There’s nothing like that feeling of being on safari. So while tying up travel details can be stressful at times, we know that incredible experiences await at our favourite lodges and wildlife reserves. And afterwards, when our clients return home, we love opening an email to find safari stories and photographs from journeys that we put together.
These photos, however, are too good not to share. Hugh Urbantke has travelled with Giltedge Africa several times, and his growing collection of wildlife photographs just keeps getting better and better! Here are 10 of his photographs, captured on safaris in Southern and East Africa.
Londolozi Game Reserve, Sabi Sands (South Africa)
Londolozi, in South Africa’s Sabi Sands, is known for its extraordinary leopard sightings. In many reserves, you’re lucky if you catch a brief glimpse of this elusive big cat as it slinks silently away. Which makes these photos all the more wonderful. Just look at how relaxed the Tamboti 4:3 Female is and how incredible to see that leopard cub in a tree.
Tortilis Camp, Amboseli National Park (Kenya)
Hugh’s photograph below perfectly captures Amboseli National Park. One of Kenya’s smaller reserves, Amboseli covers a diverse range of landscapes but the most dramatic scenery of all is the view of Kilimanjaro. Although in Tanzania, Mount Kili can clearly be seen in the background as a herd of elephant wander across the sun-soaked plains.
Amboseli’s speciality is elephants. The park protects over 1,500 elephants including some of Africa’s largest tuskers. These open plains are also classic cheetah country, and in the photo below you can see two cheetah brothers climbing a fallen tree for a better view out over the grasslands. Photographed at Tortilis Camp.
Entim Camp, Masai Mara (Kenya)
Entim Camp has a prime location overlooking the Mara River. When the great migration is passing through the northern Masai Mara (around August to October) this tented camp is about as close to the action as you can get! Hugh’s wildlife photographs include action-packed river crossings, but I just love this pic (and comical caption) of the zebra and wildebeest herds grazing the plains.
The Masai Mara offers great year-round game viewing, but wildlife numbers swell with the arrival of the migration. Along with the herds, you’re sure to have good sightings of predators and scavengers too (there’s plenty of food about!). The above photo of two lionesses has that beautiful soft lighting that really gives the feeling of being on safari. And I can sense the story behind these vultures, sitting on the sidelines waiting for their turn to feast.
Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Virunga Volcanoes (Rwanda)
Spending time with mountain gorillas is one of those bucket list wildlife experiences. The hour spent in their company is an hour you’ll always remember. Just take a look at the expressions captured in these photographs: the protective gaze of the great silverback male and wide-eyed curiosity of a gorilla youngster. Photographed while staying at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge.
Serengeti Pioneer Camp, South Central Serengeti (Tanzania)
I struggled to keep this photography post to just 10 images, as I kept discovering new favourites. So yes, for anyone counting, this is number 11. But I had to end off with this cute little cub and his ‘Fierceness in the making’ caption – photographed at Serengeti Pioneer Camp.
Banner image: “Plains zebra” – Serengeti Pioneer Camp
Photography by: Hugh Urbantke
Written by: Sandra Mallinson
Giltedge Travel Consultant: Rhynhardt Naurattel