South Africa Wildlife Photography | Reflecting on the Trip of a Lifetime

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Hey y'all thanks for checking out my blog! I can't believe it's been over a year since my trip to South Africa. I've spent this last year reflecting, building my business, and dreaming of future travels. Rewinding to July of 2016, as a sophomore in college I was genuinely becoming bored with the classes I was enrolled in. While I was learning valuable information I was also craving adventure and the type of experience that was not obtainable sitting in a dark classroom listening to lectures. I started spending my class time on my computer researching other options... whoops sorry for not listening to your lectures professors. After A LOT of searching and sending resumes I received an email that I was accepted to a wildlife photography internship in South Africa. I was about to be pushed way out of my comfort zone. 

Fast forward to June of 2017. I was about to start my 40 hour journey on my first solo international trip. I didn't know anyone else going on the trip and I was honestly terrified. I had no idea what a magical journey I was in for. After arriving in Mossel Bay I instantly connected with the photographers, videographers, journalists, field specialists and locals. I'm incredibly thankful for all of them, they made my experience unforgettable and I'll cherish our memories for the rest of my life. 

My highlights from Mossel Bay included diving with White Shark Africa, watching surfers at the point, and hiking for an incredible view of Cape St Blaize lighthouse and a spot overlooking the town. Memories not pictured include late nights at Friends Pub and Grill and lots of intern bonding time in the Lavender House!

On a more serious note, an incredibly impactful part of the trip revolved around the arson lit fires. After seeing smoke pour out from behind the cliffs and over the ocean we loaded ourselves into the back of a pick up truck and took off through the smoke and ash, not knowing what we would find. Following are photographs from the cemetery we arrived at that had been set on fire and the smoke that was covering the town.

The rest of the trip was the best kind of adventure. I had the opportunity to see every animal you can imagine, ones that I never thought I would never have a chance to photograph.

I was lucky enough to get up close and personal with lions, elephants and giraffes but the rhinos hold a special place in my heart. Before this trip I was uneducated about the poaching problems associated with rhinos and their horns. Seeing these majestic animals so close and the devastating scenes of poaching set my heart on fire. I even tried to join an antipoaching unit and move to Africa.... but that's a longer story for another time.    

Another thing that I felt an unexplainable connection to were the mountains and stars. The vast valleys lead way to the most incredible mountains... the kind of landscapes that could swallow you whole. 

I can't put into words how thankful I am for all of the opportunities that I've had and the people I've met. This trip changed my life in ways I could have never imagined. 

Now that I've reflected on my time in Africa here's an update on my life! Since I got back to the states from South Africa I've graduated from the University of Arizona and am currently based in Arizona. I tried many times and many different ways to move to Africa.... but God had other plans for my life. I am now a destination wedding photographer and LOVE my job. I've been traveling all over as a Laura K Moore Photography associate capturing couples on their wedding day which is an absolute blast. I've shot in Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, Maine, and Vermont. If you want to see my upcoming travels feel free to follow my Instagram! Also if you haven't seen my newly renovated website check it out! If you've made it all the way through my long post thanks for reading :)

South Africa prints are available! Email mmcgarveyphotography@yahoo.com for print details!