On 23 September 2017 it’s time for the annual Wild Shots Wildlife Photography Symposium in Cape Town. With World Lion Day this month, we asked some of the renowned speakers to share their best lion photographs.

Wild Shots 2017, held in Cape Town on 23 September 2017, brings together the cream of wildlife and nature photographers from around the world. What better way to celebrate World Lion Day on 10 August than asking some of the award-winning speakers to share their best behind-the-camera moments with lions?

WIN! WIN! WIN!

Want to win a set of double tickets to this year’s symposium in Cape Town? Hurry, our competition closes on 13 August 2017 at 11:00.

I see you

Wild Shots 2017-World Lion Day-Letsogile Kamogelo-min

Lets Kamogelo, a safari guide in Botswana, says: “It was on the last morning of our safari when we heard a male lion calling north of the reserve. It seemed like he was patrolling his territory to locate his pride. He was crossing a small channel in the direction of a dense area when there came a couple of alarm calls from impalas, monkeys and birds. Instinctively, the lion’s curiosity was tickled. Due to the dense vegetation and poor visibility, he opted to leap up the rain tree for a better view and found support on a fork. I immediately saw this as a photo opportunity – the curly branches added a great dimension to the image.”

About the photographer: Lets has been guiding safaris in Botswana for more than eight years. His understanding of animal behaviour helps him get in the right place to take the best photos. He has twice been a finalist in the Botswana Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

Deadly duel

Wild Shots 2017-World Lion Day-Margot Raggett-min

Margot Raggett, founder of the Remembering Elephants project, writes: “Searching for a pair of honeymoon lions, we instead came across a lone female. She was heading very quickly in a certain direction. Then we saw the couple of lions we’d been looking for. She was heading straight for them. This was very strange indeed. All of a sudden, from the same area she emerged from, another male lion burst from the bush. The two females scattered and the males entered into a ferocious fight for about 60 seconds. I just fired away and it was only when they stopped, that I remembered to breathe.”

About the photographer: Margot is an award-winning photographer that uses her talent to raise funds for conservation. The Remembering Elephants project has raised more than £130,000 for the Born Free Foundation and anti-poaching efforts.

A mother’s love

Wild Shots 2017-World Lion Day-Shem Compion-min

Shem Compion, specialised photo safari company owner, says: “It was early morning and we found a lioness in a gully. We decided to observe her for a while. We noticed that she was scanning the plains and then realised that she was hiding cubs. Before long, she appeared with one of the little ones. Very secretively, she translocated the cub from one end of the gully to another. She was obviously looking over the plains to make sure that there was no immediate danger around her and her cubs.”

About the photographer: Shem runs C4 Images photo safari company and offers photo workshops and safaris. His Insider’s Guide books describe the best places to photograph wildlife in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.

Young and vulnerable

Wild Shots 2017-World Lion Day-James Gifford-min

James Gifford, author of Savute: Botswana’s Wildlife Kingdom, says: “Despite their cute appearance, life as a cub is fraught with danger and 80% will not make it to their second birthday. Other predators will be quick to take advantage of the considerable time they are left alone, but the biggest threat comes from their own species: either through fratricide from their older siblings (mostly accidental), or as a result of infanticide if new dominant males arrive on the scene.”

About the photographer: James has published two books on Botswana’s incredible wildlife. In addition to photographing for a range of publications, he was won national and international awards.

When romance calls

Wild Shots 2017-World Lion Day-Jon Bryant-min

Jon Bryant, ambassador for Panasonic Lumix, says: “This young male was spotted close to the banks of the Chobe River in Botswana. He remained in a consistent location as he was escorting a female lion with whom he mated with over a period of 4-6 days.”

About the photographer: Jon calls himself the ‘accidental wildlife photographer’ as he stumbled into the profession. He is a regular contributor to a range of publications, including Wild Planet photo magazine.

Early bird special

Register online before 1 September and as a valid Wild Card member, you’ll pay only R750 for the full delegate package – registration between 1 and 23 September costs R1,250. Non-Wild Card members pay R850. To take advantage of the special offer, complete the online registration and select “Concession”.

Email a picture of your Wild Card to [email protected] to qualify for the discount.

The delegate package includes entry to the full programme of events, presentations and panel discussions by award-winning wildlife photographers, book signings and exhibition area, lunch and refreshments, and a delegate pack.