LIONS and LEOPARDS of KRUGER photo safari trip report - September 2017
Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 2nd Oct 2017
Our second Lions & Leopards of Kruger trip again took us to three very different, but all photo productive places, Ngala, Kruger National Park and Mala Mala, all in South Africa,
Some of the highlights we managed to photograph, were a massive Bull Elephant with wonderful tusks in the Timbavati River, fantastic bird life, a young female Leopard in the Kruger National Park, excellent Elephant, Zebra, Giraffe, Impala and African Elephant sightings at all locations, two different packs of Cape Hunting Dogs and an amazing sighting involving the large 26 strong Lower Sabi Pride, chasing a Warthog, catching it and then having to endure the wrath of a huge herd of African Buffalo. Finally the Lions returned to their Warthog meal after the Buffalo left.
As usual Mala Mala offered amazing sightings, starting off with the Senegal Bush Male Leopard who had killed another Impala, the Teardrop Female Leopard and her two cubs, as well as the Tamboti Female Leopard and the Island female Leopard who managed to finally catch some food, a small baby Scrub Hare. We also saw one male Cheetah and the Kambula pride of Lions which we photographed at night.
On our final morning we again bumped into the Island female Leopard, this time with an Impala kill in a Marula tree, only 100 meters from the boom gate !
Many thanks to all the lodge staff that looked after us at each location and also to our rangers, Bernhard at Ngala and Theo at Mala Mala, thank you for your hard work and patience and for getting us into sightings and spending quality photographic time with the animals. Thanks also to the Wild4 back up team who looked after us so well in the Kruger National Park.
Finally, thank you to the participants, Rita, Veeda and Dick, it was great travelling with you all and I think the Warthog kill in the Kruger National Park was one of mother nature's best..
Enjoy some of the photos below.
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This was our first out of country photography trip. We were very excited and nervous. We did our research. Could this be for real? Was it too good to be true? Where was the catch? Let us give you a clue…there was no catch! We were treated in a warm and friendly manner from our first inquiry to our final wave goodbye at the airport. Everything was handled totally professionally! It was like a dream come true….days spent on wildlife photography…and being tutored by someone who really knows how to do it. Obviously Stu, Justyna, Ann and John love what they do. The only downside is sorting out several thousand photos in Lightroom ! . There are just some tasks you don't mind doing. It will be a labor of love. Will we go on photo safari again? Only with Wild 4 folks!!!
Michael & Toni Anderson, USA
Shopping for a travel adventure on the Web is somewhat risky, but when I wanted to go on an African photo safari, I really had no choice. I looked around and finally picked Wild4 Photographic Safaris for one reason: the vehicle. It was obvious that this was an outfit that understood photographic details and the needs of serious wildlife photographers. With a capacity for 10 passengers, the vehicle takes just three photographers. The three photographers' benches feature platforms to steady big lenses on both sides of the vehicle, and loads of storage space and pockets for lenses, bodies, accessories, binoculars, field guides, water, etc. I can not imagine a better platform for photography in the bush veldt. What is not as obvious in the on-line description is that the vehicle comes equipped with Stu Porter, the Wild4 owner and guide. Stu, who bears a striking resemblance to movie actor Matt Damon, is a deceptively shy young man with an encyclopaedic knowledge of Kruger National Park, its animals, geography, geology, climate, seasons, and, of course, rules. He also has the eyes of an eagle and is the best leopard spotter in South Africa. Stu's knowledge and patience are seemingly infinite, and he somehow manages to be aware both of his passengers' needs and everything around us. He does everything humanly possible to give you the opportunity to get the best shot. And if you need more than just the opportunity, he can instruct even the most seasoned photographer on technique. Stu grew up next to Kruger National Park, and his mother (who does the meal preparation for the safari) started taking him there as soon as he was old enough. He has been accumulating his knowledge of the park and its animals all his life, and that comes in very handy when you need to know something about animal behavior. In short, Wild4 Photographic Safaris is all about the vehicle, with spacious seats, shooting platforms and Stu Porter as standard equipment. You can't do better. Thank you, Stu!
George Cathcart, USA