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2016, Wildlife

1st Place Wildlife: Jean-Marie Girardot – It was an incredible experience walking with these wild dogs in Mana Pools. We stopped when they stopped and ran to see them after killing an impala and eating it in about 12 minutes.2nd Place Wildlife: Pam Katz - After six hours of strenuous hiking, we reached the Susa Family and captured this special moment of mother and baby. Volcanoes NP, Rwanda.3rd Place Wildlife: Stuart Hahn – Well hidden in the dense brush, this female leopard and her three young cubs where barely visible. When we got into position there was only a very small partially open clearing that allowed me to get this photo.
Wendy Maloon – While in the Lower Zambezi National Park in Zambia, we witnessed these two male lions happily reuniting after being separated for several days.Steve Jackson – It was thrilling to find a tree-climbing lion during a game drive in Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park.Susan Sheridan – One of five lionesses resting under a tree near the Zambezi River. In Africa, the light is key to everything. The sun was in the perfect spot at the perfect angle. She seems to be saying ‘can I help you?’
Eric Gurwin – The game viewing at Vumbura Plains produced this spectacular large mane lion. Okavango Delta, Botswana.Jay Jacobson – Last day of our trip, we saw these two lionesses playing, running and ‘attacking’ one another repeatedly. We watched them for over 20 minutes. It was by far the best ride to an airport we ever experienced! Okavango Delta, BotswanaPam Katz – This large male lion approached our vehicle while game viewing on Tanzania’s world famous Serengeti.
Chris Swindal – My guide and I were incredulous and practically beside ourselves at the stunning scene of the vaunted Tsaro Pride all standing there in front of us in the golden light of sunrise. Duba Plains, Okavango delta, Botswana.Chet Stein – Two male lion brothers had entered the area overnight. The image gives a good perspective of viewing  opportunities while in a vehicle. Chitabe Camp, Botswana.Bill Harker – The male lions overlooking the buffalo was less than half a mile from camp.  Apparently the 6 male lion coalition kill a buffalo whenever they get hungry.  Here it looks like they are just looking over their menu choices. Serengeti, Tanzania
Chris Swindal – One of the lionesses of the Tsaro Pride at Duba Plains jumps a water channel. Her immense shoulder muscles are evident as she gives chase to a herd of red lechwe. However she was not close enough; the lechwe escaped through the water.David Mounsey – During a night game drive from our camp at Offbeat Mara, Oct, 2017Mary Lippold – Regal male lion near Tubu Tree Camp, Botswana, patrolling his territory while also looking for his two brothers.  This male is collared and being monitored by a nearby lion research group.
Oren Kantor – This surreal experience while at Singita Boulders. We were watching some lions sleep and out of nowhere a herd of 50+ elephants showed up and scared the lions off. They trotted past our vehicle, talk about a HOLD YOUR BREATH experience!Fred Stults –The leader of the lion pride was out early in the morning totally focused on the hunt for impala. Mashatu Game Reserve, Botswana.Darlene Knott – We watched this pair of lions mate several times in the Serengeti. The male initiates the activity, but the female always seems to end the coupling with the best snarl!
Laura McBride – It was taken one early morning on the Serengeti just before this beautiful lioness used our vehicle to attempt to sneak up on a large group of gazelles. She failed, but I won!Tom Ocasek – Sunrise at Mashatu Game Reserve in Southern Botswana. It was created by the quality experience the camp provided - healthy subjects, private vehicles, waterhole hides, and a professional photographer guide and ‘coach’ made it special.Mary Lippold – Taken near Chitabe Camp, Botswana. Lions and other animals often use the same dirt roads used by safari vehicles. If they can walk down an open 'road' it is easier and has better visibility than pushing through tall grass.
