It’s been an eventful spring and I feel like I’ve barely had my feet on the ground. As I write this I’m on a plane headed back toward one of my favorite parts of the world – the mega-diversity country of Indonesia for two full months of filming and photography. I’ll be pursuing birds-of-paradise once again in Papua, working on underwater coverage in Raja Ampat, and then heading to Borneo to continue documenting orangutans at Gunung Palung, especially the female Walimah, who has just had a baby. So exciting times ahead, and I’ll share images and stories as I can here and on social media.
Back in May I had the opportunity to co-lead another wildlife safari to Tanzania with my good friend and former professor Eldon Greij, for the Hope College Alumni Global Travel Program. Every safari leads to amazing wildlife encounters, but I’d like to share a few images from a truly extraordinary day that we experienced.
Featured Image: Mortal Enemies – Lions and Buffalo
Witnessing lions making a kill was extraordinary, but at another point in the day, we saw that the lions do not always have it their way. We came upon a lion hunt that appeared to have gone awry. Lions were pursuing a herd of buffalo, but instead of isolating a buffalo to attack, a young male lion found himself surrounded by a herd of very angry buffalo who lashed out at him. For several minutes, we witnessed the incredible power of the buffalo, as they hooked the helpless lion with their horns and tossed him repeatedly into the air. It was very apparent why buffalo are considered one of the most dangerous animals in Africa. We thought the lion was going to be killed on the spot, but after about ten minutes of this, the buffalo abandoned him and he staggered to the bushes. It was hard to imagine he would live for long.
At times these scenes were not pleasant to watch, I will admit. Nature can be harsh. But it was real, and it was amazing to witness the cycle of life in a place that is still wild. We need places like that on earth, and it is good for us to visit them. As Tennyson wrote, on this day, we truly witnessed “Nature red in tooth and claw”.
We also witnessed a lot of beauty that day. I’ll leave you with a tender moment between a mother and baby zebra as we headed for the crater exit late in the afternoon. After all the death, it was refreshing to focus on new life as this unforgettable day came to a close.
Thanks to all of your interest in my photographs and stories, I have reached a milestone of 1 Million followers on Instagram. I’d like to show my appreciation by offering a selection of your favorite images from my Instagram feed as discounted prints. Soon you can own one or more of the images you enjoyed on Instagram to hang on your wall. The updates to the website will be completed soon.
Thanks for reading and all the best, Tim