Sabi Sabi yesterday, today, tomorrow

my favourite photos of 2011

by Richard de Gouveia on January 26, 2012

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

lions

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

leopard at sabi sabi

leopard stalking at sabi sabi

leopard

leopard on impala kill

leopards mating at sabi sabi

leopard

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.

buffalo

rhino

elephant

rhinos

rhino

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

impala

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.

vulture

lilac breasted roller

bee-eater

lilac breasted roller

bird life at sabi sabi

stork

weavers

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

snake

dragonfly

flowers at sabi sabi

frog

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

monlight

sabi sabi

boma dinner at sabi sabi

by: Richard de Gouveia (Little Bush Camp ranger)

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

trisha paton January 26, 2012 at 12:11 pm

These Photos are Awesome and deserve to be shown in National geographic, Amazing shots!!!! Thank you.

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ranger rich January 26, 2012 at 12:27 pm

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!

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syl January 26, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Richard, What a great collection….amazing. Thank you for sharing your work & talent with us.

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ranger rich January 27, 2012 at 4:05 am

Thank you so much Syl!

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najmeh January 26, 2012 at 3:09 pm

This is stunning. I will def get in touch with you to make a visit to Sabi Sabi next time I am in the region.

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ranger rich January 27, 2012 at 4:06 am

Hi Najmeh! We look forward to having you at our amazing piece of Africa!

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merryn robertson January 26, 2012 at 6:50 pm

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!

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ranger rich January 27, 2012 at 4:08 am

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!

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glor barclay January 28, 2012 at 2:08 pm

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

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ranger rich January 30, 2012 at 7:33 am

Thanks so much Glor! Life is great out here and just loving the photography!

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chris pedra January 30, 2012 at 4:36 am

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

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ranger rich January 30, 2012 at 7:36 am

Thanks so much bud! the bush is just such an amazing place! Nice to hear from you!

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shelley grobler February 8, 2012 at 7:14 pm

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!
Regards
Shelley

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ranger rich February 9, 2012 at 7:28 am

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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