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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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 just came back from our photo safari with Wild4 African Photographic Safaris. From our first email exchange with Justyna, to being dropped off at Hoedspruit airport, everything was handled professionally and was so well organized. Our guide for our tailor made safari was Jaco who picked us up at Nelspruit Airport. What we did not expect was we were also greeted by Stu and Justyna, together with their 2 beautiful daughters, Molly & Jenny. Stu and Justyna came just to make a point to meet us and ensured that we were in good hands. Over the next 10 days, we were enriched so much by Jaco's knowledge and experience towards wildlife. I will always remember, but could never understand, how 4 lions made a kill, a cape buffalo, but were chased away by 4 hyenas. But that was exactly what we were told by our guide even before the story was unfolding in front of our eyes. This can only interpret as excellent knowledge of animal behaviour. The sightings were superb and the accommodations were great. We have no hesitation in recommending Wild4. They are genuine, personable and will try their absolute best to make sure that your trip is going to be a memorable one. Thanks again, Wild4, for an amazing trip.
Frank & Annette, CANADA