WILD4 AFRICAN PHOTO SAFARIS & PHOTOGRAPHY: Blog http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog en-us COPYRIGHT Stu Porter & WILD4 Photo Safaris wild4photographicsafaris@gmail.com (WILD4 AFRICAN PHOTO SAFARIS & PHOTOGRAPHY) Mon, 24 Nov 2014 15:30:00 GMT Mon, 24 Nov 2014 15:30:00 GMT http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/img/s4/v10/u203965432-o19503378-50.jpg WILD4 AFRICAN PHOTO SAFARIS & PHOTOGRAPHY: Blog http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog 120 120 Birds of KRUGER photo safari - October 2014 SOUTH AFRICA http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/11/birds-of-kruger-photo-safari-october
A total bird count of 178 with a very impressive 144 photos (of different species)

The aim of this safari is not to tick species off, but instead the challenge is to try and get some decent photos of Kruger's birds, with the additional challenge of trying to better existing shots when better opportunities present themselves.

Northern Kruger is the real hotspot as this area has some special species not commonly seen in the rest of Kruger. We did very well with the Crested Guineafowl and Broad-billed Rollers, as well as getting to see the Trumpeter Hornbills again at the exact same nest site as last year ! We also added the rarely seen Crowned Hornbills to our photo list.

Kruger has such a diverse range of habitats which made the trip very enjoyable as we travelled from the North right down to the south over a period of 14 days. The trip was really relaxing, the binoculars and cameras were well used and our safari vehicle acted as the perfect mobile bird hide, this is the best way to get original and different shots of Kruger's birds. We saw a number of the same species as we did last year but they were all in different situations and circumstances which helps to keep the subject matter unique and fresh.

A number of migrants were already back, gearing up for the summer season in South Africa, Yellow Billed Kites, European Bee eaters, Cuckoos, Wahlberg's Eagles and a very rare sighting of a Grey Kestrel, normally only seen in Namibia.

The beautiful African Paradise Flycatchers seemed to be everywhere this year and we had a special sighting of a Black Heron and a Greater Honeyguide.

We did very well on the Owl front, notching up 4 different species (all during the day time)

Other highlights were getting to photograph both of the Helmet Shrikes and the Orange Breasted and Grey headed Bushshrikes.

The waterbirds were fantastic this year, Squacco Herons, Collared Pratincoles, Black Crake, African Jacana and many more. The visits to Lake panic Bird hide near Skukuza proved to be very productive - it is still one of the best places to see and photograph the Malachite Kingfisher !!

Sunbirds, Woodpeckers and the very active Weavers also added some great photo opportunities.

All in all it was a fantastically productive trip and really enjoyable to be able to go at a very different pace to the normal bigger mammal type photo safaris (of which we still got to see and photograph anyway)

Thanks very much to John for coming on the safari, it was a great pleasure to shoot alongside you !

Here are a few photos - enjoy !!!

