TANZANIA and ELEPHANTS of AMBOSELI photo safari - February / March 2017
Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 21st Mar 2017
This years photo safari to Amboseli in Kenya and the Serengeti, Ndutu and the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania has just ended.
These locations always provide a multitude of photo opportunities and great experiences. An image of snow capped Kilimanjaro with Elephants in the foreground is a classic and iconic photo, sadly, for the first time on our trips to Amboseli, Kilimanjaro was shrouded in a cloudy haze for our entire stay and we were unable to achieve this photo. However the other opportunties we had more than made up for this and on our first game drive, a Lioness chased and caught a baby Wildebeest, only to have it stolen by a male Lion. We had a number of large elephant herds walking in their typical long procession in rank order, this is a sight to see and Amboseli is perhaps the best place in Africa to see this. We also spent a whole morning at the Spotted Hyaena den which proved to be very entertaining as a number of Hyaena were present all trying to get their share of a Zebra carcass.
After our border crossing into Tanzania, we enjoyed a rest at the African Tulip in Arusha.
The following morning we headed straight for the Serengeti. Last year we had Lions in trees (and lots of them) this year the Serengeti offered us Lions on Kopjes and lots and lots of rain !!
Some highlights were finding Lions on the Research Kopjes, 3 different Leopards, one of which was a mother with a small cub who also dragged a large male Reedbuck past all of us in the pouring rain, then she tried to get it up a tree, only to have her prize stolen from her by Hyaenas !! A photo highlight was getting images of two of the big cats in the rain. It is tricky to accomplish such a shot, especially when expensive camera equipment is involved, but just sometimes the angle of the rain allows you too shoot out the window, and we got some great shots of a Male Lion and the Leopard with her kill, in the rain.
Next stop was Ndutu, always a favourite for everyone as off road driving is permitted and this allows one to get closer to the wildlife. The rain also decided to follow us to Ndutu and we experienced what I think was the hardest rain storm I have ever endured, the ground we were parked on turned into a shallow lake within 15 minutes !! I have never seen anything like it ! Photographically we were successful in this torrential down pour as we managed to add the 3rd Big Cat to our list of "Big Cats Photographed in the rain" - we had been following a Cheetah with 4 cubs the whole day, and after two unsuccessful hunts, it was actually one of the cubs that flushed a young Grant's Gazelle from its hiding place in the grass. Shortly after catching their prey, the rain began.
Another huge highlight this year in Ndutu was getting to see and photograph a beautiful female Lioness from the Marsh pride with her three small 5 week old cubs. She had them hidden in a small vegetated island just at the edge of the woodland. I have never known a female to be so relaxed around vehicles with such small cubs and it was a real treat to be able to get some photos of them interacting with each other.
Our final destination was the Ngorongoro Crater. No Black Rhino this year, but we had three beautiful male Lions and the pride numbering around 13, excellent Hippo interactions at the Hippo Pools, big herds of African Buffalo and great scenics of this very special Crater.
A huge thanks goes out to our very hard working Guides, Wilson, Francis & Arnold, we really appreciate all the long hours you put in and how patient you are with us photographers. Your interpretation of behaviour and where to park for great angles are exceptional.
A huge thank you must also go to the hard working staff at all the Camps and lodges we stayed at.
Many thanks to Dick & Mary, Rita and Sharon, it was fantastic to share such special moments with such enthusiastic and appreciative people !
If you are interested in joining us on the 2018 departure then please let us know as we only have 4 spaces left.
Enjoy some images from the photo safari.
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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
I am a Molecular Biologist by profession and a serious amateur nature photographer and have been on a number of organized trips over the last 10 years with the dual aims of enjoying nature and getting the best images possible. The organization of a two week trip with Wild 4 Photographic Safaris through Kruger National Park I shared with two other photographers and it was as good as I have ever experienced. The Porter family was friendly, knowledgeable and intuitively supportive. Stu really knows his subjects and spared no effort in getting the photographers into the best situation. He has a very pleasant, calm personality and is an accomplished nature photographer and naturalist which means he knows where the light or action is best and often what is about to happen. His vehicle is also well set-up for discriminating photographers. Justyna was just brilliant in getting things organized in the background. Having our own scout vehicle to report activity in the area while we pursued other subjects, worked well, and on a number of occasions provided photo opportunities we would have missed otherwise. In summary; rating out of 10…….no doubt a 10.
Graeme Guy, NEW ZEALAND