Etosha & Secrets of the Kalahari photo safari trip report 2 - August 2017
Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 10th Sep 2017
Here is this years second trip report from the "Etosha and Secrets of the Kalahari" photo safari.
The dry season in both Etosha and the Kalahari produced a great number of special sightings and photo opportunties, most of the animals seen and photographed on the first trip were again seen and photographed on this trip. These included: Greater Kudu, Zebra, Ostrich, Elephants, Lions, Blue Wildebeest, Giraffe, Black Backed Jackal, Spotted Hyaena and African Wilddog, these dry environments offer a fantastic collection of less commonly photographed animals. We were very fortunate to see the Damara DikDik, Black faced Impala, Gemsbok (Oryx), Red Hartebeest, Springbok, Tsessebe, Roan Antelope, Sable Antelope, Bat Eared fox, Cape Fox, Black Rhino, Meerkats, Hartman's Mountain Zebra and the endangered Pangolin.
A convenient cold front that pushed inland from the Cape brought the day time temperatures down more so than on the first trip. This helped in a big way in the Kalahari as these colder conditions brought out the Aardvark to feed during daylight hours. We were treated to 5 sightings of this unusual creature and our expert guide, Kosie, managed to walk us to the Aardvark and get some close up photos.
We visited the waterholes in Etosha and were treated to a number of sightings of large Elephant herds, Black Rhinos and Lions. There was a staggering amount of general game around which included Zebra, Blue Wildebeest, Oryx, Springbok, Impala and Giraffe. We also saw an unusual sighting of a Kori Bustard hunting Doves at Chudob waterhole in Eastern Etosha.
We had a very special arrival at Tswalu Kalahari, on our way from the airstrip to the lodge we bumped into our first Aardvark sighting - what a start ! The African Wilddog den site had moved but we still got to spend an afternoon with the dogs.
We had a good daytime sighting of the Cape Fox and spent two sessions with the Meerkats, the more habituated group allowed us to follow them as they went in search of food.
Sable, Roan, Cheetah, Red Hartebeest, Oryx and Eland also presented great photo opportunities at Tswalu.
This second trip was again a great success and we look forward to hosting more trips to these two special dry African Environments.
Thanks so much to Usko, our guide in Namibia, and the Ultimate Safaris team, it was a great pleasure working with this great guide and company again, and also thanks so much to Fireblade Aviation and the extremely helpful and friendly team at Tswalu Motse for taking amazing care of us during our 5 night stay in the Kalahari. Extra special thanks also to our great photographic guide, Kosie and tracker, David, and also to Cameron for taking us out on our last morning drive at Tswalu !
Finally thanks so much to David, Francoise, Keith and Sharon for joining us on this photo tour to Etosha and Tswalu, it was a great pleasure travelling with you all again and experiencing the magic of nature.
Enjoy some of the photos from the tour,
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We have a particular affinity for bird photography, but also enjoy the African game animals. I'm pleased to say we are all thrilled with the entire trip. Stu met us at the airport on day 1, and what was to have been a quick couple hour drive to camp, took all afternoon until sunset, we found so many things to shoot. Then we wanted to do something slightly off the itinerary on day 2, and Stu again accommodated us. It was like that throughout the entire trip, the Porter family was very accommodating. Even though we were in a big national park using public facilities, the Porter family made us feel like we were in our own private game reserve, and the animals were there just for us. Stu's local knowledge of the birds and game is just great, he's a walking guide book. And because he's in Kruger so often, he knows where the best spots are. Also he knows all the other guides, and they share information. And most importantly if you are considering a photo safari, Stu is an accomplished nature photographer himself. He knows the light and how to position and approach for the best shot. He knows what photographers want and how to get it. The experience might be quite different if just any guide were to drive you around. And having a spotting vehicle out searching for game really helped us see some extra animals we wouldn't have seen. The results were outstanding. We saw and photographed all the of the big five, and several seldom seen animals totaling 33 mammal species and 164 bird species. All in all, the trip was great!! highly recommended!
Con Foley, USA
I've recently returned from a "Wild 4 Photo Safari" and can recommend them without reservation. Their skill, professionalism and expertise is excelled only by the standard of excellence shown in every aspect of the trip. From the logistics to the accommodation, the food to the transportation, their inside knowledge of African wildlife to their passion for what they do, every aspect SUPERB!! If you are looking for the ultimate "Photo Safari", this is it! I will definitely book again!!!
Del Hunter, UK