Madikwe: May 2010 (Part 3)

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Hello everyone. It was with a shock that I realised that my last blog post was written in August! So much has happened – between hosting a Wild Eye photo safari in the , jetting off to Hong Kong with my wife on assignment for Nikon Asia, and then attending the Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards in London, it’s safe to say things have been hectic.

I have not even had time to process many new photos – but I do know that I have also neglected to finish this trip report from way back in 2010, so here goes.

Day 3

Our day started with an early rise and a drive out to Tlou dam to photograph the sunrise and whatever else may come across our path. I used the animal tracks in the mud as foreground interest for this image.

There was no real activity around the dam, so we set off again, and soon we had an amazing encounter, on foot, with the unicorn of the African bush…

I’ve spent time on foot with these amazing creatures many times since then – but you know you always remember your first time LOL.

Just as we were about to return to Nkurru Lodge to have brunch and pack up our rooms, we came across two gorgeous male lions in the south of the reserve. They were at the end of their morning patrol and just beginning to get lazy.

After roaring loudly right next to our vehicle, and sharpening their claws against a tree – the brothers disappeared into the thickets.

And so our short safari to Madikwe came to and end.Little did I know that this first proper meeting with Gerry van der Walt would result in a great collaboration years later in Wild Eye – thanks a lot, my friend!

I haven’t been able to go back yet, and maybe soon I will. The Wild Eye crew regularly host photo safaris in Madikwe, so be sure to check it out if you are interested in visiting this underestimated piece of wilderness!

Soon to come – a 2 week trip to the , from June 2010. I am sooo far behind on these trip reports, but it’s great fun reliving the memories as I write them up here.

Until next time!

 

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Morkel Erasmus

Morkel Erasmus

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!

Morkel Erasmus

Morkel Erasmus

Since picking up a DSLR camera for the first time, a little over 3 years ago, Morkel has been invigorated with an unbridled passion for the photographic art form. He has grown at a tremendous pace and put immense energy into the creation of his images. He absolutely loves spending time in the wild places of his native Southern Africa. From a young age he has been visiting legendary wildlife and outdoor locations, including the Kruger Park National Park and the Drakensberg Mountains, with his family. Now that he has found a way to share the natural beauty of his homeland with the rest of the world he is regularly out on photography trips. An Industrial Engineer by profession, and an accomplished artist in genres like music and poetry, Morkel has always enjoyed whatever allows him to express his creativity to the fullest. Photography turned out to be the perfect "marriage" between his engineering brain and artistic soul. "I hope that in some way I can raise awareness through my imagery of the plight of not only our wildlife but also the fragility of the last remaining wilderness areas that they call home.” Morkel was recently honoured for his commitment to his craft by receiving a "Highly Commended" for one of his images in the 2010 BBC Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. He is based in Mpumalanga, South Africa and even though he prefers going on safari with his family and friends, Morkel also leads the odd photographic safari and has recently begun presenting workshops in post-processing techniques.

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