Magazine Front covers featuring photography by Dale Morris

Further down the page are some of Dale’s published articles

Namibia Travel Ideas

Namibia is a land of grand vistas and big skies; a place where horizons seem further away than in most other places most likely because, in general, the country is so uncluttered.

I was in the Namutoni Camp in Namibia’s Etosha National Park when the mongoose clan I had been sneaking up on overwhelmed me by force of numbers.

I had been lying prostrate upon ground, camera in hand, no more than a meter away from where they dozed when suddenly an alarm call went up causing the entire group to spring into action.

How to Shoot Stunning Backlit Photos

It goes against everything most photographers are taught, but shooting into the sun can really lift your images.

Dale Morris explains some simple techniques to help you create beautiful backlit images.

Most photographers are taught as beginners that it’s not good to shoot towards the sun. It’s easy to see why, too. Compared to shooting with the sun at your back, backlit scenes (shooting into the sun) have a much greater contrast range.

Many Faces of Madagascar

Madagascar’s rainforests are always brimming with insect life. Some of it is harder to find than others. I used a flash light from behind to accentuate the pose and form of this seriously camouflaged mantis.

Panther chameleons (Furcifer pardalis) are one of nature’s most awesome inventions. They can change colors and patterns from one moment to the next looking like a completely different species.

A giraffe necked weevil (Trachelophorus giraffa) is an oddity peculiar to Madagascar.

Rhinos on the Horizon

Although his backside and inner thighs certainly didn’t thank him for it, Dale Morris recently rode across the Kalahari to raise awareness for the plight of the black rhino. Here is his story.

I was so excited about my upcoming excursion across Botswana’s Central Kalahari Game Reserve that I somehow managed to overlook a rather crucial paragraph in the expedition overview.

It was the bit that said something to the effect that “Riders must be competent enough to control their mounts should a lion attack.”

Caught in the Act

Reality TV has come to conservation, with a simple-looking, hidden device that revolutionises the way we look at wildlife. Our case study reveals the secret lives of elusive otters in Table Mountain National Park.

OTTERS ARE EXCEEDINGLY CUTE, their pups look like cuddly toys, and there are few people who would willingly see an otter trapped. But it does still happen, and right in the middle of Table Mountain National Park, no less.

Small is Beautiful

Gamkaberg Nature Reserve in the Klein Karoo may have two brand-new camps and be a biological hotspot, but it’s still an isolationist’s dream. That’s because the camps are designed so you feel you have the whole place to yourself.

Nestled between the mighty Swartberg, Langeberg and Outeniqua mountains, the Gamkaberg Nature Reserve near the Klein Karoo town of Oudtshoorn is so tucked away, only those in the know have ventured there. The Karoo skies are big here and the stars at night beautiful because there is no light pollution.

Garden Adventures Route


Five days, 60 km. On the Garden Route Trail you will be indulged by the scenery, an expert guide who opens your eyes to the language of nature, and the comfort of travelling on your own two feet.

There are almost always dolphins to be seen here, no matter what time of year.

“SHHH. NOW WATCH what the oystercatcher does next,” whispered Mark to our little group of barefoot hikers. We were somewhere on Wilderness beach, crouched behind a barnacle encrusted rock like a bunch of sneaky voyeurs.

Hot as Hell

The Danakil Depression is a region of harsh beauty and ancient cultures – where volcanoes and crystals create a searing landscape like no other.

An armed soldier, attired in military fatigues and carrying an AK47, totters cautiously over a bed of yellow sulphur crystals, paying attention not to trip into one of the many bright-green acid pools in this otherworldly landscape. If he were to slip, he would either boil to death or slowly dissolve.

i for iSimangal

With a creak and a crack, the mighty tree wavered, tilted and then fell to the earth with a thunderous crash, sending a little flock of hornbills off into the wind like autumn leaves. A giraffe that’d been watching this logging operation from his lofty vantage point on the horizon turned tail and ran, as did a small herd of perturbed zebra.

