About Ben Coley

‘Living the dream’ is a much over-utilised cliché, but finding myself immersed in the African bush after being born and raised in England, it's a phrase that eloquently sums up the life-changing events I have experienced. I always had an affinity for African wildlife and, as a child, spent countless hours reading literature, watching documentaries and daydreaming about living in this magical terrain. When the chance came along unexpectedly, I jumped at it and within a couple of months found myself deep in the bush, studying to be a field guide. I have never looked back. I have been in the industry for more than six years and currently ply my trade at Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve www.sabisabi.com alongside my wife and soul mate who is also a guide here. The photographic opportunities are endless and, as a keen amateur photographer and writer, I am in my element. I am incredibly proud of my achievements and currently hold FGASA 3, trails guide and SKS birding qualifications, but I still wake up each morning with a sense of excitement about what the bush holds for me to learn. No two days or sightings are ever the same and it is this emotional rollercoaster that drives me to pursue and share my passion on a daily basis. These blogs and others can be found on www.sabisabi.com/blog.
Author Archive | Ben Coley
Fighting giraffes

The iconic giraffe demands respect…

Nothing in the bush causes more ooohs and aaaahs than the giraffe.  Considered one of the most iconic animals in Africa, it is difficult to put one’s finger on what it is that people love about nature’s skyscraper. Perhaps its the uniqueness of the giraffe. There is nothing quite like it. Its closest relative is …

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This is Sparta!

OK, so the line from the movie 300 might be a little cheesy or perhaps even lost on some of you, but the parallels are rather relevant at the moment. For many years, one pride of lions has been ruling the roost at South Africa’s Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve. But change may be in the …

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leopard kill, leopard defends kill. leopard in a tree

Survival of the Quickest

But for a few notable exceptions, animals are not known for their problem solving abilities.  Most rely on primeval instinct that has been passed on to them through generations. The knowledge of what to do and when is as natural for them as taking their next breath.  This instinct courses through their veins like a …

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leopard in darkness, night drive, night safari

Fear of the Dark on the ‘Dark Continent’

Fear of the unknown is probably the only phobia that affects every single person on the planet.  What has enabled human beings to rise to an unsurpassed intellectual plane is the capacity of the brain.  The gift of imagination has granted us the ability to invent ground-breaking technology and to surpass nearly every hurdle that …

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Rhino Clash @ Ben Coley

Clash of the Titans

In a heartbeat, the harmony of the Sabi Sabi bush was unceremoniously shattered. To our right, the thick vegetation was flattened as two angry rhinos erupted from its depths and emerged onto the open plain in front of us. The air was suddenly filled with the clashing of horns and plumes of dust as the …

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© Ben Coley

Wondrous Winter Morning

The coldness enveloped us like an icy shroud as we pulled out of Bush Lodge. Hot breath from our recently consumed coffee condensed on contact with the air, causing plumes of vapour to erupt from our mouths with every exhalation. Pain coursed through our frozen ears. But despite the numbing cold our spirits were high …

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Impala Kiss, Ben Coley

Faster, Higher, Stronger

Once every four years, the cream of the world’s sportsmen and -women gather together to take part in the oldest and most prestigious competition in the world. Since 776 BC, the Olympic Games has pitted the greatest human specimens against each other in a multitude of events designed to showcase their talents. Perhaps the most …

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The lions of Mapogo, Sabi Sands

The legend of the Mapogo lions

“Legend” – A person whose fame or notoriety makes him a source of exaggerated or romanticised tales or exploits.  ‘Legend’ is a word that is thrown around all too often in this day and age, but the term surmises the reign of the Mapogo lions in the Sabi Sands to perfection.  For the last 6 …

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