Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 1st Nov 2014
My personal favourite part of the Kruger National Park, Northern Kruger has an appealing and different atmosphere all of its own.
This part of Kruger is extremely beautiful with Fever Tree Forests, Baobab Trees and the beautiful Shingwedzi, Mphongolo and Luvuvhu Rivers. Silwervis and Rooibosrant dams provide great water birds and a stop at Letaba rest camp on the Letaba River will offer some of the best bird photography without even leaving the camp. My personal favourite is the Luvuvhu River and the drive to Crooks Corner where South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe meet. This was the perfect getaway for early Ivory smugglers as they could evade capture by crossing the Limpopo River into a different country. Pafuri Picnic site is a mecca for birds.
The birds in the north are extremely good however there are other animals too. Predators are here but in low densities and it is considered lucky to see them and more lucky to spend time with them as they tent to be more wary than their cousins in Southern Kruger. Northern Kruger has some really big tuskers, plenty of Nyala and it is the best place in the park to see Tsessebe antelope. You would be very lucky to see the very rare Roan antelope who's numbers have plummeted due to a number of factors such as predation, rainfall and the implementation of artificial watering holes in the 70's (that have now largely been removed in an effort to build their numbers up again) . A small number of Eland are also found in the north and if you are very very lucky, you might see a Lichtensteins Hartebeest !!!
Cape Hunting Dogs are seen fairly regularly around Letaba.
Northern Kruger is also a lot quieter, with not many people and very few other safari vehicles, so it is a very peaceful and relaxing place. Do not go there looking for multiple sightings of the Big 5 - but if you enjoy the peacefulness of nature and being out in the wild, taking in the atmosphere and beautiful sights then you will love it, what ever you see is an added bonus and there will be a fair share of these too.
We offer a very exclusive photo safari for only 2 participants to this northern wonderland in October every year, the focus is on the birds but we do photograph all the other animals too..
Here are some photos from Northern Kruger.
Brown Headed Parrot feeding on the flowers of the flame creeper (Combretum microphyllum) The Venda people used the roots of this creeper to expel a retained placenta after childbirth. October is a good time to see the flame creeper in bloom and it attracts a lot of birds.
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I recently did a trip with Wild4 which far outweighed any expectations that I had! Wow what a trip. There was a great variety of animals, Stu has extensive knowledge of the animals and their habitat and was always mindful of us getting the best shots possible. My friend and I had our own bench seats in all the vehicles, which was great as we both had 2 DSLRs with numerous lenses, each vehicle is equipped with beanbags to steady your camera / lens, pockets and enough room to take a camera bag. We had fantastic opportunities to watch the cats for a good period of time and learn a little bit about their life, rather than taking a photo and moving on. I loved that we could sit and watch the lions at Mala Mala play in the Sand River, it was a fantastic opportunity. Stu provided us with some great tuition, I certainly learnt a lot of new photo techniques which I look forward to using back home. I hired a Canon 500mm lens from Stu which was great, I think I used that about 85% of the time and used a 70-200mm for the rest. We had many opportunities for night photography, silhouettes, time lapse, low light etc At the end of our trip we did the reptile extension at Khamai Reptile Centre. We went behind the scenes at the centre and had one of Africa's leading reptile specialist spend the day talking about the reptiles, spiders, scorpions we were about to take pictures of. Donald and his team certainly made for a very safe photo shoot, they were extremely patient positioning some of the reptiles for better light or different background. I learnt a lot from Donald, living in Australia we do have some venomous snakes, the day certainly gave me a renewed appreciation for the reptiles. I would highly recommend the Wild4 team for your next photographic safari you will not be disappointed.
Linda Cappello, AUSTRALIA
I wanted to thank you so much for the best safari I have ever been on and for your tremendous help both with the photography and Lightroom. I understand more about both in relation to wildlife than I ever have. Everything was brilliant. We were extraordinary lucky with what we saw but being able to take better photo’s and then edit them with more knowledge means I will have memories that will last for ever. Your (Wild4) attention to detail means that things run smoothly in a part of the world not always known for that. I really can’t thank you and Justyna enough for that.
Rita Daubeney, UK