Warmest regards

Stu



Arrow-marked Babbler - Bateleur Camp, Northern Kruger

Black-collared Barbet - Skukuza Camp, Southern Kruger

Crested Barbet - Bateleur Camp, Northern Kruger

White-fronted Bee-eater - Luvuvhu River Bridge, Northern Kruger

European Bee-eater - Letaba River, Northern Kruger

Yellow-bellied Greenbul - Punda Maria Camp, Northern Kruger

Dark-capped Bulbul - Letaba Camp, Northern Kruger

Sombre Greenbul - Skukuza Nursery, Southern Kruger

Red-crested Korhaan (Male) - Letaba River, Northern Kruger

Kori Bustard - Central Kruger

Great Spotted Cuckoo - Babalala Picnic site, Northern Kruger

Jacobin Cuckoo - Central Kruger

Cape Turtle Dove - Northern Kruger

Red-eyed Dove - Northern Kruger

Mourning Collared Dove - Bateleur Camp, Northern Kruger

Emerald-spotted Wood Dove - Northern Kruger

Laughing Dove - Northern Kruger

African Green Pigeon - Letaba Camp, Northern Kruger

Fork-tailed Drongo - Letaba Camp, Northern Kruger

Wahlberg’s Eagle - Northern Kruger

Grey Kestrel - Northern Kruger

Immature Brown Snake Eagle - Northern Kruger

Tawny Eagle - Northern Kruger

Immature Bateleur Eagle - Northern Kruger

Yellow Billed Kite - Southern Kruger

African Fish Eagle and moon - Northern Kruger

African Fish Eagle - Letaba River, Northern Kruger

Martial Eagle - Letaba River, Northern Kruger

Immature White Backed Vulture - Northern Kruger

Lappet-faced Vultures - Central Kruger

Spotted Flycatcher - Northern Kruger

African Paradise Flycatcher - Babalala Picnic Site, Northern Kruger

African Paradise Flycatcher (male) - Mopani Camp, Northern Kruger

Southern Black Flycatcher - Letaba River, Northern Kruger

Ashy Flycatcher - Skukuza Camp, Southern Kruger

Greater Honeyguide - Southern Kruger

Double Banded Sandgrouse (male) - Northern Kruger

Swainson’s Spurfowl - Northern Kruger

Crested Francolin (male) - Northern Kruger

Natal Spurfowl (male) - Bateleur Camp, Northern Kruger

Common Ostrich chick - Northern Kruger

Crested Guineafowl - Punda Maria Camp, Northern Kruger

Helmeted Guineafowl - Northern Kruger

African Hoopoe inspecting a potential nest site - Northern Kruger

African Hoopoe - Northern Kruger

Green Wood-Hoopoe feeding behaviour before nesting - Northern Kruger

Green Wood-Hoopoe  - Northern Kruger

Southern Ground Hornbill (adult Male) - Northern Kruger

Southern Ground Hornbill (juvenile) with skink - Northern Kruger

Trumpeter Hornbill at nest site - Pafuri, Northern Kruger

Trumpeter Hornbill at nest site, Male is passing an Nyala Tree berry to the female inside the nest cavity                  - Pafuri, Northern Kruger

Crowned Hornbill - Northern Kruger

Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill - Bateleur Camp, Northern Kruger

