US$ 14,300 single only Sharing
US$ 14,300 Single
US$ 3,000 Deposit
LOCATION: South Africa
PLACES VISITED: Kruger National Park, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve & Tswalu Kalahari Private Game Reserve
SKILL LEVEL: Any level from beginner to advanced - photo tuition and guidance is offered on this safari
This 11 Day Photo Safari begins & ends in Johannesburg, South Africa.
This is a CUSTOM photo safari led by Stu Porter. The specific itinerary has been picked based on specific needs of the clients.
TWO spaces out of three have already been taken and there is one space left for a single traveller interested in spending time in three of South Africa's top wildlife reserves.
You will first fly to the Kruger National Park from Johannesburg, here you will be met by Stu and your photo safari begins. Three nights are spent exploring the Southern parts of the enormous Kruger National Park, the flagship of the South African National Parks.
Kruger is very good for general game species like Elephant, Giraffe, Zebra, Impala, Common Waterbuck, Greater Kudu, Nyala, Steenbok, Cape Buffalo and White Rhino. All the predators are here too and it offers a great variety of birdlife and different habitats.
After three nights in the Kruger you will transfer by road to Mala Mala Private Game Reserve, arguably one of the best places to get up close and personal with Lions & Leopards. At Mala Mala we are allowed to drive off road in search of the wildlife and this allows us to get closer and spend more time with the big cats and any other animals.
After our stay at Mala Mala we will fly back to Johannesburg where we will overnight in an airport hotel. On the following morning we catch a 1hr 30 min flight from JHB to Tswalu Kalahari Reserve arriving in time for a late lunch and our first afternoon game drive.
Tswalu is a 1000 sq km or 600 sq mile Private Reserve (the largest in South Africa) and its habitat consists of vegetated rolling Kalahari Dunes, semiarid grasslands and open savannah. The Korranaberg Mountain range offers a stunning backdrop to this "green" part of the Kalahari Desert. With only 10 safari vehicles and a maximum of only 28 guests at any one time on the reserve, this reserve offers exclusivity like no other in Africa. Together with our experienced ranger we will build our own schedule and over the next 4 days we will explore this picturesque landscape in search of the more elusive and shy animals of the Kalahari. High on our list will be a photo shoot with the habituated group of Meerkats, early morning and evening game drives to search for the Aardvark and Pangolin, looking for the endangered Wild dogs & Black Rhino as well as searching for the rare antelope species found here, namely the Roan and Sable. The reserve also has two Lion prides, Cheetah and Leopards. These 4 days will be very busy and filled with great photo opportunities with the wildlife, landscapes and the clear Kalahari night sky. All the skills of night photography will be explained.
The wonderfully different environment at Tswalu is home to the following animals which we will hope to photograph during our stay at the reserve:
African Wild dog, Cheetah, Lion, Leopard, Pangolin, Aardvark, Hartman's Mountain Zebra, Meerkats, Bat-EaredFox, Cape Fox, Honey Badger, African Wildcat, White & Black Rhino, Cape Buffalo, Giraffe, Ground Squirrel, Eland, Oryx (Gemsbok), Impala, Springbok, Greater Kudu, Tsessebe, Red Hartebeest, Sable, Roan, Brown Hyaena, Black Backed Jackal, Giraffe, Warthog, Caracal and a good variety of birds.
There will be a maximum of only 3 participants in 1 private vehicle. There is plenty of space for equipment and guaranteed access to BOTH sides of the safari vehicle.
Stu Porter will lead the tour and offer photo tuition and guidance.
Each photographer will have the complimentary use of a Visual Echoes panning plate & WILD4 Professional beanbags.
