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…

NPhoto - - Contents -

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.