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Top 25 Photographs from the Wilderness #22

“As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves.” Mahatma Gandhi

Earlier this month many of us, delighting in the tradition of fresh starts, aligned the 1st of January with change in our lives. Some of us, with conviction, decided to cut sugar from our diets. Others saw the beginning of the Gregorian calendar as an opportunity for liberation from nicotine. Some chose unselfish goals that would positively affect the planet, like smiling more, eliminating a dependency on plastic, and committing to knowing exactly where the food we eat comes from.

Others, like National Geographic #Okavango15 expedition leader Dr. Steve Boyes, have decided that regardless of the day or the month, they will not rest until the Earth’s great wildernesses are afforded the protection they need.

You are reading this article because you love the wildlife on your planet. If everyone reading this committed to one small positive change they would make this year to our world, we might have over 100 000 positive changes…and that’s a good wave to ride.

Please share this with a loved one you think might appreciate it. Wishing you, your intentions, and your planet all the best for 2015.

Submit your best photographs from the wildest places to the Ranger Diaries website, and they may be featured in the “Top 25 Photographs from the Wilderness”.

Learn more about the Okavango Wilderness Project and the 700 mile National Geographic expedition along the length of the Okavango River here.

 

Dusty giant, by guide Daryl Dell. Photographed at Phinda, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
1. Dusty giant, by guide Daryl Dell. Photographed at Phinda, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

“The domination of nature leads to the domination of human nature.” Edward Abbey

“Being caught out in the middle of nowhere in a rain storm is usually no fun, but it also makes for some very unique images.” Photographed at Duba Plains, Okavango Delta, Botswana.
2. Storm, by guide Brendon Cremer. “Being caught out in the middle of nowhere in a rain storm is usually no fun, but it also makes for some very unique images.” Photographed at Duba Plains, Okavango Delta, Botswana.

“I am indeed a king, because I know how to rule myself.” Pietro Aretino

3. Rain dance, by guide Ross Couper. Burchell’s zebra stallions challenge each other in a downpour.“A sway of power is attained with a leverage of height.” Photographed at Singita, Sabi Sands, South Africa.
3. Rain dance, by guide Ross Couper. Burchell’s zebra stallions challenge each other in a downpour.“A sway of power is attained with a leverage of height.” Photographed at Singita, Sabi Sands, South Africa.

“When the Pleiades and the wind in the grass are no longer a part of the human spirit, a part of very flesh and bone, man becomes, as it were a kind of cosmic outlaw, having neither the completeness and integrity of the animal nor the birthright of a true humanity.” Henry Beston

4. The last tango, by Alex Kirichko. A leopard grapples with an impala ram, focused on trying to make as clean a kill as possible. Not only does a throat grip close off the wind pipe and possibly pierce the jugular, but it prevents the impala from making a distress call that would attract competitors like lions, hyenas and other leopards. Photographed in the Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana.
4. The last tango, by Alex Kirichko. A leopard grapples with an impala ram, focused on trying to make as clean a kill as possible. Not only does a throat grip close off the wind pipe and possibly pierce the jugular, but it prevents the impala from making a distress call that would attract competitors like lions, hyenas and other leopards. Photographed in the Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana.

“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” Abraham Lincoln

5. Crocodile feast by Marc Mol. “Taken from a microlight flight over the Luangwa River in Zambia's South Luangwa National Park we saw approximately 140 crocodiles feasting on a dead hippo as the relentless dry season lingered on.”
5. Crocodile feast by Marc Mol. “Taken from a microlight flight over the Luangwa River in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park we saw approximately 140 crocodiles feasting on a dead hippo as the relentless dry season lingered on.”

“If we study Nature attentively in its great evolutions as in its minutest works, we cannot fail to recognize the possibility of enchantment — giving to that word its exact significance.” Honoré de Balzac

Elephant landscape, by Mario Moreno “An elephant surveys the plains of the Mara North Conservancy against a moody sky, the tree giving us sense of scale.”
Elephant landscape, by Mario Moreno “An elephant surveys the plains of the Mara North Conservancy against a moody sky, the tree giving us sense of scale.”