Day 1 The safari begins with a flight from JHB to Skukuza Airport in the Kruger National Park. Here you will be met by Stu Porter who will be your guide on the photo safari. Overnight in SKUKUZA CAMP
Day 2 Morning & Afternoon Game Drives in the Kruger National Park, overnight at SKUKUZA CAMP
Day 3 Morning & Afternoon Game Drives in the Kruger National Park, overnight at SKUKUZA CAMP
Day 4 Morning drive in the Kruger National Park then road transfer to Mala Mala Private Reserve arriving in time for lunch. Afternoon & night drive. Overnight at Mala Mala Main Camp
Day 5 Morning & Afternoon Game Drives as well as night drives, overnight at Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
Day 6 Morning & Afternoon Game Drives as well as night drives, overnight at Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
Day 7 Morning drive at Mala Mala followed by a road transfer back to Skukuza Airport. Fly to JHB and overnight in an airport hotel
Day 8 Mid Morning 1hr 30 min flight to Tswalu Kalahari Reserve arriving in time for lunch and an afternoon game drive. Overnight at Tswalu Motse
Day 9 Morning & Afternoon Game Drives as well as night drives, overnight at Tswalu Motse
Day 10 Morning & Afternoon Game Drives as well as night drives, overnight at Tswalu Motse
Day 11 Final morning game drive at Tswalu then fly back to JHB arriving around midday. Depart on international flight home.
- Return flight JHB to Kruger
- All road transfers as detailed in the itinerary
- 3 nights SKUKUZA CAMP inside Kruger National Park (all food & drinks included)
- 3 nights MALA MALA Main Camp (all food & drinks & laundry included)
- 3 nights Tswalu Motse (all food & drinks & laundry included)
- 1 night in JHB airport Hotel (all food & drinks included)
- Local flights from JHB to Tswalu & from Tswalu back to JHB
- Selected local drinks (water, sodas, fruit juice, beer & local wine)
- All park entrance fees
- Private use of safari vehicles with qualified guides
- Professional photographic tuition
- Complimentary use of a visual echoes panning plate
- Tips / gratuities for camp / lodge staff and for your drivers / guides
- Laundry in Kruger National Park
- Personal medical, travel & equipment insurance
- Visa fees if applicable
- International flights to and from Johannesburg
- Any extra nights of accommodation before or after the safari - we can arrange these for you and add it to your statement
Flight time from Johannesburg to Kruger is approx 50 min.
Flight time from JHB to Tswalu is approx 1hr 30 min
3 nights spent in the Kruger National Park at SKUKUZA MAIN CAMP
3 nights spent at Mala Mala Main Camp
One night in a JHB airport Hotel
3 nights are spent at Tswalu in the spacious and very elegant suites at the "Motse"
At all locations we will have the private use of safari vehicles complete with photographic beanbags. With only 3 photographers in the vehicle there is plenty of space for your equipment and you will have guaranteed access to BOTH sides of the safari vehicle.
Tipping is a safari tradition in Africa. You are welcome to stick to your regular personal tipping policies but we politely recommend you try to follow our guidelines regarding tipping as it helps to set a standard. Firstly, even though it is expected, it is not compulsory. If you feel that you have not been given excellent service then you do not have to tip. I personally feel that if somebody goes above and beyond their job description then it is polite to tip them and I am more than happy to do so.
Please ask us to send you our detailed recommended tipping policy for this specific photo safari. It will also be in your Arrival Information Document, which will be sent to you 2 weeks before the start of your photo safari.
YES, any level from total beginner to experienced wildlife photographers can enjoy our photo safaris. Having a small group allows me to accommodate the different levels very easily. The amount of tuition and approach is tailored to the needs of individual clients on each trip.
As far as equipment goes, this can make a difference in your overall enjoyment of the safari. If you are concerned you might not have the appropriate equipment then please contact me to discuss this in more detail.
It is best to contact the embassy of the country you will be travelling to; to double check and see what their latest policies are with regards to Visas and whether you should apply for them before you travel or if you can obtain them at the port of entry.
Smoking is not allowed in the safari vehicle and generally it is not a very good idea to smoke in the bush as the grass is often tinder dry and bush fires can start easily. We do not take specific breaks for smoking either, but we will stop at relevant times for everyone to have a break and stretch their legs or have a cup of coffee. This would be your opportunity to have a smoke break. We ask you to respect the environment and carry your cigarette ends away with you.
