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2017, Wildlife

First Place Wildlife: Kay Jacobson - While on a ‘Helicopter Horizons’ excursion from Mombo Trails, flying over the Okavango Delta, we spotted a lion standing on a hippo. Our pilot, Tom Cunningham, was flabbergasted! He said he had never seen such a thing.Second Place Wildlife: Randy Potts - We experienced an incredible variation of interactions with beautiful animals but few were as endearing as the giraffes. They are staggeringly large, oddly conformed yet have the most incredibly sweet, calm faces.Third Place Wildlife: Kathy Wrobel - Her quickness was incredible! She took down this full sized impala and then called her two small cubs and introduced them to the kill. It was so cute as they had no idea what to do with it. Phinda, South Africa.
Randy Potts – Late one afternoon we were making our way back towards Faru Faru when our guide somehow spotted 2 cheetahs off in the distance. We were able to approach within range of my telephoto. Grumeti Reserve, Tanzania.Laurie Berke – It was a blessing that this magnificent silverback mountain gorilla gave us the privilege to be in his presence. Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda.Helen Reinhardt – Ol Donyo Lodge used their gray water to supply a water hole adjacent to a blind. The animals, the safari goers, and the environment all benefited from the arrangement. Chyulu Hills, Kenya.
Brian Levin – Game viewing in the Ngorongoro Crater and the thrill of seeing the most challenging of the Big Five, the elusive black rhino.Elissa Warantz – Early morning in the Okavango Delta in Botswana. While based at Chitabe Lediba, we found a den of wild dog pups hidden in the long grass, and watched as the adults returned with food to regurgitate for the pups.Chris Swindal - I watched this cheetah stalk a gazelle at Namiri Plains, Serengeti. When the gazelle saw her it shot up and bolted. The cheetah launched. Tastest animal on land, but to see her speed is unreal.
Michael Gorski – Boswell, one of the big tuskers in Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools, rises up on his hind legs to break an acacia branch to feed on. He was accompanied by a small group of bull elephants who shared in the broken branches.Helen Reinhardt – We were fortunate to see four migration river crossings in one day. From this perspective, the fatigued relief of the wildebeest after making it across the water safely was palpable. Sayari Mara Camp, Northern Serengeti, Tanzania.Randy Potts – After 10 days of not seeing a leopard, our guide found this majestic cat relaxing in the heat of the day. Grumeti Reserve, Tanzania.
Kay Jacobson - Thanks to the Botswana government and Wilderness Safaris' Rhino Conservation Project, these endangered animals are getting a second chance. It was so exciting to get to see so many black rhinos during our stay at Mombo Trails.Jennifer Steck – I joined AAC’s Signature group ‘Primate and Plains Safari to Uganda and Rwanda.’ This was one of my best trips ever!! It was one highlight after another. My fellow travelers were amazing and I loved the small group aspect of the trip.Fred Calinsky – This cheetah was seen on our first day at Cheetah Plains Lodge on our very first safari. What a thrill to see! Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, South Africa.
Mark Janes – The giraffe was probably the only one that did not run when we were close. We were alone near the river in Linyanti, Botswana. He was getting phosphorus from the ground and posed for us while we enjoyed our sundowners.Walter Diehl – Zebra close up in Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania. I was taken by the abstract pattern of black and white lines, creating a fun study of positive and negative space.Walter Diehl – This chimp was smart enough to make the effort to bring his partially eaten fruit down the tree with him and so avoid a confrontation over ownership. Kibale National Park, Uganda.
Randy Potts – It’s hard to explain the anticipation that builds as you wait for the wildebeest to decide to cross. It can take awhile…but when they start to cross, the shear energy of the animals is truly. Northern Serengeti, Tanzania.Helen Reinhardt – This beautiful male lion lay in the wide open, casually keeping track of the females and youngsters in the area. This pride was hunting successfully in the Maasai Mara. Mara Plains Camp, Kenya.Herb Wollner - What an amazing sight to see FOUR cheetah together on a termite mound. We waited patiently in anticipation of them coming towards this termite mound which was only ten yards away. We were not disappointed. Serengeti, Tanzania.