Southern Red-billed Hornbill - Bateleur Camp, Northern Kruger

African Grey Hornbill displaying (male) - Northern Kruger

African Grey Hornbill (female) - Northern Kruger

Giant Kingfisher (male) - Luvuvhu River, Northern Kruger

Brown-hooded Kingfisher displaying - Letaba River, Northern Kruger

Pied Kingfisher (male) Northern Kruger

Pied Kingfisher (male) with fish - Shingwedzi River, Northern Kruger

Malachite Kingfisher - Lake Panic Bird Hide, Southern Kruger

Purple-crested Turaco - Skukuza Camp, Southern Kruger

Purple-crested Turaco in flight - Northern Kruger

Grey Go-away-bird - Northern Kruger

Black-headed Oriole - Northern Kruger

Verreaux’s Eagle-owl - Pafuri, Northern Kruger

African Scops Owl - Northern Kruger

African Barred Owlet - Northern Kruger

Pearl-spotted Owlet - Central Kruger

Red-billed Oxpecker - Northern Kruger

Yellow-billed Oxpecker - Northern Kruger

Brown-headed Parrot feeding on the flowers of a Baobab tree - Northern Kruger

White-browed Robin-chat - Northern Kruger

Bearded Scrub Robin at Pafuri Picnic site - Northern Kruger

White-throated Robin-Chat - Lower Sabie Camp, Southern Kruger

White-browed Scrub Robin - Skukuza Golf Course, Southern Kruger

Mocking Cliff Chat (Male) - Mlondozi Picnic Site, Southern Kruger

Lilac-breasted Roller - Central Kruger

Purple Roller - Central Kruger

Broad-billed Roller - Northern Kruger

Broad-billed Rollers displaying - Northern Kruger

Brubru - Northern Kruger

Chinspot Batis (male) - Babalala Picnic site Northern Kruger

Black-backed Puffback (female) - Letaba Camp Northern Kruger

Black-backed Puffback (male) - Letaba Camp Northern Kruger

Black-crowned Tchagra - Northern Kruger

Orange-breasted Bushshrike (Immature) - Bateleur Camp Northern Kruger

Orange-breasted Bushrike - Letaba River, Northern Kruger

Grey-headed Bushshrike - Northern Kruger

Burchell’s Coucal - Northern Kruger

Magpie Shrike - Babalala Picnic site Northern Kruger

White-crested Helmet-shrike - Northern Kruger

Retz’s Helmet-shrike - Pafuri Picnic site Northern Kruger

Blue Waxbill - Northern Kruger

Red-billed Firefinch (male) - Northern Kruger

Red-billed Quelea (non-breeding) - Northern Kruger

Green-winged Pytilia (female) - Northern Kruger

African Yellow White-eye - Luvhuvhu River Bridge Northern Kruger

Cape White-eye - Skukuza Camp, Southern Kruger

Rattling Cisticola - Northern Kruger

Golden-breasted Bunting - Northern Kruger

Cinnamon-breasted Bunting - Northern Kruger


Tawny-flanked Prinia - Northern Kruger

Sabota Lark - Northern Kruger

Southern Black Tit with insect - Northern Kruger

Southern Grey-headed Sparrow - Northern Kruger

Jameson's Firefinch - Shingwedzi River, Northern Kruger

Yellow-breasted Apalis (male) making use of an abandoned Red-headed Weavers nest - Letaba, Northern Kruger

Bronze Mannikin - Skukuza Camp, Southern Kruger

Yellow-fronted Canary - Skukuza Camp, Southern Kruger

Speckled Mousebird - Skukuza Camp, Southern Kruger

Greater Blue-eared Starling with elephant dung used as nesting material - Northern Kruger

Meves’s Starling - Nyala drive, Northern Kruger

Violet-backed Starling (male) - Shingwedzi river, Northern Kruger

Red-winged Starling (male) - Letaba Camp Northern Kruger

White-bellied Sunbird (male) - Northern Kruger

Marico Sunbird (male) - Skukuza Camp, Southern Kruger

Rock Martin - Luvuvhu River Bridge, Northern Kruger

Wire-tailed Swallow - Luvuvhu River bridge, Northern Kruger

Lesser Striped Swallow (male) - Northern Kruger

Kurrichane Thrush - Letaba Camp, Northern Kruger

Saddle-billed Stork (female) - Northern Kruger

Saddle-billed Stork (male) with Platanna (African Clawed frog) - Tshokwane, Central Kruger

