Wild4 African Photographic Safaris

Wild4 African Photo Safaris

Specialist small group photo safaris to South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana and Namibia

BIRDS of KRUGER photo safari - October 2015

Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 3rd Nov 2015

This years Birds of Kruger Photo Safari offered us fantastic opportunities and great weather too.

A total bird count of 168 with a very impressive 153 photos (of different species)

The aim of this safari is not to tick species off, but instead the challenge is to try and get some decent photos of Kruger's birds, with the additional challenge of trying to improve upon existing shots when better opportunities present themselves.

We began the tour with a drive from Phalaborwa Gate all the way to the northern most National Park Camp, Punda Maria. We stayed for 4 nights here and visited the birding mecca of Pafuri twice. Once again this area proved to be very productive with Broad-billed Rollers, Crested Guineafowl, Crowned Hornbill, Red-headed Weavers and the Purple Crested Turaco.

Our next destination was Shingwedzi Camp where we spent 3 nights. The river drives in this area are spectacular and it proved to be very rewarding on the bird front. Here we picked up White-fronted Bee-eaters, Lilac Breasted Rollers, Saddle Billed Storks and a number of Martial Eagles. On the Cat front we saw a wonderful male Leopard.

We continued our tour south to Letaba Camp, one of the most beautiful camps in the park with magnificent camp grounds and a spectacular view over the Letaba River. Walking around the camp proved very rewarding with Organge Breasted Bushshrikes, Black Collared Barbets, Speckled Mousebirds, Ashy Flycatchers, Puffbacks, African Scops Owl and White-browed Robin-chats.

Our final desitnation on the safari was a 3 night stay at the main camp Skukuza. This camp has wonderful sycamore fig trees which were fruiting at the time of our stay. These trees are magnets for many birds and here we collected some great images of Green Pigeons, Cape White-eye, Violet Backed and Red-winged Starlings, Sunbirds and Yellow Fronted Canaries. Lake Panic Bird hide is still one of the best hides for photography in the park. The Malachite Kingfisher showed up, along with a Squacco Heron, Lesser Masked Weavers and the ever present Egyptian Geese.

All in all it was a fantastically productive trip and really enjoyable to be able to go at a very different pace to the normal bigger mammal type photo safaris (of which we still got to see and photograph anyway) We saw 6 Leopards, a Cheetah, Lions and a pack of Cape Hunting Dogs, as well as Cape Buffalo, Elephant, Giraffe, Kudu, Zebra, Wildebeest and the rarely seen Sharpe's Grysbok.

Thanks very much to Sharron, Mark, Marco snr & jnr and Mathilde for coming on the safari, it was a great pleasure to have had you on the safari.

Thank you also to Stefan, it was a priveledge to guide with you in the Kruger, a true haven for wildlife and a fantastic place to photograph birds !

Here are a few photos taken by Stefan and myself - enjoy !!!

