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Africa Geographic Travel

James Suter, guide and filmmaker, first guided on the N’wanetsi Concession in the Kruger National Park and got to know the many lion prides that frequent this area. Recently he had the chance to go back to see one of the prides from his days as a guide – with the welcome addition of rarely-seen white lions.

white-lion-cub

White lions are thought to be indigenous to the Timbavati area, and haven’t been sighted in this area for decades and so it was very unexpected to see them. So unexpected, in fact, that no one believed the tracker that first radioed in the sighting.

white-lion-cubs

Capturing these lions on film was a challenge, especially with limited shoot days, but with the expertise of the guiding team at Singita we were able to get some beautiful footage of the pride and the cubs.

white-lions-singita

One has since passed on from natural causes, but the older male is alive and we hope that he will live to see adulthood.

The white coats possessed by the white lions of the Timbavati, and now those in Kruger, were not the product of albinism (a relatively common condition resulting from a failure to develop pigment), but from another condition called leucism, in which the pelt is white but the eyes and skin are pigmented. Read this interesting article for more on the black & white of African wildlife.

While white lions are bred in cages and on small fenced farms for the trophy hunting industry in South Africa, it is good to see these lions in a natural state where they will be protected and are free to live a life in the wild.

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From a young age James and Sam Suter were exposed to the wonders of Africa and it’s wilderness areas. After graduating with a diploma in Environmental Studies, James went on to guiding where he honed his skills, picked up his camera and started to document his day-to-day scenes. James now offers private photographic safaris and operates throughout Southern and East Africa. As well as his private guiding, James is co-owner of Black Bean Productions – a small independent production company in Cape Town. Sam is the producer at Black Bean Productions. With a passion for conservation, travel and Africa – she creates short films and assists teams in raising much needed funds and awareness to continue the good work they are doing on the ground. Black Bean Productions have produced films for the SANParks Honorary Rangers, Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre and most recently is working on a film for the Black Mamba Anti-Poaching unit – the first all female anti-poaching unit that are doing critical work in the Greater Kruger National Park. James and Sam have extensively traveled throughout Africa and recently got married and decided to take 6 weeks to explore the wild places of Namibia – they plan to visit many of the protected areas between Cape Town and the Kunene region in Namibia and share what they discover.

Africa Geographic Travel