Articles Tagged with: South Africa
Kruger National Park | Lion Cubs

I never shoot wildlife because well, I am never out in the wild.

Hired by a corporate client a few years ago to document their game drives in the gorgeous Kruger Concession in South Africa, I spent ten days in the bush, going on three game drives a day. The math for shooting wildlife is simple: get the longest lens possible, hire the best guide possible and display a shit ton of patience while you wait.

This shot is drippingly cute and it is the result of patience and luck and my longest lens. I was sitting in a Land Rover and we were surrounded by lions, lounging in the mid-day sun. Had I been in a different seat, the angle would not have allowed this line up of cubs.

Lion Cubs, Kruger National Park, South Africa © Doug Kim; Nikon D300, Nikkor 80-200mm

Lion Cubs, Kruger National Park, South Africa © Doug Kim; Nikon D300, Nikkor 80-200mm


South Africa | Charging Bull Elephant

I was working a gig in South Africa and was fortunate enough to spend about ten days in an absolutely decadent game lodge in the Kruger Concession, shooting game drives at least twice a day.

One lesson I learned was that young bull elephants are full of testosterone and are ready to charge at the least provocation. We were driving a trail in our open Land Rover and our guide, distracted while talking on the radio, drove past this young bull, hidden behind some brush. He immediately flared out his ears and charged us. As the bull was charging to within a couple dozen feet of our vehicle, I took this shot while the woman behind me said, “Why the fuck is she stopping?!?”

Deidre, our guide, had quickly brought the vehicle to a full stop. The only way to stop an elephant from charging is to stand your ground. The elephant pulled up at the last second, turned and walked away, no longer interested in us, even the woman next to me still cursing.

African Bull Elephant, Kruger Concession, South Africa © Doug Kim

African Bull Elephant, Kruger Concession, South Africa © Doug Kim


African White-backed Vultures

Seeing White-backed Vultures in the wild at Kruger National Park is a wholly different thing from seeing turkey vultures by the side of the road, picking at some road kill. These vultures are massive beasts, almost twice the size of the turkey vulture. Like every clichéd rendering of them, they hang out only in leafless dead trees because of their large wing span.

They are some graceful and spooky motherfuckers.

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Soweto

Last October, I was on a working gig in South Africa. My friend Steve and I were able to visit Soweto but we could only spend a few hours there because of our schedule. Soweto is an amazing organic sprawl, a self-contained megalopolis of corrugated metal and dirt. The line between documentation and exploitation is very fine and as rich as the imagery was there, I chose to take only a few photos. I was able to speak enough Zulu to make people laugh at me which helped break the ice, but many spoke English or Afrikaans so it was easy enough to communicate.

Steve and I had a great lunch there, in one of the upscale neighborhoods in the hills: oxtail soup and pap. I can still remember sitting there looking at the empty bowl, clutching the spoon, wishing for just one more scoop.

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shot with a Nikon D800 and the 80-200mm f2.8 © Doug Kim

shot with Leica M6 TTL 0.58, 35mm summicron, Tri-x

shot with Leica M6 TTL 0.58, 35mm summicron, Tri-x © Doug Kim

shot with Leica M6 TTL 0.58, 35mm summicron, Tri-x

shot with Leica M6 TTL 0.58, 35mm summicron, Tri-x © Doug Kim

shot with Nikon D300, 35-70mm

shot with Nikon D800, 35-70mm © Doug Kim