PHOTO TRIP REPORT | Lions & Leopards of Kruger | July 2019
Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 6th Jan 2020
The first of our 2019 Lions & Leopards of Kruger photo safaris was spent at Jock Safari Lodge, Kruger National Park and Mala Mala.
Jock safari lodge proved a great place for Black & White Rhino, Lion and Leopard and the beautiful Biyamiti River was our playground for the first 3 nights of our safari. The location of the camp right on the river is really beautiful and as usual, we were well looked after by the lodge staff and our fantastic head ranger, Laz !!
After 3 great nights at Jock Safari Lodge, we headed towards Satara Camp, located in central Kruger. Here we spent full days out in the park. We also enjoyed sitting and waiting for the wildlife to come to us at Nkaya Pan and Shimangwaneni Dam. Both full days were very productive and we spent time photographing Giraffe, Elephant, Zebra and were treated to a late afternoon sighting of a pack of endangered African Wild dogs.
Our next stop inside the Kruger National Park was a Lower Sabie Camp. This is always a very productive area, and again we spent many hours at the waterholes, particularly Clyde's Pan and the famous Sunset Dam, located right outside the camp. Being so close to camp allows you to get to this dam for the sunrise and also stay right until sunset. We were treated to a very rare sighting (in the Kruger) of an African Skimmer, which proceeded to chase a Grey Heron. The usual groups of Hippos, Crocodiles and many water birds were all photographed here.
Our final 3 nights were spent at Mala Mala. Our first drive took us down to the beautiful Sand River where we found the Kambula Lionesses resting in the shade of the reeds. One Gowrie Male Lion was with them too. This was a great start to our stay. Over the next two days, we saw and photographed some beautiful Leopards and the highlight was watching the new cubs of one of the Lionesses being introduced to the pride.
Many thanks to all the lodge staff that looked after us at each location and also to our guides and rangers, Lazarus at Jock Safari Lodge and Cam 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, David, Francoise and Helen, it was really great to meet you Helen and to have David & Francoise back on another trip with us. Thank you all for joining this Lions & Leopards of Kruger photo safari.
Please enjoy some of the photos below.
Leave a Comment
Our 14 days with Wild4 Safaris will always be remembered as the best learning experience we have ever embarked on. Not only for the improvement in photographic skills and knowledge, but also the animal behavioural knowledge that we gained. We were totally immersed in the world of wildlife photography in the best place in the world with one of the best pro photographers around. Stu genuinely enjoys sharing his knowledge and passion for wildlife and photography. More than a holiday, it was an unbelievably rewarding learning experience and has taken our skill level up significantly. Stu and his team were able to help us learn about our equipment and coach us to apply these new skills quickly. Their sharing of knowledge, expertise in photography, and being able to read wildlife behaviour along with the excellent booklet (which became Marie's bible) are world class. This ensured we got to places that others didn't and that we were always in the best position to shoot. We also booked the extension and were most impressed with the "behind the scenes" access we gained at each Reserve. Stu didn't disappoint and was able to put together some memorable opportunities for us to get many excellent shots. The whole package was first class, from the pick up at Nelspruit, accommodation, food and day trips, to the people (now friends) who we met on the trip. This is one of those bucket list adventures that we will be doing again with WILD4.
John and Marie, AUSTRALIA
We were very lucky to have found the Wild 4 Team when we were able to take a short photographic safari as part of a business trip to Cape Town. So when we could plan a photography trip overseas, naturally we contacted Stu and Justyna. We brought along a good friend who wanted to do her first photo safari. To say the three of us had a blast would be to underestimate the experience. I wonder how many other photographers have been a few feet from a cheetah taking down an impala only to share the kill with a caracal. Other highlights included a rare king cheetah, mating leopards, a den of wild dogs with their pups, photographing and touching a boomslang, green mamba and black mamba, and being surrounded by a herd of elephants. But perhaps the best part of all was being back with friends whom we know and trust. We know a good thing when we experience it. When we are ready for our next African adventure, you can bet we will contact the Wild 4 Team.
Michael & Toni Anderson, USA