WILD 4 PHOTO Pty Ltd

Wild4 African Photo Safaris

Specialist small group photo safaris to South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana and Namibia

CUSTOM Photo Safari - NGALA & MALA MALA, South Africa - July 2015

Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 29th Jul 2015

We have just completed a 6 night custom photographic safari which included 3 nights at Ngala Private Game Reserve followed by another 3 nights at Mala Mala Private Game Reserve.

This was the first ever WILD4 Photo Safari to experience two Wilddog den sites on the same safari. In the Kruger area these dogs number just over 200 individuals making them a highly endangered carnivore. Just to catch a fleeting glimpse of one in the wild is a fantastic priveledge. On this safari we were extremely fortunate to be able to spend time at the den site at Ngala where the Alpha female had given birth to 17 puppies !!! this is an incredible feat and we really hope that they all make it to adulthood.

The second den site at Mala Mala was a real bonus to see. At this den site two female dogs have given birth to puppies. The first set having a couple of weeks head start on the second set. Seeing two sizes of puppies at a wilddog den site is extremely rare. In other instances the Alpha female has been recording killing any other puppies that are not her own.

So it was a Wilddog extravaganza - not only did we see a total of 31 wilddogs at Ngala and 25 at Mala (TOTAL of 56 !!), we also caught the "Half Tail" pack as they are known, hunting along the banks of the Sand River at Mala Mala. The Alpha male chased a fully grown female Kudu right past our vehicle, but the rest of the pack was not there to back him up. They continued  their hunt passing the swimming pool at Main Camp. Not much further on they caught a young Bushbuck. It was incredible to see Dogs running in all directions, not to mention the excitement of trying to keep up with them, expertly driven by our ranger, Jonno !!

Other amazing sightings on the tour were witnessing the Skorro pride and the Phelwane Male Lions at Ngala, resting with huge bellies after their latest feast. At night we experieinced how loud a Lions roar really is, we were 10m from one of the Phelwane males when he decided to turn up the volume to the max ! We arrived at a Buffalo carcass that was being dismantled by a group of over 13 Spotted Hyaenas. A Lioness was found at an Elephant carcass in the southern parts of Ngala and that story began to unfold just as we departed for our next destination, Mala Mala.

A huge thank you to Scott our Ngala Ranger and Ernie the expert tracker!! Thanks for all your patieince with us and getting us into some wonderful sightings. Also the the entire staff at Ngala Safari Lodge for looking after us so well.. Moses our butler was always on hand to take excellent care of us, THANK YOU !!

Next stop was Mala Mala, which at this time of year is one of the only areas with fresh flowing water - the Sand River. This river is a magnet for all the wildlife in the area and of course the predators are never far away. Some highlights at Mala Mala were seeing the Styx Lion pride with their 3 small cubs as well as the two Clarendon Male Lions who were enjoying a Buffalo Kill. Hundreds of Elephants lined the river every day. One of the Eyrefield Lioness was mating with one of the Matshipiri Males. A female Cheetah near the airstrip, a Lilac Breasted Roller eating a scorpion and of course those magnificent spotted cats; Leopards - 7 of them in total.

Massive thanks also to Jonno, our Mala Mala ranger and all the Mala Mala camp staff for another enjoyable and very photographically productive stay.

The biggest thanks go out to Doug and Susan who came all the way from California to do this 6 night custom photo safari, it was a long way but it was certainly worth it.

