Rodney Nombekana: How a love for giant cats and the ‘fantasy’ of the leopard sparked this wildlife photographer’s profession

(CNN) — Individuals journey throughout oceans and from the opposite facet of the world for an opportunity to see the wonders of Kruger Nationwide Park. The South African recreation reserve was established greater than 120 years in the past and ranks among the many greatest nationwide parks on the earth. Bucket-list adventurers go to with the hope of encountering the “huge 5” — lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and buffalo — and, with a bit of luck, capturing a memory-worthy picture within the course of.

“Our animals mainly make wildlife pictures trendy,” says Rodney Nombekana, a safari information who prides himself on giving guests a digicam roll of causes to fall in love with Kruger’s wildlife. “By doing so, not solely do they recognize the wildlife however additionally they become involved in conservation of our pure world.”

Vacationers on Nombekana’s safaris could effectively discover themselves in a primary place to seize the right shot — as a result of Nombekana is a wildlife photographer himself, a ardour he says he fell into years in the past whereas main a safari group by a unique park.

“It simply so occurred {that a} leopard was sitting on a phenomenal rock through the sundown, and I took out my cellular phone and I took an image of this leopard,” Nombekana recollects. “Once I bought house, I appeared on the image, and I spotted that it will be good if taken from a correct digicam.”

So Nombekana purchased a starter digicam package. As with the leopard, he discovered himself drawn to capturing photos of huge cats — a fascination he says was doubtless sparked throughout his childhood within the rural areas of the Japanese Cape.

“The elders of the village at all times informed us concerning the leopard,” he explains. “It was at all times a fantasy that there was this animal that was referred to as a leopard. We really by no means actually noticed it. It’s at all times been a dream of mine to really see a leopard within the wild and after I first noticed one, it was simply unbelievable.”

Look by the gallery above to see how the leopard and different huge cats have continued to carry a particular which means for Nombekana.

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