Wild4 African Photographic Safaris

Wild4 African Photographic Safaris

Authentic small group photo tours to South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana and Namibia

LIONS and LEOPARDS of KRUGER photo safari trip report - Aug / Sept 2018

Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 23rd Sep 2018

Here is the trip report from our second Lions & Leopards of Kruger Photo Safari of 2018.

Our stay at Jock Safari Lodge was very productive and we started with spending a full afternoon with the Lions of the Jock Pride complete with the two Thompson Male Lions. They had just finished an Impala and we caught one Lioness drinking from a pool in the Biyamiti River. The rest of the Lions moved off towards the main road and we followed the two Males as they scent marked on their way. We also had a great sighting of the same male Leopard we saw on our first trip in July. Other highlights were a massive herd of African Buffalo, a Verreaux's Eagle Owl, Chacma Baboon, White Rhino, Elephant and Waterbuck.

After 3 great nights at Jock Safari Lodge, we headed towards Satara Camp, located in central Kruger. On our way we stopped in at Nkaya Pan where we were treated to a special sighting of a resident female Leopard who came to drink. On our first morning we came across a dead Rhino at Welverdiend Waterhole on the Sweni road. There was a large pride of Lions (around 20) feeding on the carcass and after taking a few photos we continued to Shimangwaneni Dam where we photographed Giraffe, Zebra, Kudu, Elephant, Warthog and Waterbuck coming down to drink. Our second full day was spent on the S100 road near Satara where we found a small pride of Lions who tried in vain to catch Impala and Wildebeest. Other highlights were Impala, Zebra, a great Tawny Eagle and an African Wildcat in Satara Camp trying to catch little Swifts near the bungalows at Circle A.

Our final three nights in the Kruger National Park were spent at Lower Sabie Camp and in particular at Sunset Dam which is always a great place to photograph. Here we photographed Yellow Billed Storks, Egyptian Geese, Hippos, Great Egrets, Crocodiles and a Giant Kingfisher with a giant fish (too big in fact). We also found a female Leopard with a disfigured nose, an old injury perhaps from an encounter with a Crocodile ? She tried to hunt Impala but was unsuccessful and was last seen heading towards Orpen Dam. We spent some time at a very muddy Slim's Waterhole and also with a troop of Baboons on the main road North of Lower Sabie, they offered some great black & white photo opportunities.

Our final three nights were spent at Mala Mala and we started off with a great sighting of a pair of Saddle Billed Storks followed by a night photo session with the Kambula Lionesses who crossed the Sand River. On our first full morning we had an unbelievabe sighting of the Lookoout female Leopard bringing down a sub adult male Nyala. After this we spent time with the Three Rivers Female Leopard that was right outside Rattrays Camp. In the afternoon we followed up on the Lookout Female with cub and kill, only to watch as some Hyaena stole her kill from her. We did get to photograph her in a tree though at sunset. The following morning was another Leopard treat, we spent time with the Sibuye Female and her two cubs at the site of a Duiker kill. We also got to see the Piccadilli female and cub as well as the beautiful Island female making our total Leopard count at Mala Mala, an amazing 9 in three days !!

Many thanks to all the lodge staff that looked after us at each location and also to our guides and rangers, Jacob at Jock Safari Lodge and Liam at Mala Mala, thank you all for your hard work and patience and for getting us into sightings and spending quality photographic time with the animals. A massive thanks also to the Wild4 backup team (mum & dad !! ) who looked after us so well in the Kruger National Park.

Finally, thank you to the participants, Barbara, Mark and Allen, it was a pleasure to host you all and we really appreciate the long distances you travelled to join us on this Lions & Leopards of Kruger photo safari.

Please enjoy some of the photos below.

