Sabi Sands Photographic Safari

Fascinating animal eyes

Whenever you make eye contact with an animal, loved one or even the family dog, it generally gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling inside.

Personally, from a photographic side it makes the composition more intimate while still not taking anything away from the rawness of mother nature. Besides what we like about these “portals to the soul”, they are crucial to many creatures’ survival and are suited to their particular habits.


The biggest of them all, not the eyes, but rather the elephant itself. These hazelnut dream-makers are the size of a human eyeball and can see just as well as us. The trunk and ears on the other hand are these architects’ tools to survival.

elephant, eye, wildlife

The nightjar is a nocturnal insectivorous bird who waits patiently for its night sky canvas to be silhouetted with flying insects. Their reflective rod-filled eyes aids in earning its next meal.

bird, nocturnal, nightjar, wildlife

The tapetum lucidum (now there’s a mouthful) is a special tissue in the back of the lion’s eye that intensifies objects and makes their eyes more light sensitive under low light conditions.

lion, portrait, wildlife

Second to the sun, the amber eyes of the cheetah have a special place in my heart. Their round-shaped pupils give them 210 degree peripheral vision which is needed for spotting prey and predator.

cheetah, wildlife, big cat

Probably the closest you want to be to this keen-eyed master of the trees. Boomslangs have the ability to spot stationary prey, such as chameleons, amongst the leafy foliage.

boomslang, reptile, snake, eyes

Undoubtedly the biggest show off of them all, the white-fronted bee-eater uses precision and pinpoint accuracy to pluck bees out of mid-air, and then has audacity to eat it a few feet in front of you.

bird, white-fronted bee-eater, wildlife

Don’t let those sparkly brown eyes fool you, that guilty look couldn’t be more true. A reputation as mischievous is well deserved at lodges around the continent, but they sure are useful when it comes to spotting the big cats.

baboon, primate, eyes

Kwandwe Private Game Reserve

Within South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province lies Kwandwe Private Game Reserve. This world-class Big 5 safari destination in 22,000 hectares of pristine, private wilderness offers exceptional wildlife diversity, experienced professional guides and intimate, luxurious accommodation for the discerning traveller.

Africa Geographic