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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can't begin to tell you how much Keith and I enjoyed being with you in Botswana. Your trip was as productive for me, the birdwatcher spouse, as it was for Keith, who is thrilled with his images. I saw more birds in Botswana than I ever imagined I'd see (152 species!), and I got such good looks at them, from the big Goliath Heron, Wattled Crane, and Saddle-billed Storks to the little Pearl-spotted Owlet, White-fronted Bee-eaters, and Malachite Kingfisher. Our Letaka guides, Shadreck and Nkosi, were knowledgeable and helpful - and just plain nice guys, and Shuur took us on four amazing boat rides on the Chobe River. Every aspect of the trip went smoothly. It's obvious how much behind-the-scenes work you and Justyna put into the planning. I would recommend you to anyone, and for the safari of a lifetime, I'd recommend the Best of Botswana with Stu Porter.
Sharon Kennedy, USA
The wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm Stu shared was priceless, from identifying birds and pointing out animal behaviors, to stories about Kruger Park past, and of course, answering photography questions day in and day out. You were so patient! I really appreciated the custom photo safari vehicle and thoughtful design and extra space it afforded, and the advantage and flexibility of traveling with such a small number of people. I learnt so much, and I look forward to sorting through the images and enjoying remembering all the things we did during our busy photo safari.
Helen Cruickshank, Australia