Top 25 Photographs from the Wilderness #11

Explore the wilderness with us… This week we share the “golden wilderness”! The rich colors and textures of the wild can never be replaced or surpassed. 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 The Bush Boyes Facebook page or Ranger Diaries website, 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 “Ranger Revolution” now!


Leopard’s leap, by guide James Haskins. Photographed at Khwai, Botswana.
Leopard’s leap, by guide James Haskins. Photographed at Khwai, Botswana.


“In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful.” (Alice Walker)


Zebras from above by Andy Biggs. Photographed in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. (


“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.” (Mahatma Gandhi)


Male lion looking for his pride by guide Andrew Schoeman, photographed at Phinda, Kwa-Zulul Natal, South Africa. (


“The Wilderness holds answers to more questions than we have yet learned to ask.” ( Nancy Wynne Newhall)


Leopard cub by guide Kyle de Nobrega, photographed at Lion Sands, Kruger Park, South Africa. (


“All good things are wild, and free.” ( Henry David Thoreau)


Focus by guide Matthew Copham. (


“Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit” ( Edward Abbey)


Thirsty cubs by guide Andrew Schoeman. The Nkuhuma Pride of lions quenching their thirst after feeding on a zebra. Photographed at Tintswalo Manyeleti, Kruger Park, South Africa. (


“In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia.” ( Charles Lindbergh)

Impala sentinel by guide Keith Connelly. Photographed at Kariega, Eastern Cape, South Africa. (


“No one should be able to enter a wilderness by mechanical means.” ( Garrett Hardin)


Wild dog and hippos stand-off, by guide Tristan Dicks. Photographed at Lions Sands, Kruger Park, South Africa.
Wild dog and hippos stand-off, by guide Tristan Dicks. Photographed at Lions Sands, Kruger Park, South Africa.


“The Promised Land always lies on the other side of a Wilderness.” ( Henry Ellis)


Jumping lion by Carole Deschuymere. (


“The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders.” ( Edward Abbey)


Elephant crossing by guide Matthew Copham. (


“Like music and art, love of nature is a common language that can transcend political or social boundaries.”  (Jimmy Carter)


Danger in the long grass, by guide Ryan Schmitt. This lion crouches in the grass as he watches a member of his coalition walk away victorious with a lioness that they have just fought over. But the best part about this picture is obvious: how amazingly well he blends in with the long grass. Photographed at Singita Grumeti, Serengeti, Tanzania. (


“Each species is a masterpiece, a creation assembled with extreme care and genius.” (Edward O. Wilson)


Painting the sky, by Frederick van Heerden. This lioness was trying her best not to get her feet wet. Photographed at Etosha National Park, Namibia. (


“The fate of animals is…indissolubly connected with the fate of men.” (Émile Zola)


Running wildebeest by guide Phill Steffny. Photographed in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. (Phill Steffny Safaris)


“This is what you should do; love the Earth and sun and the animals.” (Walt Whitman)


Overcome by pride power, by guide Brendon Cremer. “We witnessed this kill from start to finish with mixed emotions, knowing that seeing this reality of nature is a privilege bestowed on only a few.” Photographed at Wilderness Safaris Duba Plains, Okavango, Botswana. (


“The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man.” (Charles Darwin)


Kwela Kwela leopardess, by Jason Glanville. This female leopard had just been chased up the tree by lions. Photographed at And Beyond Kirkman’s Camp, Kruger, South Africa. (


“If a man aspires towards a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from injury to animals.” (Albert Einstein)


Foam nest tree frog, photographed by Grayson Dicks. (


“An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.” (Martin Buber)


Black-backed jackal attacking a kori bustard, by Frederick van Heerden. Photographed at Etosha National Park, Namibia. (


“When I hear of the destruction of a species, I feel just as if all the works of some great writer have perished.” (U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt)


Jumping spider by guide Calvin Kotze, photographed at Ulusaba, Kruger Park, South Africa. (


“We are the only species which, when it chooses to do so, will go to great effort to save what it might destroy.” (Wallace Stegner)


Lions mating with an audience, by guide Richard de Gouveia. Photographed at Etosha National Park, Namibia. (


“It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment.” (Ansel Adams)


Cheetah, by guide Etienne Oosthuizen, photographed at Samara, Eastern Cape, South Africa. (


“In the end, we conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.” (Baba Dioum)


Lammergeier (or bearded vulture), by Lennart Hessel. (


“Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land.” (Aldo Leopold)


Giraffe silhouette by guide Keith Connelly, photographed at Kariega, Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Giraffe silhouette by guide Keith Connelly, photographed at Kariega, Eastern Cape, South Africa.


“It is not enough to understand the natural world; the point is to defend and preserve it.” (Edward Abbey)


Okavango elephants, by guide Andy Biggs. Photographed in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. (


“Come forth into the light of things, Let Nature be your teacher.” (William Wordsworth)


Okavango scene by guide Brendon Cremer. A typical Duba Plains scene with the buffalo feeding across the savannah, oblivious to the presence of the six lions studying their every move. (


“What is the good of having a nice house without a decent planet to put it on?” (Henry David Thoreau)


Running for life, by Frederick van Heerden. “I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, and finally my patience paid off… This shot was taken in the riverbed of the Letaba River in the Kruger National Park. The giraffes were crossing the shallow end of the river and were coming towards the opposite side where I was sitting in my vehicle. The giraffes seemed nervous as their two tall “look-outs” were scanning the area for any imposing danger. Suddenly they spotted six lions in hunting mode. These same lions had been unsuccessful earlier in the day hunting a herd of buffalo, so they were no doubt hungry. The giraffes immediately started running away from the lions, straight towards me! (



“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:


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Meet the Author
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.