CUSTOM Photo Safari - MALA MALA & Kruger Park, South Africa - September 2015
Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 15th Sep 2015
Here are a few photos from a recent custom photographic safari to Mala Mala and Kruger National Park in South Africa.
The weather was rather unusual for this time of year and we had to deal with a number of rainy days. This was magic for the bush and the wildlife, but not too much fun with camera equipment !!
Some highlights were seeing a very newly born baby Elephant with its herd in the Sand River at Mala Mala. Such a tiny version of the adult, but new borns can still weigh in at close to 100 kgs !!
We followed a very hungry looking Airstrip Male Leopard who eventually lay down and observed a distant herd of Impalas.
The daughter of the Kikelezi female Leopard tried to stak in on two Klipspringers who spotted her and let out their very unusual whistle like alarm call.
We spent quite a lot of time with the two “Clarendon” Male Lions, both were resting in the cool wet weather. One morning we found one of the males on a Wildebeest Kill with a young Lioness watching at a safe distance.
The “Treehouse” Male Leopard was spotted close to the West Street Bridge, he had an Impala kill in a tree.
The Marthly pride were spead out in the Sand River in front of Main Camp. We photographed two of the females in the early evening as they rested in the river bed.
We headed to the southern parts of the reserve and on our way we found an unknown female Leopard stalking some Impala. A Kudu spotted her and sounded its characteristic “Bark” alarm call which ended her hunt.
We then watched the Charleston Lioness and her two small cubs cross the Sand River to the South.
Our final day provided some good photos of a herd of elephants walking in single file towards us, and we also spent some time with a Lioness who had a young male with her.
We entered Kruger National Park through Paul Kruger Gate and headed first to Satara Camp in central Kruger. On one of our drives we found the remains of an Elephant Carcass that was smothered in Vultures. All species were in attendance except for the White Headed Vulture.
Kruger provided a lot of general game sightings, Giraffe, Zebra, Impala, Waterbuck and a lot of Kudu. We also briefly saw a Leopard and a special sighting for me was to see a Red Crested Korhaan in display, this was the frst time I had seen the famous “RED CREST” !!
Thank you to Jonno, our ranger at Mala Mala and the staff who took such great care of us.
Thanks also to David and Bridget for coming on yet another photo safari with us !
Enjoy some of the photos:
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We were very lucky to have found the Wild 4 Team when we were able to take a short photographic safari as part of a business trip to Cape Town. So when we could plan a photography trip overseas, naturally we contacted Stu and Justyna. We brought along a good friend who wanted to do her first photo safari. To say the three of us had a blast would be to underestimate the experience. I wonder how many other photographers have been a few feet from a cheetah taking down an impala only to share the kill with a caracal. Other highlights included a rare king cheetah, mating leopards, a den of wild dogs with their pups, photographing and touching a boomslang, green mamba and black mamba, and being surrounded by a herd of elephants. But perhaps the best part of all was being back with friends whom we know and trust. We know a good thing when we experience it. When we are ready for our next African adventure, you can bet we will contact the Wild 4 Team.
Michael & Toni Anderson, USA
I recently did a trip with Wild4 which far outweighed any expectations that I had! Wow what a trip. There was a great variety of animals, Stu has extensive knowledge of the animals and their habitat and was always mindful of us getting the best shots possible. My friend and I had our own bench seats in all the vehicles, which was great as we both had 2 DSLRs with numerous lenses, each vehicle is equipped with beanbags to steady your camera / lens, pockets and enough room to take a camera bag. We had fantastic opportunities to watch the cats for a good period of time and learn a little bit about their life, rather than taking a photo and moving on. I loved that we could sit and watch the lions at Mala Mala play in the Sand River, it was a fantastic opportunity. Stu provided us with some great tuition, I certainly learnt a lot of new photo techniques which I look forward to using back home. I hired a Canon 500mm lens from Stu which was great, I think I used that about 85% of the time and used a 70-200mm for the rest. We had many opportunities for night photography, silhouettes, time lapse, low light etc At the end of our trip we did the reptile extension at Khamai Reptile Centre. We went behind the scenes at the centre and had one of Africa's leading reptile specialist spend the day talking about the reptiles, spiders, scorpions we were about to take pictures of. Donald and his team certainly made for a very safe photo shoot, they were extremely patient positioning some of the reptiles for better light or different background. I learnt a lot from Donald, living in Australia we do have some venomous snakes, the day certainly gave me a renewed appreciation for the reptiles. I would highly recommend the Wild4 team for your next photographic safari you will not be disappointed.
Linda Cappello, AUSTRALIA