Jay Branegan – Our first full day of safari. We were staying in DumaTau, a camp in Botswana’s Linyanti Reserve near the Okavango Delta. I think this was the first time we’d seen hippos, so we stopped to linger.Mark Knott - We watched with interest as a pack of wild dogs chased this young male leopard up a tree in the beautiful morning light. Okavango Delta, Botswana.Michael Gorski – Just as the pride was stirring, a kudu walked by the well camouflaged pride. The lions instantly went into stalking mode in front of our vehicle. We had a thrilling front row seat for the hunt. Somalisa Camp, Hwange, Zimbabwe.
Jessica Loding - This elephant was peeking out of a bush. She reached out her trunk and seemed just as curious about us as we were of her. Vumbura Plains Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana.HoMin Lim – This photo was taken at Lake Ndutu in the Southern Serengeti, Tanzania on a ‘hohum’ safari day with Ephata as the guide.Rich Goldman – We came across this leopard in the afternoon, waking up from a nap. It spotted some impalas in the distance and we were able to follow it when it came down the tree to stalk the impalas. Thrilling!
Brian Levin – We saw a rare pair of black rhinos in the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania. They were grazing among the flowers on a beautiful morning in early June.Michael Shepard – We saw this female many times over two days as she mated near continuously with the local male. Few things in nature are as mesmerizing as the green eyes of the leopard. Mombo Camp, Moremi Reserve, Botswana.Jennifer Steck – The gorilla trek in Uganda was challenging. It turns out we were on the hardest trek. I secured two porters to assist, one to push – one to pull. Great advice as it gave me real peace of mind.
Walter Diehl – Two lions in Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater. Shot early in the morning, this photograph shows a pair of lions that were mating away from the main pride, while nonetheless keeping a watchful eye on everything and everyone.Chris Donovan – We followed this lioness on her morning hunt for a couple of days and she seemed to flirt with the idea of taking down one of this giraffe trio... they seemed unconcerned and she eventually moved on. Hwange, Zimbabwe.Kay Jacobson - If you look at the trees long enough in Botswana, you’re bound to see a leopard high up on a branch or lying at the base of the tree below! I spotted this one in the Okavango Delta, on safari from Little Vumbura.
Ken Spint – The Parson’s chameleon is a large chameleon, and was seen in our walk through the humid primary forest in eastern Madagascar.Darlene Knott – We sat with our guide, Dickson Dube, and watched elephants constantly come and go to this waterhole. These two young bulls entertained us while they expended a lot of energy 'play fighting'! Davison’s Camp, Hwange, Zimbabwe.Randy Potts – Late one afternoon we came across this lioness, with 3 cubs and a kill nearby. She was never threatening but she clearly kept her eye on us. It’s hard to describe the beauty of these animals in the wild….truly magnificent!
Laurie Berke – This female gorilla was such a sweet, gentle soul. I will never forget her. Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda.Michael Ehrlich – Within 20 minutes of arriving the northern Serengeti we witnessed a crossing. It was amazing - feeling the herd trample the ground as the came out of the river and the smell of the water in the air from the intense action.Darlene Knott – At Seba Camp, we watched this male lion and a lioness mating as his brother lurked nearby. Even seemingly at rest, his eyes were always searching for the brother. Okavango Delta, Botswana.
Kay Jacobson - Wild Dogs were one of 2 animals (the other being a rhino), I most wanted to see on this trip. I was not disappointed! It was exciting to watch these two rough housing just like domestic dogs! Savuti Camp, Linyanti, Botswana.Darlene Knott – At Chitabe Camp, we watched this young male leopard steal a warthog kill from his mother, then when she approached the tree again, he gave her this 'toothy' snarl! Fascinating to watch! Okavango Delta, Botswana.Walter Diehl – A lion ‘Patrolling the Perimeter’ atop a kopje in Serengeti NP, Tanzania. Whenever we encountered the males, they were usually taking a nap. ‘Patrolling the Perimeter’ became our euphemism for our afternoon nap.
Randy Potts – We never imagined that hippos, as HUGE as they are, would ever rest in such close quarters….though now and then a squabble would emerge. Mara River, Northern Serengeti, Tanzania.Michael Shepard – Welcome to Mombo. We were picked up by our guide at the airstrip and before we went a hundred meters we came across this massive, lone bull. Hardly acknowledging us, he slowly consumed baby palm fronds. Moremi Reserve, Botswana.Walter Diehl – I was struck by a very caring expression on her face. These gentle great apes were not at all concerned by our very close proximity and went about their normal daily routine, feeding and grooming their young. Volcanoes NP, Rwanda.