Yellow Billed Stork - Sunset Dam, Southern Kruger

Blacksmith Lapwing - Northern Kruger

White-crowned Lapwing - Sunset Dam, Southern Kruger

Three-banded Plover - Northern Kruger

Collared Pratincole - Letaba River, Northern Kruger

Common Greenshank - Letaba River, Northern Kruger

Wood Sandpiper - Letaba River, Northern Kruger

Common Sandpiper - Mazithi Dam, Central Kruger

Little Stint - Mazithi Dam, Central Kruger

Ruff - Letaba River, Northern Kruger

Black Crake - Lake Panic Bird Hide, Southern Kruger

African Jacana - Lake Panic Bird Hide, Southern Kruger

Black Heron - Pioneer Dam, Northern Kruger

Squacco Heron - Northern Kruger

Grey Heron (adult) - Kumana Dam, Central Kruger

Green-backed Heron - Northern Kruger

Great Egret - Northern Kruger

Little Egret - Letaba River, Northern Kruger

Western Cattle Egret in breeding plumage - Southern Kruger

Hammerkop - Sabie River, Southern Kruger

Hadeda Ibis - Letaba River, Northern Kruger

Water Thick-knee - Lake Panic Bird Hide, Southern Kruger

African Spoonbill - Sunset Dam, Southern Kruger

African Pied Wagtail - Lake Panic Bird Hide, Southern Kruger

White-faced Whistling Ducks - Letaba River, Northern Kruger

Spur-winged Goose & Little Egret - Letaba River, Northern Kruger

Egyptian Goose - Lake Panic Bird Hide, Southern Kruger

Spectacled Weaver - Southern Kruger

Southern Masked Weaver - Lake Panic Bird Hide, Southern Kruger

Lesser Masked Weaver - Lake Panic Bird Hide, Southern Kruger

Red-billed Buffalo Weaver with nesting material - Sunset Dam, Southern Kruger

Cardinal Woodpecker (male) - Letaba River, Northern Kruger


Golden-tailed Woodpecker - Letaba Camp, Northern Kruger

Bennett’s Woodpecker (male) - Northern Kruger

Bennett’s Woodpecker (female) - Northern Kruger


Of course birds were not the only animals seen on the safari !! we did take time to photograph some of the other species found in the park. Some highlights included seeing the Leopard Tortoises coming out in big numbers, this usually happens around this time of year to coincide with the first rains, we passed 11 on our way to Northern Kruger on the very first day !!

The Sharpe's Grysbok are rarely seen, but Northern Kruger is a good place to hope to see them, we notched up 5 sightings of this small and elusive antelope.

We watched Lions lying in wait at a pool of water in the Shingwedzi River, but the Impala were too quick for them on this occasion.

Northern Kruger is well know for its large herds of elephants and particularly its big tuskers of which we saw many.

We had an amazingly close sighting of the largest African Rock Python I have seen in the wild, a huge monster in excess of 5 meters, who moved slowly through the undergrowth, a real treat to see.

On our very last day we were treated to a sighting of a pack of Cape Hunting Dogs, right in the middle of the road between the bird hide and Skukuza main camp.

My personal favourite though was getting to see the three Leopards we had seen playing in the Nwatimhiri River on the August trip, this time the mum and two sub adult cubs were close to the road resting up in a tree, what beautiful cats !!


Leopard Tortoise - Northern Kruger

Water Monitor Lizard - Northern Kruger

Nyala Antelope (female) - Northern Kruger

A shy Sharpe's Grysbok - Northern Kruger

Lioness watching Impala approach - Shingwedzi River, Northern Kruger

The unsuccessful charge ! - Northern Kruger

Vervet Monkey - Northern Kruger

Tree Squirrel - Northern Kruger

Male Elephants enjoying a swim - Shingwedzi River, Northern Kruger

Hippos in the Letaba River - Northern Kruger

Elephant herd in the Letaba River - Northern Kruger

Large Crocodile - Luvuvhu River, Northern Kruger

Baby Elephant sheltering - Shingwedzi, Northern Kruger

Moth - Northern Kruger

The 5m + African Rock Python - Northern Kruger

Hippo with Baby - Shingwedzi River, Northern Kruger

A rare and special sighting of African Wilddogs - Southern Kruger

A sub-adult male Lion - Shingwedzi, Northern Kruger

The sub-adult Male Leopard near the Sabie River - Southern Kruger

Brother and sister resting in a tree alongside the Sabie River - Southern Kruger


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wild4photographicsafaris@gmail.com (WILD4 AFRICAN PHOTO SAFARIS & PHOTOGRAPHY) http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/11/birds-of-kruger-photo-safari-october Wed, 05 Nov 2014 02:20:00 GMT
Big Cats and KRUGER explorer photo safari OCTOBER 2014 - South Africa http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/10/big-cats-and-kruger-explorer-photo
We had amazing Lion sightings on the trip and were so fortunate to see some amazing behaviour. On our very first day driving down from Orpen Gate to Lower Sabie we stopped briefly at Mazithi Dam just north of Tshokwane picnic site and found a few of the regulars resting in the afternoon sun. A Fish Eagle took off, the Hippos grunted and a single Impala Ram grazed close to the edge of the Southern end of the dam.

From out of nowhere, a Lioness emerged near the Northern end of the dam and proceeded to walk through the long grass towards the Impala. The Lioness showed she was keen on a stalk and before long she had ended up near the Impala, still well concealed by the long grass.

We watched the entire scene and could not believe our luck when she managed to stalk right up to the Impala, charge in and grab it right on the edge of the water. It was all over in 20 mins and we continued on to Lower Sabie where our Lion encounters continued.

