Kruger National Park, South Africa, Safari with Singita

best. five. days. ever.

Kruger National Park is roughly the size of Israel (and is split between South Africa and Mozambique).  Stretching for 219 miles from north to south along the Mozambique border, the park is the largest in South Africa and the diversity of wildlife (147 species), bird-life (507 species), fish (49 species) and vegetation (300 species of trees) is amazing.  The park is also well known for its big 5, namely lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo. Singita Lebombo  (link) lodge was our home for the week.   Our bush plane left from Johannesburg and an hour later landed on a dirt “airstrip,” which I was told, is often times blocked by wildlife.  As I stepped off the plane onto the dry earth of Kruger, I knew I was entering into another world.

We are starting to edit imagery for a photography show that will raise money to provide the anti-poaching rangers in the park better communication radios.  I will be posting more on that (and thus wildlife and landscape imagery) soon.

The breathtaking Singita Lebombo Lodge – bold, contemporary open plan lodging suspended above the N’Wanetsi River.

John Rose, barista extraordinaire / Singita Lebombo, Kruger National Park

Chef Liam Tomlin’s Vietnamese Oysters (below) I shot in Cape Town as part of an editorial for the London based magazine Monocle. Liam (owner of Chef’s Warehouse, CapeTown) is also involved with the menu creation at Singita’s Lebombo lodge as well as consulting for the chef school that Singita created.  Some of the most beautiful presentations of food I have ever seen.

“A cooking school in the wilderness may seem something of an anomaly, but there’s a good reason the stockpots are boiling furiously out here in the Kruger bush. “Communities and conservation can’t function independently, they have to co-exist,” explains Louis Vandewalle, Chef Skills Developer at SSC. “The idea behind the Singita School of Cooking was two-fold: to increase the skill level in our lodge kitchens, but also to provide opportunities for the surrounding communities.” (via singita.com)

Singita Lebombo lounge area, overlooking the park.  You are not allowed to walk to your room at night without accompaniment. The rooms are connected by narrow wooden walkways through the bush.  Because the lodge is not fenced in, wildlife can come and go as they please.  Last thing you want is to come face to face with one of the big five at night on foot.

5am call time in the bush.

A male lion searches for his brothers in the dry plains.  It only rained once during our stay, however that was all it took for summer to begin.

During our 5 days we watched the landscape transition from brown to green.


Margaux (guide) and Lawrence (tracker). We spent 10 hours – both day and night – tracking throughout the concession. I can’t say enough good things about these two human beings.  Such dedication to the conservation of wildlife and passionate about educating others.  Hearts of gold.  In my next life, I’ll be a field ranger.  Or maybe this one…I have a biology degree…does that help? Ha!

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Cape Town, South Africa

Bongeka, Cape Town. She told me that the name Bongeka means “be thankful” in Xhosa. Xhosa is the second most common language in South Africa. There are three types of clicks used in the language, non of which I can successfully pronounce!

Giggly high school girls in Company’s Garden.

Ammaarah, Downtown Cape Town

The bustling kitchen at Chef’s Wearhouse

Chef’s Warehouse Salad. Could this be any more beautiful?


Ash Restaurant

Hello, friend.

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Rodeo Queen Competition

A few outtakes from the CYRA Rodeo Finals Pageant, Topeka Kansas Expo Center October 28th 2016 / Jenna (below, Manhattan, KS) in the parking lot moments before she headed inside the arena to compete for a Rodeo Queen title.  I grew up in Topeka, Kansas, where this event took place.  It’s a shout out to all of us who grew up in wide open spaces, with no preconceived notions about what we could or couldn’t do.  These young cowgirls were hopeful.  Some confident, some nervous, some shined, some kinda tanked, but they all worked rally hard to be there that night.  That’s what I think came through…they were tenacious.  I admired that.

The Flint Hills of Kansas.

 The younger girls competing for “Little Miss” finalist, have to run their horse around the arena.  Kimbra (below) was practicing in the back arena on her horse…looking a bit nervous for her big moment in front of the crowd.

Last year’s Queen, Breah, with her horse.  She was also the MC for the event.

 

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New Images for ReddiWip

You should’ve seen our prop fridge.  Whipped cream for dayz.

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Riverslea Farm / Jeff Conrad

A little garage gem I found en route to Riverslea Farm to photograph farmer Jeff Conrad.

Jeff (as seen below) and his wife Liz have owned and operated this sheep farm in Epping, NH since 1991.

Spent a little over an hour with Jeff, mostly learning about the ins and outs of this farm operation and (of course) petting a sheep or two.  Did you know that sheep can recognize over 50 individual faces for over two years?  Baaaaahleive it.

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