Bill Harker – During a game drive from our camp, Little Kwara in Botswana’s Kwara concession, we came across this spectacular black-maned lion.Glen Bowler - This shot was taken near the end of a 70 minute drama in which this leopard, along with her mate, killed an impala only to have a lioness steal the kill. Okavango Delta, Botswana.Chris Donovan – A cheetah family on the hunt, moving almost imperceptibly through the tall grass in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe.
Jessica Loding - We heard the wild dogs were hunting impala so we joined in the pursuit. Their hunt was unsuccessful - ours was not. A special thanks to Ron for his incredible guiding and driving in following the pack! Okavango Delta, Botswana.Elissa Warantz – To me, this looks like an elephant dipped in chocolate — two of my favorite things! This was taken at a big mud hole in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, where the elephants were having an enormous amount of fun.Larry Zimny – Our jeep was right in the midst of the migration as this wildebeest herd stretched as far as the eye could see in the northern Serengeti.
Michael Ehrlich – This was one of three male lions after we descended onto the Ngorongoro Crater floor. This lion was sitting on the embankment a short distance from the road sitting regally atop his throne, aware of everything.Bill Harker – Leopards are opportunistic hunters with a broad diet. This one was using a tree as a vantage point to spot potential prey. Kwando Lebala Camp, Botswana.Matt Bays – In Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools National Park, during our first up close encounter with an elephant. I found it fascinating on how versatile it made use of its trunk.
Christine Schopen – A fractured wrist wasn’t going to slow down my photography skills on safari. At Kirkman's Kamp, we were surrounded by Cape buffalo. I was watching the oxpeckers and waited until they reached his nose. Sabi Sand, South Africa.Nancy Lind – We spent time ‘hanging around’ this pack of wild dogs (I like the name African painted wolves better). In this shot they seemed to be getting organized before taking off on the hunt. Mombo Trails, Moremi Reserve, Botswana.Karen Knierim – We found this beautiful sleepy leopard just before lunch in the western Serengeti. He was not concerned about our presence at all so we were able to drive quite close.
Helen Reinhardt – This wildebeest crossing in the northern Serengeti was a sea of horns and sunlit splashing. What a spectacle! Sayari Mara Camp, Tanzania.Jennifer Steck – The gorillas in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park were amazing. The guide and trackers were so helpful and very protective of the gorillas.Chris Donovan – One of the signature sights of Chobe National Park in Botswana is elephants fording the river in search of a meal. His morning commute completed, he shucks his way to a tasty lunch.
Lugena Wahlquist – Who is watching whom? Sifka lemur at Berenty Reserve in southern Madagascar. Mona Lisa Smile.Michael Shepard – During a rainy game drive, this baboon was just looking to stay dry. Unfortunately, the rain was hard and the tree she chose was sparse. We wondered if our covered vehicle and ponchos looked a little too welcoming to her.Mark Janes – This leopard was posing at sunset in the Serengeti. It was cool and wet early there this year so the background was green and clear. Amazing to see such a powerful beautiful cat. Olakira Camp, Serengeti, Tanzania.
Mark Knott - Our Chitabe guide EBS put us in perfect position to capture this wild dog's mirror image reflection as the pack prepared for its evening hunt. Okavango Delta, Botswana.Ken Lowenstein – This picture was taken during my stay at MalaMala Private Game Reserve. Our guide said he was looking for the other males in his pride. Sabi Sand, South Africa.Larry Quinn - The elephant was at the wonderful Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp in northern Namibia. We watched this guy take a bath in the watering hole and then start to add ‘sunscreen’ afterwards.
Bill Harker – White rhino can be seen from Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park in Livingstone, Zambia.Karen Knierim – This lioness was looking right down into our safari vehicle! She could have jumped right in, but was quite content where she was. Serengeti, Tanzania.Tom LaPorta – While at Tanda Tula, our guide was alerted a sighting of the elusive honey badger, we found a mother and baby on the hunt. We watched her dig up a rodent and called to the baby. They both devoured the rodent quite quickly!
