When deprived of the heat, sights, smells and sounds of the South African Lowveld for an extended period, the deep sense of deprivation one feels cannot be explained in any other way than as a bad case of “bushfever”

Elephant Bull. Elephant portrait, Tusker portrait. Tusker. Jo Fankhauser Wildlife Photography. Kruger Park. South Africa. Bushfever. Bushfever.com



Having had the privilege of growing up in the Lowveld mining town of Phalaborwa right on the doorsteps of the Kruger National Park in South Africa during the late 60’s and early 70’s , it is no surprise that the love of the South African bushveld and all its wonderful wild inhabitants has been ingrained into my psyche.

I have countless fond memories of a childhood running around wild and barefooted in the bush, feeding the boundless curiosity I had about all the many wonderful creatures and the environment that I shared my world with. Regular day trips into the Kruger with my parents were a special treat, with many memorable sightings and experiences.

It was however only later in adult life that I would really discover the wild soul of the bushveld.

While studying, many of my holidays were spent roughing it in the Kruger with my trusty analog SLR cameras. The discomfort of sleeping in the car for a week or ten days was well worth the many wonderful moments I experienced. Sometimes I got lucky and managed to sell a slide or two to one of the major South African postcard distributors – a huge inspiration of course for my next visit.

Later, working as a young project engineer at the copper mine at Phalaborwa, when things got too hectic in the office I had more than sufficient opportunities to drive off into the solitude of the mine’s huge private nature reserve to gather myself. Weekend drives into the Kruger with my young family were a fixture when not playing bowls or golf at the country club which shares a common border fence with the Kruger.

On leaving Phalaborwa in 1999, it soon became obvious to me that the local sayings “you can take the man out of the bush, but never take the bush out of the man” and “once you’ve drunk water from the Olifants River, you will always come back” were entirely based on fact. When deprived of the heat, sights, smells and sounds of the Lowveld for an extended period, the deep sense of deprivation one feels cannot be explained in any other way than as a bad case of “bushfever” - hence the name of this platform.

I have since been making regular pilgrimages to the Lowveld with my wife Silvia to relieve these symptoms (if only temporarily), making extended photographic forays into the wilderness to live my great love of the bushveld and its wildlife, as well as document the many wonderful experiences it has so generously offered me. Now that Silvia and I are both retired, these pilgrimages will become much more frequent and extended.

The personal photo books that I have compiled after each one of these pilgrimages never cease to be a source of inspiration to me when I all too often get the “feeling”, and always amaze friends and acquaintances that I share them with. Through this platform I hope to have the opportunity to share my love of nature with a much wider audience.

I am a photographer and not a digital artist. All the photographs I publish are unmanipulated other than for the usual lighting and colour corrections, gentle sharpening, essential cropping and the ubiquitous dust and spot removal. I don’t use Photoshop, preferring to keep the integrity of my images intact.

Welcome to my world. I hope that while you enjoy browsing through my images and reading my blog, the deep love I have for the African bush will rub off on you too. In this way I hopefully can interest you sufficiently to take the plunge and experience it for yourself. For those of you that already know the feeling, just enjoy!

Jo Fankhauser


Hint: If you would like to read the earlier stories in my blog, please click on the orange coloured "General" tab above the heading of any of the blog stories. Scroll to the bottom of the page from where you can then navigate to the pages with my earlier contributions. Page 1 contains my latest contributions, with earlier contributions in pages 2, 3 etc.


The joy of sharing the wilderness as an art form

2. August 2017