BEST of BOTSWANA photo safari TRIP REPORT - June 2019
Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 10th Jul 2019
View the VIDEO TRIP REPORT for this photo safari
The June 2019 "Best of Botswana" photo safari has just ended. The weather was just as clear as the May trip but a bit cooler in the evenings and early mornings.
We flew from Maun into the Okavango Delta and landed at Xakanaxa airstrip. Here we met our guides for the safari, Shadreck (aka Shado) and Lucas. Our private mobile camp was all set up for our late afternoon arrival and dinner was enjoyed whilst listening to the sounds of the African bush.
Some of the photo highlights in Moremi Game Reserve were a Leopard with a small cub, Cape Hunting Dogs at a den site, male Lions on a Giraffe kill, a Leopard hunting Impala, a pair of Side Striped Jackals, the endangered Wattled Cranes and other great birdlife.
Our next destination was a campsite along the river in the Khwai Concession. Here we were fortunate to see more Cape Hunting Dogs, Leopard, Lion, Sable Antelope, Giraffe, Zebra and a very special night sighting of the very rarely seen Pel's Fishing Owl (well spotted by "Eagle eyes" Amy - thanks Amy :). We also got to see two Cape Honey Badgers foraging in the daylight.
Our third location on our mobile camping part of the photo safari was in Savuti area of the Chobe National Park. Once again, Marabou Pan provided a lot of activity and here we saw lots of Elephants, Blue Wildebeest and Lions from the "Marsh Pride". We also saw more Roan Antelope, Yellow Mongoose, and all 4 species of Hornbill.
The final section began with a 40-minute flight on MacAir from Savute to Kasane. Here we spent 3 nights at the Pangolin Chobe Hotel and had exclusive use of one of their amazing photo boats. The Pangolin Photo Boat is a perfect way to explore parts of the Chobe River and this mobile "hide" allows you to get very close to both birds and mammals. Some highlights from the Chobe River were Chacma Baboons, Malachite Kingfishers, the rare Half Collared Kingfisher and a juvenile White Backed Night Heron (my first sighting of one.) Sunsets on the water were wonderful and we also had a spectacular full moon setting over the river early one morning. The top highlight was waiting for and eventually photographing a herd of around 50 elephants swimming across a wide channel to the Namibian side of the Chobe River, what a wonderful way to end a fantastic photo safari to Botswana!
MASSIVE thanks go to the Letaka Camp Staff team who ALWAYS look after us so well. Thank you to chef KK for the amazing food !!, and to Names, July and Wilfred for looking after us so well in camp.
It goes without saying that without excellent guides, we would not have been in the right places at the right time to get some excellent photos. This is all thanks to Shado and Lucas, you guys were awesome! thank you for looking after us so well and for being so patient with us.
Our Chobe River boat captain was Smart - thanks again Smart for an excellent 3 days, it's always a pleasure working with you.
Thank you to all the staff at the new Pangolin Chobe Hotel, we had another brilliant stay with you.
Thank you also to our fantastic clients, especially Don, who put in a lot of hard work to get a great group of friends together to come and enjoy the magic of Botswana, thank you Don, Bruce, Sheldon, Linda, Amy and Meg.. it was great to share some of Africa's special treats with you all.
Enjoy some photos from the trip!
View the VIDEO TRIP REPORT for this photo safari
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Kruger North to South 16 days of photo safari gone off like a wink of an eye especially when it was fun and memorable. Like an aciton-packed movie, the opening scene at the Skukuza Airport reception by Wild4 Team : Stefan and Sandrine was delightful and the afternoon game drive was filled with excitements with shots of wildlife encountered as we travelled to our first camp in Satara. The numerous sightings we experienced over the next two weeks were nothing less than thrilling and of course capturing the Big 5 was fulfilling. The teamwork of Stefan and Sandrine was excellent giving the traveling photographers absolutely nothing to worry except to be trigger happy. Each day I shot approximately 1,500 images as each day bought new surprises. As a photographer I used the Sony A9 with the 2x teleconverter on the 100-400mm G Master zoom for distant & fast-moving subjects like eagles' flights, lions, leopards, rhinos and the smaller birds in flights while my Leica SL on a APO Vario Elmarit 90-280mm zoom for intermediate distance subjects like elephants, hippos, zebras, Impalas, Kudus and various animals within close quarters of the vehicle, and finally my Leica Q for the panoramic shots of landscape and daily point and shoot. A memorable trip ending with almost 4 TB of mobile hard disk storage. I will re-live my memories when I sort out the images and I look forward to my next trip with Stu on the Tanzania & Elephants of Amboseli and many other trips with Wild4.
Clifford Yap, Singapore
We were very lucky to have found the Wild 4 Team when we were able to take a short photographic safari as part of a business trip to Cape Town. So when we could plan a photography trip overseas, naturally we contacted Stu and Justyna. We brought along a good friend who wanted to do her first photo safari. To say the three of us had a blast would be to underestimate the experience. I wonder how many other photographers have been a few feet from a cheetah taking down an impala only to share the kill with a caracal. Other highlights included a rare king cheetah, mating leopards, a den of wild dogs with their pups, photographing and touching a boomslang, green mamba and black mamba, and being surrounded by a herd of elephants. But perhaps the best part of all was being back with friends whom we know and trust. We know a good thing when we experience it. When we are ready for our next African adventure, you can bet we will contact the Wild 4 Team.
Michael & Toni Anderson, USA