FOCUS on the Kruger photo trip report August 2017
Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 20th Sep 2017
FOCUS ON KRUGER August 2017
This FOCUS on KRUGER photo safari produced some really special sightings and photographic opportunities.
The highlight during our stay at our first camp, Skukuza, was spending time with 4 Lion cubs. Their mother was probably out hunting, but the cubs were quite active playing around on the Granite Boulders of the Kopjie where their mother had left them.
We went back to see the cubs the next morning and heard a soft contact call from a Lioness. The Lioness walked straight past us and joined her cubs who had been hiding in the Granite outcrops.
Other highlights from the trip were photographing a spectacular Martial Eagle finishing off the remains of a small rock monitor that it had caught earlier, good Elephant, Buffalo, Hippo & Crocodiles along the beautiful Timbavati River, a Leopard with a cub feeding on an Impala kill, a brief sighting of one of only 13 rare "White" Lions living in the wild, near Satara in Central Kruger, an excellent variety of birds, a Sand snake, beautiful sunsets, Giraffe, Vervet monkeys, Greater Kudu, Steenbok and a spectacular full moon !
Thanks so much to our guests, Ulhas, his daughter Komal and their friend Sam for joining us on this Kruger Photo adventure.
I also wanted to thank my lovely wife, Sandrine for coming along on this safari and looking after the catering. She not only likes to socialize, but having her extra pair of well trained eyes are a real bonus on the safari vehicle!
Please enjoy some photos from the trip !
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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
My wife Joanie and I joined Wild4 for the Best of Kruger and Big Cats in August of 2014. It was our very first trip on an African safari. I’m a serious amateur photographer and my wife’s a non-photographer but both of us enjoyed the trip thoroughly ! To this day, we still regularly recall the highlights of sightings and events fondly. True to Wild4’s brand promise, Stu Porter delivers maximum photographic times spent chasing photo opportunities out in the field - out 6am as soon as the camp gate opens and back only 6pm when the gate closes. Having no more than three photographers on each of two jeeps allows every photographer immediate access to both sides of the vehicle. Stu always knows where to position the vehicle for the best vantage points. Every day has its highs – big cat chases and kills, grazers sparring, herds of elephants and buffaloes appearing from nowhere at water holes... Thanks to Stu and the enthusiasm and knowledge of experienced senior guide Mike Lentz. Camps in Kruger are basic (by first world standards) but hey this is a safari ! There’s the important benefit of being only a short drive away from dams, good spots to catch the first light when the sun rises. This is important as the gates do not open till 6am so there’s little margin for being late. I had the opportunity to experience first-hand, the Wild4 team’s dedication and commitment to a successful photo trip for guests, beyond the call of duty. The Wild4 team helped solved a major photographic equipment problem. Early afternoon on Day 5, the lens AF motor on my 400mm telephoto lens failed. This was really a disaster on a trip like this, as (like everyone else) I had a spare camera body but not a spare super telephoto lens ! The other lens I had was a medium telephoto zoom, hardly a lens to use with tele-converters. Murphy’s Law indeed ! This happened with seven more days to go ! I enquired with Stu about hiring a lens from the nearby towns. Stu sprang into action immediately whilst still on the afternoon game drive - got his back-office team to make enquiries back in Nelspruit town. This was something new to the Wild4 team as they never had to hire a lens but they found a lens on the same day, a 200-400mm that’s also ideal for safari. The lens had to be dispatched from almost 200 km away and Mr John Porter helped to drive south to collect the lens sooner. I had the use of this lens by the morning of Day 7, with one-and-half day “downtime” in a remote location. Service excellence lived by as a core value indeed. After eight nights I left Kruger National Park with the feeling that I was just warming up and was leaving too soon. I would have gladly extended a few more days if that was possible. But we were bound for the next destination. I notice Wild4 has not been static. More new trips were added. I see the enterprise is growing fast ! Joanie and I are now looking forward to a trip to Kenya, again with Stu and the Wild4 team.
Steve Seow, Singapore