Few people are fortunate enough to get close to Africa’s most fascinating – and sometimes ferocious animals.
However, British wildlife photographer Luke Massey spent three months in Zambia’s South Luangwa national park capturing stunning leopards, giant elephants, and scaly pangolins – one of the most precious creatures in the world.
While staying at Mfuwe Lodge, a luxury hideaway within the park boundary, Massey had daily access to these beautiful beasts.
But that didn’t always go smoothly – the 22-year-old believes he’s spent more than 600 hours in their company, trying to capture the perfect shots.
It took him two weeks of searching to find the female leopard, whom the local guards called Alice, and her two three-month-old cubs.
He then tracked the prowl for three months, witnessing kil.l.ings, cubs frolicking, hyenas at.ta.cking cubs, and battles for territory.
South Luangwa is home to the highest concentration of leopards anywhere in Africa. While elephants are continuing to suffer around the world due to po.ac.hing, they are also thriving in Zambia.
Luke explained: ‘The lodge I’m working at is really famous for its small herd that passes through reception every year on its way to a mango tree.’
He added that he is often amused by the audacity of the baby elephants, who would open their ears and discharge falsely, before fleeing to the safety of their mothers.