Harriet Smith Photography


"For The Love of Africa"

AFRICAN SAFARIS - Trips Of A Lifetime

Lazy Afternoon

Country                South Africa
Location:              KwaZulu-Natal
Reserve:              Phinda Game Reserve
Camp                    Phinda Vlei Lodge

Lazy Afternoon

This picture shows a photo art version massive male lion relaxing on an embankment above the water, wind blowing through his mane and his golden eyes staring off to the distance. Photo art is a mixed media whereby a great photo is moved into a paint software program and then painstakingly; every detail, his eyes, every hair of the lion's mane, is brush stroked to create this remarkable image.

These golden eyes represent the soul of wild Africa.  Lions are dying off rapidly across Africa. These cats once ranged across the continent and into Syria, Israel, Iraq, Pakistan, Iran, and even India; According to National Geographic in the 1800's more than a million lions roamed the Earth. Since the 1940s, when lions numbered an estimated 450,000, lion populations have blinked out across the continent. Now they may total as few as 20,000 animals, and some scientists predict the wild lion will be gone by 2050. 

The original picture shown here was taken in the Phinda Game Reserve. Cradled between the arms of the Lebombo Mountains to the west, and the azure sweep of the Indian Ocean to the east, the 60,000 acre Phinda Private Game Reserve is situated in Maputaland, one of Africa's most ecologically diverse regions, with an extraordinary range of ecosystems and wildlife. In 1991, Phinda undertook the biggest game relocation in a private reserve in the world at the time, restoring what has now grown to a total of 60,000 acres of degraded farmland to pristine wilderness.

Phinda lies adjacent to the 'Greater St-Lucia Wetland Park' - a UNESCO World Heritage Site by virtue of its diversity and scenic wonder - and incorporates no fewer than seven distinct eco-systems that can be explored. The reserve is dominated by open broad-leaved woodlands, acacia-bushveld, and palmveld-grass savannah, with a very high carrying capacity for Africa's large mammals.  Mountains, wetlands, freshwater lakes, and the Indian Ocean coastline all bring their own distinct habitats and diverse species of animals, birds, and plant-life. Phinda has possibly the best cheetah viewing anywhere.




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