Best wishes

Stu

Lioness from the Jock Pride drinking water, Jock Safari Lodge, Kruger National Park
Lioness from the Jock Pride drinking water, Jock Safari Lodge, Kruger National Park
Lioness, Jock Safari Lodge, Kruger National Park
Lioness, Jock Safari Lodge, Kruger National Park
Lioness, Jock Safari Lodge, Kruger National Park
Lioness, Jock Safari Lodge, Kruger National Park
One of the Thompson Male Lions, Jock Safari Lodge, Kruger National Park
One of the Thompson Male Lions, Jock Safari Lodge, Kruger National Park
The second Thompson Male Lion, Jock Safari Lodge, Kruger National Park
The second Thompson Male Lion, Jock Safari Lodge, Kruger National Park
An elephant advances towards two Lionesses, Jock Safari Lodge, Kruger National Park
An elephant advances towards two Lionesses, Jock Safari Lodge, Kruger National Park
Younger Lioness with cubs, Jock Safari Lodge, Kruger National Park
Younger Lioness with cubs, Jock Safari Lodge, Kruger National Park
The two Thompson Boys, Jock Safari Lodge, Kruger National Park
The two Thompson Boys, Jock Safari Lodge, Kruger National Park
The Muhlambamadvube male Leopard, Jock Safari Lodge, Kruger National Park
The Muhlambamadvube male Leopard, Jock Safari Lodge, Kruger National Park
Chacma Baboon, Jock Safari Lodge, Kruger National Park
Chacma Baboon, Jock Safari Lodge, Kruger National Park
Verreaux's Eagle Owl, Jock Safari Lodge, Kruger National Park
Verreaux's Eagle Owl, Jock Safari Lodge, Kruger National Park
Sunrise in the Kruger, panorama
Sunrise in the Kruger, panorama
Spotted Hyaena, Jock Safari Lodge, Kruger National Park
Spotted Hyaena, Jock Safari Lodge, Kruger National Park
White Rhino, Kruger
White Rhino, Kruger
Egyptian Geese, Mpondo Dam, Kruger
Egyptian Geese, Mpondo Dam, Kruger
African Buffalo, one with an unusual horn, Jock Safari Lodge, Kruger National Park
African Buffalo, one with an unusual horn, Jock Safari Lodge, Kruger National Park
Male Waterbuck, Transport Dam, Kruger Park
Male Waterbuck, Transport Dam, Kruger Park
Southern Giraffe, Kruger National Park
Southern Giraffe, Kruger National Park
Male Nyala, Kruger National Park
Male Nyala, Kruger National Park
Purple Roller, Kruger National Park
Purple Roller, Kruger National Park
Male Greater Kudu eating a fruit from the Sausage Tree, Kruger National Park
Male Greater Kudu eating a fruit from the Sausage Tree, Kruger National Park
Giraffe drinking at Nkaya Pan, Kruger National Park
Giraffe drinking at Nkaya Pan, Kruger National Park
Male Impalas at Nkaya Pan, Kruger National Park
Male Impalas at Nkaya Pan, Kruger National Park
Red Billed Hornbill, Kruger National Park
Red Billed Hornbill, Kruger National Park
Female Leopard coming down to drink at Nkaya Pan, Kruger National Park
Female Leopard coming down to drink at Nkaya Pan, Kruger National Park
Lion pride on the Sweni Road, Kruger National Park
Lion pride on the Sweni Road, Kruger National Park
Male Lions at Welverdiend waterhole, Kruger National Park
Male Lions at Welverdiend waterhole, Kruger National Park
Lions at Welverdiend Waterhole, Kruger National Park
Lions at Welverdiend Waterhole, Kruger National Park
Lions with the dead Rhino, Kruger National Park, wildlife panorama
Lions with the dead Rhino, Kruger National Park, wildlife panorama
Lions feeding on the Rhino, Kruger National Park
Lions feeding on the Rhino, Kruger National Park
Male Waterbuck with unusual set of horns, Shimangwaneni Dam, Kruger National Park
Male Waterbuck with unusual set of horns, Shimangwaneni Dam, Kruger National Park
Giraffe drinking, Shimangwaneni Waterhole, Kruger National Park
Giraffe drinking, Shimangwaneni Waterhole, Kruger National Park
Giraffe, Kruger National Park
Giraffe, Kruger National Park
Juvenile Bateleur Eagle, Kruger National Park
Juvenile Bateleur Eagle, Kruger National Park
Warthog, Kruger National Park
Warthog, Kruger National Park
Zebra drinking at Shimangwaneni Waterhole, Kruger National Park
Zebra drinking at Shimangwaneni Waterhole, Kruger National Park
Tawny Eagle in flight, Kruger National Park
Tawny Eagle in flight, Kruger National Park
Elephant herd heading for water, Kruger National Park
Elephant herd heading for water, Kruger National Park
Elephants drinking at Shimangwaneni Waterhole, Kruger National Park
Elephants drinking at Shimangwaneni Waterhole, Kruger National Park
Zebra, Kruger National Park
Zebra, Kruger National Park
Young Male Lion on the S100 near Satara, Kruger National Park
Young Male Lion on the S100 near Satara, Kruger National Park
