Human Journey

Top 25 Photographs from the Wilderness #5

Explore the wilderness with us… Within the next 10-15 years we will see the last-remaining wilderness area on earth dominated by the demands of growing human populations and undermined by accelerated climate change. When the earth’s last wild places are gone, all we will have are fenced off protected areas dependent on constant intervention to persist and marginalized by the demands of sustained development in emerging markets. Guides, rangers, researchers, ecotourists, photographers, artists and conservationists around the world apply themselves everyday to sharing, studying, photographing, writing about, protecting, conserving and celebrating the “wild” with their guests, co-workers, colleagues, and local communities. These amazing photographs are a window into their world, a world where the lions, elephants, orangutans and leopards still reign supreme and we can dream of that perfect morning in the wilderness.


Ranger Diaries and The Bush Boyes have teamed up to bring you the “Top 25 Photographs from the Wilderness”. These stunning photographs are selected from hundreds of submissions and are intended to bring the beauty, freedom and splendor of the wilderness to as many people as possible around the world. Please submit your best photographs from the wildest places to the Bush Boyes wall or Ranger Diaries wesbite, and stand a chance of being featured in the “Top 25 Photographs from the Wilderness” published each week. This initiative is all about SHARING and CARING about wild places. Please “Like” this blog post and share this link with as many people as possible… So begins the “Ranger Revolution”… Anyone can be an “Honorary Ranger” if they share and care about the wilderness, stimulating positive change for wild places around the world… Join the revolution now!


Please go to the Ranger Diaries website: and become part of the “Ranger Revolution” by sharing your amazing photographs!

James Kydd /
Into the boughs, by guide James Kydd. Photographed at Londolozi, South Africa. "This is old leopardess fed off the impala carcass for a while, lightening the load before hoisting it up into the relative safety of the tree as the sun set and the lions began to roar." (James Kydd /


“Listen to what you know instead of what you fear.” – Richard Bach –


David Lloyd /
Flehmen response by David Lloyd.This lion is exposing his vameronasal glands to the scent of a female's urine in order to estimate her readiness to mate, amongst other things. Photographed in the Masai Mara, Kenya. (David Lloyd /


“Unless you respect the earth, you destroy it.”  –  Oren Lyons, Onondaga chief –


Dana Allen /
Waiting for the dawn, by Dana Allen. Photographed at Wilderness Safaris Chelinda Lodge, Malawi. A lone reedbuck awaits the warmth of the approaching sunrise on the misty slopes of Nyika National Park. (Dana Allen /


“I tried to prove that the never ending search for the essence of the wild was the underlying motive of all trips and expeditions.”   –  Sigurd Olson –


Brendon Cremer /
Tsessebe in the mist, by guide Brendon Cremer. Photographed at Wilderness Safaris Duba Plains in the Okavango, Botswana. Early mornings on the plains in the cooler months often produce some great opportunities to photograph animals in the mist. The tsessebe is consider by many to be the fastest antelope in Africa (Brendon Cremer /


“We are speaking of things that are barely visible  –  of the most intimate and fragile things, of flowers that open only in the night.”  –  Carl Jung –


Mario Moreno /
Tenderness, by Mario Moreno. Photographed at Kariega, South Africa. A portrait of a mother giraffe with her calf, reflecting their strong bonds. (Mario Moreno /


“In the end, our society will be defined not only by what we create but by what we refuse to destroy.”  –  John Sawhill  –


James Souchon /
Cheetah cubs, by guide James Souchon. Photographed at AndBeyond Phinda, South Africa. "These two let us watch them play and chase each other for a good half an hour before collapsing in a tired heap" (James Souchon /


“Everything natural  –  every flower, tree, and animal – has important lessons to teach us. Stop, Look, and Listen.”  –  Eckhart Tolle –


Dave Pusey /
Into the darkness, by guide Dave Pusey. Photographed at Leopard Hills, South Africa. "A mystical moment captured of a battle hardened male leopard doing what he does every night, under the cover of darkness" (Dave Pusey /