Below are a set of images taken by the clients on the safari, everyone had a great view of the entire stalk, chase and kill, on their first day in Kruger they really did not expect this and we were all extremely fortunate to see such a sighting. Well done to everyone for capturing the story, the shots are excellent and not commonly captured.

Enjoy !


The Lioness peeking over the long grass to locate her prey - Photo by James Smith

This wider shot taken by Maria Ricciardi sets the scene - the Lioness is well hidden on the right of the frame - try to spot her !

Everytime the Impala turned its head away from the Lioness she took the opportunity to creep a little bit closer - Photo by James Smith

It is amazing to watch a large cat in stalk mode - here she creeps forward again - 
Photo by Logan Gelik

The Impala was totally unaware the entire time, here the Lioness got ready for the charge
Photo by Maria Ricciardi

Off she went, it was all so quick, camera buffers were straining !!
Photo by Maria Ricciardi

A fast shutter speed of 1/4000 sec was used here to freeze the Cat in full flight
Photo by James Smith

The two Saddlebilled Storks did not panic too much once they realised the Impala was on the Lions menu and not them. Lucky they were not a pair of Egyptian Geese security guards who would have certainly let the Impala know of the impending danger.
Photo by James Smith

It always amazes me how quickly these animals react in these lightning fast situations. Here the Lioness forces the Impala back towards the water which would have been a mental barrier in the Impala's mind
Photo by Maria Ricciardi

One bad move and its all over, the Impala ends up in the deep mud at the edge of the water. Its sharp hooves and skinny legs dig straight into the soft mud and he lost all his speed.
Photo by Ulhas Mayekar

The Lion moves in swiftly and leaps for the doomed Impala
Photo by Ulhas Mayekar

The giant paws fan out to the size of dinner plates and out come the sharp retractable claws, the poor Impala had no chance of getting away at this point.
Photo by James Smith

After a very brief struggle the Lioness dragged the Impala back into the long grass away from the water where a Crocodile had shown interest in the commotion.
Photo by Logan Gelik

From the Northern end of the dam two more Lionesses emerged and ran towards the site of the kill
Photo by Maria Ricciardi

What an amazing sighting this was for all of us to observe - literally once in a lifetime stuff !


5 Members of the Lion pride that we saw every day near Lubyelubye bridge just north of Lower Sabie Camp. Here they are watching a herd of Impala approach the river to drink. The adult Lioness ended up catching one down near the river, just out of our view.

Lions had caught a Zebra near the Duke waterhole south of Lower Sabie. This rare White Headed vulture was one of 4 that responded to the Kill

One of the Lionesses near the Zebra Kill

Lion in a tunnel. This section of the road has a lot of Many Stemmed Albizia growing on either side. Shooting wide open at 2.8 helped to create this tunnel effect

Back with the Lion pride on our final morning just north of Lower Sabie. Another Impala victim

As we headed up to Satara in central Kruger for our final 3 nights, we came across 3 beautiful male Lions following a female. This was taken near the Sweni waterhole.

Kumana Dam provided yet more Lions, here a pride of 11 had taken down a big male Cape Buffalo. Over the next few days we returned to the site and watched at how efficient nature is, there was nothing but a rib cage left after the Lions, Hyaenas and Vultures had finished.

We had a great sighting of a young Pearl Spotted Owlet peeking out of its nest hole. This was on the Nwanetsi Tar road

He did fly out and perch rather nicely on a nearby log for a few quick photos

The S125 had a surprise for us, apparently a young elephant had got his leg caught in a tree and had died. Four large Male Lions had found the carcass and begun to feed. This was another rare sighting - right next to the road

The fourth member of the coalition of male Lions approaches the Elephant carcass. These were some of the most relaxed male Lions I have ever seen in Kruger - feeding on the carcass which was right next to the road without a care in the world for the close onlookers.

