BIRDS of KRUGER photo safari - October 2016
Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 4th Nov 2016
Kruger this year has been feeling the effects of quite a severe drought and the park was looking very dry. There was very little grass cover evident throughout the park and of course there was a shortage of water. The Hippo population has been particuarly badly hit and we saw many Hippo carcasses on our journey from the North of the park to the South. However despite the drough the bird encounters remained very good with a total of 185 species seen and photographed.
Northern Kruger again provided some special sightings and we got to see and photograph the Meve's Starling, Trumpeter Hornbill at a nest site and the unusual looking Crested Guineafowl, only found in Northern Kruger.
A few of our other bird highlights were watching a fight between an African Hoopoe and a Greater Blue - eared Starling, two Crowned Hornbills each eating a large locust, a tiny Pygmy Kingfisher, an African Finfoot, the Grey Backed Cameroptera and a Red Headed Weaver at its nest.
Of course we also bumped into a number of great mammal sightings which included a pack of Endangered African Wilddogs, Lions, Leopards, Cheetahs, a few of Kruger's Big Tusker elephants, White Rhino, Giraffe, Zebra, Kudu, Waterbuck and a number of sightings of the rarely seen Sharpe's Grysbok.
Many thanks to Brian and Marian for joining us on this "Birds of Kruger" photo safari, it was great to travel with you and officially set a new "Birds of Kruger" photo record !
Here are some of the images from the safari.
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We couldn’t have enjoyed our trip with Wild 4 more. We were made to feel extremely welcome right from our very first e-mail contact, something which continued throughout our trip and beyond. We’d like to thank Stu, Justyna, Ann, & John for being such wonderful and enthusiastic hosts. Being looked after by such a friendly and caring family was a delight and we were very reluctant to leave after two weeks. Stu is a very knowledgeable, hard-working and helpful guide, always on hand with useful pointers and offering us plenty of encouragement to experiment with our photography. Having a whole row each of a specially adapted safari vehicle was a real find, ensuring we didn’t miss out on any of the action. Being able to stay out in the bush all day was also a real bonus. While many other vehicles drove off after only a few minutes, we were able to spend hours observing groups of lions and other wildlife. As this was our first African safari, Stu suggested we spend the first few nights at the Big Cats reserve and this proved to be a magical experience, with some great close-up action that resulted in some beautiful shots. It is a great place to hone your existing skills & learn some new ones. Given the opportunity we would go again tomorrow without any hesitation. Simply perfect!
Arnoud & Lynsey Van Foreest, NETHERLANDS
Hi Justyna and Stu, having just returned from a Wild4 Photographic Safari in Kruger Park for 10 days, I would just have to say it was perfect for me and my brother-in-law. Kosie our guide was great. We were unable to stump him on any animal, bird or plant. His ability to spot wildlife and birds and his instincts and knowledge seem hard to surpass. The sightings were far beyond any expectations. John and Ann were a bonus, preparing meals and driving in a separate vehicle and communicating with Kosie via CB when they spotted something interesting. They were like family. Kosie would position us for great photographs and make any requested adjustments, and had great instincts about animal behavior and what they would do next. Can’t say enough good thing about Wild4. Well organized. Thanks for a great experience!
Michael Showalter, USA