Wild4 African Photographic Safaris

Wild4 African Photographic Safaris

Authentic small group photo tours to South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana and Namibia

BEST of BOTSWANA photo safari TRIP REPORT - June 2018

Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 7th Jul 2018

Our June "Best of Botswana" photo safari for 2018 has just ended and the sightings and photography was fantastic. It was quite a bit colder than the May safari and the warmth of the campfire at night was much appreciated and enjoyed !

After flying into the delta from Maun, we were met by our guides, Nkosi and Lucas, at the Xakanaxa airstrip. Our camp in Moremi was in a great location, but our first night was spent together with a resident troop of Baboons who decided to shelter in the large Jackalberry trees above our tents - needless to say it was not easy to fall asleep !!. Some highlights in Moremi were sightings of Tsessebe, Zebra, Wildebeest, Waterbuck and the Red Lechwe, Jackal, Yellow Billed Storks, Lilac Breasted Rollers and two beautiful Male Lions.

We then headed off to the Khwai Concession, hoping to see the Owl eating Leopards that we had seen on our May safari. We camped at the same beautiful Sable Alley campsite and on our very first morning drive we did indeed bump into the same young Leopard, this time she was 50m outside our camp with a fresh male Steenbok Kill ! we could not have asked for a better start to our 4 days in Khwai. Over the next few days the young Leopard managed to keep her kill safe from scavengers and we saw her every morning. She even managed to escape from a pack of Wilddogs who actually came through our camp and chased her up into the safety of a Camel Thorn Tree. We also caught up with the young Leopards mother who had made an Impala kill.

The Cape Hunting dogs had set up a den site and although we did not see the puppies, one female had definietly given birth. A second female was also seen in the pack, heavily pregnant hersefl, so it will be interesteing to see how the pack and the two sets of uppies get on in the next few months. Other highlights in Khwai were a great sighting of the African Golden Oriole, Hammerkop, Baboon, Saddle Billed Stork, Reedbuck, Little Bee Eaters and a very rare sighting of a pair of Bathawks who are usually only seen at dusk and dawn. We also saw a young Elephant with half its trunk missing and part of its ear. We assumed it might have been attacked by a Crocodile when it was very young.

Our final stop on the mobile camping section was the semi arid region of the Chobe National Park called Savute. Our campsite was conveniently located close to the Hyaena den and we managed to see the clan one morning. We also enjoyed a fantastic Elephant sighting at Harvey's Pans, it was the most Elephant I have ever seen at the pans, we estimated that in all there might have been over 250 elephants lining up to drink. It was here that we saw yet another young elephant with a trunk injury, this time however the youngster had no trunk at all and was quite an odd sight.

One of the cutest sightings was of 3 baby Yellow Mongooses who came out of their burrow to suckle from their mother.

On our final full day we set out in search of the Marsh pride who were still located at the southern end of the Marsh near Jackal Island. Lucas spotted a Lioness from far off and we noticed that she had some cubs with her, 5 in total. We managed to follow them to a beautiful termite mound that the female climbed. This was perhaps the sighting of the trip. Whilst we were photographing them at a small pan we heard the rest of the pride roaring near Jackal Island. We headed there and found the rest of the pride including one of the big males, who decided to lie in the shade of our vehicle.

Savute offered some great bird photography too including Kori Bustard, Tawny Eagle, Southern White Crowned Shrikes and the Capped Wheatear.

Next stop was the Chobe River where the water level had dropped about 2 meters since our last trip. Getting through the channels was a bit tricky and we only got stuck once ! The river always offers up some great sightings and we enjoyed the usual Pied Kingfisher sigtings, Egyptian and Spur Winged Goose, African Darters, Hippos, African Fish Eagles, Elephants, Squacco Heron and Reed Cormorants. We did however have four special sightings, a Beautiful Giant Kingfisher, a very rare sighting of a Lesser Jacana, African Skimmers and the beautiful Carmine Bee Eaters whom I had expected to have migrated further north by this time.

