WPY 2011

Photograph Details

Highly commended 2011

Nature in Black & White

Wim van den Heever, South Africa

Rhino in charge

The white rhino was clearly feeling a bit edgy. He was the dominant male in this area of the Sabi Sands Game Reserve and well known for his unpredictable temperament when in female company. Several females were nearby. So Wim's driver stopped a good 100 metres (110 yards) or so away. Then, without warning, the rhino charged. 'I focused on it thundering towards us,' says Wim, 'but then realized the driver was struggling to start the engine.' Wim's priorities changed. The rhino pulled up at the last minute, just 3 metres (10 feet) away, snorted and kicked up a dust storm. Having made his point, he started running back, his head held high. 'For a second he stopped, turned round, and looked at me,' says Wim, 'just long enough for me to get the shot.'

Technical specification

Nikon D3X + 200-400mm f4 lens; 1/320 sec at f7.1; ISO 400.

Sabi Sands Game Reserve, South Africa: latitude -24.9356, longitude 31.5481 Sabi Sands Game Reserve, South Africa: latitude -24.9356, longitude 31.5481

Sabi Sands Game Reserve, South Africa

Intellectual property rights to all WPY images are retained by the photographers. Reproduction without prior written consent constitutes an actionable infringement. For usage enquiries please contact us.

Sign up to receive emails from the Natural History Museum about events and exhibitions, including Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

Wim van den Heever, South Africa

Wim has had an interest in photography and nature for as long as he can remember. From an early age, it seemed a natural progression for him to combine the two passions through a career in wildlife photography. He sees photography as a lifestyle rather than a hobby.

  • Surfing delight
  • The final leap