Written by: Patrick Tillard
It was the first time that I’d really noticed stars. By which I mean that I truly had my gaze taken hostage, my neck snapped skywards and my mouth left unwittingly agape. As I sat clasping an icy lager around a campfire in Sossusvlei, a blizzard of stars littered the heavens like glitter; piercing the inky darkness with a savagery that I never knew possible. It was like nothing that I’d ever experienced before. Nothing I’d ever felt before. And it was about to be just one of many highlights on this epic journey through Southern and Eastern Africa.
We had harboured the idea for some time: five friends, four months, 20,000 miles in a rustic Land Rover Defender; exploring societies, dodging the helter-skelter of everyday life and immersing ourselves in the vivid beauty of this eclectic continent.
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Greg du Toit is probably Africa’s best known wildlife photographer. In 2013 he won the BBC World Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. However, this award was long overdue as Greg has been taking some of the best wildlife photographs in Africa for almost two decades.
Today the 38-year-old is also one of the best photographic guides on the continent, and leads tours to some of the most beautiful protected areas in Africa. I caught up with Greg recently to ask him a few questions.
Greg, which are your top three wildlife regions of Africa?
I think the first one would be Mala Mala. It’s the largest part of Sabi Sands Game Reserve in South Africa, and all their infrastructure was built on less than 10% of the land. There’s nothing between you and Kruger National Park, except lowveld bush and phenomenal wildlife. For me, I think the lowveld is still the place where my heart is because that’s where I grew up. It’s where I first fell in love with the bush.
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