The Impala – stately, graceful and plentiful. This third quality I listed probably contributes to its undervaluation as a wildlife sighting or photographic opportunity.
In areas like the Greater Kruger Park I will give you a surety of 100 to 1 in odds that your first sighting upon entering the park will be impala. They just seem to be there in limitless numbers. Yet these populous antelopes can also provide some interesting moments, if one dares to sit with them a while and observe instead of the customary drive-by.
I get that many overseas visitors to Africa want to move on to “bigger things” given their often limited time in the reserves. But those that have a passion for watching natural history unfold will do well to spend some time with them next time you are in the field.
Here are some images I have captured of these antelopes over the years. So that is my humble tribute to the Impala in the form of a photo essay. Which image did you like the most? Drop me a comment below.
God bless you
The last rays of daylight kiss and envelope this stately buck’s profile.
These two young males show separate stages of horn development.
A young fawn receives much-needed nourishment from its vigilant mother.
Those who have seen impalas in rut will know that the males can really have at it. The intensity is visible in the eyes here!
An impressive ram in the Mara Triangle (Kenya) against an oncoming storm.
Dwarfed by the immense woodlands of Mana Pools, Zimbabwe.
Close-up study of this graceful antelope in the best kind of light.
I used to relish writing these kinds of “bio” pieces and would flaunt the odd impressive word and use dashing grammar to make it sound like I am a boundary-shifting photographer. These days I prefer stating it in much simpler ways, much more relatable ways, much more believable ways…
The fact of the matter is this: I love Africa. I love its people, its wild places and its wildlife. I love being immersed in these places, observing and photographing the fall of light on the land and the daily lives of the creatures that call it home, and presenting the results to whoever will take a look.
To me, nature photography is all about being in the moment, and capturing that moment in a way that can relate to someone who didn’t have the privilege of being there with me. Sometimes I am able to capture a unique vision of the scene before me, and sometimes I just capture it the way most folks would according to classical photographic guidelines. Yet I always enjoy sharing the images and experiences and imparting the knowledge I have, both in-the-field and later online or in presentations, workshops and courses. I also just simply enjoy capturing and sharing the beauty of God's creation!
The greatest thing I’ve found about wildlife and nature photography in Southern Africa is the unity and familiarity of the community of people that share this passion. We come from all walks of life and all cultures and backgrounds, yet our passion for our natural heritage and our dream to see it preserved for future generations binds strangers together and fuels conversations around campfires long after other people have run out of conversation and energy.
Join me on a WildEye adventure to experience this sharing community spirit and learn to anticipate that fleeting moment and be ready for it, learn to immerse yourself in the experience without losing focus of your photographic goals…and above all, learn to see Africa anew… because there are none as blind as those who look but do not see!