Meet Paul Bester

Our guides at Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef not only have a passion for the environment and creating lasting memories for our guests, some of them have some pretty impressive talents. Guide Paul Bester has been making all of us here in the office jealous with his weekly Sal Salis photo updates!Let’s get to know a little more about our field guide Paul (aka photographer extraordinaire) …

Paul is a South African native who grew up on a tobacco farm and spent his afternoons looking for bird eggs and trying to outsmart the local antelope. At boarding school he met our very own lodge manager Tristan, where they both joined the falconary club and spent huge amounts of time out of the classroom and in the sticks. After studying in Cape Town, Paul joined a lodging group in South Africa and learned all the tricks of the trade – from fine dining to identifying animal tracks. From there he became a game ranger in Kruger for three years and grew his love of photography – a great way to relate to guests on a personal level by teaching them how to operate their cameras to get the best shots of leopards, cheetahs, elephants, lion, antelope… the list goes on and on!

After a busy season showing guests around the Ningaloo Coast, Paul says.. “And here I am. Still got the camera, Still living the dream!”With so many to choose from it has been a struggle to pick just 10 of Paul’s shots, but we’ve managed and here are some of our favourites,

cape range
Top of the Cape Range
“I loved the way the clouds formed the natural leading lines. Including a little foreground gives a feel of just how beautiful this place is…”
sal sail night sky
Night Sky
“Using the guest tent as my focal point puts the vastness of the night sky into perspective”
thunder storm sept
“This image was captured from the Sal Salis whale watching deck. The wind had picked up to a steady gail with a huge storm brewing over the ocean. I love the way the clouds draw the viewer into the picture with a bit of lighting up the footpath drawing you into the tents. That day we were all bracing for something big, fortunately it all blew over”
breath taking beaches
Breath Taking Beaches
“I took this picture just north of the lodge, then cropped it to give the viewer a feel for the open spaces along the Ningaloo Coast”
sal salis night sky
Stars Above the Lodge
“I love this photo of the main lodge with a full star trail behind. Having almost zero light pollution makes for amazing star gazing. I left the shutter open for half an hour which created the circle effect”
senic flight
Scenic Flight
“Hop onto a light aircraft and see the reef from above, a place where desert meets ocean. I captured this image at the airstrip, the red dust creates a whirlwind effect”
wild skies yardie creek
Wild Skies Over Yardie Creek
“This image was taken on one of our Yardie Creek Gorge Walks. The wind brings in the moisture over the ocean, making for a dramatic contrast between sky and land”
dingo exmouth 2014
“Getting up before the crack of dawn does have it’s perks! Spotted this canine a little way up the road from the lodge. Having seen tracks on most gorge walks, actually seeing one in the wild is a bucket list tick for me! “
mandu cave 2014
Mandu Cave
“I’ve had my eye on this cave for a while and have tried many different ways to photograph it. Having my brother up, I made him lie on his back in a classic ‘outback Aussie’ position, waiting out the heat of the day”
main lodge 2014
Main Lodge
“Now this is wow!!”