Warmest regards

Stu

Arrow Marked Babbler
Arrow Marked Babbler
Arrow Marked Babbler
Arrow Marked Babbler
Black-collared barbet
Black-collared barbet
Black-collared barbet
Black-collared barbet
Crested Barbet
Crested Barbet
White-fronted Bee-eaters
White-fronted Bee-eaters
White-fronted Bee-eater
White-fronted Bee-eater
Little Bee-eater
Little Bee-eater
Sombre Bulbul
Sombre Bulbul
Dark-capped Bulbul
Dark-capped Bulbul
Klaas's Cuckoo
Klaas's Cuckoo
Red-chested Cuckoo
Red-chested Cuckoo
Diederik's Cuckoo
Diederik's Cuckoo
Cape Turtle Dove
Cape Turtle Dove
Mourning Collared Dove
Mourning Collared Dove
Red-eyed Dove
Red-eyed Dove
Laughing Doves
Laughing Doves
African Green-Pigeon
African Green-Pigeon
Speckled Pigeon
Speckled Pigeon
African Goshawk
African Goshawk
Pale Chanting Goshawk
Pale Chanting Goshawk
Martial Eagle
Martial Eagle
African Fish Eagle
African Fish Eagle
Tawny Eagle
Tawny Eagle
Wahlberg's Eagle
Wahlberg's Eagle
Pale Chanting Goshawk
Pale Chanting Goshawk
African Hawk Eagle
African Hawk Eagle
Bateleur Eagle adults and juvenile
Bateleur Eagle adults and juvenile
Western Osprey
Western Osprey
Yellow-billed Kite
Yellow-billed Kite
Martial Eagle being mobbed by a Fork-tailed Drongo
Martial Eagle being mobbed by a Fork-tailed Drongo
White-headed Vulture
White-headed Vulture
White-backed Vulture
White-backed Vulture
African Paradise Flycatcher
African Paradise Flycatcher
Ashy Flycatcher
Ashy Flycatcher
Greater Honeyguide
Greater Honeyguide
Swainson's Spurfowl
Swainson's Spurfowl
Natal Spurfowl
Natal Spurfowl
Crested Guineafowl
Crested Guineafowl
Helmeted Guineafowl
Helmeted Guineafowl
African Hoopoe
African Hoopoe
Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill
Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill
Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill
Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill
Southern Red-billed Hornbill
Southern Red-billed Hornbill
Trumpeter Hornbill
Trumpeter Hornbill
Southern Ground-Hornbill
Southern Ground-Hornbill
Crowned Hornbill
Crowned Hornbill
African Grey Hornbill
African Grey Hornbill
Male Brown-hooded Kingfisher
Male Brown-hooded Kingfisher
Pied Kingfishers
Pied Kingfishers
Malachite Kingfisher
Malachite Kingfisher
Female Giant Kingfisher
Female Giant Kingfisher
Grey Go-away Bird
Grey Go-away Bird
Purple-crested Turaco
Purple-crested Turaco
Black-headed Oriole
Black-headed Oriole
Verreaux's Eagle Owl
Verreaux's Eagle Owl
African Barred Owlet
African Barred Owlet
African Scops Owl in Letaba Camp
African Scops Owl in Letaba Camp
Yellow-billed Oxpecker
Yellow-billed Oxpecker
Red-billed Oxpeckers
Red-billed Oxpeckers
Brown Headed Parrot
Brown Headed Parrot
Brown Headed Parrot
Brown Headed Parrot
White-browed Robin-Chat
White-browed Robin-Chat
White-browed Scrub Robin
White-browed Scrub Robin
Male Mocking Cliff Chat
Male Mocking Cliff Chat
Lilac-breasted Roller
Lilac-breasted Roller
Broad-billed Roller
Broad-billed Roller
Female Chinspot Batis on nest at Shingwedzi Camp
Female Chinspot Batis on nest at Shingwedzi Camp
Female Chinspot Batis
Female Chinspot Batis
Male Black-backed Puffback
Male Black-backed Puffback
Female Black-backed Puffback
Female Black-backed Puffback
Grey-headed Bushshrike
Grey-headed Bushshrike
Orange-breasted Bushshrike
Orange-breasted Bushshrike
Orange-breasted Bushshrike
Orange-breasted Bushshrike
Burchell's Coucal
Burchell's Coucal
Magpie Shrike
Magpie Shrike
White-crested Helmet-Shrike
White-crested Helmet-Shrike
Common Waxbill
Common Waxbill
Blue Waxbill
Blue Waxbill
Green-winged Pytilia
Green-winged Pytilia
Cape White-eye
Cape White-eye
Southern Black Tit
Southern Black Tit
Golden-breasted Bunting
Golden-breasted Bunting
Sabota Lark
Sabota Lark
Southern Grey-headed Sparrow
Southern Grey-headed Sparrow
House Sparrow
House Sparrow
Yellow-breasted Apalis
Yellow-breasted Apalis
Yellow-fronted Canary
Yellow-fronted Canary
Speckled Mousebird
Speckled Mousebird
Violet-backed Starling
Violet-backed Starling
Female Red-winged Starling
Female Red-winged Starling
Male Red-winged Starling
Male Red-winged Starling
Greater Blue-eared Starling
Greater Blue-eared Starling
Marico Sunbird
Marico Sunbird
Collared Sunbird
Collared Sunbird
White-bellied Sunbird
White-bellied Sunbird
Lesser Striped Swallow
Lesser Striped Swallow
Little Swift
Little Swift
Groundscraper Thrush
Groundscraper Thrush
Kurrichane Thrush
Kurrichane Thrush
Female Saddle-billed Stork
Female Saddle-billed Stork
Male Saddle-billed Stork
Male Saddle-billed Stork
Wooly-necked Storks
Wooly-necked Storks
African Openbill
African Openbill
White-crowned Lapwing
White-crowned Lapwing
Blacksmith Lapwing
Blacksmith Lapwing
Three-banded Plover
Three-banded Plover
Common Greenshank
Common Greenshank
Wood Sandpiper
Wood Sandpiper
Juvenile African Jacana
Juvenile African Jacana
African Jacana
African Jacana
Striated Heron
Striated Heron
Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron
Goliath Heron
Goliath Heron
Western Great Egret
Western Great Egret
Little Egret
Little Egret
Goliath Heron with Catfish at Mazithi Dam
Goliath Heron with Catfish at Mazithi Dam
Grey Heron
Grey Heron
Hadeda Ibis
Hadeda Ibis
Pied Wagtail
Pied Wagtail
Egyptian Goose
Egyptian Goose
Spur-winged Goose
Spur-winged Goose
Southern Masked Weaver
Southern Masked Weaver
Male Red-headed Weaver
Male Red-headed Weaver
Female Red-headed Weaver
Female Red-headed Weaver
Lesser Masked Weaver
Lesser Masked Weaver
Red-billed Buffalo Weaver
Red-billed Buffalo Weaver
Bennet's Woodpecker
Bennet's Woodpecker
The Common Myna is an alien species
The Common Myna is an alien species
Rattling Cisticola
Rattling Cisticola
Female Southern Boubou
Female Southern Boubou
Pied Crow
Pied Crow
Epauletted Fruit Bat in Lower Sabi Camp
Epauletted Fruit Bat in Lower Sabi Camp
Elephant
Elephant
Plains Zebra
Plains Zebra
Vervet Monkey
Vervet Monkey
A Lioness near Mopani Camp
A Lioness near Mopani Camp
Young male Waterbuck play fighting
Young male Waterbuck play fighting
Female Bushbuck eating water lillies
Female Bushbuck eating water lillies
Plains Zebra
Plains Zebra
Blue headed Tree Agama in Lower Sabie Camp
Blue headed Tree Agama in Lower Sabie Camp
Male Lion yawning
Male Lion yawning
Nile Monitor Lizard
Nile Monitor Lizard
Starling dive bombing a monitor lizard
Starling dive bombing a monitor lizard
Terrapins resting on the back of a Hippo at Watergat
Terrapins resting on the back of a Hippo at Watergat
Klipspringer in Southern Kruger
Klipspringer in Southern Kruger
Big Tusker in the Shingwedzi River
Big Tusker in the Shingwedzi River
Chacma baboon having a nap
Chacma baboon having a nap
Waterbuck in the Shingwedzi River
Waterbuck in the Shingwedzi River
Female Leopard near Pafuri in far northern Kruger
Female Leopard near Pafuri in far northern Kruger
Male Leopard in the Shingwedzi River
Male Leopard in the Shingwedzi River
Leopard in tree near Tshokwane picnic site
Leopard in tree near Tshokwane picnic site
The final Leopard we saw, a female near Lower Sabie
The final Leopard we saw, a female near Lower Sabie
Greater Kudu Bull in Northern Kruger
Greater Kudu Bull in Northern Kruger
Crocodile with remains of an Nyala
Crocodile with remains of an Nyala
Chacma baboon and baby
Chacma baboon and baby
Big Tusker in Northern Kruger
Big Tusker in Northern Kruger
Two rarely seen Sharpe's Grysbok
Two rarely seen Sharpe's Grysbok
Tree Squirrel
Tree Squirrel
Male Giraffe
Male Giraffe
Elephants in the Shingwedzi River
Elephants in the Shingwedzi River
Herd of Elephants crossing the Letaba River
Herd of Elephants crossing the Letaba River
Lioness on Lubyelubye Rocks near Lower Sabie
Lioness on Lubyelubye Rocks near Lower Sabie
Cape Hunting Dog near Skukuza
Cape Hunting Dog near Skukuza