Betty Reed - The leopard was photographed at Mombo Trails Camp. It spent some amount of time perching on that termite mound, on the lookout for prey. Moremi Reserve, Botswana.Brad Rutledge – I encountered this thoughtful fellow from the Umubano gorilla group, high in the mountains of Volcanoes National Park in northern Rwanda. For a magical moment, it was just him and me, as we contemplated each other intensely.Ken Spint – Sleeping leopard seen in a sausage tree, Kwihala Camp, Ruaha, Tanzania, where from a distance his hanging tail look like just another sausage fruit.
Kavita Aggarwal – Game viewing in the world famous Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania.Jennifer Steck – Chimp trekking in Kibale Forest. What a beautiful creature and an incredible opportunity to see him.Larry Zimny – Eight thousand strong! After we watched the wildebeest massing on the banks, they treated us to a thunderous crossing of the Mara River in the northern Serengeti. Phenomenal!
Elissa Warantz – This was a member of Cecil’s pride in Hwange National Park. This lioness had caught the scent of some waterbucks and a sable coming down to the pan to drink, and continued to stalk them until they caught sight of her.Brad Nichols - We found 30 to 40 wild dogs running and playing. They looked like they had taken a break to enjoy some recreational time, not unlike domesticated dogs. It was quite a sight to see. Okavango Delta, Botswana.Michael Shepard – January in the Okavango Delta - small pools seem to pop up around every turn or corner. This male hippo was foaming at the mouth to defend his little pool and impress his small group of females.
Larry Zimny – This beautiful leopardess watches us carefully as her two young cubs play at the foot of a massive tree in the northern Serengeti.Walter Diehl – Parade of elephants chasing a cheetah with an African hare in its mouth. While capturing the hare, the cheetah found itself racing toward these elephants, who then gave chase to protect the baby. Maasai Mara, Kenya.Rich Goldman – We came across these zebras as part of a large dazzle in the Okavango Delta. When they gathered closely in groups, they blended together in a beautiful tapestry of stripes.
Bill Harker – A ‘journey’ of giraffe from Kwando Lebala Camp in Botswana’s Okavango Delta.Hulan Gilchrist – This mother leopard was checking her surroundings while waiting for her cub to catch up. Just a couple of feet away from us so we kept very quiet, only the sounds of breathing and camera clicks. Kirkman's Kamp, Sabi Sand, South Africa.Ken Lowenstein – During our time at Kwando Lagoon Camp in Botswana, we came across this herd of sable antelope. Okavango Delta, Botswana.
Lisa Miller – We saw 4 lions in one tree, and two lions mating and then laying down in the shade of our jeep. We stayed and watched them for quite some time. The male keeps nudging the female every so often.Betty Reed – Taken at Xigera Camp in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, fairly close to sunset. There were actually four hippos all bobbing their heads in and out of the water. Needless to say, we didn’t stick around too long!Hulan Gilchrist – We were very fortunate to witness one of approximately 400 wild black rhinos left in the world. We were told he came a long way, maybe from Kruger Park overnight. Sabi Sand, South Africa.
Ken Spint – The indri, also called the babakoto, is native to Madagascar and was photographed in eastern Madagascar. It was one of 5 different lemurs we saw and is one the largest of that species.Jennifer Steck - Chimpanzees consume a variety of food including fruit, leaves, insects, eggs and even meat. Kibale Forest, Uganda.Helen Reinhardt –A lone Cape buffalo was attempting to share the same space as a group of lions and neither of them seemed to enjoy the presence of the other. A cat and mouse game ensued.
Laurie Berke - It was a though these giraffe knew exactly how magnificent they would look if only someone would capture this moment. Serengeti, Tanzania.Fred Calinsky – The pangolin is a rare siting. We saw him at Cheetah Plains. We patiently, quietly waited and were rewarded with seeing this amazing creature. It was about dusk when he ventured out. Sabi Sand, South Africa.Alyvia Mann – This was my absolute favorite photo from the trip. Our guide found a leopard family (mother and two boys). Just as the sun rose, the mother got up and crawled across this fallen tree log. She was absolutely stunning.
Bill Harker – During a scenic river cruise from our camp, Toka Leya, we enjoyed some game viewing on the Zambezi River. Livingstone, Zambia.Glen Bowler - I began shooting before I really new what I was aiming at! Only later did we appreciate the extraordinary luck to see two of these beautiful animals posed so magnificently on this termite mound. Tarangire, Tanzania.Rusty Duke - While visiting Tarangire National Park in Tanzania, our wonderful guide Mkenda heard about a lion resting in a tree and took us to its location. We photographed her from both sides of the tree.
