Cape Town

A brief introduction to the Mother City

I was picked up from Cape Town International Airport by old family friends, locals to Cape Town who were originally from the previously named Rhodesia. Although I probably needed a shower I was taken straight to a Wine Farm, nestled in at the foot of Table Mountain National Park, the stunning views and local wine helped me to forget the 24 hour journey I’d just endured. The journey from the Wine Farm to my temporary home just outside Cape Town took me past Chapman’s Peak, a stunning hill with a sheer drop that overlooked the Atlantic Ocean. The blue water, rugged hillside and white waves crashing far below almost looked like a painting, the perfect place to stop for my first photos in South Africa.

Chapmans Peak and Blue Ocean Cape Town

Mount Camdeboo Game Reserve

The Game Reserve Built Amongst the Mountains

Mount Camdeboo Game Reserve is a Safari Park like no other, in a country that is famous for its wide deserted plains and flat landscape this was a welcomed surprise. Back when I arrived in 2018 Mount Camdeboo was famous for its Cheetah, Thandeka, the one eyed Cheetah who’s bloodline can be found all over Southern Africa. It’s a rare sight to see Snow Africa, but the mountains were still capped with white tips from their winter, we were hoping to be one of the first photographers to capture a Cheetah in the snow, although this may have just been wishful thinking as unfortunately Thandeka stayed fairly low in altitude and favoured the warmer parts of the game reserve (no surprise considering she’s a Cheetah, usually acquainted to higher temperatures).

Sunsets were just as impressive in Mount Camdeboo, we enjoyed a bottle of wine atop a mountain, a very welcomed wine at that as the road (and I use that word lightly) seemed to wobble and shake as we traversed corners in the Safari vehicle, sudden bumps in the road shook the 4×4 and you almost don’t dare to look over the edge of the vehicle at the ground hundreds of feet below. I did look though because there were still the odd Zebra, Kudu and Impala on full guard as the car revved up the mountain. When we got to the top we were met with 360 degree views of Mount Camdeboo Game Reserve, the once massive mountains looked just a fraction of the size they once were, this really put into perspective the true size of this massive place, no phone reception, no people and just a bird of prey floating above made us feel very very small.

The reason I was in South Africa in the first place was because I was on an internship course with Africa Media, a company that helps wildlife and nature filmmakers, photographers and journalists help to achieve their dream and gain work experience in the wildlife content producing industry. Africa Media have close ties with Mount Camdeboo and it’s no surprise to see why they’ve kept the game reserve close their heart. Along with walking with and photographing a wild Cheetah we had early morning drives up the mountain to capture the sunrise, the sky turned all sorts of colours, from an Orange hue to a purple haze, the long shadows cast by the rugged landscape made this a spectacular place to shoot.

On top of a beautiful landscape and fantastic views in the day, once the sun sent the night sky in Mount Camdeboo was a beautiful light show of its own, its isolated location meant there was no light pollution any nearby towns or cities, I’d never seen a night sky quite like this. On the final night, the cool mountains air was settling and the sky was clear and it was the perfect time to practice night photography, up until this point I’d never attempted Astrophotography at length, the image below is of the Milky Way, taken just outside of the luxurious accommodation we’d been staying in, not bad for a first attempt! The next morning was we started the six hour drive to our temporary home in Mossel Bay.

Mount Camdeboo Safari
Mount Camdeboo Safari Sunset

Milky Way from Mount Camdeboo
Thandeka the Cheetah Mount Camdeboo

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