“What is it that so many people find enchanting in animals?  Their essence  –  their BEING  –  is not covered up by the mind, as it is in most humans.”  –  Eckhart Tolle –


Elaine de Bruin / Elaine de Bruin Photography
Flower refractions, by Elaine de Bruin. Hibiscus flower reflecting into water drops. (Elaine de Bruin / Elaine de Bruin Photography)


“In big wilderness we have a chance to seek answers to questions we have not yet learned to ask.”  – David Brower –


Marlon du Toit /
Balancing act, by Singita guide Marlon du Toit. Photographed at Mana Pools, Zimbabwe. "The Mana elephants are well known for this kind of behaviour. I have always wanted to capture this moment, and this image portrays the power and agility of these big creatures. It was a dream come true." (Marlon du Toit /


“Allowing nature to take over proved easier than I imagined.”  – David Masumoto –


Marius Coetzee /
King penguins, by guide Marius Coetzee. Taken in South Georgia, Antarctica. "Seeing more than 200 000 king penguins, wall to wall, was a site impossible to convey with words" (Marius Coetzee /


“Now I know what it is to sit enthroned amid the clouds of sunset.”   –  Rudyard Kipling –


Brendon Cremer /
Locked on, by guide Brendon Cremer. Taken at Wilderness Safaris Duba Plains in the Okavango, Botswana. "A lioness chases and leaps on a buffalo cow after a 2 hour long stalk. Unfortunately for the lioness the buffalo got away." (Brendon Cremer /


“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”  – Marcel Proust –


Andrew Schoeman /
The tail end, by guide Andrew Schoeman. Taken at Elephant Plains, South Africa. Leopard cubs are left alone for days while their mother goes off to hunt, and when they are re-united the cubs are incredibly playful (Andrew Schoeman /


“Wisdom begins in wonder.”  – Socrates –


Richard de Gouveia /
The elephant and the storm, by guide Richard de Gouveia of Sabi Sabi, South Africa. "A large elephant bull in musth lifts his head in aggression as our vehicle approaches. The looming storm in the background seems to portray what is going through the temperamental bull's mind." (Richard de Gouveia /


“It is always worthwhile to sit or kneel at the feet of grandeur.”  – John Burroughs –


Greg McCall-Peat /
Death stare, by guide Greg McCall-Peat of Ezulwini Game Reserve, South Africa. If you have ever locked eyes with a lioness, you will remember that moment clearly. (Greg McCall-Peat /


“In Wildness is the preservation of the World.” – Henry David Thoreau –


Keith Connelly /
Kudu in the clouds, by guide Keith Connelly. Photographed at Kariega Game Reserve, South Africa (Keith Connelly /


“I wonder at all the things I think I’ve touched but haven’t.”  – Barry Lopez –


Kyle de Nobrega /
The eyes of a leopard, by guide Kyle de Nobrega. Photographed at Lion Sands, South Africa (Kyle de Nobrega /


“The whole world was a nest on its humble tilt, in the maze of the universe, holding us.”  – Linda Hogan –


Marius Coetzee /
Elephant charge, by guide Marius Coetzee. Photographed in the South Luangwa, Zambia. ‘We were slowly driving along the banks of the Luangwa River when a young elephant bull unexpectedly charged our vehicle. I focused low to portray the impact of the pachyderm’s feet stomping the African soil below it" (Elephant charge, by guide Marius Coetzee. Photographed in the South Luangwa, Zambia. ‘We were slowly driving along the banks of the Luangwa River when a young elephant bull unexpectedly charged our vehicle. I focused low to portray the impact of the pachyderm’s feet stomping the African soil below it" (Marius Coetzee /


“If a person does not see, hear, or smell civilization, he or she is in wilderness.”  – Roderick Frazier Nash –


