Africa is many things to many people – a home, a place unknown, a wildlife haven and a continent filled with adventure. But to Christoph Tänzer, a creative director, photographer and filmmaker, Africa is a paradise.
Christoph’s arrival at Khwai River in Botswana started with much excitement and anticipation. “Just before we reached the camp, three young male lion crossed our path. The animals, the air and the noises. It just felt amazing to be back in Africa, and the following days were full of surprises, great discoveries and amazing impressions.”
His voyage continued with more wildlife encounters. During one of the nights in Khwai he heard the call of a hyena, a species that hadn’t been spotted for a long time in the area. “When we arrived at the den, we saw two adult hyenas with a 3-month-old cub. It was so fascinating to watch how the adults cared about the cub. Hyena cubs begin to follow their mother after about one year on hunts, yet while they are young they are left behind in the den with an adult as a babysitter. After half an hour, another hyena cub, perhaps just a month old, watched out of the den for a moment. It was surprising and one of the most beautiful moments of my journey.”
Alertness and expectant uncertainty were present throughout Christoph’s trek across the Okavango wilderness. “We walked through the bushes, constantly listening to the noises around us. You never know what is waiting around the corner, but alerting calls of birds can point out danger close by. Observing the animals and their behaviour is what I love about wildlife photography. Imagine following a young leopardess roaming through the open grass, followed by hyenas in the distance. She climbed a tree where we observed her for about an hour. The way the cat moves and behaves is just fantastic, and learning about it is even more so.”
Christoph’s expedition through this diverse ecosystem has resulted in a mission: to showcase the importance of protecting our planet. “I tell stories by capturing moments that show the beauty of our planet and the variety of its wildlife, people and cultures. If people understand that some of these moments, places, animals or people will be rare or gone in a couple of years, it’s a start. If they decide to change something, it will make a difference and my mission will have been successful.”