Where the wild things are
As Wildlife Photographer of the Year pictures are released SARAH MARSHALL suggests where you can see the action for real
COVERING every corner of the natural world, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition always generates interest, envy and debate. Some images are beautiful, others are chilling – but they always tell an important story.
While the winners won’t be announced until October 16, several commended shots featured in the exhibition have been released.
Many were taken in locations accessible to the public and feature on the holiday itineraries below...
THE MEERKAT MOB by Tertius A Gous
WHERE: Brandberg Mountain, Namibia
WHAT: When an Anchieta’s cobra moved towards two meerkat pups, the rest of the pack reacted almost instantly. Rushing back, the 20-strong group split into two: One group grabbed the pups and huddled a safe distance away, the other took on the snake.
Fluffing up their coats, tails raised, the mob edged forwards, growling. When the snake lunged, they sprang back. This was repeated for about 10 minutes.
HOW: Exodus (exodus.co.uk) offers a 15-day Discover Nambia camping escorted trip, including a visit to Brandberg Mountain, from £2,479pp, with various departures.
COOL CAT by Isak Pretorius
WHERE: South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
WHAT: This lioness drinking from a waterhole is one of the Mfuwe Lodge pride. Though lions can get most of the moisture they need from their prey and even from plants, they drink regularly when water is available.
HOW: Expert Africa (expertafrica.com) offers a tailormade 9-night Civet Safari to Zambia, including a stay at Mfuwe Lodge, from £4,623pp. Flights extra.
MISTER WHISKERS by Valter Bernardeschi
WHERE: Svalbard, Norway
WHAT: These walruses were feeding just off an island in the Norwegian archipelago. The photographer put on his wetsuit and slipped into the icy water. Immediately, a few curious walruses – mainly youngsters – began swimming towards him.
Walruses use their highly sensitive whiskers and snout to search out bivalve molluscs (such as clams) and other small invertebrates on the ocean floor.
HOW: Aurora Expeditions (auroraexpeditions.com) offers an 11-day Svalbard Odyssey cruise from £4,000pp, including the opportunity to go polar snorkelling (£411pp). Flights extra. Departures on July 15 and 25, 2019.
AHEAD IN THE GAME by Nicholas Dyer
WHERE: Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe
WHAT: African wild dog pups play a macabre game of tag with the head of a chacma baboon – the remains of their breakfast. The endangered African wild dog is best known for hunting antelopes, such as impalas and kudus. But this pack has been regularly killing and eating baboons – highly unusual, not least because baboons are capable of inflicting severe wounds.
HOW: Wildlife Worldwide (wildlifeworldwide. com) offers a tailormade 10-day Zimbabwe Highlights tour, with a stay in Mana Pools, from £5,995pp including flights with various departures.
GLASS-HOUSE GUARD by Wayne Jones
WHERE: Mabini, Philippines
WHAT: On the seabed off the coast of Mabini, a yellow pygmy goby guards its home – a discarded glass bottle.
It is one of a pair. The female will lay several batches of eggs, while the male performs guard duty at the entrance.
HOW: Dive Worldwide (diveworldwide. com) offers a 10-day Philippine Secret Dive Safari from £2,095pp, including flights. Various departures from March to May.
■ The Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition runs at London’s Natural History Museum from Friday, October 19 until summer 2019. Tickets cost £15 for adults, £9 for children.
Ahead in the Game The Meerkat Mob Mister Whiskers: Concentrating on the tusk in hand
Cool Cat Glass-House Guard