The two day Victoria Falls extension followed and the lower water level did allow a slightly better view of the falls but the main falls was still very wet with heavy spray. We did manage to take the Lunar Rainbow photo from the Zambian side which is a much better place to do this compared with the Zimbabwean side as you are allowed to walk around on your own and not as part of a group.

A HUGE thank you goes to the Letaka Camp Staff team who looked after us so well for the first 10 nights of our trip, it is still a mystery as to how these guys manage to do all that they do and still have the energy to look after us with so much care and attention to detail. Thank you KK for the amazing food !!, and to Names and July for making sure every aspect of our camp life was taken care of so that we could enjoy our experience to the fullest.

Of course another huge thanks goes to our expert guides, Nkosi and Lucas, thanks so much once again for all your patience with positioning and your expert spotting & tracking skills. Guides like you are a what make a photo safari in Botswana a success !!

Mr Shuur, our boat captiain on the Chobe, thank you so much for getting us in and out of sightings on the river and for those magical moments with the Elephants and the stunning Carmine Bee eaters.

A final huge thank you goes to a great group of clients, Larry, Debbie, Ross, Robert and Robert and Angela - it was fantastic to spend this safari with you - many thanks for joining us on this Best of Botswana adventure.

Enjoy some photos from the trip !

Best wishes,

Stu

Male Lion - Moremi Game Reserve - wildlife panorama
Male Lion - Moremi Game Reserve - wildlife panorama
Yellow Billed Storks - Moremi Game Reserve
Yellow Billed Storks - Moremi Game Reserve
African Buffalo - Moremi Game Reserve - wildlife panorama
African Buffalo - Moremi Game Reserve - wildlife panorama
Giraffe - Moremi Game Reserve - wildlife panorama
Giraffe - Moremi Game Reserve - wildlife panorama
Campfire and stars at our campsite in Moremi - photo by Robert Sanson www.myfathersworld.net.nz
Campfire and stars at our campsite in Moremi - photo by Robert Sanson www.myfathersworld.net.nz
Red Lechwe - Moremi Game Reserve - wildlife panorama
Red Lechwe - Moremi Game Reserve - wildlife panorama
Great White Pelican juvenile - Moremi Game Reserve
Great White Pelican juvenile - Moremi Game Reserve
Red Billed Hornbill - Moremi Game Reserve
Red Billed Hornbill - Moremi Game Reserve
Elephants near our camp - Moremi Game Reserve - wildlife panorama
Elephants near our camp - Moremi Game Reserve - wildlife panorama
Lilac Breasted Roller - Moremi Game Reserve
Lilac Breasted Roller - Moremi Game Reserve
Red Lechwe - Moremi Game Reserve
Red Lechwe - Moremi Game Reserve
Zebra - Moremi Game Reserve - wildlife panorama
Zebra - Moremi Game Reserve - wildlife panorama
Palm Tree with fire in distance - Moremi Game Reserve
Palm Tree with fire in distance - Moremi Game Reserve
Black Backed Jackal - Moremi Game Reserve
Black Backed Jackal - Moremi Game Reserve
Campfire in Moremi
Campfire in Moremi
Marabou Storks fishing for Catfish - Moremi Game Reserve
Marabou Storks fishing for Catfish - Moremi Game Reserve
Bateleur Eagle - Moremi Game Reserve
Bateleur Eagle - Moremi Game Reserve
Chacma Baboon Jumping near the Khwai River Bridge - Moremi Game Reserve
Chacma Baboon Jumping near the Khwai River Bridge - Moremi Game Reserve
Mother of the young Leopard - Khwai Concession
Mother of the young Leopard - Khwai Concession
Young Leopard near our camp - Khwai Concession
Young Leopard near our camp - Khwai Concession
Leopard with her Steenbok Kill - Khwai Concession
Leopard with her Steenbok Kill - Khwai Concession
Female Leopard hoisting her kill into a tree - Khwai Concession - wildlife panorama
Female Leopard hoisting her kill into a tree - Khwai Concession - wildlife panorama
Saddle Billed Stork - Khwai Concession
Saddle Billed Stork - Khwai Concession
Cape Hunting Dog - Khwai Concession
Cape Hunting Dog - Khwai Concession
Cape Hunting Dogs on the move - Khwai Concession
Cape Hunting Dogs on the move - Khwai Concession
Leopard in tree in the early morning - Khwai Concession - wildlife panorama
Leopard in tree in the early morning - Khwai Concession - wildlife panorama
Reedbuck - Khwai Concession
Reedbuck - Khwai Concession
Bathawk - Khwai Concession
Bathawk - Khwai Concession
Hammerkop - Khwai Concession
