Africa on Safari: Photos of a continent's wild side

A new photography book takes an unusual view of some safari stars, from big cats to colourful birds

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The Independent Travel

Africa offers rich pickings for wildlife-spotters, from the vast scale of the Great Migration to close encounters with nature's giants.

Yet, these moments can often be difficult to capture on camera. A new photographic book, Africa on Safari, celebrates the conti-nent's diverse array of animals through a series of striking images taken using some rather unconventional techniques.

Australian couple Kym and Tonya Illman spent thousands of hours journeying across Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa, using custom-made camera buggies, hidden cameras and drone-style aerial devices to get their shots. The result: big-cat selfies, close-ups of some of Africa's shiest wildlife, and shots of scavengers picking over their "meals".

Hippos are pictured in the Okovango Delta, one of the few places in Africa with water clear enough to capture aerial images of the creatures submerged. And a chance meeting with a tame impala at a Tanzanian safari camp has resulted in an unusual close-up.The continent's spectacular and colourful birdlife also makes an appearance, from paddling pink flamingos to a group of flamboyant guinea fowl, with their rainbow- hued faces.

As well as the images themselves, the book contains notes from the photographers about how the pictures were taken; the couple explain that because photography is not their main profession (they own an audio production business) they are happy to share their secrets. In one instance, all the equipment, apart from the camera lens, was covered in elephant dung, left by a zebra carcass, and programmed to take pictures automatically every two seconds.

Warthogs were photographed from a hide, while hyenas, lions and more were captured on camera simply by leaving the buggy nearby and waiting for the animals to approach.

The two adolescent lions pictured below were snapped when they followed the buggy back to the Illmans' safari vehicle, and began pawing at the couple's camera as they tried to get their shot.

'Africa on Safari' by Kym and Tonya Illman is published by Papadakis (£30; bit.ly/AfricaOnSafari)

 

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