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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My wife and I have been on three photo safaris with Stu. The first trip was the result of a recommendation from a friend. The second and third trips were because Stu did such a good job on the first. He is a thoroughly professional guide and offers such a terrific experience wherever he takes us. Stu shares his extensive knowledge of photography and has made it possible for us to get better photos and expand our understanding of what it takes to capture more of each photographic opportunity. It takes a special person to guide photographers around Africa, keep them comfortable, provide them with the best photo locations at the best time of the day, manage the schedules, vehicles, drivers, flights and food and still remain calmly in control. I think it would be appropriate to call Stu and ultimate professional. He is supported well by Justyna in the office and we anticipate traveling more with Wild4 in the future. You should book a trip with him as soon as you can!
Larry Jackson, USA
I am a Molecular Biologist by profession and a serious amateur nature photographer and have been on a number of organized trips over the last 10 years with the dual aims of enjoying nature and getting the best images possible. The organization of a two week trip with Wild 4 Photographic Safaris through Kruger National Park I shared with two other photographers and it was as good as I have ever experienced. The Porter family was friendly, knowledgeable and intuitively supportive. Stu really knows his subjects and spared no effort in getting the photographers into the best situation. He has a very pleasant, calm personality and is an accomplished nature photographer and naturalist which means he knows where the light or action is best and often what is about to happen. His vehicle is also well set-up for discriminating photographers. Justyna was just brilliant in getting things organized in the background. Having our own scout vehicle to report activity in the area while we pursued other subjects, worked well, and on a number of occasions provided photo opportunities we would have missed otherwise. In summary; rating out of 10…….no doubt a 10.
Graeme Guy, NEW ZEALAND