I count myself lucky to have grown up in Louis Trichardt, a small town nestled at the foot of the Soutpansberg Mountains in South Africa. Living there continually exposed me to an environment where the wonders of nature were at my doorstep. From a young age, outdoor activities like hiking and camping became part of my life because of the culture developed in my family. We would habitually set out on family trips to discover the vast, and often wild areas surrounding our small town. The short, and regularly travelled, two-hour drive to the Kruger National Park soon began to shape my keen interest in wildlife. It was, and still is, a slice of heaven for me.
Like wildlife, my interest in photography began at a young age. I would always enjoy taking photos at events and for family and friends. But the real beauty started in 2011 when I visited the Kruger National Park equipped with my sister’s Canon 450D and two kit lenses. I began to understand that I could combine my two passions into one frame. Soon after this I bought myself a Canon 600D and a Sigma 150-500mm lens, and armed with my own tools, my photographic journey began.
In 2012, I completed my postgraduate studies at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. After graduating with an Honours Degree in Information Systems, I was faced with a juncture: a career path with an office job or one where my office had no walls. As much as I enjoyed the world of information systems and technology, I chose the ‘no walls’ option and enrolled in Africa Nature Training’s FGASA Level 1 Nature Guide course in 2013.
Once I had completed all the required guiding qualifications, I landed a job as a nature guide at Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve in the prestigious Sabi Sand Wildtuin, which forms part of the Greater Kruger National Park. I spent two and a half years working at all four of Sabi Sabi’s lodges, hosting guests from all walks of life. While at Sabi Sabi I hosted many photographic safaris, allowing me the privilege and opportunity to work with and learn from some of South Africa’s top wildlife photographers. Another highlight was being part of Sabi Sabi’s social media team. This was an opportunity for me to improve my skill as I had to contribute to daily social media posts and blogs.
During the past few years I’ve visited many of Africa’s great wildlife destinations, from the grassy plains of the Masai Mara, to the coastal flowers beds of West Coast National Park. I enjoy the diverse landscapes that Africa has to offer, and exploring new parks and reserves has always been an exciting prospect. Being able to document each trip with a camera in hand makes it even more special. I also gain great satisfaction by combining my photographic knowledge and guiding experience to allow others to be able to Capture the Beauty of Africa!
Cell: +27 72 370 6319
Johannesburg, South Africa
Copyright © Pravir Patel Photography. All Rights Reserved.