A sign that the season is about to change, the return of the migrant birds is well under way, here an African Cuckoo was photographed just north of Kumana Dam

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wild4photographicsafaris@gmail.com (WILD4 AFRICAN PHOTO SAFARIS & PHOTOGRAPHY) http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/10/big-cats-and-kruger-explorer-photo Fri, 10 Oct 2014 12:37:00 GMT
2014 KENYA MIGRATION Photo Safari with Lake Nakuru and Samburu - September http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/9/2014-kenya-migration-photo-safari-with
We continued North to Lake Nakuru, still rather full at the moment but it did provide some extra photo opportunities and experiences. We still managed to see Black & White Rhino, Rothschild Giraffe and a Leopard !!. Finally we ended up in Samburu where the river was at its lowest that I have seen.   It is still a great location with good elephant, birds and the "unusual" Beisa Oryx, Grevy's Zebra, Gerenuk, Reticulated Giraffe and a special sighting of a Striped Hyaena !!

Thanks very much to all the staff at the Lodges we stayed at, especially Ashnil Camp in the Mara and everyone at Mara Bush Camp.

A huge thanks to our guides, James, Silas and Julius - for being so patient with us photographers and for all the tough driving - it is always greatly appreciated.

And a huge thanks to our participants, Pierre, Martin, Alan, Linda and Marian, thanks for coming on the safari with us, it was a pleasure to have shared the special moments with you..

Here are a few photos from the trip - enjoy

Warm regards

Stu & the Wild4 team....


Male Lion

Topi

Female Cheetah near Rekero

Cape Buffalo with young calf

Young Spotted Hyaena

Hippo and Zebra at the Talek River

Young Black Backed Jackal pup

Grant's Gazelle

Lions greet each other

Male Lion

Cubs play with a female

Cape Buffalo

Lion cub

Malaika with her 5 cubs




The female Leopard near Olare Orok River

The female Leopard near Olare Orok River

Eland Bull

Thompson's Gazelle and baby

Male Cheetah Yawn

Martial Eagle

Elephant with Calf

Reedbuck

Lion cub

Male Lion

Lions resting in the midday heat

"Flehmen response"

Female Elephant

Bat Eared Fox

Zebra get a fright at the Mara River

River Crossing

16 Giraffe near Entim

Elephants and Rainbow

Rothschild Giraffe - Lake Nakuru

Rothschild Giraffe - Lake Nakuru

Cattle Egret - Lake Nakuru

Pelicans - Lake Nakuru

Beisa Oryx - Samburu

Dwarf Mongoose - Samburu

Kori Bustard - Samburu

Young Grevy's Zebra - Samburu

Grevy's Zebra - Samburu

Scrub Hare - Samburu

D'Arnauds Barbets - Samburu

Shining Sunbird - Samburu

Eastern Pale Chanting Goshawk - Samburu

Striped Hyaena - Samburu

Reticulated Giraffe - Samburu

Northern Yellowbilled Hornbill

Female Von der Decken's Hornbill

African Silverbills

White-bellied Go-away-bird - Samburu

Kenyan Rock Agamas

Male Gerenuk

Grey Crowned Cranes - Samburu

Golden Breasted Starling - Samburu

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wild4photographicsafaris@gmail.com (WILD4 AFRICAN PHOTO SAFARIS & PHOTOGRAPHY) http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/9/2014-kenya-migration-photo-safari-with Fri, 26 Sep 2014 01:25:00 GMT
2014 KENYA MIGRATION private photo safari - September http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/9/2014-kenya-migration-private-photo Here are a few photos from a private photo tour to Kenya's Maasai Mara Reserve. The tour coincided with the great migration which was the focus for the trip. Luckily we had some good crossing action in the first few days which allowed us to venture out away from the river on the remaining days where we managed to photograph some of the other interesting inhabitants of the Mara.

Many thanks to our Guide - James, its always a pleasure to work with you Mr Mande !! and thanks to Andrei for coming on this private safari, it was a pleasure to shoot along side you and witness some magic during the migration in the Masai Mara !!

Enjoy some of the favourites !!



Maasai Giraffe

Maasai Giraffe

Lioness resting with Wildebeest in the Background

Lioness yawning

This is one of the most beautiful Lionesses I have seen in the Mara - still young but full of intent !!