Spending long hours in the safari vehicles will inevitably end up in folks needed a bathroom stop. We have to respect the rules of the different parks when it comes to this and these rules will be explained before the start of each safari. Generally the safari saying of "any tree is a lavatree (lavatory)" goes. We will make sure we stop in a safe location for the comfort break.
The Kruger National Park is the only location that has proper washroom facilities at designated picnic sites or in the camps, and as per the rules of the park we are required to stop at these specific places, not anywhere in the bush. Botswana, Kenya and Tanzania do not have such facilities, and stopping at an appropriate place in the bush is allowed.
All of our safaris have emergency procedures in place. We will have contact with the office via either radio, cell phone or satellite phone. The office would then dispatch the relevant help - be it medical or otherwise. In the case of medical assistance, the initial recovery from the field to the most relevant medical facility would be covered by our safari insurance. Your medical insurance would need to cover you for all other expenses.
From a photo tuition perspective, we have two options available to potential clients.
When I personally lead any photo safari, there will be photo tuition and guidance available. On some of our extensions and Bespoke Photo Safaris we really hit the photo tuition hard and work through as many elements of nature photography as we can in a "workshop" style. This is because it is at the request of the particular clients who have asked for a high level of tuition and because we have a good deal of time available to focus specifically on certain aspects.
On our scheduled photo safaris you will soon find that the days are long and tiring, we get up early, return late and barely have time to download the days images before getting to bed at a sensible time only to do it all over again on the following day. The tuition format is therefore very informal, I like to approach topics as they become relevant and we will do these in the field in front of real live situations - this is the best way to learn. There will be times when we are waiting patiently at a sighting and can discuss any topic that you feel you would like help with. Siesta times at midday are usually well used for that exact reason, but I am personally available at any time of day or night. I have sat up until midnight on many occasions running through workflow, camera technique and doing night photography with those who are keen.
I am on the safari so that you can pick my brain, ask questions, watch my workflow and teach me a new technique that you might like or find useful yourself !- there is always room to learn and I always learn a lot on each trip myself.
I like to pick up on elements that would be relevant to each photographer. I adjust the level of tuition to the needs of each individual, again this is the beauty of having a small group. I like to talk my way through scenarios as they unfold in front of us and let you know what I am trying to achieve.
If you are a more experienced wildlife photographer, this option would suit you better. During the past 14 years I have met and worked with many excellent safari guides who are not necessarily professional photographers. However they know what the needs of photographers are and how to position the vehicle and predict animal behaviour. They are also very keen photographers themselves and I can highly recommend them as specialist photographic guides. If you are a confident & experienced photographer you can confidently book a safari with one of our specialist guides in the knowledge that they will always be looking out for photographic opportunities, and not simply trying to show you african wildlife, which would be the case on a regular safari with a regular safari guide.
In this option you would then not receive any specialist photo tuition or assistance with setting up your camera or which settings to use etc.., but you will be in very capable hands as far as getting photographs would be concerned. These safaris are also better priced compared with the scheduled trips that I personally lead as I do not have to build my own accommodation, travel and personal costs into the safari.
Regardless of which safari you register for, I will also send you my own set of PDF Photo Tuition Documents which include a pre-safari Camera Set-up guide and my "Seven Top Tips". Reading these before the safari begins will help to prepare you for the types of things you will be doing on safari.
Yes, myself and the guides I use do take photos and I feel that it is important for us to do this. We are constantly looking for the best angle for a good photograph. We have many years of experience in the African bush and can predict a lot of animal behaviour. Getting the vehicle into position where we feel it would make a good photo often helps others who are unsure of where to park, which lens to use, how to compose, which settings to use and what behaviour might follow.
We all have an interest in photography but our passion is our business; which is guiding people on a photo safari. We want to make sure you achieve the best photos possible.
Our main aim is not to sell our portfolios, it is to sell our photo safaris. We do need good photos of animals to do this, but more importantly we want our clients to go home with the best portfolio possible.
