Veolia Environment Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition 2011_Animals in their Environment
Category: Animals in their Environment “Images must show how the animal fits into its natural home and must convey a sense of place.”
This year Michelle entered two photos in this category; this was inspired after a week long experience in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana. The Central Kalahari Game Reserve is the ultimate in ‘remote’ safari destinations. It covers over 50,000km², most of which is inaccessible. It was, until very recently, closed to the public, although there have always been small groups of Bushmen living in the reserve. Even now, this region is seen by only a handful of visitors every year.
The Central Kalahari Game Reserve is a challenge for any photographer due to the large expanse of land to cover and the blistering heat of the day. We spent many long hours driving and waiting in the hope of catching sight of some rare animal. After an uneventful day we were driving back to camp as the sun started to set when this beautiful scene emerged. A tower of Giraffes were walking towards the waterhole we’d just left and stopped to have a look at us. The way they were silhouetted by the now sinking ball of fire made us stop and watch in awe. The Central Kalahari wasn’t about the rare sightings, but the beauty of the animals in their harsh landscape.
However we did mange to get to see a rare sighting of the wonderfully strange Brown Hyena.
Towards the end of our week sleeping in remote unoccupied campsites, sitting at waterholes that supported life from hundreds of miles around, none of which would come out of hiding and driving endlessly in 4 x 4 conditions. We were tired, smelly and ready to give up hope when we were blessed with this rare sighting of the elusive brown hyena. What intrigued us most about this photo was the way that his long and shaggy hair blended in with the long golden grasses supplied after a season of good rain.
All Images © 2011 Wonky Eye