“Solitude is the great teacher, and to learn its lessons you must pay attention to it.”  Deepak Chopra

7. Sunset cheetah by Marc Mol. “The sun had set and still this female cheetah was pursuing Thompsons gazelle, albiet unsuccessfully. She did provide a beautiful subject against the evening sky.” Photographed at Ndutu, Northern Tanzaniza.
7. Sunset cheetah by Marc Mol. “The sun had set and still this female cheetah was pursuing Thompsons gazelle, albiet unsuccessfully. She did provide a beautiful subject against the evening sky.” Photographed at Ndutu, Northern Tanzaniza.

“Whether we and our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do.” Wendell Berry

7. Stormy struggle, by guide Keith Connelly.
7. Stormy struggle, by guide Keith Connelly.

“One of the hardest lessons we have to learn in this life, and one that many persons never learn, is to see the divine, the celestial, the pure, in the common, the near at hand – to see that heaven lies about us here in this world.” John Burroughs

9. Eagle on the hunt, by guide Brendon Cremer. “An African fish eagle snatches a fish from the Chobe River.” Photographed on the Zambezi Voyager, Chobe, Botswana.
9. Eagle on the hunt, by guide Brendon Cremer. “An African fish eagle snatches a fish from the Chobe River.” Photographed on the Zambezi Voyager, Chobe, Botswana.

“Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.” Anne Frank

10. Dust and giants, by Alistair Swartz. African wild dog and African elephant, photographed at Mana Pools, Zimbabwe.
10. Dust and giants, by Alistair Swartz. African wild dog and African elephant, photographed at Mana Pools, Zimbabwe.

“A human being is a part of the whole, called by us “Universe”, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.” Albert Einstein

11. Sand forest kudu, by guide Daryl Dell. Photographed at Phinda, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa.
11. Sand forest kudu, by guide Daryl Dell. Photographed at Phinda, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa.

“Remember that when you leave this earth you can take with you nothing that you have received, only what you have given” Francis of Assisi 

12. Cheetah hunt, by Ken and Michelle Dyball. A cheetah mother leaves her two cubs hidden in the grass and sprints after a young topi, a spectacular race for survival between two of Africa’s fastest land animals, the cheetah reaching speeds of up to 75 mph. Photographed in the Masai Mara, Kenya.
12. Cheetah hunt, by Ken and Michelle Dyball. A cheetah mother leaves her two cubs hidden in the grass and sprints after a young topi, a spectacular race for survival between two of Africa’s fastest land animals, the cheetah reaching speeds of up to 75 mph. Photographed in the Masai Mara, Kenya.

“The spectacle of Nature is always new, for she is always renewing the spectators. Life is her most exquisite invention; and death is her expert contrivance to get plenty of life.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

13. Drenched, by guide Ross Couper. “This young male leopard was resting on top of a termite mound in the hope that the warthog inside the burrow of the mound would move out, unbeknown to the leopards presence. After sitting in the rain for some time on top of the mound not moving, the young leopard decided that his patience had not rewarded him with a meal, so with a quick shake to rid himself of the water that had soaked into his coat he moved off into the cover of some thick bush. Photographed at Singita, Sabi Sands, South Africa.
13. Drenched, by guide Ross Couper. “This young male leopard was resting on top of a termite mound in the hope that the warthog inside the burrow of the mound would move out, unbeknown to the leopards presence. After sitting in the rain for some time on top of the mound not moving, the young leopard decided that his patience had not rewarded him with a meal, so with a quick shake to rid himself of the water that had soaked into his coat he moved off into the cover of some thick bush. Photographed at Singita, Sabi Sands, South Africa.

“Nature is ever making signs to us, she is ever whispering to us the beginnings of her secrets; the scientific man must ever be on the watch, ready at once to lay hold of Nature’s hint, however small, to listen to her whisper, however low.” Sir Michael Foster

14. Elephant shades, by Fred von Wincklemann. Photographed in the Khwai region of Botswana
14. Elephant shades, by Fred von Wincklemann. Photographed in the Khwai region of Botswana

” All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child.” Marie Curie

15. Pride tree, by Alex Kirichko. Lions, although not the best climbers, will sometimes take to the trees. In the branches there is sometimes a gentle breeze, cooler temperatures, less flies, and a fantastic vantage. Photographed in the Serengeti, Tanzania.
15. Pride tree, by Alex Kirichko. Lions, although not the best climbers, will sometimes take to the trees. In the branches there is sometimes a gentle breeze, cooler temperatures, less flies, and a fantastic vantage. Photographed in the Serengeti, Tanzania.

