BEST of BOTSWANA photo safari - May 2014
Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 25th May 2014
Botswana - a name that has always brought to mind the romance of wild Africa. This great trip certainly lived up to the Africa of old, in so many ways.
We were met at the Xakanaxa Airstrip in the Moremi Game Reserve by our guide Nkosi and expertly driven to our first expedition style tented camp amidst huge rain trees in the Xini Lagoon Region.
The privileged sightings from this camp included 2 lovely male cheetahs, a collection of ten different waterbird species fishing together at a small vanishing waterhole and a fantastic full moon rising/sunset scenario featuring a baobab tree.
After Xini we moved on to the Khwai area which is community owned. Off-road driving is permitted in Khwai, which added to the excitement. We had wonderful experiences with leopard here - one included a three month old cub at a kill with her mother, which was very special. Three baby hyaena entertained us when the early morning sun had lured them from their den and we were also lucky enough to encounter Cape Hunting Dogs up close which we managed to follow on a hunt until the vegetation and their speed defeated us. The camp here was delightful - situated next to the Khwai River under magnificent leadwood trees.
The Savuti area of the Chobe Game Reserve was our next stop - a wonderland of marsh, forest, grassland and sandveld. This time our camp was situated in a grove of Kalahari Apple Leaf trees and had a character all of its own. It was here that we encountered the marsh lion pride - all beautiful specimens with two sets of young cubs.
I would like to thank the Letaka team for all their hard work and great organisation. Our guide Nkosi was outstanding. His knowledge of all facets of the environment in which he works was amazing, as were his driving skills. His ability as a photographer helped so much in understanding our needs. Pula, the chef and chief camp organiser was truly phenomenal - the food he produced in camping conditions was incredible. He was ably assisted by Banda and Frans.
From Savuti we flew to the Chobe River Front for the final stage of our trip. Here we did early morning and late afternoon boat trips in a specially designed photo boat which had been cleverly adapted for photographers. Thanks to the ability of our boat captain - Shar, we got great shots of white fronted bee-eaters and yellow billed storks at their nests, fish eagles, hippos yawning and elephants playing and drinking in the river, to name a few. Many thanks to “Guts” of Pangolin Safaris for all his help and assistance in making this so special.
The “Best of Botswana” Photo safari is different to all our others in so many ways - this is the real Africa, massive remote areas away from crowds of people. The light is amazing and the smells are unique.
We will be offering a second departure in 2015 as the first departure is already sold out, please email us if you are interested in a space on the 2015 departure.
Regards to all
Enjoy some photos from the trip !!...
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This was the second trip I have booked through Wild4 and one of the most memorable and pleasurable trips I have ever been on in my life. We were blessed with incredible sightings from a frenzy of feeding wild dog to mating black mambas. The list is endless and the memories will linger for ever in the form of some great images shot from the customised vehicles driven by expert drivers. The camps chosen were great and there was a real and genuine feeling of being a part of your surroundings. A truly African experience. Botswana certainly came up trumps when delivering us such great sightings. From the bush to the Chobe river and the specially adapted photographic boats, you could not have asked for more. I must extend an enormous thank you to you Stu, for your endless patience and professionalism in everything you did for us. Thank you. Also a big thank you to Justyna who’s meticulous planning ensured a seamless trip to and in between each of our camps and destinations. Good job!
Stephen Tattersall, UK
can't begin to tell you how much Keith and I enjoyed being with you in Botswana. Your trip was as productive for me, the birdwatcher spouse, as it was for Keith, who is thrilled with his images. I saw more birds in Botswana than I ever imagined I'd see (152 species!), and I got such good looks at them, from the big Goliath Heron, Wattled Crane, and Saddle-billed Storks to the little Pearl-spotted Owlet, White-fronted Bee-eaters, and Malachite Kingfisher. Our Letaka guides, Shadreck and Nkosi, were knowledgeable and helpful - and just plain nice guys, and Shuur took us on four amazing boat rides on the Chobe River. Every aspect of the trip went smoothly. It's obvious how much behind-the-scenes work you and Justyna put into the planning. I would recommend you to anyone, and for the safari of a lifetime, I'd recommend the Best of Botswana with Stu Porter.
Sharon Kennedy, USA