FOCUS on the KRUGER Photo Safari - South Africa - July 2023
US$ TBC Sharing
US$ TBC Single
US$ 3,000 Deposit
PHOTO SAFARI LOCATION: South Africa
PLACE VISITED: Kruger National Park
PHOTOGRAPHY SKILL LEVEL: You need to be comfortable with your camera skills as no specific technical tuition is offered on this safari
RECOMMENDED FOCAL LENGTH: A 400mm lens on a crop sensor or a full-frame sensor with a Teleconverter (1.4)
This 11 Day Photographic Safari is based exclusively in South Africa's Kruger National Park.
** Please NOTE that this photo safari will be booked through our office (Justyna) and fulfilled by our partners in South Africa, LAWSON'S BIRDING, WILDLIFE and CUSTOM SAFARIS **
South Africa's flagship national park and the largest in the country at over 20 000 sq kilometres, Kruger is photographic heaven. The focus of this safari will be to capture the huge diversity of species found in the park with an emphasis on photographing anything that you find. You will be staying in two of the best areas to photograph Kruger's big cats, Lion, Leopard and Cheetah. The aim is not to tick species off a list, instead, your focus will be on taking the best photographs you can, often stopping for the same species if you feel you can improve on existing images. By the end of this photographic tour, you will have captured a wonderful variety of landscapes, birds, herbivores, carnivores and reptiles.
From Johannesburg, you will fly east towards the Kruger and land at Skukuza Airport where you will be met by your photo safari guide. You will then make your way to Central Kruger, known for its more open landscapes, dotted with Marula, Leadwood and Jackalberry trees. For 5 full days, you will venture out in search of Kruger's Wildlife in one of our specially modified photography vehicles. You will leave camp early to take advantage of the cool mornings when the predators are still active. A packed lunch enables you to be flexible if necessary, and stay out to photograph anything of interest. You will return to camp after photographing the beautiful African sunset.
The second part of your photo safari will take you to the South-Eastern part of Kruger, an area dominated by the open basalt plains in the east, the beautiful Sabi River in the centre and the rocky granite areas in the west. Your camp for your final 5 nights is conveniently located close to some very photo productive rivers and dams. Here you will find Hippos, Crocodiles, animals drinking and a good variety of water birds. The Sabi River, with its massive Sausage and Mahogany trees, is the perfect home of the elusive Leopard.
At the end of the photo safari, you will fly from the Kruger (Skukuza) back to Johannesburg where the tour will end.
There are only 3 spaces available on this safari in 1 private photographic vehicle. This will offer you plenty of space for equipment and guaranteed access to BOTH sides of the safari vehicle.
Along with an impressive portfolio of birds, you will also have a good chance to see and photograph the following:
Lion, Leopard, African Wild Dog, Cheetah, Elephant, Cape Buffalo, White Rhino, Hippo, Spotted Hyaena, Jackal, Crocodile, Giraffe, Waterbuck, Greater Kudu, Bushbuck, Nyala, Zebra, Wildebeest, Chacma Baboon, Vervet Monkey, & Warthog.
Day 1 Depart from Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport (mid-morning) and fly to Skukuza Airport arriving after midday. Meet your safari guide and vehicle and head north, photographing on your way to Central Kruger (overnight Central Kruger)
Day 2 Morning & Afternoon photographic game drives (overnight Central Kruger)
Day 3 Morning & Afternoon photographic game drives (overnight Central Kruger)
Day 4 Morning & Afternoon photographic game drives (overnight Central Kruger)
Day 5 Morning & Afternoon photographic game drives (overnight Central Kruger)
Day 6 Move to second location in Southern Kruger photographing as you go (overnight in Southern Kruger)
Day 7 Morning & Afternoon photo game drives (overnight in Southern Kruger)
Day 8 Morning & Afternoon photo game drives (overnight in Southern Kruger)
Day 9 Morning & Afternoon photo game drives (overnight in Southern Kruger)
Day 10 Morning & Afternoon photo game drives (overnight in Southern Kruger)
Day 11 Short morning game drive photographing on your way to Skukuza airport to catch your flight back to Johannesburg
- Flight from JHB to Skukuza and from Skukuza back to JHB
- All road transfers as detailed in the itinerary
- 10 nights inside the Kruger National Park at 2 different camps. (BLD) + Drinks
- All park entrance fees
- Private small group use of photographic safari vehicle with experienced field guide
- Bottled still water on game drives
- Meals as indicated: (B = Breakfast L = Lunch D = Dinner)
- DRINKS - are included but are limited to local Beer, House Wine, soft drinks (soda) and bottled water)
- All meals & drinks not indicated
- All laundry
- Tips / gratuities for camp staff and for your driver / guide - see FAQ's
- Visa fees if applicable
- Personal medical, travel (including trip cancellation) & photographic equipment insurance
- Any extra nights of accommodation before or after the safari - we can arrange these for you and add it to your statement.
- INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS
We will be using a photo modified open safari vehicle for the duration of this photographic safari. The vehicle has a canvas roof to protect from the sun and possible rain. The vehicle has been modified with adjustable photo platforms complete with beanbags. This offers a very comfortable shooting position whilst seated. The Safari Vehicles act as a perfect "mobile photographic hide".
LODGING - KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
Accommodation will be inside the park at the main rest camps in comfortable en-suite Bungalows and Guest Houses. These offer 24-hour electricity and are serviced daily.
The flight from Johannesburg to Skukuza is approx 1hr 15 mins
The flight from Skukuza Airport back to Johannesburg is approx 1hr 15 mins
The safari begins with a flight from Johannesburg to Skukuza Airport. This is a 1 hr flight
You will drive and photograph on your way to central Kruger and arrive in the late afternoon
When you depart from Skukuza airport your flight back to Johannesburg will be 1 hr.
All food and drinks are included, breakfasts and lunches are participational.
You begin the morning with a quick breakfast of cereal, yoghurt, toast with tea/coffee before leaving camp. You will each be allocated a small cooler bag into which you pack food that you will prepare at breakfast. This can include a sandwich, fruit and snacks. You might end up spending the day out in the field so you would need to take along enough food to keep you going. Bottled still water is provided by us. Dinners are enjoyed in the camp's restaurant. Dinner drinks are included (local wine/beer, sodas and water)
On all our safaris it is preferable to use a soft duffel type bag for your main luggage (not hard suitcases) These are easier to pack into vehicles and planes. The normal luggage restriction as far as weight goes is 20 kgs for hold luggage and 8 kgs for Cabin Luggage. We all know that as photographers 8 kgs for camera equipment is not enough! However, you will find that the size of the bag is more important. A normal Think Tank type camera bag (airport accelerator) should carry the amount of equipment you need for your safari. When checking in, politely explain that it is expensive camera equipment and cannot go in the luggage hold.
Usually, they allow you on with no problem as long as the bag can fit either in the overhead locker or under the seat in front of you. If for any reason you are refused to board with your camera bag (this seldom happens) then they will ask you to "sky check" your bag. Here you take your bag to the plane and leave it at the bottom of the stairs where it will be taken to a special storage area for the duration of the flight. When you step off the plane at the end of the flight, your bag will be waiting for you.
Having a stable shooting platform on safari vehicles is a crucial element to successfully achieve good images. You need to be comfortable when shooting so that you can concentrate on the image. You will often sit and wait patiently for long periods of time for a shot to present itself - being comfortable is paramount.
In the Kruger National Park, we make use of our own WILD4 safari vehicle which has been modified with adjustable plates and beanbags which ensure a comfortable shooting position.
KRUGER NATIONAL PARK - NO OFF-ROAD DRIVING is allowed in any of South Africa's National Parks.
Despite not being allowed off-road, you will be pleasantly surprised at what the Kruger produces in terms of different photographic opportunities, and how close you can be to the animals.
This photo safari will run during the cooler South African winter months of June and July. This time of year offers mostly clear skies, pleasant days, cool evenings and very little rain
Warm clothing is useful in the early mornings and evenings. We would recommend a warm fleece as well as a windbreaker jacket. Long trousers, a beanie (woollen hat) and gloves are also necessary in the early mornings.
As far as camera equipment goes, we have a more detailed kit list which we will send out to you at the time of registration. A long telephoto lens with a minimum of 400mm on a crop factor body or a Teleconverter on a full-frame body is essential for successful photography in the Kruger
Yes, there is a laundry service available, please ask your guide how to get laundry done. (Laundry is for your own account)
All the accommodations you will be staying at on this safari will have electric points for recharging your batteries and laptops. We will send you a detailed plug information document before you start your safari
Kruger National Park does not have any free wifi. The camps do offer cell / mobile phone reception, through this you can connect to the internet on your own data plan. There is limited cell phone signal away from the main camps.
Kruger National Park has strict gate opening and closing times which your guide has to adhere to.