Another young Male Lion, Kruger National Park
Another young Male Lion, Kruger National Park
Lioness on the S100, Kruger National Park
Lioness on the S100, Kruger National Park
Lioness, Kruger National Park
Lioness, Kruger National Park
Lioness with wounded leg, Kruger National Park
Lioness with wounded leg, Kruger National Park
Impala, Kruger National Park
Impala, Kruger National Park
Alert Impala watching the Lions, Kruger National Park
Alert Impala watching the Lions, Kruger National Park
Impala Ram and females, Kruger National Park
Impala Ram and females, Kruger National Park
Young Male Lion yawning, Kruger National Park
Young Male Lion yawning, Kruger National Park
Lions on the S100, Kruger National Park
Lions on the S100, Kruger National Park
Lioness watching some Impala, Kruger National Park
Lioness watching some Impala, Kruger National Park
Zebra at Shibotwana Waterhole on the S100, Kruger National Park
Zebra at Shibotwana Waterhole on the S100, Kruger National Park
African Wildcat watching birds in Satara Camp, Kruger National Park
African Wildcat watching birds in Satara Camp, Kruger National Park
African Buffalo Bull arrives at Nkaya Pan, Kruger National Park
African Buffalo Bull arrives at Nkaya Pan, Kruger National Park
Impala Impression, Kruger National Park
Impala Impression, Kruger National Park
Magpie Shrike, Kruger National Park
Magpie Shrike, Kruger National Park
Elephants in the Sand River, Kruger National Park
Elephants in the Sand River, Kruger National Park
African Buffalo herd in the Sabie River, Kruger National Park, wildlife panorama
African Buffalo herd in the Sabie River, Kruger National Park, wildlife panorama
Chacma Baboon, Kruger National Park
Chacma Baboon, Kruger National Park
Giant Kingfisher, Sunset Dam near Lower Sabie Camp, Kruger National Park
Giant Kingfisher, Sunset Dam near Lower Sabie Camp, Kruger National Park
Great Egret landing on a Hippo, Sunset Dam, Kruger National Park
Great Egret landing on a Hippo, Sunset Dam, Kruger National Park
Hippos play fighting at Sunset Dam, Kruger National Park
Hippos play fighting at Sunset Dam, Kruger National Park
Yellow Billed Stork with fish, Kruger National Park
Yellow Billed Stork with fish, Kruger National Park
Nile Crocodile leaving the water, Kruger National Park
Nile Crocodile leaving the water, Kruger National Park
Egyptian Geese in flight, Kruger National Park
Egyptian Geese in flight, Kruger National Park
Yellow Billed Stork flying, Kruger National Park
Yellow Billed Stork flying, Kruger National Park
Zebras, Kruger National Park
Zebras, Kruger National Park
A female Giraffe with a skin infection caused by the Papilloma Virus, Kruger National Park
A female Giraffe with a skin infection caused by the Papilloma Virus, Kruger National Park
Pearl Spotted Owlet, Kruger National Park
Pearl Spotted Owlet, Kruger National Park
Herd of Zebra at Slim's Waterhole, Kruger National Park, wildlife panorama
Herd of Zebra at Slim's Waterhole, Kruger National Park, wildlife panorama
Young Wildebeest with muddy legs, Kruger National Park
Young Wildebeest with muddy legs, Kruger National Park
A female leopard near Orpen Dam - watching a group of Impala, Kruger National Park
A female leopard near Orpen Dam - watching a group of Impala, Kruger National Park
The same female Leopard with a badly disfigured nose perhaps an injury inflicted by a Crocodile, Kruger National Park
The same female Leopard with a badly disfigured nose perhaps an injury inflicted by a Crocodile, Kruger National Park
Chacma Baboons playing, Kruger National Park
Chacma Baboons playing, Kruger National Park
Chacma Baboon being groomed, Kruger National Park
Chacma Baboon being groomed, Kruger National Park
Male Saddle Billed Stork, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
Male Saddle Billed Stork, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
One of the Kambula Lionesses, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
One of the Kambula Lionesses, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
Kambula Lioness prepared to cross the Sand River, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
Kambula Lioness prepared to cross the Sand River, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
Male Steenbok on alert, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
Male Steenbok on alert, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
White Backed Vulture nest, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
White Backed Vulture nest, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