Enjoy some of the photos taken over the 7 days

Best wishes

Stu

One of the Phelwane Male Lions - Ngala
One of the Phelwane Male Lions - Ngala
Wilddog puppy from the "Ngala Pack" - Ngala
Wilddog puppy from the "Ngala Pack" - Ngala
Wilddog puppy and adult - Ngala
Wilddog puppy and adult - Ngala
Wilddog puppy - Ngala
Wilddog puppy - Ngala
Wilddog puppy - Ngala
Wilddog puppy - Ngala
Wilddog puppy - Ngala
Wilddog puppy - Ngala
Adult Wilddog - Ngala
Adult Wilddog - Ngala
Wilddog puppies - Ngala
Wilddog puppies - Ngala
Wilddog puppies - Ngala
Wilddog puppies - Ngala
Wilddog puppies - Ngala
Wilddog puppies - Ngala
Wilddog puppies - Ngala
Wilddog puppies - Ngala
Wilddog puppies - Ngala
Wilddog puppies - Ngala
A puppy and adult - Ngala
A puppy and adult - Ngala
An unusual set of horns on this Cape Buffalo - Ngala
An unusual set of horns on this Cape Buffalo - Ngala
Another unusual set of horns - Ngala
Another unusual set of horns - Ngala
Phelwane Male roaring right at us - Ngala
Phelwane Male roaring right at us - Ngala
Spotted Hyaenas at the Cape Buffalo Carcass - Ngala
Spotted Hyaenas at the Cape Buffalo Carcass - Ngala
Young Giraffe - Ngala
Young Giraffe - Ngala
Male Kudu - Mala Mala
Male Kudu - Mala Mala
Elephants in the sand river - Mala Mala
Elephants in the sand river - Mala Mala
Elephants - Mala Mala
Elephants - Mala Mala
The "Treehouse" Male Leopard - Mala Mala
The "Treehouse" Male Leopard - Mala Mala
One of the Styx Lionesses with her cubs - Mala Mala
One of the Styx Lionesses with her cubs - Mala Mala
Styx Lion cubs - Mala Mala
Styx Lion cubs - Mala Mala
Styx Lion cubs - Mala Mala
Styx Lion cubs - Mala Mala
Styx Lioness - Mala Mala
Styx Lioness - Mala Mala
Clarendon Male Lion  - Mala Mala
Clarendon Male Lion - Mala Mala
One of the daughters of the Kikilezi female Leopard - Mala Mala
One of the daughters of the Kikilezi female Leopard - Mala Mala
Daughter of the Kikilezi female Leopard - Mala Mala
Daughter of the Kikilezi female Leopard - Mala Mala
Daughter of the Kikilezi female Leopard - Mala Mala
Daughter of the Kikilezi female Leopard - Mala Mala
Female Cheetah in the Sand River - Mala Mala
Female Cheetah in the Sand River - Mala Mala
Unusual Horns on this Impala Ram - Mala Mala
Unusual Horns on this Impala Ram - Mala Mala
Elephants playing in the Sand River - Mala Mala
Elephants playing in the Sand River - Mala Mala
Elephant - Mala Mala
Elephant - Mala Mala
Elephants on the banks of the Sand River - Mala Mala
Elephants on the banks of the Sand River - Mala Mala
Sunset Elephant - Mala Mala
Sunset Elephant - Mala Mala
Eyrefield Lioness mating with Matshipiri Male - Mala Mala
Eyrefield Lioness mating with Matshipiri Male - Mala Mala
Male Giraffe running away after spotting the Mating Lions - Mala Mala
Male Giraffe running away after spotting the Mating Lions - Mala Mala
Eyrefield Lioness and Matshipiri Male Lion - Mala Mala
Eyrefield Lioness and Matshipiri Male Lion - Mala Mala
Kikilezi female Leopard with one of her daughters - Mala Mala
Kikilezi female Leopard with one of her daughters - Mala Mala
Kikilezi female Leopard and one of her daughters - Mala Mala
Kikilezi female Leopard and one of her daughters - Mala Mala
Cubs of the Kikilezi female play fighting - Mala Mala
Cubs of the Kikilezi female play fighting - Mala Mala
The legendary "Airstrip" Male Leopard  - he is believed to be the father of the Kikilezi Cubs - Mala Mala
The legendary "Airstrip" Male Leopard - he is believed to be the father of the Kikilezi Cubs - Mala Mala
Zebra - Mala Mala
Zebra - Mala Mala
Rock Monitor Lizard - Mala Mala
Rock Monitor Lizard - Mala Mala
View of the Sand River from "Maxims" lookout - Mala Mala
View of the Sand River from "Maxims" lookout - Mala Mala
Kudu bull chewing on the fruit from a Sausage Tree
Kudu bull chewing on the fruit from a Sausage Tree
Lilac Breasted Roller with Scorpion - Mala Mala
Lilac Breasted Roller with Scorpion - Mala Mala
Saddle Billed Stork in the Sand River - Mala Mala
Saddle Billed Stork in the Sand River - Mala Mala
Bull Elephant - Mala Mala
Bull Elephant - Mala Mala
Herd of Nyala drinking from the Sand River - Mala Mala
Herd of Nyala drinking from the Sand River - Mala Mala
Fork Tailed Drongo - Mala Mala
Fork Tailed Drongo - Mala Mala
Cape Hunting Dog from the "Half Tail" pack - Mala Mala
Cape Hunting Dog from the "Half Tail" pack - Mala Mala
Cape Hunting Dog on top of a termite mound - Mala Mala
Cape Hunting Dog on top of a termite mound - Mala Mala
The Alpha Male running past our vehicle chasing a female Kudu - Mala Mala
The Alpha Male running past our vehicle chasing a female Kudu - Mala Mala
Cape Hunting Dog and the hooves of the Kudu - top right corner - Mala Mala
Cape Hunting Dog and the hooves of the Kudu - top right corner - Mala Mala
Cape Hunting Dogs crossing the Sand River just in front of Mala Mala Main Camp - Mala Mala
Cape Hunting Dogs crossing the Sand River just in front of Mala Mala Main Camp - Mala Mala
Two Cape Hunting Dogs pass an Elephant herd - Mala Mala
Two Cape Hunting Dogs pass an Elephant herd - Mala Mala
Cape Hunting Dog - Mala Mala
Cape Hunting Dog - Mala Mala
The Cape Hunting Dogs right after they caught the young Bushbuck - Mala Mala
The Cape Hunting Dogs right after they caught the young Bushbuck - Mala Mala
Feeding on the Bushbuck - Mala Mala
Feeding on the Bushbuck - Mala Mala
Remains of the Bushbuck - Mala Mala
Remains of the Bushbuck - Mala Mala
No sooner had they finished the Bushbuck the Cape Hunting Dogs continued the hunt in search of more prey - Mala Mala
No sooner had they finished the Bushbuck the Cape Hunting Dogs continued the hunt in search of more prey - Mala Mala
Kikilezi Female Leopard defending the Apple leaf tree where she had taken her Impala kill - Mala Mala
Kikilezi Female Leopard defending the Apple leaf tree where she had taken her Impala kill - Mala Mala
Cape Hunting Dog den site - Alpha female nursing the puppies - Mala Mala
Cape Hunting Dog den site - Alpha female nursing the puppies - Mala Mala
The two different sizes of puppies at the "Half Tail" pack's den site - Mala Mala
The two different sizes of puppies at the "Half Tail" pack's den site - Mala Mala
Female Leopard - Mala Mala
Female Leopard - Mala Mala
Daughter of the Kikilezi female Leopard - Mala Mala
Daughter of the Kikilezi female Leopard - Mala Mala
"Tree House" Male Leopard with his Impala kill - Mala Mala
"Tree House" Male Leopard with his Impala kill - Mala Mala
"Tree House" Male Leopard - Mala Mala
"Tree House" Male Leopard - Mala Mala

