Tour 1 | MalaMala Photo Safari | Lions & Leopards | 2021
US$ 15,500 Sharing
US$ 16,900 Single
US$ 4,000 Deposit
LOCATION: South Africa
PLACES VISITED: Mala Mala 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 in Johannesburg, South Africa, and is spent exclusively at the best private game reserve in the Kruger area - the world famous MALA MALA.
You will fly into Skukuza Airport where you will be met and transferred directly to Mala Mala Game Reserve where you will meet your photo guide, Stu Porter.
Mala Mala is the oldest private game reserve in South Africa, and the place where numerous award-winning National Geographic wildlife documentaries have been filmed, such as "Beauty and the Beast", “Predators at War", and "Tjololo the Leopard".
At Mala Mala our main aim will be to track down and spend quality time with the reserve's wild Lions and Leopards. This is one of the best places in the world to see these cats and offers unrivalled photographic opportunities. At Mala Mala, we will also have the opportunity to go in search of the predators at night. All of the skills of night photography and how to capture the nocturnal world will be explained by Stu, offering a different set of experiences and photo opportunities.
A long stay of 10 nights will allow plenty of time to relax and settle into a routine, early morning, afternoon and night game drives will be on offer every day and we will get to explore all areas of this amazing reserve. Mala Mala has the most beautiful property with the jewel of the reserve being the beautiful Sand River, which at this time of year acts as a magnet drawing in a variety of thirsty herbivores and of course the predators are there waiting for them. The middle of the dry season is the best time to be at Mala Mala and over our 11 days we will have an incredible experieince filled with amazing photo opportunities.
At Mala Mala we are also allowed to go off road to follow animals or to get a better angle for light. Of course our focus will be on the Cats, but this reserve is full of many other mammals as well as a fantastic collection of birds, which we will also take time to photograph.
This is the ultimate place to experieince a relaxed photographic safari experience, with luxurious accommodation and excellent cuisine.
At the end of the safari you will fly from Skukuza Airport to Johannesburg, where the tour will end.
This is our most exclusive small-group photo safari with a maximum of 3 participants in 1 private vehicle. There is plenty of space for equipment and guaranteed access to both sides of the safari vehicle.
Stu will lead the tour and offer photo tuition and guidance.
Each photographer will have the complimentary use of a Visual Echoes panning plate.
WILD4's specially designed photo bars will attach to the vehicle we use at Mala Mala. These bars offer a very stable shooting platform. (for more information, please see the photos in the "TRANSPORT and LODGING" tab).
Along with an impressive variety 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 Hyena, Jackal, Crocodile, Giraffe, Waterbuck, Greater Kudu, Bushbuck, Nyala, Zebra, Wildebeest, Chacma Baboon, Vervet Monkey, and Warthog.
My wife Joanie and I joined Wild4 for the Best of Kruger and Big Cats in August of 2014. It was our very first trip on an African safari. I’m a serious amateur photographer and my wife’s a non-photographer but both of us enjoyed the trip thoroughly ! To this day, we still regularly recall the highlights of sightings and events fondly. True to Wild4’s brand promise, Stu Porter delivers maximum photographic times spent chasing photo opportunities out in the field - out 6am as soon as the camp gate opens and back only 6pm when the gate closes. Having no more than three photographers on each of two jeeps allows every photographer immediate access to both sides of the vehicle. Stu always knows where to position the vehicle for the best vantage points. Every day has its highs – big cat chases and kills, grazers sparring, herds of elephants and buffaloes appearing from nowhere at water holes... Thanks to Stu and the enthusiasm and knowledge of experienced senior guide Mike Lentz. Camps in Kruger are basic (by first world standards) but hey this is a safari ! There’s the important benefit of being only a short drive away from dams, good spots to catch the first light when the sun rises. This is important as the gates do not open till 6am so there’s little margin for being late. I had the opportunity to experience first-hand, the Wild4 team’s dedication and commitment to a successful photo trip for guests, beyond the call of duty. The Wild4 team helped solved a major photographic equipment problem. Early afternoon on Day 5, the lens AF motor on my 400mm telephoto lens failed. This was really a disaster on a trip like this, as (like everyone else) I had a spare camera body but not a spare super telephoto lens ! The other lens I had was a medium telephoto zoom, hardly a lens to use with tele-converters. Murphy’s Law indeed ! This happened with seven more days to go ! I enquired with Stu about hiring a lens from the nearby towns. Stu sprang into action immediately whilst still on the afternoon game drive - got his back-office team to make enquiries back in Nelspruit town. This was something new to the Wild4 team as they never had to hire a lens but they found a lens on the same day, a 200-400mm that’s also ideal for safari. The lens had to be dispatched from almost 200 km away and Mr John Porter helped to drive south to collect the lens sooner. I had the use of this lens by the morning of Day 7, with one-and-half day “downtime” in a remote location. Service excellence lived by as a core value indeed. After eight nights I left Kruger National Park with the feeling that I was just warming up and was leaving too soon. I would have gladly extended a few more days if that was possible. But we were bound for the next destination. I notice Wild4 has not been static. More new trips were added. I see the enterprise is growing fast ! Joanie and I are now looking forward to a trip to Kenya, again with Stu and the Wild4 team.
Steve Seow, Singapore
Stu, Thank you for another wonderful safari. We were blown away by the sightings that we had. From the Lion kill to the tiny Lion Cubs, it was one great experience after another. The bird opportunities were also outstanding. I'm still sorting though the 1000's of images that we brought home. Also, thank you Justyna for setting up our 2 week private Kruger safari with Stefan. We spent over a month in Africa shooting every day except for a couple of travel days. It was our trip of a lifetime. The accommodations, food, and itinerary were as good as it gets. We can't wait to do another one!. Dick and Mary Wild Side Photographic Art
Dick Collins, USA