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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Kruger National Park a photographic safari 2011

The day has finally arrived, all the planning and pre booking will now have to be put to the test as we leave at sparrows tomorrow 21 December 2011, jeay, we have waited for this day since our last holiday in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park where we decided that Kruger National Park will get the nod next time.

Now the first thing to get sorted for our trip was the camera gear, how to pack all we need and keep it under 20KG per person, no way!
In total we have a combined weight of 63KG , mine only consists of camera gear , and for my love its all the rest, god bless her.

Check list :
Canon 1d mark III
Canon 5d mark II
2 tripods
2 Wimberley II Gimbal heads
Canon 400 f2.8
Canon 200 f2.8
Canon 24 -70 f2.8
Canon 16 - 35 f2.8
2 cam stedi brackets
2 laptops

Balance of the gear is all the other requirements to get us through ten days of Kruger bliss. We have a whole new strategy for this trip instead of trying to compress experience into four or five days we decided to go for eleven days . The reason being is that we never actually get the time to enjoy and appreciate the environment for what it deserves, its more of a mad rush from one camp to the next in the hope to not miss out on anything. This time around we will hope to soak up some of that kruger rhythm of the bush.We need to get away from this mad rushed city life and just take it easy for a while.

We will be documenting our route through the park, and hope you will follow us along, with the experiences we encounter on the way. Cheers to a great safari and a magical bush experience.

Alex and Juanita

Monday, December 5, 2011

Photographers Schedule

Herewith a pie chart which I found on Facebook by a group called Professional Photographer.

Not sure if this is / was a group that just created itself, but I thought the image of the pie chart to be more or less exactly how things are for a photographer.  Everyone thinks your life is glamorous.   Yes, no doubt this is one of those careers that can consume you with anything your minds eye finds beautiful.

You look at things differently when you are a photographer. You see shapes and colors that others dont even notice. You go to far away exotic places, sometimes you do live like a rock star, sometimes you do work like a rock star.

The question is:  have any of you ever been a rock star?  Well, some of you have, but most of you have not.

Neither have I, but there is a saying that my husband and I live by:

"If it was easy, everyone would be doing it!"

NOTHING in life comes easy.  Even being a rock star takes a huge amount of very hard work.

Being a documentary photographer takes camera skill, editing skills, marketing and networking skills. But most of all, it is a lot of hard work.  You also need to be very fit to carry all this heavy equipment, and to survive the whole day (while you are partying like a rock star) to capture every moment.  Getting up early is part of the deal to ensure that you capture the right morning light, and then go to bed late, after downloading and editing your images of the day.

So for all of you who think being a photographer is easy, think again.  Fun? Yes, for sure, but easy, no way hozey.

This is what most people think Photographers do. 

The image below is what Photographers really do.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Flowers Darling South Africa

We were looking for an alternative flower venue, and head in the direction of the well known little town on our west coast called Darling, which is about 30minutes drive from Cape Town. We were delighted to come across two really special reserves, the one called the Tinie Versveldt Reserve as well as a very small Vygie Reserve just before Yzerfontein.

I used my 16 - 35mm 2.8is lens with polarized filter to get these shots.  The flowers were too low down for me to make use of my tripod. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Go Magazine Tankwa Karoo article

A big thank you to all at Go Magazine and Bokomo Rusks who assisted in the layout and printing of our Tankwa Karoo article in the October 2011 issue. 

We look forward to seeing you on our next adventure.

Alex & Juanita.

Weg Tydskrif Oktober 2011

Baie dankie aan almal by Weg Tydskrif en Bokomo Beskuit wat saamgestaan het om ons Tankwa artikel so mooi uit een te set en te publiseer in julle Oktober 2011 uitgawe. 
Ons sien julle hopelik weer op ons volgende avontuur.
Alex & Juanita.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Flowers of Table Mountain

Flowers of the West Coast are at their peak at the moment.  Alex has been taking so many beautiful pictures of the flowers lately, he inspired me to also take a walk on the wild side to see if I can find another magic shot.  Im very happy with this photo and hope you enjoy viewing it too.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Tankwa National Park experience

We are very proud to share with you that we have recently won the first prize sponsored by Bokomo when we entered their Greatest Escapes Competition on Facebook.  This article will be published in the Weg Tydskrif and Go Magazine for October 2011.  Thank you to Weg / Go Magazine and Bokomo for choosing our photo's as the overall winner.

We have written the full story of our fun trip to the Tankwa Karoo National park, which can be read on Our Hiking Blog.

Tankwa Karretjie Mense

Sunset of the Karoo

Viewpoint at Elandsberg Tankwa Karoo

Overnight accommodation in the Tankwa Karoo

The beauty of the Karoo never ends

The riverbed of the Tankwa River

Tankwa River Bridge

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Birds of Rietvlei in Milnerton

The golden glow of the morning sun remain one of natures greatest settings. 

