The Bigger Picture in the Sabi Sand

Marlon duToit All Authors, Marlon 4 Comments

The Sabi Sand Game Reserve is undoubtedly one of Africa’s most exciting wildlife destinations!

It is arguably the best place to find leopards, and will satisfy the needs of any safari fanatic in search of the other 4 members of the big 5. This place delivers each and every time.

Sadly though, whenever I speak to photographers about this excting wildlife destination, I far too often hear it branded as a place for only tight portraits of wildlife. There’s a distinct lack of images portraying the actual beauty of the landscape, the essence of what the Sabi Sand is all about.

Yes, I completely agree that the Sabi Sand area can become rather densely vegetated during the summer time. That said, always keep an open mind when visiting an area. Always look around you for the opportunity to capture images that include some bits and pieces of the surrounding landscape.

There’s so much beauty to be found with this wildlife paradise.


marlon du toit, sabi sand, wild eye, photo safari

marlon du toit, sabi sand, wild eye, photo safari


When photographing leopards, undoubtedly people will reach for the longer lenses and get right in there in a leopard’s face! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that and you will no doubt get great results. Once you leave the sighting behind, why not look back and think about a slightly wider shot? Have a look at the image below, not too bad is it?


marlon du toit, sabi sand, wild eye, photo safari


Waterholes and river’s are great locations to think of wide-angle photo opportunities.

It will give you a different perspective, and also add identity to your image. The Sabi Sand Wildtuin has a very distinctive look, and on wider images becomes rather easy to recognize. This sets the image apart and allows people to identify with your travels and experiences.

marlon du toit, sabi sand, wild eye, photo safari

marlon du toit, sabi sand, wild eye, photo safari


On the flip side, there’s often animals very close to the vehicle. This allows you the opportunity to get some wider images of animals such as elephants.


marlon du toit, sabi sand, wild eye, photo safari


Elephants here are very relaxed with the vehicles. The often encounter the vehicles out on safari, and tens to get within a meter or two at times. Reach for your wide angle lens and capture the stunning skies and beautiful landscape, all whilst giving viewers a different perspective on your subject.

Alway try and challenge yourself to capture your subjects within their surroundings. Often images that do not look that great on the back of your camera screen, will look far better once viewed on your PC or Mac back home!

The Sabi Sand Wildtuin offers spectacular scenery and landscapes, and with a little bit of thought you can capture a side to this stunning destination few before you have.


marlon du toit, sabi sand, wild eye, photo safari


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About the Author

Marlon duToit

Passion, enthusiasm and an unquenchable thirst to explore and introduce you to our natural world’s wildlife perfectly sums up my ambitions. I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. Through my African adventures I kept my photographic passion alive. Behind a camera aimed at a lion or a leopard is where I am most at home, my heart skipping a beat at the mere thought of it. My intention has never been solely for recognition but for the plight of what’s left of our natural recourses. Using my love and understanding of wildlife I am able to convey to the viewer more than an image or a fleeting moment. I aim to tell a story, to bring that moment alive to you and to capture your heart through it.

Comments 4

  1. Carol Bell

    Marlon I really love your buffalo photo…… its something I have been trying to capture in Kruger without much success at there is a huge herd in the croc area. Am so glad you have done this blog and shown photos……..I have been so despondent with my photos showing animals in the environment……. am going to try again and keep on looking at yours. Thankyou.

    1. Post
      Marlon duToit

      Hi Carol, thank you so much for getting in touch with me, and for reading through my blog! Please never be despondent with your work, it is all a journey and it can only ever get better! Spend as much time in the field as you can, and most importantly enjoy every second of it!

  2. Martha Myers

    Thank you so much for these images, Marion. I’ve been following the Sabi Sabi blogs for months, and while there’s nothing I like more than wildlife close-ups, I’ve always wondered why lay beyond. After seeing your images, there’s no way I’d leave my wide-angle lens/full frame body behind when I join the Wild Eye team for the upcoming seminar. Thanks again!

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