Gavin Lautenbach /
Desert patterns, by guide Gavin Lautenbach. Photographed in Deadvlei, Namibia. Only a few hundred years ago millions of migrating springbok formed herds hundreds of miles long. These were the largest herds of mammals ever witnessed.(Gavin Lautenbach /


“I am never alone in this wild forest, this forest of elders, this forest of eyes.”  – Richard Nelson –


Dana Allen /
Cheated, by Dana Allen, photographed in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. "Had this cheetah been born a hundred years ago his chances for survival would have been much better. The worldwide cheetah population has declined by nearly 85% in that short time span." (Dana Allen /


“To rarely speak  –  such is the way of Nature.”  – The Tao Te Ching –


Will Nicholls /
Atlantic puffin, by Will Nicholls. Photographed in the Farne Islands, Northumberland,vEngland. Every year I visit the Farne Islands to photograph the sea birds there. Puffins are beautiful birds, but photographed a lot. So this time I tried to get something a little different from a new angle. (Will Nicholls /


“Nature is so powerful, so strong ….  It takes you to a place within yourself.”  –  Annie Leibovitz  –


Marlon du Toit /
African wild dog, by Singita guide Marlon du Toit. Photographed in Mana Pools, Zimbabwe. ""It was an exhilarating experience spending time with this pack on foot. The alpha male pictured here ventured right up to us for closer investigation, leaving me with wide eyes and a thumping heart! The intensity in his actions are evident in this portrait." (Marlon du Toit /


“In the silence of the woods, you will not be alone.”  – Chief Seattle –


Jaques Pierre Joubert /
Amber death, by Jaques Pierre Joubert at AndBeyond Phinda, South Africa. "This female cheetah walked from thicket to thicket looking for nyalas to flush out until she found this one." (Jaques Pierre Joubert /


“Nature is a mutable cloud which is always and never the same.”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson –


Nicky Silberbauer /
Thirst quencher, by guide Nicky Silberbauer at Singita, South Africa. After spending the day with this pride they managed to kill a buffalo and this was my favourite as she lead her cubs to a shallow pool for a drink (Nicky Silberbauer /


“And only then, when I have learned enough I will go to watch the animals, and let something of their composure slowly guide into my limbs; will see my own existence deep in their eyes…..” – Rainer Maria Rilke –


Mario Moreno /
Kalahari lions, by Mario Moreno on the Nossob dry riverbed just after sunrise. Image captured in the Kgalagadi Transfontier Park in South Africa (Mario Moreno /


“The contemplation of celestial things will make a man both speak and think more sublimely and magnificently when he descends to human affairs”  –  Cicero –


Marina Cano /
Iberian lynx, by Marina Cano in Cabarceno, Cantabria, Spain. The largest wildlife park in Europe. (Marina Cano /


“If all the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beasts also happens to man. All things are connected.”  – Chief Seattle –


“Every year, my brother (Chris Boyes), Pete (“the Nare”) Hugo, Giles (“Prince William”) Trevethick and I (Dr Steve Boyes) cross the Okavango Delta, top to bottom, on mokoros (dug-out canoes) to survey the distribution and abundance of wetland birds, advocate for World Heritage Status, and share this amazing wilderness with accompanying scientists, explorers and special guests. My wife, Dr Kirsten Wimberger, joined us for the first time this year. No one will forget what happened on the 2012 expedition…”


In 2013, we are embarking on the Okavango River Expedition. This will be a 1,750km odyssey down the Okavango River from the source near Huambo (Angola) all the way down the catchment, across the Caprivi Strip (Namibia), and into Botswana to cross the Okavango Delta via one of our planet’s last untouched wilderness areas. Our objective is to support the Okavango World Heritage Project and achieve UNESCO World Heritage Status for the Okavango Delta and the entire catchment. See:


“Like” the Bush Boyes page and stand a chance to WIN one of two amazing Citizen watches… Go to:

