Discover the stories behind Greg du Toit’s stunning photographs of African wildlife
The overall winner of Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2013 tells Keith Wilson about his journey to bagging wildlife photography’s greatest prize…
Looking back, Greg du Toit can say with some satisfaction that he has more than fulfilled his childhood dream of living a life in the African bush among the continent’s iconic wildlife; however, wildlife photography was never in the original script, and Greg admits that it’s been a long, slow learning curve… Which interest came first, wildlife or photography? It was definitely wildlife. I’ve only been photographing wildlife for the last 15 years. From about the age of 10 I was pretty much obsessed with wildlife, and doing safaris in Kruger National Park, South Africa. I knew that when I left school I wanted to live and work in the bush permanently.
So what was your first job?
It was an apprenticeship with a company called Timbavati Wilderness Trails. It offered walking trips on the western boundary of Kruger. ‘Apprenticeship’ may sound smart, but basically I was just a camp hand. I had to clean the lanterns, fix the roads, dig the holes for the long-drop toilets. It was very rustic and basic because there was no electricity, no landlines or cell phones. I absolutely loved it. All the jobs I was given to do involved going out into the bush, and it was like a boy’s playground. I would swim in the rivers, stalk the big game and have a great time. The cherry on top was that if I’d finished my chores I was allowed to join a walk and carry a backpack, or go on the afternoon safari drive. That’s where it all began for me.