Nat Geo’s “Top 25 Photographs from the Wilderness #2″

26 Mar

(Brendon Cremer)

Explore the wilderness with us… Within the next 10-15 years we will see the last-remaining wilderness area on earth dominated by the demands of growing human populations and undermined by accelerated climate change. When the earth’s last wild places are gone, all we will have are fenced off protected areas dependent on constant intervention to persist and marginalized by the demands of sustained development in emerging markets. Guides, rangers, researchers, ecotourists, photographers, artists and conservationists around the world apply themselves everyday to sharing, studying, photographing, writing about, protecting, conserving and celebrating the “wild” with their guests, co-workers, colleagues, and local communities. These amazing photographs are a window into their world, a world where the lions, elephants, orangutans and leopards still reign supreme and we can dream of that perfect morning in the wilderness…


The Bush Boyes and Ranger Diaries have teamed up to bring you the “Top 25 Photographs from the Wilderness”. These stunning photographs are selected from hundreds of submissions and are intended to bring the beauty, freedom and splendor of the wilderness to as many people as possible around the world. Please submit your best photographs from the wildest places to the Ranger Diaries wall ( and stand a chance of being featured in the “Top 25 Photographs from the Wilderness” published each week. This initiative is all about SHARING and CARING about wild places. Please “Like” this blog post and share this link with as many people as possible… So begins the “Ranger Revolution”… Anyone can be an “honorary ranger” if they share and care about the wilderness, stimulating positive change for wild places around the world… Join the revolution now!


Keith Connelly

The crossing. Photographed by guide Keith Connelly at Kariega, South Africa. “An old bull elephant on a stormy Eastern Cape day.” (Keith Connelly)


“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” (John Muir)


Marius Coetzee

Ray of light. Photographed by guide Marius Coetzee of Oryx Photographic Tours at Leopard Hills, South Africa. (Marius Coetzee)


“We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.” (Henry David Thoreau)


Louis Lock

Lone oryx. Photographed by guide Louis Lock in the Nambirand, Namibia. “As the sun was rising behind the mountain, we came across the oryx enjoying a cool morning breeze.” (Louis Lock)


“I am glad I will not be young in a future without wilderness.” (Aldo Leopold)


Edward Peach

Bloodied wild dog. Photographed by Edward Peach guide of Ivory Tree Game Lodge, South Africa. “One of the Pilanesberg’s wild dogs waiting for a response from the rest of the pack after calling them to share the impala that two of them caught.” (Edward Peach)


“There is a love of wild nature in everybody, an ancient mother-love showing itself whether recognized or no, and however covered by cares and duties” (John Muir)


Khimbini Hlongwane

Stalking leopard. Photographed by guide Khimbini Hlongwane at Inyati, South Africa. “She had her intentions set on a herd of impala, but unfortunately for her they saw her coming and took off.” (Khimbini Hlongwane)


“The Wilderness holds answers to more questions than we have yet learned to ask.” (Nancy Wynne Newhall)


Ryan Hillier

Cheetah cubs on the move by guide Ryan Hillier. Photographed at Kwandwe, South Africa. There are perhaps fewer than 1200 cheetah left in the wild, so seeing these four youngsters together was a real treat.” (Ryan Hillier)


“It is a commonplace of all religious thought, even the most primitive, that the man seeking visions and insight must go apart from his fellows and love for a time in the wilderness.” (Loren Eisley)


James Kydd

Scarlett macaw. Photographed by guide James Kydd in the Peruvian Amazon. The scarlett macaw has suffered from local extinction through habitat destruction and capture for the parrot trade, but there are still vast tracks of rainforest where this magnificent creatures flies free. ( James Kydd)


“Nothing truly wild is unclean.” (John Muir)


Keith Connelly

Bathed in African soil. Photographed by guide Keith Connelly at Marataba. (Keith Connelly)


“I thought of the wilderness we had left behind us, open to sea and sky, joyous in its plenitude and simplicity, perfect yet vulnerable, unaware of what is coming, defended by nothing, guarded by no one.” (Edward Abbey)


Nicky Silberbauer

Boardwalk. Photographed by Nicky Silberbauer (Nicky Silberbauer Photography). This young male leopard was hunting water monitor lizards. (Nicky Silberbauer)


“A flower’s structure leads a bee toward having pollen adhere to its body . . . we don’t know of any such reason why beautiful places attract humans.” (David Rains Wallace)


Greg Smith

Lions and zebra. Photographed by guide Greg Smith of And Beyond Safaris at Madikwe, South Africa. “The muscles in the legs of the lion are almost as impressive as the fact that this zebra was still able to stand” (Greg Smith)


“A world without huge regions of total wilderness would be a cage; a world without lions and tigers and vultures and snakes and elk and bison would be – will be – a human zoo. A high-tech slum.” (Edward Abbey)


Amy Attenborough

Wild dog tactics, photographed by guide Amy Attenborough at And Beyond Sandibe in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. (Amy Attenborough)


“I think it is far more important to save one square mile of wilderness, anywhere, by any means, than to produce another book on the subject.” (Edward Abbey)


