Photographer captures crystal-clear images of lions drinking at night

A daredevil photographer staked out a pride of lions for 15 hours to capture stunning, crystal-clear images of big cats drinking water together just 13 feet away. Freelance photographer Peter Haygarth, 55,  captured the rare moment — snapping the intensity of the lionesses’ stares and the contrast of night and light — in the Zimanga Private Game Reserve in South Africa.

Haygarth, who helps run wildlife safari photo workshops in the U.K. and other countries, waited patiently in a hide from 2 p.m. until 5 a.m. to capture the singular images and footage. His photographs — snapped without flash or special lighting equipment, using just LED spotlights that illuminated the animals’ hides and the water — show just how regal the big cats look as their eyes gleam in the dark of night. (Caters News)

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<p>A photographer staked out a pride of lions for 15 hours to capture stunning, crystal-clear images of the animals drinking together just 13 feet away. (Photo: Peter Haygarth/Caters News) </p>
Photographer captures crystal-clear images of lions drinking

A photographer staked out a pride of lions for 15 hours to capture stunning, crystal-clear images of the animals drinking together just 13 feet away. (Photo: Peter Haygarth/Caters News)

<p>Freelance photographer Peter Haygarth captured these rare photos in the Zimanga Private Game Reserve in South Africa, snapping the intensity of the big cats’ stares and the contrast of night and light. (Photo: Peter Haygarth/Caters News) </p>
Photographer captures crystal-clear images of lions drinking

Freelance photographer Peter Haygarth captured these rare photos in the Zimanga Private Game Reserve in South Africa, snapping the intensity of the big cats’ stares and the contrast of night and light. (Photo: Peter Haygarth/Caters News)

<p>Haygarth, who helps run wildlife safari photo workshops in the United Kingdom and other countries, waited patiently in a photography hide from 2 p.m. until 5 a.m. to capture the once-in-a-lifetime images and footage. (Photo: Peter Haygarth/Caters News </p>
Photographer captures crystal-clear images of lions drinking

Haygarth, who helps run wildlife safari photo workshops in the United Kingdom and other countries, waited patiently in a photography hide from 2 p.m. until 5 a.m. to capture the once-in-a-lifetime images and footage. (Photo: Peter Haygarth/Caters News

<p>His photographs — captured without a flash or specialist lighting equipment, using just LED spotlights to illuminate the animals and the water — demonstrate just how regal the big cats look as their eyes gleam in the dark of night. (Photo: Peter Haygarth/Caters News </p>
Photographer captures crystal-clear images of lions drinking

His photographs — captured without a flash or specialist lighting equipment, using just LED spotlights to illuminate the animals and the water — demonstrate just how regal the big cats look as their eyes gleam in the dark of night. (Photo: Peter Haygarth/Caters News

<p>Haygarth, from Bishop Auckland, County Durham, said: “These were taken in a specially designed photography hide within the reserve, which is very unique in South Africa.” Here is the photography hide that Haygarth spent 15 hours in to capture the magical images. (Photo: Peter Haygarth/Caters News) </p>
Photographer captures crystal-clear images of lions drinking

Haygarth, from Bishop Auckland, County Durham, said: “These were taken in a specially designed photography hide within the reserve, which is very unique in South Africa.” Here is the photography hide that Haygarth spent 15 hours in to capture the magical images. (Photo: Peter Haygarth/Caters News)

<p>Added Haygarth: “The lack of flash and use of the LED spotlights is important, as the flashes would startle the animals making these images impossible to capture.” A lioness drinks from the water just feet from Haygarth’s photography hide. (Photo: Peter Haygarth/Caters News) </p>
Photographer captures crystal-clear images of lions drinking

Added Haygarth: “The lack of flash and use of the LED spotlights is important, as the flashes would startle the animals making these images impossible to capture.” A lioness drinks from the water just feet from Haygarth’s photography hide. (Photo: Peter Haygarth/Caters News)

<p>“I was with two guests on a photography workshop, and we were there from around 2 p.m. As night crept in, we really hadn’t seen much at all, and by midnight, we were getting sleepy,” said Haygarth. (Photo: Peter Haygarth/Caters News) </p>
Photographer captures crystal-clear images of lions drinking

“I was with two guests on a photography workshop, and we were there from around 2 p.m. As night crept in, we really hadn’t seen much at all, and by midnight, we were getting sleepy,” said Haygarth. (Photo: Peter Haygarth/Caters News)

<p>“I was with two guests on a photography workshop and we were there from around 2 p.m. As night crept in, we really hadn’t seen much at all, and by midnight, we were getting sleepy. I stayed awake while the guests went to sleep, and then suddenly, at around 5 a.m., the lions turned up,” Haygarth said. (Photo: Peter Haygarth/Caters News) </p>
Photographer captures crystal-clear images of lions drinking

“I was with two guests on a photography workshop and we were there from around 2 p.m. As night crept in, we really hadn’t seen much at all, and by midnight, we were getting sleepy. I stayed awake while the guests went to sleep, and then suddenly, at around 5 a.m., the lions turned up,” Haygarth said. (Photo: Peter Haygarth/Caters News)

<p>“This was a truly unforgettable experience. The chances of the lions visiting the hide during the night are slim, but the good fortune of being in there, and awake when it happened made it very special. Well worth the fifteen hours wait!” added Haygarth. (Photo: Peter Haygarth/Caters News) </p>
Photographer captures crystal-clear images of lions drinking

“This was a truly unforgettable experience. The chances of the lions visiting the hide during the night are slim, but the good fortune of being in there, and awake when it happened made it very special. Well worth the fifteen hours wait!” added Haygarth. (Photo: Peter Haygarth/Caters News)

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