By Alex Jones
DANCING to the afrobeat! Remarkable photos show a wide variety of African animals strutting their funky stuff, including two lions picturesquely caught mid leap.
Light-hearted snaps show two cheetahs tackling the quickstep; a pair of lindy hopping lions; and a limber lemur waltzing across a road.
The amusing shots were all captured by wildlife photographer and guide, Andre Cloete (43) from South Africa, who has snapped a wide range of species on his travels across southern and eastern Africa and the island nation of Madagascar.
“Most of the photographs involve younger animals and were taken early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the animals are at their most playful and energetic,” explains Cloete, who runs C4 Photo Safaris alongside his business partner Shem Compion.
“I’ve been guiding tours for ten years and taking photographs a lot longer than that so you get a sense for when something interesting is about to happen.
“A lot of these photos are just a spot of luck or a funny moment captured whilst the animals playfight – or waddle across the road in the case of a lemur – but it can take a tremendous amount of sitting around to capture these sorts of photographs.
“Sometimes you sit there for ages and nothing happens at all – I’m not complaining though, there are worse offices in the world!”
Not all of Andre snaps were the result of roughhousing, however.
“It was a privilege to see the chimps in the Mahale Mountains in Tanzania perform their handclasp,” adds the wildlife photographer, who uses the Instagram handle, @andrecloete76.
“It’s something that’s pretty unique to the chimps in that region, they hold hands above each others hands so they can groom each other. It was pretty special to see.”
Andre, who spent some time living in England and Wales before setting up his photography guiding business, hoped his photos showcased the lighter side of the animal kingdom.
“I just want to show that although there is a huge amount of work to do in regards to conservation and other issues, there are lighter moments in the wild too,” he said.
“Africa holds such a rich biodiversity – Madagascar alone has over 100 species of lemur – and it’s good to share these photos and show it’s not all doom and gloom.
“Most people greet these photos with a great, big smile and I enjoy showcasing something with isn’t quite so serious.”
For more of Andre Cloete’s work, please visit www.andrecloete.com/index.asp