“Right, that’s the last of them,” yelled the foreman, struggling to be heard above the noise of heavy machinery. “Clear these logs away!” And with that, a cavalcade of yellow shirted men swarmed onto the scene and began cleaning up the fallen trees. Diggers revved, smoke billowed and Africa’s animals watched on in awe. It wasn’t a pretty sight, but then again, when does deforestation ever look nice?

In the Valley of Deception

One of the largest and driest parks in the world, the Central Kalahari Game Reserve is far from lifeless.

Around two years ago while on a travel assignment for COUNTRY LIFE, my poor backside was put into the somewhat torturous circumstance of having to sit in a saddle for almost three weeks on the trot, literally.

I had joined a cavalcade of salt of the earth yet clearly demented horsey types who had banded together with a bunch of local Bushmen in order to cross Botswana’s Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR), one of the largest, and driest, parks in the world.

Lion Kingdom

Around the blazing fire sat four Bushmen, a family of Afrikaansspeaking farmers and a team of horseback riders, including me. The flames were big enough to keep the evening Kalahari chill from our bones; I hoped they’d also keep the lions from our camp: Botswana’s Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) has a reputation for producing some of the largest and fiercest wild cats in Africa.

It was 2010, and my first trip to the CKGR. We’d already ridden for a week through its buffer zone, one of the biggest, driest and sandiest wildernesses on the planet, but we had yet to encounter big cats. Oryx, ostrich and jackals yes, but lions and leopards no.

Last Chance to See

DALE MORRIS sets off to Madagascar in search of the dwindling sifaka, tenrec and indri. And the fossa as first prize.

The book, Last Chance to See by the late Douglas Adams seemed an appropriate read while flying from Johannesburg to Madagascar. It’s all about one man’s odyssey to track down a variety of rare and endangered animals, many of which, or so the author surmises, will soon go the way of the Dodo.

Sadly, much the same can be said of the unique fauna of Madagascar. The lemurs (of which there are some 100 species), the chameleons (more than a 100), the birds and the weird things like fossas and tenrecs, all hang on to existence by the skin of their teeth. Humanity’s progress is nature’s loss.

Kalahari Hollywood

“I feel used!” I said, sitting down on the red sands of Northern Cape’s Kuruman River Reserve. And I had been… Zaphod, a famous meerkat from the international hit television series Meerkat Manor, had just leapt off the top of my head and recommenced digging up the desert in search of juicy grubs.

“There’s always at least one meerkat on sentinel duty,” said Dave Bell, the assistant project manager, “and it’s their job to watch out for trouble like eagles or snakes while the others are busy feeding. In this case your head was the highest and most convenient vantage point in the area. That’s why he was standing on it for so long.”

Of Misplaced Wolves

I’m up in the Bale Mountains of southern Ethiopia, and I can’t feel my fingers for the cold. Freezing snow covers my hiking boots, sleet stings my face like little wasps, and my nose feels as if it’s been turned to ice. Despite the uncomfortable temperatures, I’m in raptures. Just 20 metres from where I sit, crouched behind a heather bush, there are a pair of wolves. African wolves!

The closest one is stalking like a leopard, its body held low, ears flattened back. The other is standing bolt upright, further away, but clearly visible to its target: a rabbit. My heart is pounding now, partly because here on the Sanetti Plateau I’m at 4000 metres above sea level and the air is so thin that the slightest exertion is exhausting. Mostly though, it’s because of the hunt.

The Great Cape Escape

Table Mountain National Park covers 25 000 hectares from Table Mountain to the Cape of Good Hope at the southern-most tip of the Peninsula, and offers superb accommodation that lets you get away from it all, close to the city.

It was early morning on the Cape of Good Hope. The sun wasn’t up yet but the sky was already softly aglow, a misty pink and yellow. An ethereal fog swirled over the fynbos, creating a low-slung cloud bank out of which rose an archipelago of hills and mountain tops. It looked like a sea of ghosts from where I stood on a rock, on a hiking trail in the heart of Table Mountain National Park (TMNP)

Chariots of Fire and Feathers

The stakes are high as, in South Africa’s Klein Karoo, Dale R Morris accepts the ultimate challenge: a place in the ostrich derby. He’s a total novice – but has he got what it takes to ride to victory?

