A thirsty lion drinks from a river under the stunning Milky Way in an incredible photograph.
Villiers Steyn, 38, caught the shot during a 60-hour stakeout in a new underground hide (for comfortable wildlife viewing) called Umgede Hide at Antares Bush Camp in Balule Nature Reserve, which forms part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park in South Africa.
The photographic safari guide said capturing an image of a lion in the area and under the Milky Way is near impossible because it's difficult to find somewhere to camp out safely, but Villiers managed to get the shot during a stake out over a three-day period.
He said: "I’ve dreamed of photographing a large, charismatic animal under the Milky Way for years now, and it’s nearly impossible to do so on a regular safari where you’re only out for a brief night drive every evening and stuck in camp, where there’s usually a lot of light pollution at night.
"Finding a place where you not only have the perfect angle and animals coming to you, but also a place where you can spend the night safely and comfortably is a game changer.
"I was staying awake right throughout the nights and taking power naps during the days."
Adds Villiers: "This photo, however, was taken on my first night in the hide at 10 p.m. with the editing taking place the following morning, so I suppose you can say it took me a full night to get the shot.
"I love the fact that other photographers can now go and try to recreate this photo at Umgede Hide, but that it still remains a massive challenge.
"After all, you need the right gear, the right settings, clear skies at the right time of the month, a lot of patience, and a thirsty animal or two that comes down to drink."