Dave Nelson – The silverback was part of the Sabyinyo gorilla group in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda. When he decided it was time to move on, he called to the other gorillas and they all followed as he moved off into the bush.Nancy Bailey – It was an honor to sit with this gorgeous female leopard for a full hour in complete silence. I was captivated by the tiniest details in her fur, eyes and whiskers. Okavango Delta, Botswana.Wanda Jong – Our expert private guide knew just where to place the vehicle so a rhino might approach us closer, and this one crossed right in front of us! Rhinos are notoriously shy and skittish and we were so lucky! Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania.
101a - Roy Pocknee - The experience seeing the Hirwa Group and being with guide Francois was amazing, and well worth any challenging hike.Lincoln Jong - These cheetah brothers bounded effortlessly through tall grasses and rocks, all the while on the lookout for females, food, and enemies, though in what order we couldn’t tell! Serengeti, Tanzania.Matt Bays - We had witnessed this pride feeding on a Cape buffalo. The guides correctly predicted that they would head to a watering hole after their feast. It was our first look at the male. Hwange, Zimbabwe.
Nancy Bailey – This male antelope popped up from the high grass during an early morning safari ride at Shinde Camp on the east side of the Okavango Delta in Botswana.Walter Diehl – Taking a break from the midday sun. The carcass of a recently killed gazelle hung higher up in the tree. When a troop of baboons approached, the leopard avoided confrontation by disappearing in the tall grass. Serengeti, Tanzania.Brian Ward – Our amazing guide Ephata found a family of cheetahs resting around a termite mound. It appeared the parents were ‘keeping watch’ on the top of the mound. Serengeti, Tanzania.
Marla Jeffress - We were about to go into the jungle and were suddenly stopped by our guide. Several gorillas led by this silverback came out of the bush. It was amazing as they were just yards away from us. Muhoza Group, Rwanda.Betty Reed - The two lions were photographed near Vumbura Plains Camp. Our guide was telling us how the males were usually spotted alone. So we were surprised to find two of them together. Okavango Delta, Botswana.Kiran Abraham-Aggarwal – This hippo came splashing out of the water in Tarangire National Park, Tanzania. They are considered the second largest land mammal and can weigh up to 5000 pounds.
Maureen Sullivan – These 2 females had 5 cubs that they would leave (under the pretense of hunting), but we would find the girls lounging under a bush, or termite mound. Savuti Camp, Linyanti Reserve, Botswana.Kathy Wrobel - We stopped to watch a mother rhino and her youngster. Something was spooking them because they were very skittish! At one point the smaller one just started running at us before turning back. Kapama Buffalo Camp, South Africa.Nancy Alegreto - We were lucky to come across this beautiful leopard on our first morning game drive. We saw all of the Big 5 within our first 24 hours of arriving on our first camp - Shumbalala Safari Lodge in South Africa.
David Isenberg - This lioness was looking after 5 or 6 juveniles. A couple of them were thin enough that our guide felt they might die from starvation. Thankfully she was able to kill a zebra and the pride had full stomachs. Okavango Delta, Botswana.Victoria Simons – Greetings by a coalition of young male brothers as they started their day and began a morning hunt. We were able to follow them ...They were unsuccessful but the bonding continued. A beautiful morning in Botswana’s Okavango Delta!Donald Carlton – During a game drive we encountered this female leopard in the tree. She was overseeing the area and we felt so blessed to not only see her but actually witness first hand her attempt to hunt. Okavango Delta, Botswana.
Hoshedar Tamboli – On our safari to Southern Africa we saw the Big Five and so much more. These incredible lions were taken during our stay at Chitabe Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana.Thia Bunker - I had read about Etosha's ghost elephants, white due to the calcite clay they regularly dust themselves with to keep cool. This was one of nine magnificent ghost bulls I was fortunate enough to see on my ultimate Namibia safari.Karen Knierim – We encountered this wonderful lioness in a tree on a long drive north to see the Great Migration in the Serengeti. Each day we would think we’d already seen it all and then there would be something totally new and exciting!
Homin Lim – We came across this mother cheetah and her four cubs. She was well fed as our guide pointed out her full stomach. Serengeti Kati Kati Camp, Tanzania.