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 just got back from our first trip to Kenya, our third trip with the Wild 4 Team. We would not consider doing an African photo safari with anyone else. As usual, Justyna did a great job with the bookings and paperwork. Stu and our drivers (James, Julius and Mamai) did a fantastic job on game sightings and positioning our trucks for the best possible photo opportunities. Members of our safari got to see and photograph animals from Aardwolf to Zebra. It was truly a trip of a lifetime. Time to start planning our 4th safari with the the Wild 4 Team!
Michael & Toni Anderson, USA
I did a photo safari in and around Kruger National Park with Wild4. At the end of the trip I could not think of one significant thing that I would have changed to make the experience better. I have travelled to various parts of East and Southern Africa many times to photograph wildlife and I have to say that this was THE most photographically productive trip of them all. Not simply the volume of pictures, but the quality and variety of images that I returned home with was simply awesome. Key to this was Stu’s knowledge, enthusiasm and patience. Most days we were photographing from first light until sunset, and beyond on some occasions. I quickly learned not to worry about getting the vehicle into the best position for background, light, etc. We would see an animal and I'd start to assess where I would like to be for a shot, no sooner would I have done this I would realise that Stu was already getting us into that very position. The man is a first class guide AND an excellent photographer. Perfect. The whole trip, from start to finish, ran like clockwork. The camps were comfortable, the food was great and the company delightful. Going on Safari with Stu and Justyna was like being with friends, I had a truly unforgettable time. Photographic safaris do not come any better than this.
Mike Needham, UK