2014 Wildlife of Africa

In January 2014, we took a trip to East Africa with our friends, the Smiths and the Meilings. Our clockwise itinerary started in Kenya with visits to Nairobi, Amboseli National Park, Samburu Game Reserve and Masai Mara Game Reserve; proceeded through Tanzania, seeing the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park; and finished at Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

I shot over 4,000 photos over a 16-day period – not as much as it seems since I shoot in “continuous low” using a Nikon D800. I switched between a 24-120mm f/4 and a 80-400mm f4.5/5.6 lens which worked well for my non-professional purposes. My standard camera settings were: aperture-priority; ISO 400; AF-S single point; and center-weighted metering.

The photos in this portfolio are focused on four themes: elephants, life and death, birds and the splendor of Africa.


Why start with elephants? Two reasons: my wife loves elephants and the parks in Kenya, like Amboseli and Samburu, are fabulous places to view large herds of elephants. Imagine beautiful elephants silhouetted against Mt. Kilamanjaro. Elephants are smart with strong family bonds. She supports the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust which runs an elephant orphan rescue and rehabilitation program in Nairobi.

Life and Death

Given the limitations of prescheduled day trips to multiple parks in multiple countries, we surprisingly had the opportunity to view several examples of the life and death experiences of wild animals in Africa. These include: a baby gazelle taking its first steps; a lion pride with multiple mothers and cubs; a lion fending off crocodiles to protect a dead hippopotamus; a serval cat on the hunt; cheetahs chasing down a gazelle; and a mountain gorilla eating.


Why birds? The answer is: “Why not?”. When you think of African wildlife, especially for photographs, you are more likely to be drawn to elephants, lions, giraffes and other large mammals but why not birds. They come in a variety of gorgeous colors, shapes and sizes. Enjoy!

Splendor of Africa

It’s hard to imagine any place more beautiful or spectacular than East Africa. At this time of year, the wildebeest migration was in the Serengeti. The view of the savanna was impressive. The sunsets were fabulous.

Hopefully, some of these photos have captured its splendor.