Over the last 25 years, the AfriCat Foundation has rescued over 1100 cheetahs, lions and leopards that have been trapped as a result of human/wildlife conflict on the farmlands in Namibia. Amongst other conservation programmes, the AfriCat project provides an environment for previously non-releasable large carnivores to hone their hunting skills. Based on a 22,000-hectare nature reserve at Okonjima in central Namibia it allows for cheetah and leopard to become self-sustaining prior to returning them to their natural environment. Prior to release in the wider park, cheetahs are protected at the AfriCat Carnivore Care Centre where they are given food and care, including the exercise necessary to maintain their physical and mental wellbeing. This image shows the morning exercise routine of one of those cheetah, chasing an electrically-powered, mechanical lure moving around a circuit at 100kmh.
A small group of endangered red squirrels seen resting together in the crook of a large tree at a Wildlife Trust site in Cumbria, UK.
A giraffe crossing its bush territory in the embers of a Namibian setting sun.
Peale's dolphins congregate in small pods off the coast of South America. I had spent several minutes trying to capture one riding the bow-wave of my boat and porpoising against the dramatic scenery of Westpoint Island. I got several average shots, but I was much happier with this image of a sleek dolphin, completely at home in its underwater environment, appearing to emerge from the splashes of our bow-wave like a torpedo. Falkland Islands.
A small herd of elephants, illuminated from behind by the setting sun, pick up speed and kick up a backlit dust as they approach the edge of the Okaukeujo watering hole. Etosha National Park, Namibia.
Cheetah in Focus
A collared cheetah, the only image from Okonjima to make it to these pages. This was the first time I had seen telemetry used to track wild cats and this one, together with its brother were closely guarding an impala kill. Unperturbed by humans, this cat shoulder checks the horizon for competing predators.
A giraffe stands withing a few feet of the one-way window to my hide at Umgodi no doubt anticipating the challenging act of lowering itself to drink from the waterhole. Its form is distorted by its proximity and the use of a wide angle lens. Zimanga Private Reserve, South Africa.
Boys from the Brownstuff
Two juvenile bull elephants walk slowly and obstinately in front of my vehicle, blocking the roadway in pouring rain. The intricate texture of their rough hide was enhanced by the flat light reflecting the rainsoaked mud on their back. Zimanga Private Reserve, South Africa.
Floating on Sand
Very much alone on a remote, South Atlantic island, I resisted the temptation to seek shelter and took this photograph of a gentoo penguin returning to its rookery from the sea, appearing to gracefully float above the sand whipped up by gale force winds. The Neck, Saunders Island, Falkland Islands.
Bass Rock is an imposing rocky island rising over 100m sheer from the Firth of Forth. It is estimated to host about 150,000 Northern Gannets nesting in close proximity to the cliffs, of which several thousand are in the air at any one time, circling in the same direction to avoid a collision.
King of the Road
I watched for nearly twenty minutes as this adult giraffe slowly emerged from below the horizon, like an apparition, silhouetted against a mountain backdrop, on a lonely perimeter road in Timbavati Private Reserves, South Africa.
A cheetah pauses for a moment during a dawn patrol, looking over her shoulder, straight through me and my companions. Timbavati Private reserve South Africa.