of two male hippos. Photographed near Moremi, Botswana. (fredvonwinckelmannphotos.com)
Hippo attack, by Fred von Winkelmann. A mother hippo valiantly defends her calf from the attack of two male hippos. Photographed near Moremi, Botswana. (fredvonwinckelmannphotos.com)

“If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer; but if he spends his whole day as a spectulator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is esteemed an industrious and enterprising citizen.”
― Henry David Thoreau

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

“To those devoid of imagination a blank place on the map is a useless waste; to others, the most valuable part.”
― Aldo Leopold

Giraffe at sunset, by Mario Moreno. Photographed in the Kruger National Park, South Africa (mariomorenophotography.com)
Giraffe at sunset, by Mario Moreno. Photographed in the Kruger National Park, South Africa (mariomorenophotography.com)

“Man is a complex being: he makes deserts bloom – and lakes die.”
― Gil Scott-Heron

Double trouble, by guide Calvin Kotze. Photographed at Ulusaba, Sabi Sands, South Africa. (ulusaba.com)
Double trouble, by guide Calvin Kotze. Photographed at Ulusaba, Sabi Sands, South Africa. (ulusaba.com)

“Of all the questions which can come before this nation, short of the actual preservation of its existence in a great war, there is none which compares in importance with the great central task of leaving this land even a better land for our descendants than it is for us.”
― Theodore Roosevelt

Dung beetle, by Chad Wright. There are more than 5000 species of dung beetle in the world. Photographed in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. (chadwrightphotography.co.za)
Dung beetle, by Chad Wright. There are more than 5000 species of dung beetle in the world. Photographed in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. (chadwrightphotography.co.za)

“We are living on the planet as if we have another one to go to.”
― Terry Swearingen

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

“Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.”
― Jacques-Yves Cousteau

Hunting practice, by Fred von Winkelmann.  Photographed in the Kwai area, Botswana. (fredvonwinckelmannphotos.com)
Hunting practice, by Fred von Winkelmann. Photographed in the Kwai area, Botswana. (fredvonwinckelmannphotos.com)

“I think it is far more important to save one square mile of wilderness, anywhere, by any means, than to produce another book on the subject.”
― Edward Abbey

Greetings, by Alistair Swartz. African wild dogs are highly social and intelligent animals. They affectionately greet each other at the beginning of the day, pre-hunt, post-hunt, and returning from kills to feed the young. Photographed at Mana Pools National Park, South Africa.
Greetings, by Alistair Swartz. African wild dogs are highly social and intelligent animals. They affectionately greet each other at the beginning of the day, pre-hunt, post-hunt, and returning from kills to feed the young. Photographed at Mana Pools National Park, South Africa.

“Take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints!”
― Chief Seattle

Black rhinoceros, by photographer Lennart Hessel. This is the smaller and more endangered of the two African species. 2013 saw the biggest incidence of poaching in South Africa in modern times: over 600 rhinos were killed to feed the demand from China and Vietnam. Photographed in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. (lensman.se)
Black rhinoceros, by photographer Lennart Hessel. This is the smaller and more endangered of the two African species. 2013 saw the biggest incidence of poaching in South Africa in modern times: over 600 rhinos were killed to feed the demand from China and Vietnam. Photographed in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. (lensman.se)

“The truth is: the natural world is changing. And we are totally dependent on that world. It provides our food, water and air. It is the most precious thing we have and we need to defend it.”
― David Attenborough

Alert, by guide Brendon Cremer. “A lioness in an extremely alert pose, and with a determined look on her face, spots a small herd of gemsbok in the distance. Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa (brendoncremer.com)
Alert, by guide Brendon Cremer. “A lioness in an extremely alert pose, and with a determined look on her face, spots a small herd of gemsbok in the distance. Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa (brendoncremer.com)

“In conservation, the motto should always be ‘never say die’.”
― Gerald Durrell

Golden charge, by guide Keith Connelly. An elephant youngster trying out his scare tactics. Photographed at Motswari, Timbavati, South Africa (motswari.com)
Golden charge, by guide Keith Connelly. An elephant youngster trying out his scare tactics. Photographed at Motswari, Timbavati, South Africa (motswari.com)

“You maybe able to fool the voters, but not the atmosphere.”
― Donella H. Meadows