Sunset

A female Thompson's Gazelle with her new baby

Secretary Bird

A line of Wildebeest near the Mara River

Male Impala with ox peckers

Some Wildebeest watch a Ruppells Starling

Wildebeest running away from the river

A mating pair of Lions

Hippo with very small baby at the Mara River

Building up for the crossing

our first Crossing over the Mara River

two Lappet Faced Vultures

The chaos on the exit side of the river

Another crossing

Two Male Lions near Ashnil Camp

The Larger of the two males

Two male Lions

A Vulture arrives at a Wildebeest Carcass

Wildebeest drinking

A line of Eland silhouetted against a stormy sky

Wildebeest running

Marabou Storks

River Crossing seen from Ashnil Camp

Starburst Sunrise

Olive baboon

Mating pair of Lions

Mating pair of Ostriches

Male Ostrich

Giraffe near Ashnil Camp

"Malaika" the female Cheetah with her 5 cubs

Four of the cubs

Cheetahs passing a herd of concerned Wildebeest

Giraffe at Sunrise

Cheetahs

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wild4photographicsafaris@gmail.com (WILD4 AFRICAN PHOTO SAFARIS & PHOTOGRAPHY) http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/9/2014-kenya-migration-private-photo Fri, 26 Sep 2014 00:52:00 GMT
2014 BEST of KRUGER plus Big Cats - SOUTH AFRICA http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/8/2014-best-of-kruger-plus-big-cats-south
This time of year in Southern Africa is a good time for game viewing as the animals are drawn more and more to the last water sources. From this point on it will get progressively more difficult for the herbivores and easier for the carnivores as the weak, old and young animals begin to feel the pressure due to less good grazing and less water.

First up, the big Cat reserve provided some great opportunities with the two young female leopards, in their camp close to the lodge. Ntombi the Cheetah graced us with her presence on the plains near Bush Camp and the Cheetah Boys, Floppy and Hunters made two kills during our stay. Being able to get so close to these adult male Cheetahs is still one of the highlights of the trip. Hippo, porcupine and a Bushbaby called "peanut" were some more highlights.

We then entered into the Kruger National park via Orpen Gate (Vehicle 1) and via Phabeni gate (Vehicle 2) On route to our first camp we came across the Nwaswitsontso Lion pride just north of Tshokwane. They had just finished a Zebra kill and were relaxing on the banks of the river.

Lower Sabie is famous for the great photo opportunities at Sunset Dam, a mere 200m from the camp gate. We spent a whole morning at the dam photographing the residents as well as two male Lions that came to drink on the far side of the dam. Fish Eagles, Giant Kingfishers, Egyptian Geese, Yellow Billed Storks, Hippos and Crocodiles kept our trigger fingers happy.

The afternoon drive took us out to the Mlondozi picnic site area where we stayed with two male Cheetahs who were resting up for the day. It was a lucky day for us and the cheetah but unlucky for a young zebra foal who stumbled right into the resting Cheetah who gave chase. Sadly the Zebra foal was knocked down by a few of the fleeing adults and the Cheetahs grabbed it right in front of us.

We spent a good deal of time at some waterholes in the Kruger which proved to be very successful, Rhino, Giraffe, Kudu, Impala, Warthog, Elephant, Cape Buffalo, Zebra and a beautiful male Leopard were photographed.

Apart from the Cheetah and Zebra incident, we were very lucky to see three more chases which ended up in the prey getting away, and perhaps the best chase and catch sequence I have seen and photographed yet in the Kruger. On this occasion a Lioness waited in ambush on the bank of the Sweni River, just south of Satara Camp. A small herd of Zebra came in to drink and the result was an amazing chase through the river where the Lioness managed to catch a young Zebra foal. Such a sighting is really quite rare to see and we were really very lucky and fortunate to have been able to witness, and photograph it.

A few other highlights were a number of small Spotted Hyaena cubs who emerged from their roadside den, approx 700 Buffalo drinking from Girivana waterhole, the two leopard cubs and their mother in the Nwatimhiri River north of Lower Sabie and the 4 young male Lions we met on the road towards Crocodile Bridge.

