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
I found Wild4 through an article in Popular Photography magazine about how to choose a photo safari. They were one of five recommended in the article. After checking them all out, I saw that Stu and Wild4 offered the kind of experience that I wanted: 1) Small groups of dedicated photographers 2) Variety in wildlife viewing 3) Tuition on photography and wildlife behavior 4) Good communication and organisation. I can say that Wild4 met and exceeded all expectations on all points (and then some). 1) We used one vehicle for three photographers. Stu is a trained photographer himself, so his goal was always to get us into the best position with the best light. Having only three on the tour meant plenty of room for equipment and the ability to shoot from either side of the vehicle when surrounded by a herd of elephants! It also gave us the flexibility to be patient and wait for the shot. 2) The three places we visited each provided a unique experience and wonderful variety in scenery and wildlife viewing. 3) Stu's tuition was excellent. It was there if we needed it but never pushed. Tips, reminders, anecdotes on wildlife behavior. All given with patience and good humor. 4) From the first email, the communication was timely & clear. Justyna was a joy to work with and handled the back-office part of the tour seamlessly. It can't be as easy as she makes it seem. Wild4 didn't provide the wildlife or the spectacular sunsets that we experienced, but they put us in position to enjoy and capture a little piece of it in our cameras and in our memories. Our Safari was amazing and I would not have changed a thing...well, maybe I would have eaten a little less. If you're looking for a Photo Safari, there is nothing to consider. Just go ahead and contact Wild4 Photographic Safaris. You will not be sorry.
Doug Croft, USA