Into The Bush: An African Safari with Tim Kiesling


Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be five feet away from a full grown, six hundred pound lion? Well Tim Kiesling knows. “I was about five feet away from lions. I could reach out and touch one if I tried hard enough” said Kiesling.

Tim Kiesling, a junior at Ashland High School, spent the last summer safariing Botswana in the Okavango Delta and the surrounding area. He won the Letaka Photography Contest and the prize was an all expense paid safari.

“Literally the hardest thing was getting there.” Kiesling was delayed out of Medford so he got to San Francisco two hours late and missed his connection to New York and they had ran out of hotel vouchers so he had to sleep on the ground of the airport. In the morning he took a flight to London from San Francisco. “I departed from SFO in the morning and then landed in London in the morning because of the time change, so when we got there, there was nothing to do.” Then he flew to Johannesburg, South Africa. He got there 24 hours later than he was supposed to. Once in Johannesburg he had to take tiny airline to Maun, but since the airline was not affiliated with United Airlines they did not register that his flight was late, they just saw it as missing his flight so the airline required him to pay a “giant fee.” From Maun he took a “tiny, I mean tiny plane, into the delta,” and his safari began.

After Kiesling arrived in the Okavango Delta, he spent the next ten days safariing and capturing the delta with his camera. A lot of things happened on his trip, but the main focus was photography so most of his time was spent looking for “prime opportunities to take pictures of wild animals,” said Kiesling. These are some of the photos from Kiesling’s safari.