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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I found Wild4 through an article in Popular Photography magazine about how to choose a photo safari. They were one of five recommended in the article. After checking them all out, I saw that Stu and Wild4 offered the kind of experience that I wanted: 1) Small groups of dedicated photographers 2) Variety in wildlife viewing 3) Tuition on photography and wildlife behavior 4) Good communication and organisation. I can say that Wild4 met and exceeded all expectations on all points (and then some). 1) We used one vehicle for three photographers. Stu is a trained photographer himself, so his goal was always to get us into the best position with the best light. Having only three on the tour meant plenty of room for equipment and the ability to shoot from either side of the vehicle when surrounded by a herd of elephants! It also gave us the flexibility to be patient and wait for the shot. 2) The three places we visited each provided a unique experience and wonderful variety in scenery and wildlife viewing. 3) Stu's tuition was excellent. It was there if we needed it but never pushed. Tips, reminders, anecdotes on wildlife behavior. All given with patience and good humor. 4) From the first email, the communication was timely & clear. Justyna was a joy to work with and handled the back-office part of the tour seamlessly. It can't be as easy as she makes it seem. Wild4 didn't provide the wildlife or the spectacular sunsets that we experienced, but they put us in position to enjoy and capture a little piece of it in our cameras and in our memories. Our Safari was amazing and I would not have changed a thing...well, maybe I would have eaten a little less. If you're looking for a Photo Safari, there is nothing to consider. Just go ahead and contact Wild4 Photographic Safaris. You will not be sorry.
Doug Croft, USA
I would like to express my thanks to you for your excellent tuition on my recent photographic safari. During the course of a few days, you lifted my photographic skills to greater heights by introducing me to additional techniques and making me work with my camera to achieve extremely pleasing results. I must also compliment you on the organisation of the trip, the logistics were seamless, the food and staff excellent and without exception, every game drive provided great animal encounters, allowing us to put into practice our new found skills. Once again, many, many thanks for a wonderful trip. Sincerely,
Neil Stewart, UK