The life of meerkats, by guide Kyle de Nobrega. Photographed at Tswalu Kalahari, South Africa. (tswalu.com/ inthestixx.com)
The life of meerkats, by guide Kyle de Nobrega. Photographed at Tswalu Kalahari, South Africa. (tswalu.com/ inthestixx.com)

“That which we allow to exist, to flourish freely according to its own rhythms, is superior to anything our little hands create.”
― William Powers

Teacher and student, by Johan Siggesson. Photographed in the Masai Mara. (johansiggesson.com)
Teacher and student, by Johan Siggesson. Photographed in the Masai Mara. (johansiggesson.com)

“Our inability to think beyond our own species, or to be able to co-habit with other life forms in what is patently a massive collaborative quest for survival, is surely a malady that pervades the human soul.”
― Lawrence Anthony

Mythical, by guide Keith Connelly. The seldom seen ground pangolin photographed at Motswari, Timbavati, South Africa. (motswari.com)
Mythical, by guide Keith Connelly. The seldom seen ground pangolin photographed at Motswari, Timbavati, South Africa. (motswari.com)

“Life consists with wildness. The most alive is the wildest. Not yet subdued to man, its presence refreshes him.”

― Henry David Thoreau

The chase by Alistair Swartz. “No sooner had the attack on the hyena finished, when a few dogs broke from the pack and locked onto an impala ram that was browsing towards the edge of the flood plain. The speed and coordination was truly incredible to watch. The few dogs that were involved in the unrelenting chase herded the Impala towards the rest of the pack. The dogs pursued the impala to complete exhaustion. They then surrounded it and moved in for the kill. Being on foot twenty meters from a pack of wild dogs killing an impala is an experience that not many people will ever get to share.” Photographed at Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe.
The chase by Alistair Swartz. “No sooner had the attack on the hyena finished, when a few dogs broke from the pack and locked onto an impala ram that was browsing towards the edge of the flood plain. The speed and coordination was truly incredible to watch. The few dogs that were involved in the unrelenting chase herded the Impala towards the rest of the pack. The dogs pursued the impala to complete exhaustion. They then surrounded it and moved in for the kill. Being on foot twenty meters from a pack of wild dogs killing an impala is an experience that not many people will ever get to share.” Photographed at Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe.

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity…”

― John Muir

The elusive one, by guide Morkel Erasmus. I love that this is a truly wild leopard in one of the last truly wild places in Africa... It was over in a minute or two, but I will never forget the glimpse we had of this elusive and beautiful leopardess in Mana Pools, Zimbabwe. They are resident in the area but not often seen and very skittish. We spotted her under the canopy of a tree on the edge of a bed of reeds in the Zambezi river late one afternoon after the sun had set and we were on our way back to camp. She sat for a minute or two, gave us a fleeting glance, and disappeared into the reeds and out of sight. The light was at an absolute minimum so I opened my lens aperture wide and pushed the ISO to 7200. The Nikon D3s is amazing at high ISO settings and I was very pleased with how this came out. (morkelerasmus.com/ wild-eye.co.za)
The elusive one, by guide Morkel Erasmus. I love that this is a truly wild leopard in one of the last truly wild places in Africa… It was over in a minute or two, but I will never forget the glimpse we had of this elusive and beautiful leopardess in Mana Pools, Zimbabwe. They are resident in the area but not often seen and very skittish. We spotted her under the canopy of a tree on the edge of a bed of reeds in the Zambezi river late one afternoon after the sun had set and we were on our way back to camp. She sat for a minute or two, gave us a fleeting glance, and disappeared into the reeds and out of sight. The light was at an absolute minimum so I opened my lens aperture wide and pushed the ISO to 7200. The Nikon D3s is amazing at high ISO settings and I was very pleased with how this came out. (morkelerasmus.com/ wild-eye.co.za)

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”
― John Muir

Okavango-Blog-Title.jpg

The mission of the Okavango Wilderness Project is to secure the Okavango Delta and its vast untouched catchment in perpetuity. The film Okavango is a rallying point for the global community of stakeholders, government officials, researchers, activists, tourism operators, community members, conservationists and guides that support the protection of the Angolan catchment. Readers can help build up to our 8-week expedition over 1,000 miles down the length of the Okavango River in 2015 by sharing this epic, once-in-a-lifetime research and conservation expedition down the full length of the Okavango River through an abandoned wilderness into the Delta. — Steve Boyes.

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Comments

  1. victor adalla
    masai mara kenya
    February 24, 3:28 am

    i just love your shots they are so good when in the pay pay us a visit.