South Africa. A dramatic blend of cultures, stunning landscapes and wildlife. A veritable smorgasbord of flavours for all the senses. And home to Oudtshoorn, the ostrich capital of the world, where oversized birds with undersized brains outnumber the locals seven to one.

This peculiar statistic was intriguing enough in itself to inspire a visit to the Klein Karoo region. When rumours reached me of high speed derbies in which specially trained jockeys rode on ostriches’ backs, I couldn’t wait.


This untouched continent of rock and ice, painted in shades of whites and blues, provides the perfect canvas for exquisite portraits of its rich wildlife.

Weddell seals are the cats of the Antarctic. They’re slinky, lithe and sensual. And their vocalisation? You’ve never heard anything quite so surreal. Google it! OPPOSITE Penguins will often sit on their heels to reduce bodily contact with the ice.

Young chinstrap penguins play a childish game of splash in the shallows.

Crabeater seals don’t eat crabs, actually. They eat krill, a diet that turns their poo pink.

Safe Haven

A very little park and a very big achievement. Bontebok National Park is a sanctuary for many species, a place where rare things are common.

A CHILLY WINTER’S WIND BLEW DOWN from the snowfrosted Langeberg and whistled through the feathery fynbos of Bontebok National Park. Ericas, proteas and restios shimmied as if they were shivering in the cold, while nearby a grey rhebok snorted in alarm at my presence. It sounded as if he were sneezing. I looked at him, and he bolted like a bunny over the lip of a gently sloping hill.

Playing Field

Action, adrenalin, ambience, affordability. Mlilwane gets straight A’s as an all-round playground.


I am in Swaziland, Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary to be precise, and from the top of this towering collection of boulders at the heart of the reserve I can see for miles and miles. To the west, the Shonalanga plains, golden in winter, reach out towards a horizon made hazy by Swaziland’s annual burns. The north and east are walled in by the sculpted peaks of the Mdzimba Mountains. Below, I can see Mlilwane Sanctuary in its entirety with its lakes, forests and grasslands.

Oceanic Addo

It’s a national park but not as you know it. There aren’t any fences, travel is by boat and you might get wet. Dale Morris checks out the marine section of Addo Elephant National Park.

Standing on the guano-stained rocks of the aptly named Bird Island in Algoa Bay, I sucked in a lungful of salty air and watched gannets circle around a lighthouse. There were thousands of them in the sky and thousands more drifting around on the breezes, like a blizzard above the sea.

Zip, zip, zip. They dived into the water, bringing death to whatever fish lay beneath. There was a whale out there too, a humpback by the looks of it. Next to that, a pod of bottlenose dolphins.

A Fortnight of Fun

There are more than enough activities and accommodation in the various sections of the Garden Route National Park to keep you happy for a fortnight. Stay in a forest cabin or a tent or on a boat, and use the park as a base from which to explore forest trails, mountains, riverbanks, beaches and lakes. Go hiking and biking and then chill with the family on a beach and eat ice cream. This is a blueprint for a trip through the national park with its unconnected forest reserves, waterways and other State-owned lands.

Start in the western extreme of the park, in the foothills of the Outeniqua mountains, on the old forested back road between George and Wilderness Heights. Not many know that behind the George campus of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University there is the superb Groeneweide loop trail. There are three lengths (9, 11 and 13 km) that mostly traverse dense evergreen Afromontane forests. In summer, take a dip in the waterholes and


Macro photography is easier than it looks says Dale Morris. And no matter where you are, there is never any shortage of amazing subjects to shoot. He shares his secrets for capturing life’s small wonders.

Macro photographers get to witness an often overlooked world full of perfect little plants and amazing little animals; a world in which an ant is every bit as intriguing as an elephant.

And taking great macro shots is easier than you think. If you’re a compact camera user, this is one area where the smaller sensor in your camera has an advantage over the big DSLR sensors. Switch your camera to macro mode and you’ll find that it’s not too hard to fill the frame with the smallest of subjects.