Dylan Brandt

Mongoose last stand, by guide Dylan Brandt. Photographed at Singita, South Africa. “The lions had separated a mongoose from the rest of its group, and in a desperate attempt to escape, found a pan of water to avoid the predators. The little mongoose perhaps realising the inevitable started something I really was not expecting: it ran up and down the front line of the lions staring at them, calling continuously and on occasions trying to bite any of the lions he was closest to at any moment.” (Dylan Brandt)


“In wilderness is the preservation of the world.”(Henry David Thoreau)


Brent Leo-Smith

Leopard on large termite mound. Photographed by guide Brent Leo-Smith at Londolozi, South Africa. Termite mounds are a crucial part of leopard life: they provide a vantage point, warmth, a safe resting spot, a potential den, and often house warthogs and other prey animals. (Brent Leo-Smith)


“Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.” (Edward Abbey)


Marius Coetzee

Penguins on ice. Photographed in Antarctica by guide Marius Coetzee of Oryx Photographic Tours. “A small huddle of Chinstrap penguins contrasted against a blue iceberg.” (Marius Coetzee)


“The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders.” (Edward Abbey)


Keith Connelly

Stormy scraps. Photographed by guide Keith Connelly. Photographed at Kariega, South Africa. “A sub-adult male lion makes off with his prize after a thunderstorm.” (Keith Connelly)


“In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia.” (Charles Lindbergh)


Ryan Hillier

Tormentor and tormented. Photograph by guide Ryan Hillier at Kwandwe, South Africa. “This malachite sunbird bullied the newly fledged amethyst sunbird chick, and eventually knocked it out of the tree.” (Ryan Hillier)


“No one should be able to enter a wilderness by mechanical means.” (Garrett Hardin)


Brendon Jennings

New kid on the block. Photographed by guide Brendon Jennings at Kariega, South Africa. “An hour old giraffe meets the rest of the family”. (Brendon Jennings)


“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is symbolic as well as actual beauty in the migration of the birds, the ebb and flow of the tides, the folded bud ready for the spring. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter.” (Rachel Carson)


Amy Attenborough

Cheetah at dusk. Photographed by guide Amy Attenborough at And Beyond Phinda. “A male cheetah climbs a tree to scan his surroundings, looking for potential prey, as well as predators.” (Amy Attenborough)


“What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.” (Crowfoot (Blackfoot))


Martin Benadie

Stalking secretary bird, by guide Martin Benadie of Wilderness Safaris. Taken at Dinokeng, South Africa. (Martin Benadie)


“Wilderness is the raw material out of which man has hammered the artifact called civilization.” (Aldo Leopold)


Dave Pusey

Pangolin. Photographed by guide Dave Pusey at Leopard Hills, South Africa. This shy, secretive ant and termite eater, hunted for its meat and supposed magical and medicinal properties, is rarely seen. (Dave Pusey)


“Wilderness is a resource which can shrink but not grow… the creation of new wilderness in the full sense of the word is impossible.” (Aldo Leopold)


Lee Whittam

Leopard in giant baobab, by guide Lee Whittam of Essential Africa Guided Safaris. Photographed in the Serengeti, Tanzania. (Lee Whittam)


“In God’s wildness lies the hope of the world – the great fresh, unblighted, unredeemed wilderness.” (John Muir)


Rebecca Hart

Cheated cheetahs, by videographer Rebecca Hart (Rebecca Hart Media). “This steenbok, against all odds, and four of the fastest land mammals on earth, managed to escape!” Photographed at Thornybush, South Africa. (Rebecca Hart)


“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” (John Muir)


James Kydd

Protective giraffes. Photographed by guide James Kydd at Londolozi, South Africa. “These giraffe huddled together instinctively to protect their young from a pack of wild dog, who ignored the giraffe and focussed their attention on a herd of wildebeest.” (James Kydd)


“Our dead never forget this beautiful world that gave them being. They still love its verdant valleys, its murmuring rivers, its magnificent mountains, sequestered vales and verdant lined lakes and bays, and ever yearn in tender fond affection over the lonely hearted living, and often return from the happy hunting ground to visit, guide, console, and comfort them.” (Chief Seattle (Suquamish))


Marius Coetzee

Tsaro power. Photographed by guide Marius Coetzee of Oryx Photographic Tours. Taken at Wilderness Safaris Duba Plains in the Okavango, Botswana. “After being chased backwards the Tsaro pride got into formation and launched another calculated attack, jumping onto a Cape buffalo cow and bringing her to her knees” (Marius Coetzee)


“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” (Henry David Thoreau)


Brendon Jennings

Wildebeest at sunset. Photographed by guide Brendon Jennings at Kariega, South Africa. (Brendon Jennings)


“Every year we cross the Okavango Delta, top to bottom, on mokoros (dug-out canoes) to survey the distribution and abundance of wetland birds, advocate for World Heritage Status, and share this amazing wilderness with accompanying scientists, explorers and special guests. No one will forget what happened on the 2012 expedition…”


In 2013, we are embarking on the Okavango River Expedition. This will be a 1,750km odyssey down the Okavango River from the source near Huambo (Angola) all the way down the catchment, across the Caprivi Strip (Namibia), and into Botswana to cross the Okavango Delta via one of our planet’s last untouched wilderness areas. Our objective is to support the Okavango World Heritage Project and achieve UNESCO World Heritage Status for the Okavango Delta and the entire catchment. See:

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