Yes we can cater for special medical dietary requirements, but you need to inform us of these requirements when you register. We will then be able to inform the lodges / camps we will be staying at about your requests well in advance.
Depending on what your special requirements are there may be a surcharge for this service.
Your time on safari is YOURS, you can feel free to use it as you wish. However I can confidently say that very few people have ever opted to sleep in or spend time at the pool. This is a photo safari after all. Our main reason for being on the safari is to spend every possible minute doing photography so leisure time is not something people normally request.
On occasion people have wanted to sleep in on one day or skip an afternoon game drive, this is entirely up to you. However please note that we will not change our usual schedule to accommodate "leisure time" If for example you decided to sleep in, you would not have the right to request the vehicle to come back and collect you at a more convenient time.
The photographers who go out with the vehicle can decide when to return. If you have a private vehicle to yourself then you can do as you please.
Credit Cards are by far the most convenient 90% of the time. Bringing along some cash as a backup is also a good idea. US$ are readily accepted in most African Countries and can also be used in some local shops (**Please note that there are some exceptions like South Africa and Namibia - both of these countries DO NOT ALLOW the use of US$
** If you are unsure please ASK us about which option is most suitable for the safari you are doing.
As far as tipping goes (more on the tipping section) you could separate it into the following two scenarios:
1) Your Local Driver / Guide / Ranger: - this can be done in US$ - CASH only
2) Lodge / Camp staff
> Kenya - this can be done in US$ - CASH or CARD
> Tanzania - this can be done in US$ - CASH only
> Botswana - this can be done in US$ - CASH only
> South Africa - this can be done in US$ - CASH or CARD ** this depends on the actual accommodation used - please ask us for clarity **
> Namibia - this can be done in US$ - CASH or CARD ** this depends on the actual accommodation used - please ask us for clarity **
Any other major foreign currency will also be readily accepted (EURO, GBP)
If you have any concerns please contact us and we will clarify it for you further.
All of our scheduled photo safaris (except for Namibia) are vehicle based for the majority of the time. You will need to be in reasonable health but we will not undergo any long walks or hikes unless you personally choose to do so, or unless it is detailed in the safari description. Our extensions and custom safaris might warrant a different fitness level - please ask us for more details about the fitness level required for your specific custom photo safari or chosen extension.
Our Landscape tours of Namibia do require a fairly good level of fitness to get the most out of them. There is a lot of sand in Namibia and walking in this sand and up sand dunes is part of the trip. If you have more questions about fitness levels PLEASE ask us before signing up on any of our safaris.
On any trip to Africa there is a risk of getting Malaria. Some areas have a higher risk than others. As we are not medical doctors we cannot advise you about whether or not you should take malaria medication. Our advice is to consult your local doctor or travel clinic.
This is also a question you would need to consult a doctor or travel clinic about as details of these change on an ongoing basis. Be sure to ask your doctor or clinic about YELLOW FEVER as it is relevant in some of the countries we visit.
Lions, Leopards and Cheetahs do not have a specific birthing season and give birth at anytime. The short answer to this question is "anytime" it really depends on your luck at the time of your visit.
Yes we do spend time on photographing birds but we have two safaris which are truly dedicated to bird photography - the "BIRDS of KRUGER" photo safari and the "BIRDS of KENYA" photo safari, both of these usually run every November.
On our other scheduled photo safaris we will be stopping for "the large and colourful birds". If you would like to try and cover the birds and the mammals in detail then we recommend you travel with a like minded photographer or that you book out a private safari vehicle so that you can go entirely at your own pace.
The pace of a regular photo safari compared with a bird photo safari is very different. If you want to stop for every single bird no matter the distance or size, you will fall far behind the other vehicles who might find other sightings that you might not be able to get to in time. You would need to understand this and know that you cannot be everywhere at the same time.