Steve Boyes has dedicated his life to conserving Africa's wilderness areas and the species that depend upon them. After having worked as a camp manager and wilderness guide in the Okavango Delta and doing his PhD field work on the little-known Meyer's Parrot, Steve took up a position as a Centre of Excellence Postdoctoral Fellow at the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology. He has since been appointed the Scientific Director of the Wild Bird Trust and is a 2014 TED Fellow. His work takes him all over Africa, but his day-to-day activities are committed to South Africa's endemic and Critically Endangered Cape Parrot (Poicephalus robustus). Based in Hogsback Village in the Eastern Cape (South Africa), Steve runs the Cape Parrot Project, which aims to stimulate positive change for the species through high-quality research and community-based conservation action. When not in Hogsback, Steve can be found in the Okavango Delta where he explores remote areas of this wetland wilderness on "mokoros" or dug-out canoes to study endangered bird species in areas that are otherwise inaccessible. Steve is a 2013 National Geographic Emerging Explorer for his work in the Okavango Delta and on the Cape Parrot Project.
  • dyah sundari

    thank’s for many very good pictures. I have download it. I’ll show my kids and friends hope they’ll got better knowledge about our earth and environment, and love it

  • Umar Hamza

    God bless and protect those very fews ones who know and appreciate the beauty and timelessness of the wild. At considerable risk to your selves you do this noble task of bringing to us the beauties we would possibly not have known exist. May you have a healthy life

  • ashley

    the photo of the lion and her baby having a freshment just wonderful…

  • Ravi

    Great shot

  • Aadhil

    Amazing Pictures. One of the best sets in the animal moments

  • Aliyar khan

    Very nice images ! great collection ,beauty of nature! I love nature!

  • saifudheen.A

    KEEP IT UP……my best wishes 4 u

  • Magnun Voges

    Belas imagens!

  • Kevin

    ” I focused low to portray the impact of the pachyderm’s feet stomping the African soil below it. ”
    Either that or you dropped the camera.

  • Walter Farr

    In scanning these images of animals in their locals, it comes to mind: ” Every Animal has the right for its time and place, man should observe from a distance, but never harm their their livestyles or harm their environments.

  • Habib Ullah

    Amazing collection of wild nature love it,
    Thanks National Geographic…

  • Marirosa

    Amazing photos. Thanks for sharing the beauty of our fellow creatures, whom we have to defend and watch for.

  • Rita Rohini Joshua

    These photos are just breathtaking! My appreciation goes out to all the photographers who have selflessly risked their lives to bring these magnificent pictures to our eyes. Keep up the good work! You guys ROCK! Wish I could take photos as great as these one day.

  • Liliana Gonzalez

    Thank you for these wonderful images. National Geographic is the best.

  • R ravikumar

    awesome collection and images

  • syed ishrat ali

    nature’s natural beauty is fascinatingly eye catching.



  • Sharon Henson

    Remarkable in-the-wild photographs! I have been to Africa twice and captured a few animals on film, but these photographs are outstanding and capture the spirit of the wild!

  • Jaime Pogulanik

    Los que me han precedido han agotado todas las calificaciones posibles, solo me resta decir que esta es una colección de fotos excelentes.

  • Rajkumar Oberoi

    This real hunting big game with camera & pain taking effort to give wild life activity to sooth eyes of National Geography page viewers. we pray for their success for many more camera ventures.

  • Denizhan Guzel


  • julie

    Fantastic images

  • Karen

    Southern Africa ! WOW the best!

  • David Kirkpatrick

    Leopards do rock!

  • David Kirkpatrick

    Leopards…..pound for pound….the strongest big cat!

  • shadi abou shahda

    so so great job…thank u…

  • Judy

    It comes to me that these animals are so much like we are. Look at the elephants legs, that are holding him up to reach he tree. They look human. Look into the eyes of the wild dog. It is easy to imagine a person with a look like this. A person who has to fight for his life. In all animals are traits of humanness. Try looking at them as though you are one of them. It gives a much greater understanding of what their lives must be like.

