About Fanie and Annette Heymans

Fanie and Annette Heymans are both keen photographers, residing in St Helena Bay, Western Cape, South Africa. They just love the great outdoors, and wildlife.

Hobbies: Fanie and Annette Heymans interest in photography developed when they had taken up hiking as a hobby twenty years ago.

Whilst exploring nature on foot, they have realized that there are so many opportunities to capture the beautiful scenery, and wildlife. Photography became another passionate hobby as a result thereof. The Kgalagadi Trans-frontier Park is the most popular place for wildlife photography. It is the most popular place for wildlife photography during the winter months. The grass is then short, and the animals congregate at the waterholes. There is a large number of National parks in South Africa, and private game reserves, which they hope to visit all some day.

Photo clubs: At first, Fanie and Annette Heymans have joined the local photographic club, SAVAS, (St. Andrews Visual Arts Society) in Welkom during 2005. They enjoy their fellow photographer’s work tremendously. They have both reached ”Masters” star grading on club level.

After they had relocated, they have joined the West coast Photographic Club in Paternoster.

PSSA: Fanie and Annette Heymans are also both affiliated members of the PSSA (Photographic Society of South Africa.)

Achievements Fanie and Annette Heymans :

They have entered to National and International Salons, and both have won several club and PSSA medals for their achievements.

Fanie holds the following PSSA (Photographic Society of South Africa) honors. FPSSA, EPSSA and APSSA (VERSE). Annette has obtained her LPSSA. Fanie was under the top ten for the PSSA Impala Trophy for 4 consecutive years already. Internationally, Fanie has won a FIAP badge and ribbon for best author on FIAP Salon 2013/255. Annette won First place in the Nature Division of a International Salon. She won a PSA Gold medal from the Photographic Society of America, for her photo ” In the Dust”


“In the Dust”. PSA Gold medal winner 2nd Garden Route International Salon 2010.

She won several competitions and had received many appraisals for this beautiful photo. This image portrays the dry arid, desert that describes Africa at it’s best. The herd of Springbok were on their way to the water hole after a hard day under the warm African sun. The light and the dust on this photo was just perfect.

This photo was selected as photo of the week in the electronic version of the “WEG”/GO travel magazine. It shows a lion fight at “Marie se Draai” waterhole in Kgalagadi Trans-frontier Park.

Two old male lions fighting with a young teenager. This normaly happens when big lions take over a tripe

The couple were at the waterhole, very early one morning (in English it means “Mary’s turn”). The road forms a loop of about 11 km.  As they approached the turning point of the loop, they saw a pride of about 10 lions. The lions were soaking wet of the previous night’s rain still visible on their skin. Five (5) of these lions were teenagers, of which two were males.

Then there were two other majestic adult male lions, clearly not part of the pride. They were adult male loins,in their prime, and wanted to take over the pride. The two young teenagers were a threat to them. This was the main reason for the attack on the young teenage male lion.The teenager will never forget this lesson.

The older males will have to get rid of the two younger males, in order to mate with the lionesses. Chasing them out of the pride was the only way. It was a vicious fight, as one could hear the earth trembling of their roars. The couple felt really sorry for the young male lion, as it was very traumatic for him. This is life in Africa, and survival of the fittest.  Annette captured the action magnificently on this photo.


The image, “Secretary bird with a Puff Adder as its meal”, featured in Wild Card Winter 2018 Edition magazine.

Fanie Heymans Secretary Bird with Puff Adder

Fanie took a lovely action photo in the Kgalagadi of a Secretary bird busy eating a puff adder. These snakes are very poisonous. The lighting and Depth of field on this photo was perfect. The secretary bird is a large bird of prey. It mainly eats snakes, lizards and small mammals.

They will stamp there feet on the ground, to startle up their food. It is very interesting to watch them coming in for a landing and take-off. They need a proper runway to do that, and it looks very comically. Secretary birds are quite big, 1.3 to 1.4 meters in height, with a wing span of more than 2 meters. They have powerful and long legs. See more photos in our Raptors gallery .