In general we would recommend that you stick to bottled drinking water on all the safaris. In Kenya and Tanzania this also includes brushing your teeth with bottled water. In South Africa it is possible to drink the local water and brush your teeth with it, so the risk of getting ill is small, however we still recommend you drink bottled water.
Yes the vehicles in our group are in radio contact with each other and we do pass on relevant information about photo opportunities to each other.
Each country has its own electrical and plug system. After you have registered to do a safari with us, we will send out the "PLUG & VOLTAGE" document which will explain this topic in more detail
YES it is possible to add on an extension to any of our safaris if you wanted to stay longer or visit a different place. There are some extension suggestions on the photo safari pages under the "EXTENSIONS" tab. Please ask us if you need help with this or if you would like to tailor a specific extension.
Yes this is possible to arrange for you - please ask at the time of registration
Yes this is possible to arrange, there will of course be a surcharge for the exclusive use of the safari vehicle, please ask us what this would be for the safari you are interested in.
Having worked with many different guides in different locations I have found that it is always nice and refreshing to have a guide with new ideas and suggestions and work together to achieve new images. It is also important though that the basics are understood by all the guides we use on our photo safaris which is why my training manual came to be.
The manual covers the basics of how to guide photographers, looking at the light, the distance from the subject and parking in a position to predict the animals next move. The manual also illustrates "in the field examples" so that guides know what we photographers are talking about when we say "can we move 1 meter forward, my background is not good from this position, etc etc..." !!
The manual has a big section on communication - this is the key to a successful safari. both guides and photographers need to know what is going on so that they can prepare for potential situations, never assume, always ask, it will allow you to achieve more successful images.
We secure the use of "Private Safari Vehicles" on all of our safaris. This is a very important element of a successful photographic safari. Essentially it means that you will not share the vehicle with other guests staying at the lodge / camp who are not part of our group. Regular safari clients and nature photographers do not mix very well. You will want to stay for extended periods at a sighting waiting for the best photo opportunities.
Many regular safari clients just want to see an animal, take one picture and leave to go and look for more animals to tick off their list. We avoid this by securing private safari vehicles at all locations. Understandably there is a surcharge to hire these vehicles as the lodge or camp has to issue a specific vehicle and guide for our group and the vehicle is not filled with up to 9 people as it often is on regular safaris. In our case there will only be a maximum of 3 photographers per vehicle.
We must receive a formal written notification of your cancellation.
Deposits are non-refundable.
All Photo Safaris:
In the case of a cancellation, we must receive written notification, at which time the following fees will apply:
* Deposit is non-refundable
* 89 to 60 days before departure: 75% of tour fee
* 59 or fewer days before departure: 100% of tour fee.
We highly recommend that you take out travel insurance at the time of booking your tour with us to cover any eventualities relating to having to cancel your safari.
Authentic photo safaris, by their very nature have to be flexible. We do our utmost to accommodate our clients needs and requests which are often very different from a regular safari. We take each day as it comes and yes we are able to be flexible and stay out all day if a particular situation warrants it.
If we are far from camp and are patiently waiting for a Leopard to descend a tree, a Cheetah to hunt or a group of Wildebeest to cross the Mara River then we most certainly stay out. It is always a good idea to bring along some snack bars or take a piece of fruit with you in case we do not return for lunch. On most occasions our packed breakfasts have enough food in them to last the full day anyway.
If there is nothing to wait for and the day is particularly hot with animals resting in the shade, it would not be sensible to stay out and so we do return to camp on such occasions for a midday break, some lunch and then we head out again when the temperature drops and the animals become more active.
Tipping is a safari tradition in Africa. You are welcome to stick to your regular personal tipping policies but we politely recommend you try to follow our guidelines regarding tipping as it helps to set a standard.
Firstly, even though it is expected, it is not compulsory. If you feel that you have not been given excellent service then you do not have to tip. I personally feel that if somebody goes above and beyond their job description then it is polite to tip them and I am more than happy to do so.
We do our utmost to source quality safari companies and guides who have a similar work ethic and passion to us. The staff and guides work extremely hard to make sure we have a good time and they are incredibly patient and flexible.