The cub of the Lookout female trying to get into the freshly killed young male Nyala, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
The cub of the Lookout female trying to get into the freshly killed young male Nyala, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
The Lookout female Leopard dragging her fresh kill into a drainage line, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
The Lookout female Leopard dragging her fresh kill into a drainage line, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
The Three Rivers Female Leopard near Rattrays Camp, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
The Three Rivers Female Leopard near Rattrays Camp, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
The Three Rivers Female Leopard, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
The Three Rivers Female Leopard, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
Male Common Waterbuck surveys the Sand River, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve, wildlife panorama
Male Common Waterbuck surveys the Sand River, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve, wildlife panorama
The Lookout Female Leopard resting in a Tree, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
The Lookout Female Leopard resting in a Tree, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
Lookout Female Leopard at dusk, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
Lookout Female Leopard at dusk, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
Impala Lily flowers, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
Impala Lily flowers, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
One of the cubs of the Sibuye Female leopard, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
One of the cubs of the Sibuye Female leopard, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
Tawny Eagle, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
Tawny Eagle, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
The Lookout Female Leopard and cub, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve, wildlife panorama
The Lookout Female Leopard and cub, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve, wildlife panorama
The cub of the Lookout female Leopard, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
The cub of the Lookout female Leopard, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
White Fronted Bee Eaters, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
White Fronted Bee Eaters, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
The Piccadilli female leopard and cub, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
The Piccadilli female leopard and cub, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
A journey of Giraffe crosses the Sand River, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
A journey of Giraffe crosses the Sand River, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
Piccadilli female Leopard and cub, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
Piccadilli female Leopard and cub, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
Island Female Leopard, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
Island Female Leopard, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
Island Female Leopard on the move at night, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
Island Female Leopard on the move at night, Mala Mala Private Game Reserve

Back to Trip Reports

Leave a Comment

Testimonials 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

Testimonials If anyone is contemplating a photo trip to Africa, then we would have absolutely no hesitation in recomending Stu Porter and Wild4 Photographic Safaris. It doesn't really matter what your level of skill is you will get as much or as little help and advice as you wish to receive. Nothing is thrust down your throat and Stu doesn't spend all his time taking his own photographs as some do. Stu has taken a huge amount of time and trouble in customising and setting up his safari vehicle and the effort he's put in makes the whole experience so much more enjoyable. Tethered bean bags are provided and secure plate mounts on the side of the vehicle will also take your tripod head ensuring a rock steady platform and Stu most certainly knows where the animals are. Particularly enjoyable was the time we spent at the Big Cat Reserve (part of the 4 night extension) which is an unbelieveable photographic experience. Many thanks WILD4 !

Rob & Sue Brookes, UK