my favourite photos of 2011

As we have almost finished the first month of 2012 I thought it would be nice to look back at some of my favourite photos of 2011. The Southern Pride has played a huge part of our safaris throughout 2011 and the look on guests faces when they see 16 lions is priceless. Throughout last year we saw the pride males get kicked out and after this we watched as 4 of our cubs did not make it. The pride total dropped from 23 to 16 but the Kruger males seem to be stamping their authority down on the pride, which would increase the pride size to 18 lions.

lion cub in tree

male lion while on safari at sabi sabi private game reserve

mom and cub while on safari at sabi sabi

southern pride cubs at sabi sabi

lion cubs



lion hunting at sabi sabi

male lion

lion drinking

southern pride lion cubs drinking at sabi sabi

Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve is world-renowned for leopard sightings and 2011 lived up to this reputation. Leopard kills, feeding, fighting and leopards mating were all on the menu, the highlight of which was a male leopard mating with two females at the same time!

leopard coming down a tree at sabi sabi


leopard at sabi sabi

leopard stalking at sabi sabi


leopard on impala kill

leopards mating at sabi sabi


leopard in a tree while on night safari drive

Let’s not forget the rest of the Big 5…buffalo, elephant and the under pressure rhino were out on display for all to see. There is something quite special being up close and personal, often as close as 20 metres from these giants, which gives you the feeling that you are not quite as big as you thought you were.






We also enjoyed many great sightings with our other predators. From the highly endangered wild dogs to the shy and rarely seen serval, jackal and hyena, all graced our beautiful reserve for all to see.

wild dogs

serval at sabi sabi

jackal at sabi sabi

hyena at sabi sabi

The general game which most of us see as fodder for the predators showed their true beauty throughout the year. The herbivores are often overlooked but their behaviour and impact on this system is immense. Nothing in nature operates outside of the bigger system and with each creature having their own unique part to play in this amazing story, the guests are left dumbstruck at the information the rangers feed to them about the system as a whole.

zebras at sabi sabi

zebra at sabi sabi


The birds fill the morning air with beautiful lyrics as they sing the dawn chorus for all to hear. The flitter about in the treetops and flying around showing off their magnificent colours and aerial displays keep all the female birds interested. With over 350 bird species recorded on our reserve, there is no doubt that the birders leave with smiles on their faces and those who had never contemplated taking time to look at birds leave hungry for more birding adventures.


lilac breasted roller


lilac breasted roller

bird life at sabi sabi



starling at sabi sabi

And as we moved through the safari experience the small things baffled the brain. The idea that termites are architects and farmers; the role that frogs play in determining environmental health; and the ways in which plants and flowers have adapted to attract certain creatures to pollinate them, filled the air throughout 2011 as the rangers guided their guests away from their home cities into a natural wonderland!

flowers at sabi sabi



flowers at sabi sabi


We watched sunrises and sunsets, an amazing lunar eclipse and dinners under the stars. All these things made 2011 the great year it was and all the more reason to look forward to an amazing 2012 and we will be sure to keep you updated on the happenings via our blog!

safri sunset at sabi sabi

sunset at sabi sabi


sabi sabi

boma dinner at sabi sabi

by: Richard de Gouveia (Little Bush Camp ranger)


    • ranger rich says

      Thank you so very much for the compliment Trisha! I hope one day that is a reality! The opportunities I have to take these photos lies in the amazing piece of Africa I get to work in every day! Sabi Sabi is a gem like nothing else I have ever experienced! Thank you to Sabi Sabi for the opportunity to showcase what this amazing reserve has to offer!

  1. merryn robertson says

    Rich these photo’s are amazing and continue to amaze me! We miss the bush so much yet reading your blogs we get out ‘far-away dose’ of the bush. Excellent work mate!

    • ranger rich says

      Thanks Minx! Happy to hear that the ex pats are missing the motherland and hope you guys will come visit us soon! When you come up for the wedding you and John should make a stop by the lodge!

  2. glor barclay says

    Oh, man! Amazing! Rich you have clearly found and are living your passion. How richly blessed you are. Just fantastic!

  3. chris pedra says

    Bud these photo’s are awesome – looks like you’re living the dream out there – good man!
    Keep the posts comin!

  4. shelley grobler says

    Hi Richard
    Your ears must have been burning yesterday, as I was having lunch with Pat and Dol, together with my parents John and Wendy. ( Seems we do this every time the Harts come to Durban, as we all love our food!)I happened to ask how you and your brother were doing, and Dol told me about you being a ranger and now blogging. She forwarded me this amazing site, which I think is really something to be proud of!Wow, the photography and script is mind-blowing!Well done, I can see that you are driven by passion , and this is evident in your work. Thanks for sharing it all, and well done!

    • ranger rich says

      Thank you so much Shelly! My aunty Dol is one of my biggest fans! Hehehe! I truely love what I am doing and hope to do it for the rest of my life!

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