Mike Kirkinis is a deeply committed conservationist and photographic safari operator.
With the relentless poaching onslaught on Africa's wildlife, Mike has over the past 40
years, in partnership with a number of leading conservationists and philanthropists, played an active role in the development and implementation of wildlife conservation and rural community-based projects . This is the field where Mike now devotes the majority of his time and efforts.
Mike grew up in a number of countries and was educated at international schools around the world. By the age of 18 he had lived in some of the world’s great cities; Athens, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Rio amongst them.
He began his photography at the age of 12 and has learnt photography right up from the very basics, starting off in his own darkroom, developing and printing photographs and transparencies.
His favorite cameras are his 1954 Leica M3 film camera, Leica M9, Monochrom and SL2 digital cameras, combined with several superb Leica lenses. Mike's collection also includes several antique Leica cameras from the early 1930s.
His other cameras include medium format classic Hasselblad cameras and superb Carl Zeiss lenses and a one-off modified Zeiss 300mm f2.8 Tele Apotessar.
"The transition from film to digital photography has opened up immense opportunities other than simply point and shoot. The ability to instantly view a photograph and to make the necessary corrections and learn from one's mistakes is simply amazing."
"I do however believe that with digital photographic equipment and software it's all become too easy, with auto focus, and "auto everything"; suddenly it all becomes about what the camera can do rather than what the photographer can do, somehow there's the danger that we'll lose touch with the art of photography itself."
All of the animals depicted on this website have been photographed in their natural habitat and in their natural wild state.
In the 1980s Mike started Lebombo Safaris, a specialist African photographic safari operator whose primary focus is on creating exclusive, tailor-made, interactive safaris and experiences.
One of the safari industry’s leading personalities, Mike is involved in both the marketing of extraordinary safaris and in consulting to the ecotourism industry. Very much the modern bushman, Mike is equally at home in the hustle and bustle of New York, or the vast emptiness of the Namib Desert; conservationist, raconteur, and helicopter pilot, Mike also leads and guides photographic safaris for those who enjoy the finer things in life.