BEST of BOTSWANA photo safari - May 2016
Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 2nd Jun 2016
The "Best of Botswana" 2016 photo safari has just ended and it was interesting to see how dry the Okavango Delta was but also to see how full the Chobe River was, quite contrasting locations and very different to the 2015 trips.
Moremi Game Reserve was our first stop for 3 nights. Highlights in Moremi included two big male Lions, a Lion kill, great birdlife, a large herd of Cape Buffalo, Wattled Cranes and a very atmospheric visit to "Dead Tree Island".
Next stop on the tour was a 4 night stay in the Khwai community area where we were treated to a number of great Leopard sightings including one of a young female Leopard that used a dead tree as her vantage point to spy on some nearby Zebra. Hippo activity was excellent in the early morning and we caught them just before they re-entered the safety of the water. One night at 2am we heard a pack of Cape Hunting Dogs right behind our camp in what seemed to be an altercation with some Spotted hyaena's over a kill that we suspected the dogs had made. In the morning we were able to catch up with the Dogs and followed them around for nearly 3 hours as they looked like they wanted to hunt again. They soon settled down to avoid the heat of the day and we again picked them up in the late afternoon. Birdlife in Khwai was also very good.
Our third stop on the trip was the special area in the Chobe Game reserve known as Savuti. Here we were treated to a number of excellent sightings of both the Marsh and Harvey's Pan Lion prides. The marsh pride had pulled down a Cape Buffalo in a small waterhole and we watched the interesting dynamics between and behaviours of the males, females and two small cubs as they all tried to get their share of the carcass.
The Harvey's Pan pride consisted of two adult females, 7 cubs and two males. On our final morning we were treated to a fantastic photo opportunity as the pride drank from a small pan, beautiful light and reflections too.
Life in camp is always a special experieince on the Botswana trips, it was getting cool at night but then the campfire was even more enjoyable.
Our flight from Savuti to Kasane and the Chobe River was a quick 35 mins and after lunch we headed out on our first afternoon boat ride on the Chobe in the special Pangolin Photo Boat.
There was a lot more water in the river this year compared with last year, but the Chobe still offered great photo opportunites with Elephants, Hippos, Crocodile, Puku Antelope and of course the multitude of water birds found here.
Our final morning was spent at the Yellow Billed Stork nesting colony which has just started to become active.
Thank you so much again to a great safari with Letaka Safaris and our excellent guides, Nkosi and Lucas as well as the amazing camp team - T-Man, Mula and Banda.
Many thanks also to Pangolin Photo Safaris and our boat captain Shuur !! thanks for yet another great stay at the river.
Finally thanks to all the participants for joining us on the "Best of Botswana" Photo Safari, CK, Pok Zin, Rita, John, Rob & Sue.. it was a pleasure to have travelled with you and shared some amazing sightings together.
Here are some photos from the trip - enjoy
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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
I could not imagine a more competent and friendly company to take us on a photo safari of Kruger. This was my first visit to Africa, but I never had to worry about anything while on the Wild4 Photo safari. Everything was well planned, including the lodging, meals and "drives" into the game park. Your safari vehicle had lots of room to spread out and it was easy to get photos from both sides. The elevation of the pickup bed is well above ground, so you have the feeling of security and also a good vantage point and angle to shoot photos. I had hundreds of photo opportunities, even with my limited zoom lens and other small cameras. Our guide, Kosie was extremely knowledgeable on the wildlife, birds, trees and even had handy info on his ipad. We certainly had all the "big 5", the "ugly 7" and other categories in the bag after just a few days. We enjoyed seeing several camps and met many fine, helpful people along the way. By the way, the African coffee is excellent, and we took many enjoyable "coffee breaks" during our 10-days in the Kruger. If you want to see the animals...WILD4 Photo Safaris will definitely make that dream come true. Thanks to all. Dave Truax
Dave Truax, USA