The giraffe at the end of the rainbow... and other spectacular wildlife images taken by a travel guide photographer


Good-luck giraffe: Neither a Leprechaun nor a pot of gold, a giraffe stands at the end of a rainbow stretching over the Masai Mara natural reserve in Kenya

You may have expected a leprechaun or maybe a pot of gold - but definitely not a giraffe.
It is all a part of the day-to-day life on the plains of Masai Mara which have been captured by photographer Paul Goldstein.
The 50-year-old from Wimbledon has witnessed stunning sights in his adventures in far-flung locations from the Arctic to the Kenyan reserves, all part of his job as a photography travel guide.

Life in colour: A roller with bright paradise patterns perches on the back of a zebra at Masai Mara, Kenya

Gotcha: A Cheetah catches up with a running gazelle giving it no chance of escape on the plains of the Kenyan reserve

Paul explains: ‘I first picked up a camera when I was about ten in 1975 and my first job in the travel industry was in '83.
‘I started photographing seriously over 17 years ago. I was working in travel and I loved wildlife, so it evolved naturally.’

Whin-nying smile: It may look like they are having a laugh with the photographer, but these Kenyan zebras are taking scent

Paul’s photographs capturing life in Kenya include snapshots from all animal walks of life, from a baby giraffe taking its first steps, a mother leopard teaching her young to hunt and a cheetah defeating a helpless gazelle.
‘I lead photographic expeditions to the Polar regions, Kenya and India. During game drives I like to push people hard so they can get the most from their cameras, but without the camera dominating the safari. I don't want them to just record species.
‘There's a huge difference between a snapshot and a photograph. A photograph suggests diligence, graft and imagination.’

Hunters: The law of the savanna is eat or be eaten and these predators do their utmost to keep themselves and their young ones at the top of the food chain

Hello world: Protected by its mother a fifteen minute old baby giraffe takes its first steps on very unsteady and gangly legs

A real catfight: Airborne Serval kittens playfully grapple with each other as the sun sets over Masai Mara

Paul also devotes his time to charity work in order to protect the species he loves to photograph.
This year he completed a week-long challenge to raise money to save the endangered tigers.
He scaled mountain Kilimanjaro and completed both the Brighton and the London marathon - all completed in seven days and wearing a 9ft tall tiger costume.
The amazing feat was to raise money to help create awareness of the plight of the tigers through his Worth More Alive III campaign.

Cleaned up: Cheetah cub is snapped as it makes a splash in a river to cool off from the hot sun

Killer mothers: A cheetah and her five cubs, keep an eye out and a leopard is teaching one of her young to hunt in Masai Mara

Paradise end: A red sun sets over Masai Mara as a majestic elephant walks across the plains

He said: Ethics with photography - especially with endangered species in the developing world - is massively important, therefore every penny of every photograph I sell goes to one of two foundations: one in India to a tiger foundation at Bandhavgarh in Madhya Pradesh, where we're building schools and supporting the reserve, and one in the Masai Mara, where I'm co-owner of three traditional safari camps.
‘People often ask me my favourite destinations; it is very hard to answer although Kenya, Namibia, Sri Lanka and the Poles would be right up there.
‘I am happiest on the decks of the polar expedition ship Sergey Vavilov or the plains of the Masai Mara.’

Colder days: On the other side of the world, far away from the scorching sun and dusty plains of Masai Mara, a polar bear and her two cubs play on the ice blocks in Spitsbergen, Norway

Photographer Paul Goldstein has travelled all over the world to capture wildlife in their true elements, here is a polar bear near Svalbard he snapped this year

source: dailymail