Please ask us to send you our detailed recommended tipping policy for the specific photo safari you are interested in joining. It will also be in your Arrival Information Document, which will be sent to you 2 weeks before the start of your photo safari.
- First contact us to confirm that there are spaces available on the photo safari that you are interested in - (please use the enquiry form on this page)
- Once we confirm with you that there is space available, and you would like to make a booking, these are the steps you would follow:
We will send you a link that will take you to the photo safari that you want to join. Along with the link we will send a detailed PDF document that will guide you though the booking process.
We only accept International Bank Transfer as method of payment / or PayPal **
** PayPal - please note that an additional 4% handling fee will be added to all payments made through PayPal
Please note that ALL bank charges are for your account
Once this is complete, will update your "outstanding balance" amount which will be due 90 days before the start date of the safari.
Please note that it is recommended that you take out your own travel insurance to cover unexpected trip cancellation, medical, personal and photographic equipment. WILD4 will not be held responsible in any way for the loss of or damage to any photographic equipment or personal belongings, nor for any medical expenses. Our medical insurance will only cover you for evacuation from the field to the closest most appropriate medical facility, at which point your medical insurance would take over.
- We must receive a formal written notification of your cancellation
- Deposits are non-refundable.
- Tour fees are not transferable.
- If for any reason a participant ends a tour early or does not make use of a service that has been included in the price of any scheduled tour, tailor-made tour or tour extension, no refund for this unused portion or service will be made.
- Full payment of the tour fee is due 90 days prior to the departure date. We must receive written notification of your cancellation, at which time the following cancellation fees apply:
- 89 to 60 days before departure: 75% of tour fee
- 59 or fewer days before departure: 100% of tour fee
- If due to circumstances out of our control, we are not able to run the photo safari, we are entitled to either cancel the trip, in which case clients will be entitled to a full re-fund. Or, with the clients permission and consent, we might modify the itinerary, which could also mean modifications to the price.
US$ 14,300 single only Sharing
US$ 14,300 Single
US$ 3,000 Deposit
8th - 18th Aug 2018
1 place available
- 8th - 18th Aug 2018
- 10 nights / 11 days
Tour Led By
The Wild 4 team made my trip to South Africa a truly memorable experience. Photographing some of the orphaned captive animals at the private game reserve on the extension was a great way to start the holiday, and Stu's tuition on techniques, composition and familiarity with your gear was the foundation for the rest of the trip. In Kruger we had some wonderful sightings - including the 'Big 5' all in one day on two consecutive days! The highlights were spending 20 minutes with a leopard cub in a tree no more than 30 metres away, and on the last day watching a pride of 14 lions stalking a herd of zebra for more than an hour - just wonderful experiences! I'm sure the quality of the shots I took was infinitely better than if I'd gone on a regular safari, as the whole focus of the experience is expertly designed to maximise photographic opportunities - including only 3 photographers in the specially designed vehicle. Stu's knowledge, enthusiasm and patience were boundless, and Ann's spotting and catering skills were also priceless! I hope to visit Africa again soon, and without doubt Wild 4 will be my first option.
Greg Morgan, UK
If anyone is contemplating a photo trip to Africa, then we would have absolutely no hesitation in recomending Stu Porter and Wild4 Photographic Safaris. It doesn't really matter what your level of skill is you will get as much or as little help and advice as you wish to receive. Nothing is thrust down your throat and Stu doesn't spend all his time taking his own photographs as some do. Stu has taken a huge amount of time and trouble in customising and setting up his safari vehicle and the effort he's put in makes the whole experience so much more enjoyable. Tethered bean bags are provided and secure plate mounts on the side of the vehicle will also take your tripod head ensuring a rock steady platform and Stu most certainly knows where the animals are. Particularly enjoyable was the time we spent at the Big Cat Reserve (part of the 4 night extension) which is an unbelieveable photographic experience. Many thanks WILD4 !
Rob & Sue Brookes, UK