“In Nature we never see anything isolated, but everything in connection with something else which is before it, beside it, under it, and over it.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

16. Sunrise tranquility, by Alex Kirichko. “Early after sunrise we found the Olasati pride bringing their cubs down to the lake’s edge to wash down a blue wildebeest they had killed the previous night.” Photographed in Ndutu,  Northern Tanzaniza
16. Sunrise tranquility, by  Marc Mol. “Early after sunrise we found the Olasati pride bringing their cubs down to the lake’s edge to wash down a blue wildebeest they had killed the previous night.” Photographed in Ndutu, Northern Tanzaniza

“As long as people inquire, they will find opportunities to know more upon these topics than those who have gone before them, so inexhaustibly rich is nature in the innermost diversity of her treasures of beauty, order and intelligence.” Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz

17. Giraffe and oxpeckers, by Ken and Michelle Dyball. Photographed in the Masai Mara, Kenya.
17. Giraffe and oxpeckers, by Ken and Michelle Dyball. Photographed in the Masai Mara, Kenya.

“Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.” Edward Abbey

18. Golden dream, by guide Keith Connelly. “To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, to draw closer, to find each other and to feel, that is the purpose of life. With less than 450 left in the wild and isolated to the thin air of the Ethiopian Highlands the Ethiopian wolves are Africa's most endangered large predators...seeing them was not only a dream come true  but a great challenge too...a real prize in my portfolio!”
18. Golden dream, by guide Keith Connelly. “To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, to draw closer, to find each other and to feel, that is the purpose of life. With less than 450 left in the wild and isolated to the thin air of the Ethiopian Highlands the Ethiopian wolves are Africa’s most endangered large predators…seeing them was not only a dream come true
but a great challenge too…a real prize in my portfolio!”

“If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.” Lyndon B. Johnson

19. Quiver tree magnificence, by guide Keith Connelly. Known as Choje to the indigenous San people, the quiver tree gets its name from their practice of hollowing out the tubular branches form quivers for their arrows. Photographed at Keetmanshoop, Namibia.
19. Quiver tree magnificence, by guide Keith Connelly. Known as Choje to the indigenous San people, the quiver tree gets its name from their practice of hollowing out the tubular branches form quivers for their arrows. Photographed at Keetmanshoop, Namibia.

“These are islands in time — with nothing to date them on the calendar of mankind. In these areas it is as though a person were looking backward into the ages and forward untold years. Here are bits of eternity, which have a preciousness beyond all accounting.” Harvey Broome

20. Rhino dusk, by guide Andrew Schoeman.  “A rhino cow and calf silhouetted against the evening sky, moments later they disappeared from view into the evening.” Location undisclosed.
20. Rhino dusk, by guide Andrew Schoeman. “A rhino cow and calf silhouetted against the evening sky, moments later they disappeared from view into the evening.” Location undisclosed.

“The Earth does not belong to us. We belong to the Earth.” Chief Seattle

21. Leopard in a tree with kill, by Carole Deschuymere. Photographed in the Serengeti, Tanzania.
21. Leopard in a tree with kill, by Carole Deschuymere. Photographed in the Serengeti, Tanzania.

“The wilderness is a place of rest — not in the sense of being motionless, for the lure, after all, is to move, to round the next bend. The rest comes in the isolation from distractions, in the slowing of the daily centrifugal forces that keep us off balance.” David Douglas 

22. Bathing bee-eater, by Brendon Cremer. A Carmine bee-eater emerges from the waters of the Zambezi River after diving in for a bath. Photographed at Kalizo, Zambezi River, Namibia.
22. Bathing bee-eater, by Brendon Cremer. A Carmine bee-eater emerges from the waters of the Zambezi River after diving in for a bath. Photographed at Kalizo, Zambezi River, Namibia.

