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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can't begin to tell you how much Keith and I enjoyed being with you in Botswana. Your trip was as productive for me, the birdwatcher spouse, as it was for Keith, who is thrilled with his images. I saw more birds in Botswana than I ever imagined I'd see (152 species!), and I got such good looks at them, from the big Goliath Heron, Wattled Crane, and Saddle-billed Storks to the little Pearl-spotted Owlet, White-fronted Bee-eaters, and Malachite Kingfisher. Our Letaka guides, Shadreck and Nkosi, were knowledgeable and helpful - and just plain nice guys, and Shuur took us on four amazing boat rides on the Chobe River. Every aspect of the trip went smoothly. It's obvious how much behind-the-scenes work you and Justyna put into the planning. I would recommend you to anyone, and for the safari of a lifetime, I'd recommend the Best of Botswana with Stu Porter.
Sharon Kennedy, USA
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