Hammerkop - Khwai Concession
Hippo Yawning on the Khwai River - Khwai Concession
Hippo Yawning on the Khwai River - Khwai Concession
Young Hippo chasing a Fish Eagle - Khwai Concession
Young Hippo chasing a Fish Eagle - Khwai Concession
Spurwinged Geese - Khwai Concession
Spurwinged Geese - Khwai Concession
Little Bee eaters - Khwai Concession
Little Bee eaters - Khwai Concession
Young Elephant with half a trunk and a damaged ear, possible from a crocodile - Khwai Concession
Young Elephant with half a trunk and a damaged ear, possible from a crocodile - Khwai Concession
African Golden Oriole - Khwai Concession
African Golden Oriole - Khwai Concession
Cape Hunting Dog heading back to the den site - Khwai Concession
Cape Hunting Dog heading back to the den site - Khwai Concession
Sunrise - Khwai Concession - panorama
Sunrise - Khwai Concession - panorama
Cape Hunting Dog running - Khwai Concession
Cape Hunting Dog running - Khwai Concession
Male Impala - Khwai Concession
Male Impala - Khwai Concession
White Backed Vulture landing - Khwai Concession
White Backed Vulture landing - Khwai Concession
Picnic lunch on our way to Savute -panorama
Picnic lunch on our way to Savute -panorama
Baobab Tree - Savute - panorama
Baobab Tree - Savute - panorama
Tent at our camp - Savute
Tent at our camp - Savute
Spotted Hyaena - Savute
Spotted Hyaena - Savute
Sunrise from our camp in Savute - panorama
Sunrise from our camp in Savute - panorama
Ayres Hawk Eagle - Savute
Ayres Hawk Eagle - Savute
Male Impala - Savute - wildlife panorama
Male Impala - Savute - wildlife panorama
Bradfield's Hornbill - Savute
Bradfield's Hornbill - Savute
Southern White Crowned Shrike - Savute
Southern White Crowned Shrike - Savute
Giraffe covered in Ox Peckers - Savute
Giraffe covered in Ox Peckers - Savute
Elephants - Savute
Elephants - Savute
Elephant - Savute
Elephant - Savute
Huge Elephant herd at Harvey's Pan - Savute - wildlife panorama
Huge Elephant herd at Harvey's Pan - Savute - wildlife panorama
The poor young Elephant without a trunk - Savute
The poor young Elephant without a trunk - Savute
Lioness with the 5 cubs at the southern end of the Marsh - Savute - composite image & wildlife panorama
Lioness with the 5 cubs at the southern end of the Marsh - Savute - composite image & wildlife panorama
Lioness with cubs - Savute
Lioness with cubs - Savute
Lion cubs playing - Savute
Lion cubs playing - Savute
Male Lion - Savute - wildlife panorama
Male Lion - Savute - wildlife panorama
Herd of Impala bunched up in tight formation - Savute - wildlife panorama
Herd of Impala bunched up in tight formation - Savute - wildlife panorama
Yellow Mongoose and babies - Savute
Yellow Mongoose and babies - Savute
Tree Squirrel - Savute
Tree Squirrel - Savute
Capped Wheatear - Savute
Capped Wheatear - Savute
Pied Kingfisher - Chobe River
Pied Kingfisher - Chobe River
Sunset on the Pangolin Photo Boat - Chobe River - panorama
Sunset on the Pangolin Photo Boat - Chobe River - panorama
Elephant - Chobe River
Elephant - Chobe River
Skimmer - Chobe River
Skimmer - Chobe River
Hippo Yawning - Chobe River
Hippo Yawning - Chobe River
African Fish Eagle - Chobe River
African Fish Eagle - Chobe River
African Darter - Chobe River
African Darter - Chobe River
Giant Kingfisher - Chobe River
Giant Kingfisher - Chobe River
Reed Cormorant - Chobe River
Reed Cormorant - Chobe River
Brown Hooded Kingfisher - Chobe River
Brown Hooded Kingfisher - Chobe River
African Fish Eagle take off - Chobe River
African Fish Eagle take off - Chobe River
Bull Elephant - Chobe River
Bull Elephant - Chobe River
Hippo - Chobe River
Hippo - Chobe River
Squacco Heron - Chobe River
Squacco Heron - Chobe River
The rarely seen Lesser Jacana - Chobe River
The rarely seen Lesser Jacana - Chobe River
A young Green Backed Heron - Chobe River
A young Green Backed Heron - Chobe River
Crocodile and Geese - Chobe River
Crocodile and Geese - Chobe River
Carmine Bee eater - Chobe River
Carmine Bee eater - Chobe River
Victoria Falls - Zimbabwean side
Victoria Falls - Zimbabwean side
Victoria Falls - Zimbabwean side - panorama
Victoria Falls - Zimbabwean side - panorama
Victoria Falls - Zimbabwean side
Victoria Falls - Zimbabwean side
Lunar Rainbow from the Zambian side
Lunar Rainbow from the Zambian side
Lunar Rainbow and Bridge at night - from the Zambian side - panorama
Lunar Rainbow and Bridge at night - from the Zambian side - panorama

