As Getaway magazine turns 30, editor Justin Fox looks back on three decades of captivating nature photography. Their new coffee table book, The 30-year Safari, features breathtaking photos, many taken in our pristine national parks.
Since 1989 Getaway has been showing South Africans the thrilling experiences offered by African travel. Over the three decades, thousands of nature photographs have captivated readers. Now the best images from their photojournalists and readers have been collected in The 30-Year Safari.
Naturally, many of the most dramatic and awe-inspiring pictures come from our national parks and nature reserves. Here are some of the spectacular moments that feature in the book:
“We found these two Cape fox pups cavorting in the last sunlight on the western side of the Nossob River, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, providing us with perfect backlit conditions. It’s not very often that you get to see them playing in the afternoon, as these foxes are mostly nocturnal.”
Stare of death
“I took this in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, near Kij Kij Waterhole. I had seen this calf earlier in the day, shortly after it was born. Little did I know that I would later witness its death.
“The small herd of wildebeest had been walking towards the waterhole when they, unfortunately, passed some lions – this was when the calf was caught. The saddest thing was seeing the mother the next morning, walking around calling for her little calf.”
Eye for an eye
“Approaching a ditch in Addo Elephant National Park, I noticed two large buffalo bulls fighting. It’s always an exciting scene when these massive animals have a full go at each other. Their power and speed is incredible, and this image shows how easily they can injure each other. I wanted to capture the symmetry and almost checkmate position of their horns.”
Throwing a tantrum
“Elephants protect their calves on a 24-hour basis, but when they throw tantrums, as this little one was doing, they’re mostly ignored by the herd. It’s part of their learning curve. It was a treat to watch this calf, at Spekboom Dam in Addo Elephant National Park, going on and on about something that it was very unhappy about and not getting the slightest reaction from the adults.”
“I took this shot of two lionesses on a kudu bull kill at Kuzuko Lodge in Addo Elephant National Park. To me, the symmetrical unison of their feeding is a reflection of the strength of the coalition between these two females, to the extent that they can feed in this manner, close up, relaxed and with absolute trust in one another. You often see aggressive feeding and skirmishes at kills, in stark contrast to these two.”
Smoking baby elephant
“One cloudy day in Kruger, we were the only vehicle with this herd of elephants on a quiet gravel road. They’d finished their mud bath and crossed the road to start having a dust bath. This little one was too adorable in its attempt to copy mom with its dusting. I took the shot from my car with the camera lens resting on a beanbag.”
Wild dove chase
“Two jackals were hunting doves at Cubitje Quap Waterhole near Nossob Rest Camp in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. It was extremely difficult to photograph because each time one of them charged, the doves took off, completely obscuring the predator. It took an entire day to get one clear shot of the jackal’s face and body.”
Under the stars
“After a strenuous hike in the Cederberg Wilderness, we camped at the famous Wolfberg Arch. My ideal would have been to capture the Milky Way above the arch, but it was lying in the opposite direction. Using what we had, I came up with this shot. It’s a truly ‘dark sky’ in this part of the berg and, exposing for 35 seconds, the sensor just soaked up all the stars that night. The challenge was lighting the tent: we used a headlamp wrapped in a thin neck scarf.”
“I took this shot of avian bustle at Satara Camp in Kruger National Park. The red-billed queleas were having a bath in a small puddle of water left after a rain shower.”
“During a visit to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, my wife and I spotted a restless young goshawk on the side of the road near the Leeudril Waterhole. After an immediate U-turn, I grabbed my camera and started shooting. We missed the hawk’s dive but were rewarded with shots of the takeoff clutching this hefty meerkat.”
The 30-Year Safari edited by Justin Fox. Jacana. R295.