PHOTO TRIP REPORT | Best of Botswana | June 2019
Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 5th Jan 2020
View the VIDEO TRIP REPORT for this photo safari
The June 2019 "Best of Botswana" photo safari has just ended. The weather was just as clear as the May trip but a bit cooler in the evenings and early mornings.
We flew from Maun into the Okavango Delta and landed at Xakanaxa airstrip. Here we met our guides for the safari, Shadreck (aka Shado) and Lucas. Our private mobile camp was all set up for our late afternoon arrival and dinner was enjoyed whilst listening to the sounds of the African bush.
Some of the photo highlights in Moremi Game Reserve were a Leopard with a small cub, Cape Hunting Dogs at a den site, male Lions on a Giraffe kill, a Leopard hunting Impala, a pair of Side Striped Jackals, the endangered Wattled Cranes and other great birdlife.
Our next destination was a campsite along the river in the Khwai Concession. Here we were fortunate to see more Cape Hunting Dogs, Leopard, Lion, Sable Antelope, Giraffe, Zebra and a very special night sighting of the very rarely seen Pel's Fishing Owl (well spotted by "Eagle eyes" Amy - thanks Amy :). We also got to see two Cape Honey Badgers foraging in the daylight.
Our third location on our mobile camping part of the photo safari was in Savuti area of the Chobe National Park. Once again, Marabou Pan provided a lot of activity and here we saw lots of Elephants, Blue Wildebeest and Lions from the "Marsh Pride". We also saw more Roan Antelope, Yellow Mongoose, and all 4 species of Hornbill.
The final section began with a 40-minute flight on MacAir from Savute to Kasane. Here we spent 3 nights at the Pangolin Chobe Hotel and had exclusive use of one of their amazing photo boats. The Pangolin Photo Boat is a perfect way to explore parts of the Chobe River and this mobile "hide" allows you to get very close to both birds and mammals. Some highlights from the Chobe River were Chacma Baboons, Malachite Kingfishers, the rare Half Collared Kingfisher and a juvenile White Backed Night Heron (my first sighting of one.) Sunsets on the water were wonderful and we also had a spectacular full moon setting over the river early one morning. The top highlight was waiting for and eventually photographing a herd of around 50 elephants swimming across a wide channel to the Namibian side of the Chobe River, what a wonderful way to end a fantastic photo safari to Botswana!
MASSIVE thanks go to the Letaka Camp Staff team who ALWAYS look after us so well. Thank you to chef KK for the amazing food !!, and to Names, July and Wilfred for looking after us so well in camp.
It goes without saying that without excellent guides, we would not have been in the right places at the right time to get some excellent photos. This is all thanks to Shado and Lucas, you guys were awesome! thank you for looking after us so well and for being so patient with us.
Our Chobe River boat captain was Smart - thanks again Smart for an excellent 3 days, it's always a pleasure working with you.
Thank you to all the staff at the new Pangolin Chobe Hotel, we had another brilliant stay with you.
Thank you also to our fantastic clients, especially Don, who put in a lot of hard work to get a great group of friends together to come and enjoy the magic of Botswana, thank you Don, Bruce, Sheldon, Linda, Amy and Meg.. it was great to share some of Africa's special treats with you all.
Enjoy some photos from the trip!
View the VIDEO TRIP REPORT for this photo safari
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Hi Justyna and Stu, I wanted to say thank you for arranging a trip that exactly reflected the image I had for the trip of my life! James represents your company well; he was the best guide I could have asked for, working tirelessly to ensure that I saw as much activity in the Park as possible. He looked out for my safety and comfort, and he was never reticent about accommodating my viewpoint to the extent he was able and still respect the park and the wildlife. I will never forget this trip; I have also given the name of your company and James as the guide to several people on my travels home. Best regards
Carol Sheppard, USA
For thirty-five years I had dreamed of going on a photographic safari in South Africa. This year I finally realized that dream and it is fair to say that my hopes and expectations were surpassed in every way. I had done extensive research on African photographic safaris on the Internet before settling on Wild 4 photo safaris. What an inspired choice that turned out to be! This family company run by Stu Porter and his wife, Justyna, and aided by Stu’s parents, John and Ann, provides the perfect safari experience for photographers of every skill level. Stu is one South Africa’s finest wild-life photographers and a first-class teacher into the bargain. His knowledge of the habitat and habits of the animals and birds to be found in Kruger National Park is simply encyclopaedic. I was accompanied on the trip by my 25 year-old daughter, Amy, and we eagerly adapted to the early morning wake-up call to go off into the wilds in one of Stu’s specially fitted jeeps to photograph animals at sunrise. Every day brought its special moments whether the spectacle of lions mating just a few metres from the jeep, or leopards lying lazily in the grass digesting a meal, or elephants and hippos frolicking in a river. The days sped by and we returned home with thousands of photographs of birds and animals to sort through and cherish for the memories they bring back. A safari with Wild 4 is more than a photographic experience with a master photographer: it is an initiation into the wonders of South Africa – its wild-life and spectacular landscapes - and, above all, an experience of friendship as everyone aboard the jeep bond in common purpose. Everything about Wild 4 is first class: organization is superb, accommodations excellent, choices of locale perfect. Our safari with Stu and Wild4 was truly the experience of a life-time.
Andrew Oliver, CANADA