Celebrating our Wildlife: on World Animal Day and always!

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Annually every 4th of October World Animal Day is celebrated. The message to everyone, on this day is simple, yet vital: to help make this world a sustainable and fertile place for all animals. Each and every one of us can make a difference! We at Nambiti Hills, urge you all to get involved and show your care and concern for the future of all animals.

At Nambiti Hills, we think every day should be about animal awareness. It’s no secret that the lives of animals, both domestic and wild, are hugely affected by our simple, and sometimes selfish human actions. Whether it be the development of towns and cities, agriculture and farming or even hunting; we need to be conscious of the fact that what we do can affect the helpless lives of others. Hence the reason for a day dedicated solely to the well-being of animals.

There are other days linked to animals, such as World Wildlife Day on the 3rd of March – but World Animal Day gives us an opportunity to embrace ALL animals and their unique concerns, in every corner of the world. So whether you’re hosting a rally or a fundraiser to create awareness or raise money, or simply paying extra attention to your pets; the 4th of October is the day to do it on. But then again, we should be doing that every day!

With 20 Elephants, over 300 Zebra, more than 1000 Wildebeest, 7 Leopard, over 800 Kudu and Eland and numerous birds and smaller animals… our wildlife are our daily priority, our pride and glory. Everything we do is with them in mind. Their health, their well-being, their peaceful existence on this beautiful landscape. It’s what makes our “jobs” so rewarding. And that we get to share it with like-minded guests on a daily basis… well, that’s first prize!

So in honour of World Animal Day, we will continue to do as we do every day; love, appreciate and respect not only the beautiful wildlife that graces our reserve but all the animals out there that have a special place in the world. We hope that you will do the same.

Here’s to all the animals, big and small!
Ranger Iris.

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Photographer: Iris Thiriaux

Magical Moments

Beautiful sunsets and close encounters of our favourite kind; wild sightings, proud posers and intimate moments caught on camera. These are just some of the wonderful things that we were lucky enough to sight see this month. While every day here at Nambiti Hills Private Game Reserve is different, the feelings we get are the same: wonder, awe and a sense of pride to be a part of the African wildlife magic.

Game Drive
Feeling friendly? This beastly giant surely was, as lucky guests got to get up close and personal, from the safety of the game viewer. A moment that will take your breath away!

Lioness and Cub
An intimate and precious moment shared between a lioness and her cub.

Vultures
Arguably the best part of the day, when the heat rises off the land and a calm sets in. Time for sundowners and some game spotting.

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From dusk to dawn, and all things wild and wonderful in-between.

Gemsbok
What a gem! This gallant gemsbok stood his ground on the side of the road as the game viewer drove past with excited guests.

Up Close and Personal Wildlife Moments

Another hot, adventure-filled month has come and gone, and as the year draws to an end, we’re always filled with feelings of gratitude as we look back at some of the magic of Nambiti Hills. Being a ranger means we get to interact with enthused wildlife fanatics from around the world on a daily basis: that’s you, our guests! PLUS… we get to show off our wild back yard filled with some of our most favourite animals.

Here’s a recap of this month’s adventures with some up close and personal moments.

Rock Python
Up close and personal… is not really something you want to be when you come across this Rock Python. Thank heavens for a super-sized zoom lens that allowed us to capture this intimate shot.

Elephant Feet
Those toenails! Somebody needs to take a trip to our magical Zolile Spa for an African Revitalising Foot Ritual.

Kudu
Is it a tree? Is it a branch? No… it’s a beautifully silhouetted portrait of a Kudu ; weary of our presence and on the look out for danger.

Bird of Prey
Soaring high up in the cloudy skies on an impressive wing span, this over-sized bird of prey almost goes unnoticed.

Elephant Tusk
The iconic simplicity of a tusk and wrinkled skin. You can’t see it in its entirety, but you know what it is!

Ranger: Iris

Pops of Colour

Elephants at dusk

When I think of the bush or safaris and game drives… one of the first things that comes to my mind, is the idea of camouflage. We spoke about it a while back when Reggie admitted he loved the whispered cheers of his guests when he was able to point out an animal so cleverly hidden in the earthy canvas.

Camouflage is an amazing tool, helping the animals to blend into their surroundings so that you can’t tell where the Buffalo ends and the mud begins…
Buffalo at Nambiti Hills

But what I love, is the reverse of this.
When everything you see is one tone, one shade, one canvas… and there, sitting quietly in the middle of it all, is the most beautiful Pop Of Colour. Whether it’s a brightly coloured bird, a speckled brown giraffe or a striking sun setting against a dark grey background, I always try to capture these “pops” on camera. Here are some of our latest finds. Enjoy.

Ranger Kelwan.
Birds at Nambiti Hills
Guinea Fowl at Nambiti HIlls
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Photography 101!

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Whether it’s with a tiny lens on your phone or the fanciest, most expensive equipment around – we’ve all captured a magical moment on camera. In my books, that makes you a photographer. But my question to you is… do you want to be a better one?

So many times I overhear guests saying that they wish they could take better pictures. And let’s be honest, most of us are using our cameras with the bare minimum of knowledge, just pointing and shooting – hoping for something worth sharing! Which is exactly why I’ve decided to make it my mission to teach you a few tricks of the photographic trade with helpful hints and tips on capturing the perfect Safari moment.

So let’s get started with the very basics.

There are so many products out there that offer top of the range quality, but a lot of them come at a top cost too. Which is fine, if you know what you’re buying. Be sure to spend some time doing research online and in the camera stores, chat to professionals, read photography blogs and rent equipment. Yes, you read right… rent! There are actually a lot of places that rent out camera gear which is great if you’re just starting out and want to discover which brand or model or size is right for you.

Once you’ve decided on your camera equipment, make sure you get a nice bag to keep it all well protected from the dust, bumps and weather while out on game drives. Keep a spare memory card in the bag. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you can snap up hundreds of photos, and you don’t want to have to sit and delete pictures the moment Nambiti Hills Phantom Leopard pops his head around a rock.

A helpful tip that I’ve learnt from constantly being out in the open – I always carry a soft pen brush in my camera bag to clean my lenses and avoid any unsightly dust spots from appearing on my images.

Lastly, service your camera every few months if you’re shooting a lot. Just as you would with your car, you need to look after your camera equipment, and it will last.

There’s so much to talk about when it comes to photography, and I’m really passionate about trying to get a better shot each time I’m out there. So I can’t wait to share all the things I’ve learnt with you here on the blog.

So keep snapping those magical moments, and send them our way. Who knows, next time, it might be your share-worthy pictures being featured here on the blog.

Until then,
Matt.

Pics featured in this blog were taken with a Canon 100 – 400mm f45./5.6 which offers such a great range, and the results really make you feel like you’re up close and personal with your subject.
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Photograpy Nambiti Hills