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About Andy


I am an avid adventurer, conservationist, teacher, and outdoor photographer whose photography celebrates the African landscape and its rich wildlife, people, and culture. My photographic safaris allow my travelers to not only enhance their understanding of photography, lighting, and wildlife, but to develop a life-long admiration for Africa ‘s beauty and culture.

Banana Republic recently used my photographs as the cornerstone of their Urban Safari campaign, and my images were seen in all 750 stores around the globe, as well as in their billboards, catalogs and annual report. I was also the winner of the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year in the ‘Wild Places’ category in 2008 and a highly commended in the ‘Creative Visions of Nature’ category in 2007.

I launched Gura Gear in 2008, in an attempt to deliver lightweight camera bags to the market. I was looking for a lightweight camera bag to hold all of my photographic gear, and there was nothing desirable on the market that suited my needs. After spending 2 years with many prototypes, the Gura Gear Kiboko bag was born. More products are now available on the Gura Gear web site.




« Sabi Sand Safari Report - Day 10 | Main | Sabi Sand Safari Report - Day 8 »

Sabi Sand Safari Report - Day 9

Ok. All I want to talk about today was our experience with a mother leopard and her two four-month old cubs. Nothing else even came close to that kind of quality of sighting, well, except the mother/daughter rhinos that walked up to the edge of our vehicle in the afternoon. J

We had heard of the Ravenscourt female leopard and her two young cubs, and there had been a sighting of hear earlier in the morning on a fresh impala kill in the grass. We made our way to the edge of the Sand River where she had been seen, and it took some time to figure out where she might be. We were successful locating the impala kill, but initially we didn’t find any signs of the three leopards. We found them playing in a very thick area of the bush, and for the next 90 minutes we had one of the most wonderful viewings of a young family at play. The 4-month old brother and sister cubs ran circles around their mother, they played in the low branches of the trees and chased each other around our vehicle. The dappled light made for difficult exposures, as well as the erratic movement, but I couldn’t stop smiling the entire time.


Leopard Cub In A Tree

Nikon D4, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, 1/800 @ f/5.6, ISO 3200. Hand Held


From a technique standpoint, I had to rely on autofocus with manual focus tweaks. The foreground grass was often in the way, and I just couldn’t rely on autofocus to do everything for me. I also tried to stop down to get more depth of field as a precaution, as I would have hated to shoot at f/2.8 or f/4 and not have their eyes sharp.

I have been on many many safaris in the past 10 years, and this sighting was difficult to top. Leopards are incredible. Leopard cubs are incredible times ten. Or one thousand. Or more. Yes, I have seen leopard cubs in the past, as in last week, but this one stands on top of all others, due to the length of time, the behaviors witnessed and our ability to see it all clearly only a few feet from us.


Leopard Cubs Playing

Nikon D800, 300mm f/2.8 VRII, 1/400 @ f/4.5, ISO 1000


Leopard Cub

Nikon D4, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, 1/500 @/f4.5, ISO 1600


Wade With A Smile (Leopard Cubs Will Do that To A Person)

Nikon D4, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, 1/500 @ f/5.6, ISO 2500


Ok, I will talk about another great sighting today: rhinos next to our vehicle. Not just rhinos, but a mother and her young calf. At one point the calf came up and sniffed the edge of our rear tire, and when we lightly giggled he got started and walked off.

One must always remember that a slow day in the bush beats the best day in an office, and the best day in the bush has no equal. Today has no equal.  

Camera bags on this safari are sponsored by Gura Gear, which I started in 2008. Check us out. We make the best camera bags on the planet.

Some of the gear on this safari has been provided by I rely on for both my own needs as well as my safari travelers’ needs. When we need big lenses, cameras or anything else photographic, we turn to to help out. They are the best resource in the industry for traveling photographers.

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Reader Comments (3)

wow! wow! wow!
I live in South Africa and know from experience how rarely you see leopards in the wild, let alone their cubs.
These shots are absolutely brilliant! Very jealous :)

June 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDaniella

Andy...I've been reading all your posts since you arrived in SA...this one speaks to why all of us seek out the wild experiences that Africa still offers...seeing these cubs from your vehicle must have been incredible...thanks for bringing home these rare sightings to those of us that dream of the next time we can be in the bush...S

June 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteve lumpkin

Outstanding shots, Andy! A few months back Steve L. and I spent hours waiting for an adult leopard to emerge from the Chitabe bush and slowly revisit his impala dinner in a tree. Your cubs remind me of some of that adult's poses, only so much cuter! You hit the nail on the head with, "a slow day in the bush beats the best day in an office, and the best day in the bush has no equal!"

June 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJerry Conover

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