Josena Wadle – Brotherly love. These two male lion brothers share a territory and a pride, consisting of 4 lionesses and 16 cubs.  When these two woke up they greeted each other with a head-butt.  Chitabe Lediba Camp in Botswana.Mary Ellen Cvek - A chance encounter with two all-too amorous lions along the Mara River in the Northern Serengeti, on our way to the first of two exciting migration crossings.David Mounsey – Male lion flehming to pick up the scent, Offbeat Mara Camp, Oct, 2017.
Ellen Hoff – These lions were peacefully sleeping in the shade by the Chobe River until, a nanosecond before, the wildlife camera crew closed their van door. Chobe, Botswana.Lisa Schwerdt – From the watering hole hide behind Little Makalolo Camp in Hwange. This fellow was right in front of me—maybe 10 feet—giving me a great look down his throat. He didn’t seem very happy at our being so close.Elissa Warantz – We were able to get amazingly close to this elephant in our canoe on the Zambezi River, Mana Pools, Zimbabwe.  He allowed us to float just a few feet away while he munched on river grasses.
Darlene Knott – This herd of elephants approached the water at the photographic hide with zeal! From the matriarch to the babies, they raised a cloud of dust as they raced for a drink! Mashatu Game Reserve, BotswanaDarlene Knott – In the photographic hide at Mashatu Game Reserve, Botswana, we watched many elephants come to drink. This one stood very near me, almost directly over me.Pam Hall – When I think about all the elephants I have seen in Africa, especially in Botswana, I visualize them standing in water or at water’s edge. Here in the Namib Desert they stand on big sand dunes.
Susan Sheridan – Sitting at the base of a tree with a gentle giant slowly approaching was an amazing experience. His trunk was within two feet of my feet. I was hoping he’d get close enough for me to touch. Mana Pools, Zimbabwe.Jean Marie Girardot – A rainy day on the northern Serengeti provides a striking backdrop for this giant tusker.Jean-Marie Girardot – Mana Pools Zimbabwe, walking safari with Nick Murray. Stompie the elephant was having a mud bath by the riverbank. We changed position to view him and a few seconds later, Stompie was right behind us. We never heard him approaching.
Gabriel Taub – These playful youngsters in Tarangire National Park, Tanzania. Our wonderful guide Ephata put our vehicle in the perfect position to watch them. They gave a private show for what felt like hours but in reality lasted about 15 minutes.Bill Webb – This large bull elephant came close enough to make eye contact, but he is actually a good bit farther away from us than appears in this telephoto shot.   Maasai Mara, KenyaSusan Sheridan – Timing is everything. The elephants were on their way to the watering hole and the cheetah were totally engrossed in their kill. The matriarch got the cheetah to move for a few minutes before the young ones passed.
Wendy Maloon – Our son, Sean spotted this beautiful leopard in a gully near the Luangwa River in Zambia.  We then followed her and watched her unsuccessfully hunt.Stan Chapman – This female leopard rested on a rock in a dried-up riverbed at Sabi Sand Game Reserve, and looked toward the adjacent woods, where a male leopard was wandering about.Jean-Marie Girardot – Our first game drive in Ruaha National Park. Within a few minutes our guide spotted Tongo, the leopard, at the foot of a tree. Being such a beauty, Tongo asked for a photo of his incredible profile.
George Ribet – Interacting with other guides at Chitabe, our guide Gordon found a gorgeous leopard who acted like a model at a photo shoot.  Truly a once in a lifetime experience.Mark Knott – There is something primeval about having one of the big cats looking you directly in the eye at close range. You wonder ‘what is it thinking?’ This one was watching us from a termite mound at MalaMala in South Africa.Tim Eberly - Our guide, Emmanuel Mkenda, spotted this leopard off in the distance taking an afternoon snooze. When we arrived, he opened his eyes for a few minutes, then went back to his afternoon siesta. Oliver’s Camp, Tarangire National Park, Tanzania
Katrina McIntyre –When we found this leopard he was 20 feet up a tree eating a baby wildebeest.  He finished his meal, walked down the tree and sat for quite a while digesting that big meal. Northern Serengeti, Tanzania.Oren Kantor – This leopard mother was watching her cubs play right in front of our Land Rover. She was keeping a watchful eye over her vulnerable babies.Stan Chapman – We drove past this leopard while he was resting in a tree at Ngala Game Reserve in South Africa. Seeing the leopard stand up and face us was a thrilling sight, and we remained within about twenty yards of him for several minutes.
