if you’ve been lucky enough to visit the Wild Coast in South Africa you might have come upon some super chill cows having a great day at the beach. it is always a delight for me to see the cows when we travel to Kei each year for our summer holidays, they even gate-crashed our engagement!

photographer Christopher Rimmer wonderfully captures these beach loving herds in his series Amapondo. you can also buy prints of the series at his online shop.

The Amapondo* people are a sub-branch of the Xhosa tribe and live on South Africa’s beautiful and wild east Coast. Pondo cattle visit the beach every day and reports from shipwrecked sailors stranded on the coast from the 16th Century onwards suggests they have been doing so for a long time, but no one is quite sure why. Whatever the explanation for this curious behaviour, photographer Christopher Rimmer’s large scale and graphically striking portraits appear surreal, perhaps because we have been visually conditioned to anticipate cattle with pasture as a backdrop by centuries of artistic tradition.

hey, i know why cows visit the beach: cause it’s rad. why WOULDN’T you visit the beach?

* just FYI the actual spelling is amaMpondo (but you could say that it is pronounced as ‘amapondo’). i have left the title as the photographer named the series.

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11 Comments

  1. My obsession with cows has long been facilitated by your numerous posts of them! :)

  2. Great photographs. I read in a magazine that he called the series Amapondo after the back packers of the same name where he stayed in Port St Johns during the making of the series in 2013. The former owner was a bit of a drinker apparently and it was a running joke that he spelt the name of his business incorrectly. So the name refers with affection to a particular location but of course is also a nod to the beautiful Pondo people who husband these amazing cows.

    • aah good to know! i wish that they would have included that snippet in the description of the work, because it could be confusing.

    • yep – i noted that in my intro.

      i’ve heard subsequently that he named the series after a backpackers there that is called “Amapondo” and everyone thinks it’s hilarious that the owner spelled the name wrong. or something like that.

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