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 our second trip with Stu and our first in Tanzania, the sightings exceeded all our expectations including a selection of births, deaths, and marriages with a variety of wildlife. One of many highlights was seeing 22 lions drinking at a stream in the Ngorongoro crater . The accommodation was once again first class, even the tented camps. Stu, together with our African guides James and Jeremiah managed to always have the vehicle in exactly the right position for the best pictures. Can't wait to go again.
John & Lorraine Carnemolla, Australia
It has always been a dream of mine to travel to Africa and take a photo safari. Although I am not a professional photographer, it has been a hobby of mine and I had been wanting to make the trip for many years. Last year, I went on a safari through a different agency, and was disappointed. It was too generic and commercialized. It left me unsatisfied and wanting more. After a year, I still had an urge to go back to Africa and get the experience that I felt I had missed out on. After doing some research I came upon Wild 4 African Photographic Safaris. I was excited that this time I would really get the experience I was hoping for, and it did not fail. Upon arrival at the park, I met Stu. He was extremely helpful, even months before the trip. Justyna helped me prepare and made sure I was well equipped for the safari. Before arriving, I could already tell that this would be an adventure of a lifetime. During the safari, Stu’s knowledge continued to surprise me. Not only does he know about photography, but his familiarity of the animals and their environment is unbelievable. He could spot a rhino from miles away that we would only see once he drove 5 minutes towards it. He understands the environment and how to get great shots. He never let us miss an opportunity. Stu was patient and didn’t rush us. His tips were useful and will help with all of my future photography endeavours. The Wild 4 Safari at went above and beyond all of my expectations. It really was a dream come true.
Ulhas Mayekar, USA