Photography Magazine

Time to Treasure

By Naomiestment @naomiestment

Kruger Park Guided Walk during 2014 SGOTY Competition

Without fail, we seem to find ourselves when immersed in the heart of nature. Always. Unerringly. Never more so than when walking, as a group of us did recently in the Kruger National Park – unfettered by fences and completely free to mingle with Africa’s magnificent wildlife, great and small.

I took the above photo around 6am, soon after we’d set out on our first guided walk during the finals of the 2014 Safari Guide of the Year competition. This took place in the week of our winter solstice and the morning temperatures were teeth chattering. My cameras felt the cold, the lenses needing frequent wiping to clear the mist. Handling them meant removing my gloves often, exposing my fingers to the icy chill. By contrast, my soul could not have been warmer, nor more alive.

There is something primordially healing about being present in nature that brings us home to who we are. It reinforces the significance of the phenomenal role played by our safari guides, who shoulder responsibility as custodians of this treasure. Dave and I were delighted to participate in the Safari Guide of the Year competition again this year, capturing all the action of the final week in still images and video. Here is a photo of the intrepid finalists, almost ready to relax towards the end of their last assessment:

2014 SGOTY Finalists

Our heartfelt thanks and congratulations to the organizers, Africa Direct Tour and Travel Operators and The Field Guides Association of Southern Africa, as well as all the sponsors and participants, especially winner Nick du Plessis from Singita and runner-up Brett Horley of Brett Horley Safaris. Well done to all!

Below is the video we created for this year’s competition, followed by our insert from last year’s one, which was aired on SABC TV’s 50/50 channel. May they inspire you to also take some time to treasure amid the peace and power of nature’s playground. Enjoy


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