Wilderness’ Takudzwa “TK” Gonese is well-known as the wonderfully personable Wilderness Toka Leya Camp Manager. A natural artist known for his amazing sketches, he is now expanding his horizons and skills, showing himself to also be a talented wildlife and landscape photographer.
Set on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River in Mosa-oa-Tunya National Park, Toka Leya offers all the luxury you could want, from a full body massage in the day spa to adventure galore at the Victoria Falls, and an array of wildlife constantly moving in and around camp. Thanks to our ongoing reforestation efforts along the banks of the Zambezi, many animals big and small have returned to the area to explore in peace, while guests gaze in wonder at their beauty. And where better to hone your photography skills than a place like this?
TK has shared some of his favourite images from the camp, highlighting the magnificence of the area. In his words, “Proficiency in photography techniques and composition will yield you just a good image. But, true passion and love for wildlife will make you a better wildlife photographer. "
Autumn is in the air and on the boardwalk, and as the temperature starts to fall so the leaves change their hues and bring more colour to Toka Leya
Our resident elephants know exactly where to find the tastiest leaves, on the evergreen trees that have been planted as part of the Wilderness’ reforestation project
Sunset on the river never disappoints, and even those of us lucky enough to call Africa home, find it hard not to photograph every sunset, every day – what is there not to love?
Smith’s bush squirrels, commonly known as tree squirrels are regular visitors in camp – though we might consider a number of them boardwalk squirrels as they forage for fallen fruit and nuts along our elevated walkways
Having many human-like traits, the vervet monkey is an interesting creature and has adapted to living with man in many places, including spending time on the canvas roofs and decks of the guest tents
Vervets are not the only playful creatures around – just wait for these legendary mammoths to reach the water and the antics quickly ensue
The power of small things is never more evident than when one of our guides or staff spots a snake and their cameras come out to take as many photos as they can
After checking with our experts this is possibly a boomslang (would need to see the head of the snake to be sure). Boomslang translates from Afrikaans as tree snake.
Stripped skink sunning itself on a log near the river, a potentially risky spot as the river is a birding hot spot
White-browed robin-chat, also known as Heuglin's robin. Robin symbolism signifies the stimulation of new growth and renewal in many areas of life. We are taking this sighting as a sign of renewal of life post-COVID.
Black-collared barbet – this species is readily recognised by its distinctive call , commonly rendered as "too-puddly too-puddly too-puddly" or "too-doodle too-doodle"
The female dark-capped bulbul builds a cup-like nest of rootlets, dry grass and twigs, which is exactly what this bulbul was doing – collecting reeds ahead of its breeding season
Living up to its name, the giant kingfisher is 42 – 46 cm (16.5 – 18 in) long, with a large shaggy crest, a large black bill and fine white spots on its black upperparts and is very adept at fishing
Western banded snake eagles are small raptors that live across sub-Saharan Africa in riverine woodland; with its diet consisting of snakes, the sand snake better look out
White-browed coucal – as identified by TK from his well-thumbed bird book, confirming the necessity for reliable reference material when on safari
“This has got to be one of my luckiest moments ever! As I was sitting in the office at work. I heard a bit of a commotion just outside. I had already planned to walk around with my camera, so I quickly grabbed it and ran outside. All of a sudden, the noise stopped. I knew I had disturbed something. From the corner of my eye, I saw a sudden movement. To my surprise, it was a frog hanging upside down …‘very odd’ … in a tree. I kept still and got the camera ready. Through the thicket emerged a bird I was not familiar with. I have to admit, it’s a scary and angry looking bird if you zoom in to look at its facial features. From my bird book, it looks like the white-browed coucal (Centropus superciliosus). Very secretive, hence my unfamiliarity with it, I guess. To cut a long story short, the frog was the chef's special for the day”.
Let’s plan your next journey
When we say we’re there every step of the way, we mean it, literally. From planning the perfect circuit, to private inter-camp transfers on Wilderness Air, and easing you through Customs. We’re with you on the ground, at your side, 24-7, from start to finish. Ready to take the road less travelled? Contact our Travel Designers to plan an unforgettable journey.