“I held a blue flower in my hand, probably a wild aster, wondering what its name was, and then thought that human names for natural things are superfluous. Nature herself does not name them. The important thing is to know this flower, look at its color until the blends becomes as real as a keynote of music. Look at the exquisite yellow flowerettes at the center, become very small with them. Be the flower, be the trees, the blowing grasses. Fly with the birds, jump with a squirrel!” Sally Carrighar

23. Conecntration, by Alex Kirichko. A leopard leaves its vantage point with deadly intention. Photographed in the Okavango Delta, Botswana.
23. Conecntration, by Alex Kirichko. A leopard leaves its vantage point with deadly intention. Photographed in the Okavango Delta, Botswana.

“Walk as if you were kissing the Earth with your feet” Thich Nhat Hanh

24. The last look, by guide Nicky Silberbauer. A pride of lions finally subdue their very dangerous Cape buffalo prey. Photographed at Singita, Sabi Sands, South Africa.
24. The last look, by guide Nicky Silberbauer. A pride of lions finally subdue their very dangerous Cape buffalo prey. Photographed at Singita, Sabi Sands, South Africa.

“Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides.”  Lao Tzu

25. Borthers in arms, by guide Morkel Erasmus.  “Two brothers engaged in play before sunrise at a remote waterhole.” Photographed at Etosha, Namibia.
25. Borthers in arms, by guide Morkel Erasmus. “Two brothers engaged in play before sunrise at a remote waterhole.” Photographed at Etosha, Namibia.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world” Mahatma Ghandi

 

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Comments

  1. Mans
    Iran
    September 3, 1:03 pm

    Bravo James. The artistic photos of the wild nature

  2. vikki boyes
    SA
    March 7, 2015, 1:14 pm

    So INSPIRING!!! ….the photos and the words! Thank you James for always showing us the wonders of the wild, that are all in such desperate need of protection.

    • James Kydd
      March 8, 2015, 11:01 am

      Thanks for your kind words Vikki.

  3. Tracy Long-Corbitt
    Johannesburg
    February 9, 2015, 2:54 am

    Breath taking reminders of our heritage….

  4. suzanne lenzer
    sydney australia
    February 4, 2015, 3:27 am

    the experience of sitting with cheetah cubs whilst they share the catch handed to them was extroidinary.

  5. Mohammed Hossain
    Hyderabad india
    February 1, 2015, 6:40 am

    Wonderful picture ” Awsome” really appreciate the love of nature n the photography .

    • James Kydd
      March 8, 2015, 11:01 am

      Thanks Mohammed.

  6. Bernise Vinello-Lippert
    Cape Town
    January 31, 2015, 1:19 am

    Nature is truly beautiful.

    • James Kydd
      March 8, 2015, 11:00 am

      Yes she is, thanks Bernise.

  7. Hiren Patel
    Surat, Gujarat, India
    January 30, 2015, 9:13 am

    Superb collection of wild moments…. Loved the clicks from Daryl Dell & Nicky Silberbauer.

    • James Kydd
      March 8, 2015, 11:00 am

      Thanks Hiren!

  8. Robert Scriba
    Sherwood Park, Alberta
    January 29, 2015, 10:03 am

    Fantastic photos and thoughts to ponder

    • James Kydd
      March 8, 2015, 11:00 am

      Thanks Robert for your comment.

  9. koushik das
    jaipur , rajasthan, india
    January 29, 2015, 7:33 am

    this is the best pics i have ever seen thanks for sharing….

    • James Kydd
      March 8, 2015, 10:59 am

      Thanks Koushik, hopefully you are able to experience the wonderful wildlife in your part of the world.

  10. udo zimmermann
    germany
    January 28, 2015, 5:12 pm

    great pics…..wonderful moments

  11. Bob Rise
    Raymond WA
    January 28, 2015, 4:53 pm

    I had to go back and look at these pictures. I visualized myself behind the camera taking these beautiful pictures. The fish eagle and the Ethiopian wolf were my favorites. What is the status of the wolf in Ethiopia? Why are they dying off? I hope this is reversible!

    • James Kydd
      March 8, 2015, 10:58 am

      Hi Bob. Currently there are listed as endangered, with habitat loss, rabies and canine distemper being the major concerns. Their estimate number is around 450 (adults and sub-adults) in 6 populations. It is reversible..hopefully increased ecotourism in Ethiopia will lead to an increase in the land under conservation. Thanks for your concern.