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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Any aspiring photographer who has not yet been on a wildlife safari should join a WILD4 with Stu and Justyna Porter. You will be guided by a graduate professional photographer who is also a highly-qualified South African field guide. Stu's knowledge of photography and his understanding of African wildlife are exceptional. He is also blessed with an amazing spotter's eyesight. I often thought to myself, how on earth did he see that! As each day begins all these talents are passed on with sincerity and quiet enthusiasm to each photographer's needs. Nothing is ever too much trouble and his positioning of the vehicle for the best light and animal profile is always his first consideration. On our tour there were times for laughter and many times when action and adrenalin ran high. Any successful safari is only as good as its backup team. This family company is most ably supported by Stu's wife Justyna who is the drive behind the scenes and efficiently arranges the accommodation and all the logistics. Stu's mother, Ann Porter provides excellent food for the day in the park and around the campfire at night. Both are qualified field guides and their spotting abilities add greatly to each day's safari. This particular trip was most rewarding in both personal and photographic terms and one of the best we have ever enjoyed. Sincere thanks to you all.
Slim & Barbara Callaghan, UK
I am a Molecular Biologist by profession and a serious amateur nature photographer and have been on a number of organized trips over the last 10 years with the dual aims of enjoying nature and getting the best images possible. The organization of a two week trip with Wild 4 Photographic Safaris through Kruger National Park I shared with two other photographers and it was as good as I have ever experienced. The Porter family was friendly, knowledgeable and intuitively supportive. Stu really knows his subjects and spared no effort in getting the photographers into the best situation. He has a very pleasant, calm personality and is an accomplished nature photographer and naturalist which means he knows where the light or action is best and often what is about to happen. His vehicle is also well set-up for discriminating photographers. Justyna was just brilliant in getting things organized in the background. Having our own scout vehicle to report activity in the area while we pursued other subjects, worked well, and on a number of occasions provided photo opportunities we would have missed otherwise. In summary; rating out of 10…….no doubt a 10.
Graeme Guy, NEW ZEALAND