Prepare to be amazed by the breathtaking wildlife photographs captured by Tomasz Szpila, an amateur photographer whose talent will leave you in awe.
Hailing from Poland, 38-year-old Szpila can capture stunning scenes from Africa’s animal kingdom.
This captivating picture of a ‘lazy lion’ with flies resting on its face was captured in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park. Commenting on lions’ behavior in the wild, Szpila says: ‘When they find a comfortable place from which they can look after the area with a half-open eye, they may stay there all day. And even dozens of flies are not a reason to move’
From lions fiercely devouring their prey to gorillas tenderly cradling their newborns, his photographs showcase the beauty and emotion of Africa’s wildlife.
Szpila’s passion for documenting Africa’s wildlife blossomed during his first visit to Kenya in 2016. Since then, he has embarked on countless adventures across Sub-Saharan Africa, camera in hand.
This transfixing picture shows a three-month-old lion cub with its fur bloodied as it partakes in a ‘lion’s feast’ in Botswana’s Okavango Delta region. Szpila says that the cub made sure to observe its surroundings throughout the meal. He notes: ‘Young lion cubs feed on their mother’s milk until they are seven months old. This does not prevent them from participating in the lion’s feasts, during which they supplement their dairy diet with meat’
The region’s diverse animal species, distinct from those found on other continents, continue to captivate him. He notes, “Nature creates many exciting moments to observe – hunting predators are sometimes very dramatic.”
What sets Szpila’s photography apart is his ability to capture animals’ emotions, which he believes can resemble human emotions.
Careful not to disturb the animals, he mainly photographs them from off-road vehicles during safaris. Szpila explains, “You never know what you will see behind the next bush or hill.”
This cleverly-framed picture – titled ‘Two-headed Beast’ – shows a pair of cheetahs in Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve
For aspiring wildlife photographers, he offers valuable advice. Avoid photographing animals at noon when they seek shelter from the sun, as the resulting images may lack vibrancy.
Another common mistake is capturing photos through the roof opening of a vehicle. Szpila advises getting as close to the animals’ eye level as possible for more engaging and captivating shots.
Additionally, he emphasizes the importance of patience, as waiting for an animal to face the camera can yield extraordinary results.
In this powerful shot, a group of five male cheetahs – known as the ‘Tano Bora coalition’ – try to overturn a topi, a type of antelope, in Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve. Szpila says: ‘It is worth paying attention to the cheetah on the righty, which stuck its fangs into the antelope’s jewels. This is a deliberate tactic aimed at knocking down the antelope as quickly as possible’
Take a journey through Szpila’s extraordinary portfolio below and prepare to be transported to the heart of Africa’s wild wonders.
A newly-born wildebeest calf fights for survival as its attacked by two jackals in this poignant picture, which was captured in Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater. Thankfully, the story has a happy ending. Szpila says: ‘This time, the mother and her baby managed to defend themselves thanks to mutual cooperation’
Szipla captured this heartwarming shot of two young gorillas playing together in a sanctuary for orphaned gorillas in the Republic of the Congo’s Lesio-Louna Wildlife Reserve. Szpila says that the younger one of the pair, which is aged two, was found alone nearby and brought to the orphanage by local villagers. The older one, meanwhile, is a four-year-old gorilla named Dominic that was taken from a house where he was being kept as a pet. Szpila says that the sanctuary helps the young gorillas adjust to life in the wilderness, and then when they are ready to leave, they’re set free
This spectacular picture of a leopard with piercing green eyes feasting on a small piglet – from its ‘head to its hoofs’ – was taken in Botswana’s Okavango Delta. Szipla recalls: ‘He was eating it in a very elegant way, gently licking the head before crushing it, then slowly sucking [out] all of the brain and intestines.’ The photographer adds: ‘We could observe him enjoying the whole meal until he gave us that beautiful green look, and the last crunchy noise of this little leg eaten with the hoof’
In this shocking picture, a hungry lioness latches on to a young impala that is making a ‘doomed’ attempt to escape. The image was captured in Botswana’s Okavango Delta
This enchanting photograph shows a large herd of wildebeests grazing under the setting sun on the plains of Tanzania’s Serengeti region
This incredible shot of a fierce lioness was taken in Botswana’s Okavango Delta region.
Szpila explains that although the lionesses are smaller than lions, they are in charge of feeding the pride. ‘They mainly hunt and are very effective in this,’ he says
At a glance, it looks like the lion in this striking portrait is sporting a Mohawk hairstyle.
Commenting on the picture, which was taken in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, Szpila says: ‘The lion’s mane is the most characteristic attribute of this majestic predator.
However, one mane is not equal to another. Its size and color depend on many factors, such as genetic background, the age of a lion, the environment in which it lives and even climatic conditions’
A sidewind ing adder is camouflaged by the sand of Namibia’s Dorob National Park in this intriguing picture.
Szpila says that the reptile is the smallest viper in Africa, growing on average up to 25cm (10in). ‘Its habitat is desert areas, to which it is perfectly adapted,’ he says, adding: ‘Its venom is not fatal to humans, but it is better to be careful anyway because the bite causes painful inflammation’
This magnificent photograph shows a giant elephant named Tolstoy near Kenya’s Amboseli National Park.
In the shot, the elephant tries to step out of the marshes underfoot, but his ‘swollen and aching left front leg’ is severely hindering him.
Szpila says: ‘Tolstoy had this leg stabbed with a spear a few days earlier by a Masai farmer who was chasing an elephant away from his crops.’ Sadly, the photographer later found out that the elephant’s wound never healed, and the creature died. Szpila titled the picture ‘The Fall of the Giant’
In this uplifting photograph, a seven-day-old gorilla, cuddled against his mother’s breast, is tenderly touched by his much older brother in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
This mesmerizing portrait of a lion was captured early one morning in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park.