Lou Grossman – The leopard is a magnificent animal, beautiful to behold, a cunning and furious hunter. Rattray’s, MalaMala, South Africa.Mark Knott – The brief mating act of leopards usually ends in a lighting fast flurry of growling, claws and teeth, quite an exhilarating sighting. This pair was sighted at MalaMala in South Africa.Chris Swindal – This beautiful leopard is ‘Saba’, known from Africa's Fishing Leopards, an episode of BBC's Natural World series. She looked up to check that her kill was safe in the branches above. Chobe National Park, Botswana.
Matthew Hoerr – We almost missed the leopard completely, driving past it until my wife saw it flick its tail in the tree and we backed up. The leopard looked right at us and then quickly jumped down. The highlight of the trip for me!Jay Jacobson – Within 10 minutes of our first safari ride, this mother leopard emerged from the bushes and sat right next to our vehicle. A few minutes later her cub came and sat with her. Sabi Sand, South AfricaJanis Webb – Maasai Mara, Talek River - Young leopard, son of Bahati.  While Bahati was in a nearby tree eating a freshly killed eland, her son played in the morning sun, chasing imaginary prey.
Raymond Rowe - Watching this female leopard as she walked through the bush, circling around us and then turning towards us.  I had to stop photographing because she was too close to focus my lens..  Wow! Tanda Tula, South AfricaRod Kuo – Tanda Tula Private Game Reserve, South Africa - As the cub cried, mum raced down the tree. The setting sun cast a perfect golden light upon the camouflaged leopard.Susan Chernick – At Vumbura Plains, Botswana, we watched a mother leopard with her son for about half an hour before a lone hyena showed up. The mother went into the brush, the son climbed up the tree next to our truck.
Ellen Hoff - This young leopard in Botswana’s Okavango Delta was more interested in catching his mother’s tail than helping her look for food.Michael Rachel – My wife unknowingly dropped a glove on the ground outside the vehicle. The motion of the glove falling aroused the curiosity of the cub who immediately came out from under cover to investigate it. Okavango Delta, Botswana.Darlene Knott – Ephata, our guide, made sure we enjoyed every minute in the Ngorongoro Crater. We were fortunate to see 9 different black rhinos, this one being the last and the closest to us as we headed to the gate!
Elissa Warantz – A young white rhino (and Cape Turtle Doves) enjoying a mud bath in Malilangwe Reserve, Zimbabwe (as seen from the Singita Pamushana water hole blind). You could see from their actions how much they loved being at that water hole.Pam Hall – Desert Rhino Camp, Damaraland, Namibia. During our 4-night stay we saw 10 rhinos which we were told was a camp record!  I love this handsome boy, he so depicts the harsh terrain they call home.Matthew Hoerr – Game viewing was quite productive in South Africa’s Madikwe Game Reserve where we spotted 16 different white rhino in 1 day.
Stan Chapman – These white rhinos at Ngala Game Reserve were among many we saw in South Africa. Two of these still had their horn, while park rangers had cut off the horn of the third, in order to protect the rhino from potential poachers.Chet Stein – On the Tswalu Game Reserve, this black rhino was grazing with its mother. The mother ignored our presence. The baby however was testing and made a number of threatening gestures.Pam Hall – At Desert Rhino Camp we were excited to finally have the cow and calf move so we could see both. The pair stayed close to each other as they continued and provided a second opportunity to photograph them.