Back to Trip Reports

2 Comments

  • Superbes, étonnantes, magnifiques photos !
    Amazing, wonderful pictures !

    Michèle Bressol - November 12th, 2015 at 3:28pm

  • A dizzying array of birds, Stu! Pretty amazing.

    Ed Lusby - June 13th, 2016 at 5:36pm

Leave a Comment

Testimonials We recently travelled to South Africa for a safari led by Wild 4 African Photographic Safaris. To put things simply, we were completely blown away. I had been on safari before, and had expectations that I thought were reasonable, but Wild 4 completely exceeded those expectations in so many ways. First of all, Justyna handled all of our travel and trip details with exceptional professionalism and always responded to even our most basic questions quickly and in a very detailed manner. Once we had arrived in South Africa, we were met by our guide Stu Porter, who I cannot say enough good things about. He is so organised and cordial. Stu was spotting things that we couldn’t believe that he was spotting, which almost always led to an amazing wildlife experience that we never saw coming. His knowledge and understanding of the wildlife and ecosystem was outstanding, and he went to great lengths to insure that we had the best chance of capturing a great photo, without compromising the rules of the park or the integrity of the animals and ecology within it. His understanding and respect for the wildlife and surroundings made the trip so much more than just a “drive around and look at whatever we see” kind of experience. I know that you can never predict what kind of experience you will have when you go out into the wild, and often it’s up to nature to decide what events you will be a part of, but in all honesty, I can’t imagine a better guide than Stu Porter. We will be doing our future trips to Africa with Wild 4, and cannot recommend them highly enough. Thank you so much for what a lot of people call “the trip of a lifetime”, although we feel that this is only the beginning of many trips of a lifetime. Thank you, Wild 4!!

James Smith, 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