Tanzania – leopards, lions and wild dogs

The last couple of days I’ve been wondering if I should also post wildlife photos on my blog… since I usually only post sneak peaks from my latest portrait sessions. And today, I decided: yes, I should!

So…… six months after our wedding and honeymoon in Tanzania, I finally started the lengthy process of viewing and selecting images from our trip. So far I’ve made it through 3 days worth of photos.. and the following images are my faves so far… I hope you enjoy them! :-)

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Lake Manyara – this was taken on our first day of safaris, we watched this lioness for a long long time.. in 40C full sun… since we were totally oblivious to the time, Heiko and I got pretty badly sunburnt – and just days before our wedding too!

Tigs Creations Photography

Baboons in Ngorongoro Crater – the babies are so cute, I loved watching them play and explore. They have such human expressions at times, it’s quite facinating!

Tigs Creations Photography

These two (above and below) were taken in the Ngorongoro Crater. These two young lions were lazing by the side of the road with full bellies… you can tell they are young by the spots on their legs. I just love the reflection in the one above, and their interaction in the one below .

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In the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, just a few hundred metres from Olduvai Camp (where we were married), we had the most AMAZING sighting of African Painted Dogs (aka Wild Dogs). There are less than 5000 in the wild, and since they are nomadic, sightings are incrediably rare. We had the pleasure of spending time watching a pack of 24 dogs, play, run, snooze, play some more… it was just incredible. A dream. We could hardly believe what we were seeing. It was magic!

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Do you see the Painted Dogs above? There are a few resting in the shade of a tree. The landscape in this area was just beautiful. In the Ngorongoro Conservation Area we were allowed to drive off road since we were there during the wet season (the rains quickly cover vehicle tracks, although we are not allowed to double back on a track in order to prevent damage to the vegetation). But driving off road gave us the perfect opportunity to get closer to this pack of Painted Dogs, we would have missed them otherwise.

Tigs Creations Photography

Tigs Creations Photography

Tigs Creations Photography

Watching them run and play was just amazing! :)

The next day, we were again very lucky with our sightings. Our driver (amazingly) spotted a leopard, far in the distance, but since we were allowed to drive off-road, we were able to get fairly close. He was pretty shy, so we still had to keep our distance. Just look at his sleek coat and bulging belly in the image below – he was certainly well fed. There were herds and herds of migrating wildebeest in this area and our driver commented “the supermarket is open” – certainly, this leopard was doing a lot of supermarket shopping! ;)

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This next couple of photos, I love:

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Here’s a short extract from my journal:

“We followed him [the leopard] for about 2-3 km. On one occasion he ran out from a tree to attack our vehicle, watching him do this through my large lens, close up, gave me two conflicting thoughts simultaneously
1) Sh*t, he’s going to charge, and
2) Excellent, great photo opportunity”

luckily only a mock charge.. and thankfully, got the photos too! ;)

Tigs Creations Photography

Tigs Creations Photography

This last one was taken just moments after his mock charge!

Hope you enjoyed this small selection… I promise there will be more to come! ;)

** this post appeared first on Tigs Creations Photography **


  1. kevan

    Natalie superb photo’s this made the wedding even more special and memorable

  2. Nicole

    That second image is absolutely amazing!! Wonderful job!

  3. evie

    WOW! What an amazing experience!!! I love all of these shots! Amazing!

  4. Willie

    You really make awesome wild-life photo’s.
    You should enter the contest of National geographic…..

  5. Brian Hampson

    Wow! The wild dogs are amazing. I recall the parks authority wanting any pictures of them that people take.

    What a great trip and some nice pictures! Memorable place to get married too! (Congrats on that!)

  6. Vinita

    Amazing images tigs!the baboon baby is too cute!Amazing leopard shots too!Great!

  7. Kirsty-Abu Dhabi

    Wonderful pics – looks like an amazing trip – it took me 3 years to sort out my honeymoon pics and get them in an album!!! Good Luck!

  8. Kristen Wood

    yes, yes you should indeed!! great photos!!!

  9. Christina

    Aww, love these, especially the baby animals :)

  10. daphne

    Natalie, I sooo love the HUGE paws on the leopard in the second to last photo. I also love the framing on the shot with the painted dogs & landscape and really like the use of foreground in the first shot.

    Are you in vehicles the whole time? Which lens are you using for these close-ups? Did you recently say you got a 500?

    Hope you are well although busy. You are producing amazing work!! Can’t wait to catch up when things slow down a bit for you.

  11. Whitney

    ooooh how I am jealous!! Great photos and it feels as if I was there! :D Fantastic

  12. Natalie

    :-) thank you all very much for your lovely comments! can’t wait to dive back into my Tanzania photos and pick out some more.. actually, can’t wait to go back to Tanzania ;-)

  13. amy

    Wow – these are amazing. Absolutely beautiful!

  14. bruce

    i periodically get-the-urge to wander thru’ your site to learn what’s afoot and enjoy the pristine arrangement and presentation.

    the depicted images, like here, are pretty damn good too! manyara and ngorongoro remain my favorite places.

    but, i should like to return to gorongoza too!

    thanx for the beginning of the journey. await the follow-on …..


  15. Allison

    OH wow! These are beautiful! Excellent job! These were so fun to see.

  16. Karin Bloem

    Great shots, especially the foot-lose one! Also the photo’s of the wild dogs are great. Nowadays there are quite a few places in Kenya where these wild dogs are spotted regularly.
    Look forward to see more of your pics.


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