In October 2013 I went on a photographic safari in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia, staying at Lion Camp. The safari was run by Patrick Bentley , a…
1 The start of the highlight of my safari: a female leopard brings down a female impala. With Patrick and Baswell's skill, we were fortunate enough to witness this kill and then keep in touch with the leopard for a couple of days afterwards.
2 A frame taken from a video clip - I like the play of light and dark.
3 The morning after she killed the impala, this female leopard moved her. Thanks to Patrick, we were able to track her.
4 The morning after she killed the impala, this female leopard moved her. Thanks to Patrick, we were able to track her.
5 The female leopard - impala out of shot. This is one of my favourite photos.
6 Having a break.
7 The female leopard and her impala kill, now in a tree.
8 Female leopard in tree; impala out of shot.
9 Although she was relaxed with our presence most of the time, she did take exception at one point, whereupon we left chop chop pronto.
10 Female leopard in the early morning light, the night after we saw her kill an impala - just visible to her right. You can just make out a cut on her left knee, inflicted by the impala's hoof. It didn't seem to trouble her at all but was a few inches long and deep enough to smart a tad.
Such a beautiful animal, and an indescribable experience really, to see her in her natural habitat. Just the light alone was a photographer's dream, never mind the subject matter. Thanks Patrick Bentley.
11 Not the best of photos as she caught me by surprise as she ran past us from behind, so I was pretty chuffed to even get her in the frame. I'd never had a wild leopard run past at full speed before!
12 Not the best of photos as she caught me by surprise as she ran past us from behind, so I was pretty chuffed to even get her in the frame. I'd never had a wild leopard run past at full speed before!
13 Full belly. You can almost hear her purring... Getting a clear shot like this was entirely down to Patrick's skill as most of the time you either couldn't see a leopard at all, or maybe just an eye or the tip of a tale through the vegetation. So if you only see photos like this, you could get completely the wrong impression about seeing these elusive predators.
14 How innocuous this looks...
15 My favourite leopard
16 I love the light here
17 One of the three newest editions to The Hollywood Pride. At this stage, the mother had not introduced them to the pride.
18 The latest lion cubs to join The Hollywood Pride.
19 Mother and cubs, Hollywood Pride.
20 We spent a lot of time watching this mother with her three cubs over several days. What a privilege. Just before I left, she introduced them to the pride - fingers crossed they survive the rains when prey disperses and is harder to find.
21 Nap time
22 Another pair of cubs, playing.
24 At full res you can see just how sharp that tongue is.
25 Male lion in silhouette.
26 And again
27 Mother and cub
28 A Southern Carmine Bee Eater - a beautiful bird and wonderfully aerobatic.
29 Southern Carmine Bea Eater
30 Little Bea Eater
33 Fish Eagle
34 Fish Eagle
35 I loved the way the buffalos always looked so miserable - proper Victor Meldrew.
36 A Thornicroft's giraffe, doing an ostrich.
37 Thornicroft's giraffes.
38 The light was just glorious; the wildlife prolific.
39 An elephant, backed by hippos and crocodiles. A glorious sunset by the river. The rains will be on their way in November, and the river will burst its banks.
40 The wonderfully serene Ebony Grove - spot the Kudu.
41 Puku in the early morning sun.
42 Nose and toes.
44 A yellow baboon, silhouetted as the sun gets low.