You’re already familiar with Lonesome George and frisky Diego, and it turns out the creatures of the Galapagos Islands are pretty familiar with people, too – in fact, they barely flinch when you slowly creep up to them with an extended lens. I clicked hundreds of reptile pics during my recent cruise with Aurora Expeditions – the Ecuadorian islands are home to 28 reptile species but they look different wherever you go, so you can’t help but get snap-happy. Three different types of Galapagos land iguana, for example, can be found on a handful of the islands, and their colouration ranges from bright yellow to beige. Same same, but different. Similarly, tiny lava lizards look like peaches on some islands, chocolate chip biccies on others. And marine iguanas can range from ashtray grey to Rastafarian. Here, a peek at some of my favourite scalies from the trip, including some giant tortoises on Santa Cruz. Click on a thumbnail below to see the full-size pic and shooting info.
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This is "Susan". She's about 30 years young and is living wild and free in the Madikwe wilderness. As you can see from her ears, at some point in the past the Madikwe Counter-Poaching Unit have notched, microchopped and DNA sampled her, but on the day we found her she had a 15-month-old calf with her, who hadn't been previously recorded. So, both Susan and her little boy were blindfolded (to reduce stress) and put into a comfy snooze while the young fella was worked on. Afterwards, both Susan and her wee chap (christened Archie) were woken up and they trotted off happily together. In a world where rhinos are being murdered at a rate faster than they're able to reproduce, work like this has never been more important. If you've ever wondered what's so special about rhino horns, peep your own finger nails - they're made of the same stuff, keratin. Can you believe rhinos are being killed for that?
So I went shark cage diving in Gansbaai last week in South Africa. It was beyond incredible to get onto (and into) the 14-degree water and see a great white shark, 4 bronze whalers, a gigantic stingray and hundreds of birds, all up close and super personal. Sadly, my underwater pics from the day suck as low vis + fast sharks + my slow-mo reflexes in the water = meh shots not worth showing you. But here are a few pics from the boat to give you an idea. Incredible spot and I defo have to get back there during whale season (humpies and southern rights and Brydes yeaaaah)
Style, substance and spirit. I don't really photograph people as I'm more comfy with wildlife, but these South African beauties got me trigger happy. These folks are from KwaZulu-Natal, Maboneng and Soweto. Actually, being back in Soweto almost 10 years (ish) after my first visit, it was beautiful to see that the people are as fun and friendly as I remember them. On a side note, one of my Soweto guides, Sibusiso, gave me an honorary Tswana name - Lesego, pronounced Leh-ZAY-hoh - which translates as 'lucky'. Agreed! On another side note, these photos don't do the beautiful people of SA justice at all. It's very culturally diverse (in fact there are 11 different official languages) but I very rarely pointed my camera in human faces, so this is just a tiny snapshot. I have a few more on FB but you get the idea #meetsouthafrica #astw_inc
Chimbro brother chilling with his bro in Madikwe's jawdropping wilderness last week. #meetsouthafrica