Recently I was lucky enough to take a trip up to Kwa-Zulu Natal on the East coast of South Africa. The weather is always welcoming (even in winter) and the rolling green hills are never ending.
An added bonus was that I was able to take the Fuji XT1 along to photograph the experience, compliments of Orms.
Travelling up to northern natal (from the airport) by road for two and a half hours brings you to a beautiful game lodge called Thanda, a private reserve that hosts the big five. Big five? Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Elephant and Buffalo. Four out of the big five are endangered so the opportunity to see them in the wild is a privilege.
I grew up visiting the bush with my family almost every year. These memories are very near and dear to my heart. Being in the wild and hearing the sounds of nature is incredible. The stars are unlike anything you have ever seen before and listening to the roar of lions at night is something that will stay with me forever.
Included in the visit to Thanda were two games drives a day, lead by a very knowledgeable team (tracker and ranger) who shared their intimate knowledge of the bush with us. From fauna and flora to tribal mythology of the region, it was incredible learning so much on a drive while taking in the surrounds.
The drives were catered with drinks and snacks, with a special stop included for sundowners overlooking the magnificent valley and the Ubombo mountains.
The rooms at the tented lodge were absolutely incredible.
The ability of achieving five star luxuries from the humble beginnings of a hardwearing canvas structure is something of a wonder to me.
The trees surrounding the tent give you the feeling of solitude and reflection. Coupled with a cup of tea, just sitting and soaking it all in was the ultimate relaxation!
The XT1 makes for a perfect travel companion. Small and compact this camera packs a punch. The silent shutter proved invaluable for capturing wildlife and I managed to catch even some of the wariest animals unaware! The body is robust and weatherproof which came in handy on the back of an open land rover.
With interchangeable lenses there wasn’t a moment missed.
I enjoyed the fact that every time the camera came out; people assumed that I was shooting on film. It was a great conversation starter and it soon became clear that there is an overwhelming appreciation for the retrospective design and of course, an equal appreciation for the ease ofmodern digital functionality offered by the Fuji XT1.
Thanks to Orms and the XT1 - I captured the bush perfectly!