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.
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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
I was fortunate to be on Wild4's "Best of Botswana" trip in May 2014. It could well be the Best of Africa. This trip featured two expert guides (Stu Porter himself and Nkosi from Letaka Safaris) and the abundant wildlife of four different Botswanan hot spots, with relatively few other vehicles around. Those features alone are worth the price of admission, particularly since they include Stu's vehicle modifications that ensure the best possible photographic experience. But if that isn't enough, we spent the first ten nights in expedition style mobile camps, roughing it with bucket showers and drop toilets, and listening to the leopards, elephants and hyenas wandering in and around the camps at night. But don't worry about the "roughing it" part. The expert staff prepares perfect meals, including fresh baked breads and cakes, and ensures that the camp is safe and clean. We finished the 12-night trip in a luxury lodge on the Chobe River, where we photographed from a boat customised to accommodate serious photographers (i.e. people with lenses bigger than their legs) and a waterway full of hippos and elephants and lined with Africa's most iconic birds. If you can only go once to Africa, go to Botswana with Wild4 Photographic Safaris. They will take care of every detail of your safari to ensure that everything is just right. If you are an old Africa veteran, ditto. You just can't go wrong with Wild4.
George Cathcart, USA