  • D Dutta

    good photos
    but one bad news for one horned rhino of assam india

    According to forest department estimates, over 40 one-horned rhinos were killed in Assam india last year.

    Of the rhinos killed last year, it was established beyond doubt that at least 12 were poached. Six of the poaching cases occurred within the high-security Kaziranga National Park.

  • Raj Kish

    All the pictures are exquisite.However the reflection of
    Hibiscus in drops of water is simply superb.The photographer deserves all the Kudos.

  • David Mwashumbe

    Genesis 1:31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And
    there was evening, and there was morning — the sixth day.

  • Farzad

    Some of them shocked me. These photos have not only aesthetic aspect of the work but also have the cognitive approach for animals. Thank you for it all.

  • pamela shearer

    Thankyou for the amazing photographs. Keep up the great work in your endeavour to preserve our wilderness all over the world. So improtant and such a priviledge to witness.

  • achyutananda rao jonnalagadda

    all th e 25 picture are beutiful,thanks the photographer NG for the picures..the reflections of hybiscus is no words to describe. a rare picture indeed

  • Bhupendra Nath Goswami

    Nice and inteligent works. This endeavor will give a new thought on wildlife and motivate many like me.

  • hemant padhiar

    Simply awesome! some of the pictures are so effective that it seems like watching the animals ‘live”!!!

  • edwin barthel

    incredable photos, I love all of them


    Our wild cousins should always be viewed through the lens of a camera, as opposed to the crosshairs of a scope. Thank you for such exquisite images!

  • carlito cardano

    amazing pic in the wild.i wish one day i can take pictures of these creatures on my own camera. MABUHAY…PILIPINAS.MABUHAY NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC .

  • Ruta Konvalinka

    Outstanding photos!!!! areal pleasure for me here in the middle of the Pacific Ocean…Thanks.

  • Otto

    Sencillamente impresionante su trabajo, admiro la calidad del mismo, pero más el mensaje que trasmite. Un mundo que estamos obligados a preservar para las generaciones futuras. Felicitaciones.

  • Jim Carlin

    These animals and the natural world they live in are the foundation of human life, too. Whenever I see these astounding animals I am awestruck by the strength and fragility of every life. And, I would love to know more about the photographers and the cameras they use.

  • Genevieve Agnew

    Great pictures, I just love to see wild life roaming free.

  • Paula

    Felicitaciones !!! Son espectaculares!!!!

  • Penny Cellina MAICH

    I absolutely applaud you all with the fantastic photographs you have shared with me.I adore all animals and have been photographing wild life to the best of my ability as a photographer and feel how you all feel with the passion for the beautiful types of wild life in this world God bless you all

  • sakhi rasheed awan

    I am a photographer at primary level. I learn so much from these beautiful and exploring photographs. Many thanks to post me all these photos.

  • Palash

    I look at those shots and felt those moments, i stopped my heart and glot to be a witness, but does it really matter I am so far away? Thanks to those who made me to be away in those wilderness. Thank you photographers very much.

  • Deepa Louis

    These pictures are really what’s seen through God’s eyes! Simply Superb!

  • Shoaib

    Great work

  • Kyle Branch

    Fantastic photos! I just find the photo of the 2 cheetah cubs to be a little bit disappointing. It is not of the same high standard.

  • ashu sorot

    Too good, loved all the pics

  • Bharti kamal

    lovely clicks ! totally mesmerising ! thanks for sharing!

  • Pat Schuhriemen

    Your photos are wonderful! Some made me feel sad,
    but for the most part–Great Photography!!!

  • karen melo


  • amie

    fantastic photos! it’s so great to see these animals in their natural habitat.

  • shri hegde

    This is just awesome !! i love it .

About the Blog

Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

Opinions are those of the blogger and/or the blogger’s organization, and not necessarily those of the National Geographic Society. Posters of blogs and comments are required to observe National Geographic’s community rules and other terms of service.

Voices director: David Braun (

Social Media