Charl Senekal’s Wildlife Photography “Caches” Teach the Virtue of Patience


(CNN) – In the KwaZulu-Natal lagoon in eastern South Africa, nightfall covers the Zimanga private reserve with a dark blanket. The only light comes from a new moon, slowly drifting across the cloudless winter sky, which provides the perfect backdrop for what lies ahead. An audible alarm is mixed with the soundtrack of nature, which sets off a silent rush for photographers to get into position – ready for something to happen in an instant.

“A good photograph is only a fraction of a second in time, without a second taken”, explains Charl Senekal, wildlife photographer and director of Zimanga Destinations, which manages the private hunting reserve.

Senekal’s love for wildlife and photography stems from his childhood, when his father bought a new Minolta camera. “He brought this wonderful camera home, opened the box and I immediately attached it,” Senekal explains. “He must have bought a new one.

In South Africa, where abundant wildlife provides perfect imaging opportunities, a wave of young photographers is emerging – capturing awe-inspiring moments with an important message.

These days, Senekal combines his passion through his work at Zimanga, a conservation-oriented ecotourism reserve that also focuses on creating magical wildlife photography experiences. “The idea behind Zimanga has always been a dream to create something that caters to photography,” he told CNN.

Home to more than 80 species of mammals and 400 species of birds, the reserve is now considered one of the main destinations on the continent for wildlife photographers. With nine different photo “caches”, designed and strategically placed around the reserve, hobbyists and professionals alike can capture the perfect photo of everything from big game to small birds.

Explore the gallery above for some of Senekal’s most epic wildlife images.

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