This African water snipe is only one of more than 350 bird species that have been recorded at Lake Naivasha and the area is noted as one of the world’s top ten sites for birdwatchers. While many visitors come to spot the “Big Five” of lion, rhino, elephant, buffalo and leopard, birders come to Kenya because they might see 60 species in a two-week visit.
Kenya – Photo Tip

Why wildlife photography is hard work

Photo by Jochem Wijnands

Kenya – Photo Tip Why wildlife photography is hard work

Lake Naivasha in Kenya is known for its 350 species of birds, an amazing number for a small lake if you consider that on the entire British Isles there's barely twice that amount. No surprise that Kenya is popular with bird watchers and wildlife photographers.

Jochem Wijnands
Jochem Wijnands Founder / photographer

I love photographing wildlife but I am not a specialist. My wildlife photos typically include human elements. In Naivasha, Kenya I was reminded again how difficult it was and how dedicated you need to be to take great wildlife photographs. You can not just take your camera and go for a stroll hoping to strike lucky. It doesn’t work that way.

The process with wildlife photography often starts with finding a guide to show you the right places and explain animal behavior. Then, you need the right gear. Because birds are particularly jumpy and don’t like you to come near, I had a plan. I built a camouflaged tent to hide in. I settled in my tent very early so I'd be waiting for the birds before sunrise.

Then all you have to do is wait. Wait and hope the animals will show up, hope that the light will be great and that something special will happen. Then you need to do the same thing again the next day and the next. It Is hard work, but if it works out, it's very rewarding.

Sign up for TRVL now!

029-kenya720

The malachite kingfisher loves water and can be seen whirring low over the shores of Lake Naivasha as it hunts for small fish which it carries by the middle when caught but tosses into the air to swallow head first. Relatively few of the world’s 95 species of kingfisher actually eat fish despite their reputation for doing do. Photo by Jochem Wijnands

Jochem Wijnands

Jochem Wijnands

Nikon F5

Aperture
ƒ/5.6
Exposure
1/125
ISO
50
Focal
300 mm

The malachite kingfisher loves water and can be seen whirring low over the shores of Lake Naivasha as it hunts for small fish which it carries by the middle when caught but tosses into the air to swallow head first. Relatively few of the world’s 95 species of kingfisher actually eat fish despite their reputation for doing do.

Other stories about Kenya