This beauty is a mere walk away from all of us.

If you are willing to seek this beauty, you will find it always to be closer than you can imagine.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Sante Spa and Wellness Center in Stellenbosh

A dramatic setting of the Sante Spa and Wellness Center in the Stellenbosh region of Southern Africa.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Rhino Poaching Petition - please sign

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Kruger National Park - Canned Lions?

Ive got Kruger on my mind.  10 days in the north of Kruger booked.

~ Bushwalk with the lion cubs of Tshukudu Game Reserve ~

These cubs were rescued, and brought up by a Labrador as their surrogate mother. They were extremely playful, but their instinct to be predators prevailed. I was not able to isolate myself from this group, or they wanted to 'hunt; me. Any jerseys, bags (or my camera) had to be kept away from their (playful) need to take ownership of it. was a very memorable experience indeed!

We posted the above picture on the Africa Geographic  Facebook page, and the question was asked if its ethically the right thing to do to walk with wild animals, and more importantly, are they being raised for canned lion hunting or any other sort of cruel activity that we are not aware of.  We contacted our friends at Tshukudu Game Reserve and received the followng feedback:

Dear Juanita, Alex and Africa Geographic,
Thank you for your e-mail.

I only received your e-mail today (29 June 2011), and thank goodness I received it.

Jaco who is our head ranger only opens him mail every so often and thought it was spam. This is absolutely ridiculous and false in every way possible. Poor Monique is incorrect and her facts are totally off.

We have an amazing reputation in our area and are internationally known for our work with orphaned animals and rehabilitation. The family has done so much for wildlife and fought many concerns with laws in the country to have proper control and measures in place to weed out people who just abuse their rights and animals. Only the best form of conservation is displayed and practiced. I can’t believe someone would want to taint our good name and reputation with false accusations such as this.

Monique is incorrect and I would advise that she first gets her facts right before jumping to conclusions. Its seems as if she has a problem with Tshukudu and its members. I do not think she actually knows what she is talking about. +- 15 years ago Carte Blanche published a report about canned lion hunting in which Tshukudu was falsely implicated by showing our entrance gate (We had nothing to do with the content of the program) subsequently they published a full apology for doing so. We also took the Cook Report to court (They made the report) for the damage they had done to our reputable name. The producer then fled back to Britain and we got an apology as false information was reported once a proper investigation had taken place.

People don’t remember the good but seem to remember only the bad. At no point did any of our orphaned animals get hunted, in fact our first orphan Sumba died a few years ago at the ripe old age of 20 in our breeding camps/old age home. Sunshine & Matimba our second and third orphaned animals respectively are now 19 & 17 and in spite of their age just had a cub – Surely a sign of good care... Our orphan’s are not exploited and only exposed to tourists once a day in the early morning for the walk. The rest of the day they are left in peace and are well looked after.

When they reach maturity and are too big to handle safely, they are then taken to our camps/retirement home where they are looked after until their dying day. Their offspring are either released into our game reserve as they would be wild or sold to other reserves which include National reserves, Addo Elephant Park, Khalahari National Park, Pinda and many more. If what you state would be true, Nature Conservation would not have given us numerous lions to care for and look after.

I would put it down to misinformed! I will clearly state once again that Tshukudu has nothing to do with lion hunting, canned hunting ect. Of any sorts. I hope that the above is in order and that everyone is able to understand it. Thank you again for your time and letting us know what had be said. Monique is welcome to contact me on the below details at any time to discuss any matter pertaining to orphaned or rehabilitated animals.

Enjoy your day! Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any queries.

Kind regards,
Patrick Sussens
GM: Operations
Tshukudu Game Lodge (near Kruger National Park) P.O.Box 289 Hoedspruit, 1380 Limpopo Province South Africa
Tel: ++27 (0)15 793 2476/ 1886, Fax: ++27 (0)15 793 2078
Web Site:

-------------------------------------------------------  UPDATE, cub petting:

It turns out that above is untrue and the family has been doing lion cub petting for a long time, and one has to wonder how long the same story can be told (dog looking after orphaned cubs) before questions do get asked.  Needless to say the family do offer opportunities to hunt lions

~ Nyala Bull, picture taken in the Pafuri area, Kruger National Park ~

~ Crooks Corner, most northern corner of Kruger National Park ~

This is where the visitor can see from South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique across the Limpopo river.  The criminals used this location as a hide out from the law when poaching.  Many crocodiles in this area were seen on this day.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

1time Airlines Destinations Campaign

This is the first of many pictures that we will load as part of our project for 1time Airlines Destinations campaign.

This image was taken in May 2011 on a wine farm near Stellenbosch.  Look out for it in their inflight magazine in July 2011.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Aloe Dichotoma in the Richtersveld

Aloe Dichotoma in the Richtersveld (Kokerboom Kloof)

Aloe Dichotoma in the Richtersveld  ( on the way to the Quiver tree forest )