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5 Comments

  • Beautiful Stu!

    Dennis Donohue - July 29th, 2015 at 12:52pm

  • Fantastic photos - just stunning.

    Fiona Champion - July 30th, 2015 at 8:36am

  • a leopard bonanza-great pictures

    Martin - August 01st, 2015 at 4:58pm

  • Your images are so stunningly gorgeous.  I love how you capture the emotion of the animals.  I’ll be in Mala Mala in a few days and my level of excitement just skyrocketed.  Thanks so much for sharing these stunning photographs.

    Patricia - August 21st, 2015 at 1:36pm

  • I hate that your photos are so MUCH better than mine! :-)

    Doug Croft - August 22nd, 2015 at 5:00pm

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Testimonials Dear Justyna and Stu We had a wonderful time on the photo safari. It was a unique experience, not like anything else we’ve done even though we have travelled to many parts of the world over the last 30 years. It was a thrill to see such a variety of animals and birds and also to see many of them in such large numbers. There can’t be anything better than seeing them in the relatively relaxed setting that Kruger National Park provides. We appreciated all the effort that went into the equipment and the logistics for the photographic safari. The photo vehicle with the bean bags and panning plates was excellent for taking photographs and for enabling us to be close to the animals while staying safe. The catering was great. We enjoyed our breakfasts and lunches and coffee out on the road. We were comfortable in the accommodation at the Satara and Lower Sabie camps. As I mentioned in an email, the Meet & Greet at Johannesburg Airport was perfect after such a long journey from the USA. The flights to and from Skusuza went without a hitch. We really enjoyed meeting and getting to know Mike Lentz. Eleven days together provides a lot of time to talk. He is a great guy. We were very impressed with his knowledge of the animals, birds, and plants in Kruger National Park. His descriptions of animal behavior and other information added immensely to our enjoyment of the photo safari. We also appreciated his efforts to ensure we had a total Kruger Park experience, birds, trees, plants, landscapes as well as the animals. Looking forward to returning on another photographic safari in the future. Best regards,

Jennifer & Jerry Monopolis, USA

Testimonials Any aspiring photographer who has not yet been on a wildlife safari should join a WILD4 with Stu and Justyna Porter. You will be guided by a graduate professional photographer who is also a highly-qualified South African field guide. Stu's knowledge of photography and his understanding of African wildlife are exceptional. He is also blessed with an amazing spotter's eyesight. I often thought to myself, how on earth did he see that! As each day begins all these talents are passed on with sincerity and quiet enthusiasm to each photographer's needs. Nothing is ever too much trouble and his positioning of the vehicle for the best light and animal profile is always his first consideration. On our tour there were times for laughter and many times when action and adrenalin ran high. Any successful safari is only as good as its backup team. This family company is most ably supported by Stu's wife Justyna who is the drive behind the scenes and efficiently arranges the accommodation and all the logistics. Stu's mother, Ann Porter provides excellent food for the day in the park and around the campfire at night. Both are qualified field guides and their spotting abilities add greatly to each day's safari. This particular trip was most rewarding in both personal and photographic terms and one of the best we have ever enjoyed. Sincere thanks to you all.

Slim & Barbara Callaghan, UK