Stan Chapman – At Phinda Game Reserve in South Africa, we witnessed a remarkable standoff between these white rhinos and a pride of lions. The rhinos announced their presence before the lions' nighttime hunt began, warning the lions not to bother them.Cindy Johnston – This rhino is the original rhino on the Lewa Rhino Sanctuary and has been there for 24 years. He used to be extremely aggressive, but as he has aged has become much calmer.Katrina McIntyre – Taken early in the morning in the Northern Serengeti.  Rhino sighting are apparently fairly rare in this part of the park so we were so fortunate to see not only see one but a whole family.
Patsy Nelson – Taken on the floor of the Ngorongoro Crater.  It was such a thrill to see the black rhino since they are so rare – and they looked white because they had been rolling in ash!Brad McConky – Taken in the late afternoon in the Vumbura Plains area. The cheetah was resting in the grass by an termite hill when we came upon her. Okavango Delta, BotswanaBill Harker – We saw 19 cheetahs within 2 days at Namiri Camp, Serengeti.
Mark Knott – Cheetah must always remain vigilant. I was fortunate to capture this mother and sub-adult cub in the soft evening light at Mashatu Camp in Eastern Botswana.Helen Reinhardt – Our first game drive at Mombo was magical.  In the late afternoon light we saw a mother cheetah majestically basking in the sun on a rise in the savannah, keeping a close watch on her two youngsters.  Moremi Reserve, BotswanaBill Webb – While looking for Malaika, the cheetah, early one morning, we came across what is believed to be one of her adult sons. He hadn't eaten in a few days, and was scanning the landscape for a potential meal. Maasai Mara, Kenya
Gabriel Taub –This mother and her three sub-adult children moved to a termite mound to get the lay of the land.  Cheetahs were on the top of our list and we were lucky to see 19 of them. Maasai Mara, KenyaNicole Merrick – A game drive on the MalaMala Game Reserve brings fantastic photographic opportunities.Gerald Striph – The photo is Sylvester - he’s a habituated cheetah (wild, but raised by humans from 5 days of age, as lions killed his family). He’s overlooking the Zambezi River just outside of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
Hashona Braun – This was our second day of mountain gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda.  Who knows what the big guy was thinking?  Perhaps, ‘I don't always pose for pictures, but when I do, make sure your camera is ready!’Scottye Lindsey – I was surprised by the proximity to the gorillas. I watched this gorilla (Amahoro Group) for several minutes eating bamboo. He took a break from eating, ascertained the situation and satisfied the nothing was wrong, he continued eating.Kirk Blackwood - Taken on a gorilla trek in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.  What an amazing experience to be so close to these incredible animals - so like us in many ways.  We will always cherish wonderful memories of our unforgettable trip.
Philip Coonley – This is part of the large Sabyinyo group of mountain gorillas.  Though we had started tracking them from Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park just two hours earlier, the photo was actually taken in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.Patsy Nelson – The silverback gorilla and was part of the Kwitonda gorilla family of 24 members that we visited while in Rwanda.  The experience was life-changing and we loved feeling connected to our ‘ancestors’.Janis Webb – Maasai Mara, Mara River - These zebras and wildebeest were getting a drink before attempting to cross the Mara River just south of the ‘main crossing’.
Loretta Coppola – We were lucky enough to see a crossing everyday, and I was thrilled to catch this ‘impatient’ wildebeest going airborne at the Mara River during The Great Migration in Kenya.Darlene Knott – Wildebeests in the southern Serengeti during the calving season. We stood on the ground in the middle of the wildebeests, did a 360 degree turn and saw thousands of wildebeests stretching as far as the eye could see! Amazing!Jean-Marie Girardot – A spectacular experience in the northern Serengeti at Sayari Camp. Wildebeest began crossing and one elephant wasn’t very happy with it and started going in the river and thrashing right and left.
Bill Webb – Maasai Mara, Mara River - After visiting potential crossing sites for many days, and many hours spent waiting, we were rewarded with these wildebeests crossing the Mara River.Vikki Fox – Witnessing the wildebeest migration, which swept into Amboseli National Park in KenyaPatsy Nelson – During our time staying at the Serengeti Shared Explorer Camp, we witnessed the great migration and we were amazed to see wildebeest from horizon to horizon!