Cat Fight:

His images of the Leopard fight with a series of the leopard fight was published on the Wild Card Blog.

Cat fight: Kgalagadi leopards duke it out

On their last afternoon drive in the Auob River towards Mata Mata, they saw two leopards fighting. This caught them totally off-guard,and something they never expected to witness. The two female leopards were at it for a few seconds. The air was full of action and dust, with deep growling sounds. As quick as the fight had began, it had stopped. One of the females submitted to the other one, and the battle was over.

African Fish Eagle:

Media Drum world published an article about the image of the African Fish Eagle.

 Media Drum World Eagle vs Crocodile

On their first trip to Kruger Nation Park, they have stayed at Lower Sabi rest camp. Fanie saw this fish Eagle sitting high up in a branch, overlooking the Lower-Sabie dam. Suddenly the eagle dive bombed from the branch into the river. It has caught a fish just in front of a crocodile. Each time, the eagle flew away with its catch, and then returned to the branch. The fish eagle definitely had a nest with chicks that he/she was feeding, since this continued throughout the day.

Twenty five thousand five hundred and ninety three (25 593) photos were entered into the African Geographic 2018 competition. Fanie’s image of the Wasp ended up under the top 25 photos.

When camping at Mabuasehube, Botswana, they were running out of water. Local people referred them to an old maintenance site nearby. This is a very arid and dry part of Botswana, but where there is water there is life.

They found a water tap in a remote spot, and realized that there was a lot of insects around the tap. Fanie had to lay down flat on his stomach to be able to photograph this wasp. Click to see more Macro photos

Leopard Fight

The series of two female leopards fighting was also published on Mail Online News.

Mail Online : The claws are out!

The two female leopards were fighting over territory. Most of the time they were in mid-air, balancing only on their tails, as they scratch and bite each other. The couple at first thought it to be a mating fight between a male and female. It turns out to be a territorial fight between two female leopards instead. Even though it was the wrong time of day for this particular images, it still had strong impact. It was a once in a life time sighting that the couple will cherish for ever. See more Kgalagadi photos.

The image of the juvenile Bateleur Eagle appeared on the cover page of the weekly selection for week 11 in the African Geographic competition of 2018.

African Geographic

Fanie photographed this juvenile Bateleur eagle at Qubitjie Quab water hole in the Kgalagadi. This juvenile was busy sun bathing, stretching its wings in the sun. Bateleur Eagles will often takes a sun bath. They will stand upright and hold their wings straight out to the sides. It is a classic ‘phoenix’ pose. They expose their wing feathers to direct sunlight, to warm up the oils in the feathers. The bird will strike its beak over the feathers to improve its aerodynamics. According to several sources,the wing spreading is a well-known habit of the Bateleur Eagle. This particular Bateleur was not satisfied to sunbathing his chest only. After 3 to 4 minutes of sunbathing upright, he flipped over, onto his belly.

Greyhound Race:

The image ” Dust Duel” was featured in the VISTA local news paper, and was overall best image in a PSSA National Inter-club competition.

Fanie had just started out as a photographer at the local camera club, when this photo was published in the local news paper. Before Grey hound racing was declared to be illegal in South Africa, he had photographed Greyhounds on several occasions. He really enjoyed taking photographs of this muscular dogs which sometimes reached speeds of 70 km around the track.

Fanie and Annette Heymans Favorite Place:

One of Fanie and Annette’s’ most favorite places for wildlife photography is the Kgalagadi Trans-frontier Park. The Park is a large arid, wildlife nature reserve and conservation area in Southern Africa. The park straddles the border between South Africa and Botswana and about 38 000 square kilometers in size. Kgalagadi means: “Place of thirst”.

Check out some more of my photos at 500PX and PhotoPixSA and the Trip Reports and Hiking Trails