A Leopard in the Darkness


Kirkman's Kamp, Mpumalanga, South Africa and therapy for my soul. There I was, in dire need for a drastic change in my life. I had been checking off bucket list items and Africa was next on my list! Flying from Dulles Airport in the US and landing in Johannesburg, South Africa with one more small flight, I found myself just as I had dreamed! It was a remake of the movie "Out of Africa". The moment we arrived, I could see monkeys jumping from tree to tree. Leopard tracks appeared in the sand and looking across the river valley were giraffe sauntering along the river bank. It was surreal, almost a dream.

I was staying Kirkman's Kamp, and every day, every game drive brought new experiences and heart-moving exchanges with lions, wild dogs, hyena, the list is endless. Sitting in our wide open safari vehicles, the rush of early morning sounds and crisp air were just part of the thrill. To see a pride of lions on the hunt, wild dogs leaping and yipping or nyala or springbok running or grazing were part of a new daily routine. The key reason I went to Kirkman's Kamp was to photograph Leopards at night. To be out in a wide open vehicle on the Sabi Sand River under the black sky with brilliant stars reaching to infinity and hearing and seeing Mom and Baby Leopard playing in the pitch darkness was life altering for me. I didn't realize on that first game drive, I had changed the direction of my life and my photography.

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