Chris Swindal – One evening at DumaTau, we came across the LTC wild dog pack while they were still sleeping (six adults with nine pups). Upon waking they greeted each other and started on their evening hunt. We struggled to keep up with their quick pace.Jay Berkowitz – Henry our guide from Vundu Camp in Mana Pools, Zimbabwe took us to see a wild dog den with new pups. A curious one year old advanced upon us, he was as interested in us as we were him.Helen Reinhardt – Seeing a pack of African wild dogs is a thrill we will never forget.  At all times some of the pack members were scanning the distance and they seemed so in tune with each other
Darlene Knott – Kyle, our photographic guide, and Isaac, our wildlife guide, set us up for a perfect backlit baboon shot. The texture of the tree and the impala casting a wary eye at the baboon made it perfect!Chet Stein – Due to draught, aardvark sightings are becoming more uncommon in the Southern Kalahari. They have a great sense of smell. As I took the image I saw his nose expand and he took off.  That was the end of the photo op.Lisa Schwerdt – We stumbled across this group of sable antelope in Hwange National Park one morning.  Little Makalolo Camp, Hwange, Zimbabwe.
Paul Hanser – Heading back to Botswana’s Kwara Camp for lunch when we saw this kudu trotting towards us. The most exciting part of taking this photograph was waiting for him to get in position with proper lighting.Chet Stein – Each morning the meerkats line up facing the sun to warm their bodies.  A habituated colony is located near the camp, so you can get quite close to these cute little guys. Tswalu, South AfricaFred Stults – In the photographic hide at Mashatu Game Reserve, a large group of zebra came to the watering hole to drink.  The mirrored effect in the water creates a spectacular photograph.
Tanya Warren – The ‘Giraffe Garden’, with the one giraffe looking right at us as the others frolic behind, was taken at Savuti Camp.Chet Stein – Unfortunately the sightings of the Pangolin are becoming rare. It is presently considered the most heavily trafficked animal in the world. The draught also had an impact on their numbers. Tswalu, South AfricaElissa Warantz – This 3 month old baby Pangolin was rescued from poachers by Malilangwe Reserve anti-poaching rangers.  She was brought into the woods to feed, as part of her rehabilitation, prior to being returned back into the wild.  Amazing experience!
Beverly Lipman – Taken at Tswalu Game Reserve in the Kalahari, South Africa – this rare pangolin has 2 trackers attached to its back. One is visible in the photo.Bill Schmidt – We had ‘serval karma’ on our safari, sighting 5 adults and 2 kittens. This one in Maasai Mara paraded around near our vehicle for about 30 minutes, giving us time to admire his long legs and ears, striking face and graceful movements.Dan Aspan – Taken from the deck of our shark diving vessel off Gansbaai, South Africa.  We had just arrived at the dive site and I was lucky enough to snap this picture just as the first shark of the day came over to say hello
Steve Jackson – How to confuse a predator, 'Zebra edition'. Serengeti, Tanzania.Katie Stiner – Sifakas sashay between trees in Madagascar’s Berenty Reserve.  This spiny desert environment makes for amazing lemur watching, and the spacing of the trees ensures you'll see plenty of sifakas dancing across open stretches.Fred Stults – A very large crocodile sunning himself on the banks of the Chobe River, Botswana.
Steve Jackson – Vervet monkey, Tarangire National Park, Tanzania.Linda Schmidt – We encountered a small troop of blue monkeys shortly after entering Lake Manyara National Park. This adult watched our every move and seemed as interested in us as we were in him.Gussie Ross – An impressive adult male kudu on the Tswalu Game Reserve, South Africa.
Katie Stiner – Cruising the waters of Madagascar’s Nosy Tanikely with hawksbill turtles.  You can get incredibly close with just a snorkel and the island has an incredible population of lemurs as well as a colony of flying foxes.Eric Gurwin – A study of black and white. This spectacular hippo at MalaMala Game Reserve, South Africa.