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2 Comments

  • Excellent photos as usual

    Ulhas Mayekar - July 09th, 2018 at 2:35pm

  • Great pictures Stu!  Need to go back again one day.

    David Da Costa - July 10th, 2018 at 2:07am

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Testimonials Hi Stu, Thank you for a wonderful trip. I have been on a lot of safaris around the world and you are the best in Africa. Your hard work pays off.

Dave Irey, USA

Testimonials Shopping for a travel adventure on the Web is somewhat risky, but when I wanted to go on an African photo safari, I really had no choice. I looked around and finally picked Wild4 Photographic Safaris for one reason: the vehicle. It was obvious that this was an outfit that understood photographic details and the needs of serious wildlife photographers. With a capacity for 10 passengers, the vehicle takes just three photographers. The three photographers' benches feature platforms to steady big lenses on both sides of the vehicle, and loads of storage space and pockets for lenses, bodies, accessories, binoculars, field guides, water, etc. I can not imagine a better platform for photography in the bush veldt. What is not as obvious in the on-line description is that the vehicle comes equipped with Stu Porter, the Wild4 owner and guide. Stu, who bears a striking resemblance to movie actor Matt Damon, is a deceptively shy young man with an encyclopaedic knowledge of Kruger National Park, its animals, geography, geology, climate, seasons, and, of course, rules. He also has the eyes of an eagle and is the best leopard spotter in South Africa. Stu's knowledge and patience are seemingly infinite, and he somehow manages to be aware both of his passengers' needs and everything around us. He does everything humanly possible to give you the opportunity to get the best shot. And if you need more than just the opportunity, he can instruct even the most seasoned photographer on technique. Stu grew up next to Kruger National Park, and his mother (who does the meal preparation for the safari) started taking him there as soon as he was old enough. He has been accumulating his knowledge of the park and its animals all his life, and that comes in very handy when you need to know something about animal behavior. In short, Wild4 Photographic Safaris is all about the vehicle, with spacious seats, shooting platforms and Stu Porter as standard equipment. You can't do better. Thank you, Stu!

George Cathcart, USA