Gate times change throughout the year, but usually, they open at around 06:00 and close between 17:30 and 18:00
Meet at 05:30 for a small breakfast (cereals, toast, preserves, yoghurt, fruit, coffee/tea & cookies)
Depart camp at 06:00 taking packed snacks and lunch with you. The itinerary for each day is very flexible on this safari. You can choose to stay out the entire day or return to camp for a midday break. The Camp gates close at between 17:30 and 18:00. Dinner is enjoyed in the camp's restaurant and the time is flexible, usually around 19:00
Tipping is a safari tradition in Africa. We respectfully request that you follow our guidelines regarding tipping as it helps to set a standard across all of our photo safaris.
Any form of gratuity should be earned by the recipient through excellent service and for effort beyond their job description. If for any reason you do not feel comfortable tipping then please let your tour leader know.
We do our utmost to source quality safari companies/lodges 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.
We will send you a detailed recommended tipping policy for this photo tour in your Arrival Information Document, which will be sent to you 2 weeks before the start of your photo safari.
It is best to contact the embassy of the country you will be travelling to, and double-check to 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 have limited 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.
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$ in their economy.
** 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 are 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 and ask them for their opinion based on the most up to date and relevant information regarding malaria as well as any other potential diseases.
This is a topic 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.
We highly recommend that you contact your doctor or clinic as soon as you can after registering to do a photo safari with us.
Yes, we do spend time photographing birds.
On our photo safaris, we will be stopping for "the large and colourful birds". If you would like to try and cover the birds in more 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 do 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 and you will miss out on other sightings and photo opportunities. Also be aware that if you are sharing a vehicle with other photographers that you do not know, they may not be as interested in stopping for every single bird.
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.
Our local guides are also excellent at acquiring any relevant pieces of information from their colleagues and friends. In Kenya, our guides do make use of cell phones to relay relevant information when radio comms are weak.
Each country has its own electrical and plug system. After you have registered to do a photo safari with us, we will send you our "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.
Alternatively, you can also request a specific extension that you might like to do and we will gladly set this up for you.
Yes this is possible to arrange for you - please ask us 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" Photographic 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 up to 3 photographers per safari vehicle.
Our full booking terms and conditions are found at this link on our website:
Authentic photographic safaris, by their very nature, have to be flexible. We do our utmost to accommodate our client's needs and requests which are very different from regular safari clients. 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.
For example, 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 will stay out. It is always a good idea to bring along some extra snack bars for these situations.
However, If there is nothing worthwhile waiting for and no particular need for us to stay out the whole day, we will return to the camp/lodge for lunch and a short break before heading out again once the animals start to become more active and the photographic light improves.
- Get in touch with us to confirm that there are still spaces available on the photo safari that you are interested in. Please fill out the “ENQUIRE” form on this page
- Once we confirm with you that there is space available, and you would like to join the safari, we will send you a direct link via email. This will allow you to sign up to our CLIENT AREA
- After you have registered with your name, email address and a password of your choice, you will then be able to complete our online booking form
To SUBMIT the booking form, you will need to have read, understood and agree to our booking terms and conditions.
If you would like to read our booking terms & conditions, they can be found here: BOOKING TERMS & CONDITIONS
Please note that each participant must complete their own booking form.
- Once your booking form has been submitted, you will then be required to make the deposit payment.
We offer two options for payment of the deposits:
- International Bank Transfer
Please note that ALL bank fees are for your account.
Bank fees for a Bank Transfer vary depending on your own bank but are usually in the region of US$ 50 to US$ 80
Payments through PayPal carry a 4% handling fee
- Your place/s on the safari will only be confirmed once we have received your completed booking form/s and deposit payment/s
- As soon as your booking form/s and deposit/s are with us, we will update your CLIENT AREA to display the outstanding balance amount, which will be due 90 days before the start date of the safari.
US$ TBC Sharing
US$ TBC Single
US$ 3,000 Deposit
13th - 23rd Jul 2023
3 places available
- 13th - 23rd Jul 2023
- 10 nights / 11 days
Tour Led By
Wild4 Photo Safari gave me much more than an average safari tour. The experiences, friends, and information gathered from my trip will stay with me forever. My anticipations were greatly exceeded to things I could never have dreamed up. I Love Wild!!
Colleen Sullivan, USA
Stu ... Cannot say enough great things about Wild4. The entire Porter family is #1 in my book. I shall recommend you to friends as often as possible. You made my trip the very best and one that I'll always remember. Thanks again
Dan Dimaggio, USA