Peering out of a bunker beside a remote waterhole, Morkel could hear every rumble, even smell the elephants. ‘You start looking out for that split second when the chaos lines up into order’, he says. Morkel’s moment came when a mother elephant framed the shot with its legs, just as its calf walked into view framing a giraffe. While droughts are common in Africa, prolonged water shortages can pose a serious threat. At these times elephant herds look to their matriarch. Herds led by older females tend to survive dry periods with fewer casualties, as the females are likely to have experienced more extreme droughts in their lifetime and know where to find waterholes.
Nikon D800 + 70-200mm f2.8 lens at 200mm; 1/640 sec at f8; ISO 360.
Etosha National Park, Namibia
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Morkel Erasmus, South Africa
Morkel first picked up a DSLR camera in 2009, and hasn’t looked back. He was awarded in the 2010 Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition, and has since won other awards and been published in the media. An industrial engineer by trade, he leads photographic safaris in his spare time, and promotes wildlife photography as an enjoyable pastime and conservation tool.