The randomness and surprise factor in the Kruger is second to none and when the conditions are right it is a really amazing place to spend time in.

Many thanks to our two amazing rangers at the Big Cat Reserve, Deon and Matt, thanks so much for all your hard work getting us the great shots that we did. Thanks also to all the staff at Tshukudu for looking after us so well.

Thanks also to the amazing WILD4 backup team, mum and dad - thanks for all your help, the amazing meals and endless energy you have which make this trip such a great success :)

Finally I want to thank Mike Lentz for guiding the second vehicle in Kruger, it was a privilege to have had Mike on the trip with his amazing knowledge gained during more than 10 years in the bush, Mike I hope we get to have you again on more WILD4 photo safaris :)

Here are some photos from the trip - enjoy

Kind regards from the WILD4 team.

PS - look out for the next trip report from Kenya and the migration photo safari...


Ntombi with her Impala prize near Bush Camp - Big Cat Reserve

One of the young female Leopards at the Big Cat Reserve

A pale coloured female Lioness at the Nwaswitsontso River - Kruger Park

Young Lion - Kruger Park

African Fish Eagle take off - Kruger Park

Giant Kingfisher - sunset dam - Kruger Park

Wood sand piper - Kruger Park

Nile Crocodile - Kruger Park

Yellow Billed Stork - Kruger Park

Grey Heron landing on a Hippo - Kruger Park

The two male Lions that came to drink at Sunset Dam - Kruger Park

Egyptian Goose in flight - Kruger Park

Territorial battle - Kruger Park

The two male Cheetahs watching the approaching Zebra - Kruger Park

The point of impact - photographed by Joanie Liew - Kruger Park - great photo Joanie !!


The two Cheetahs with their Zebra foal kill - Kruger Park

One of the young male Lions next to the road to Crocodile Bridge - Kruger Park

Warthogs drinking near Duke's Waterhole - Kruger Park

Giraffe - Kruger Park

Impala with Oxpeckers - Kruger Park

Young Male Impala - Kruger Park

Elephants arrive at a waterhole on the Nwatimhiri road - Kruger Park

Zebra antics - Kruger Park

Black winged Stilt at sunset - Kruger Park

One of the Lion chases near Kumana Dam where the Kudu managed to escape - Kruger Park

Elephants in the muddy water - Kruger Park

I have an itch !!  - Kruger Park

Giraffe drinking - Kruger Park

Sunset - Kruger Park

Sunset near Satara Camp - Kruger Park

Giraffe - Kruger Park

Elephant herd arriving at Sweni bird hide - Kruger Park

Elephants drinking - Kruger Park

Elephants running - Kruger Park

The beautiful Male leopard with a milky left eye - Girivana waterhole - Kruger Park

Somewhere in Southern Kruger ! - photo by Steve Seow

Elephant crossing - Kruger Park


Morning misty sunrise - Kruger Park

Lion chases an Impala at Nsemani Dam - Kruger Park

Chacma Baboons playing - Kruger Park

What do I do now ?  - Kruger Park

Cape Buffalo just outside Satara camp  - Kruger Park

A Lioness launches onto the rump of a Zebra foal in the Sweni River  - Kruger Park

Beautiful male Greater Kudu - Kruger Park

Two Spotted Hyaenas on our way to Orpen gate - Kruger Park

The 4 year old Male Lion at the Big cat Reserve

One of the young Leopards at the Big Cat Reserve

Porcupine - Big Cat Reserve

Ferassi the Swiss Hippo - Big Cat reserve 

Ntombi the Cheetah - Big Cat Reserve

Star photography at Tamboti Dam - Big Cat Reserve

The magnificent Milkyway - Big Cat Reserve

Team Photo - August 2014 WILD4 Best of Kruger & Big Cats photo safari


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wild4photographicsafaris@gmail.com (WILD4 AFRICAN PHOTO SAFARIS & PHOTOGRAPHY) http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/8/2014-best-of-kruger-plus-big-cats-south Sat, 30 Aug 2014 10:32:00 GMT
2014 TAILOR MADE photo Safari to the BIG CAT RESERVE, NGALA and MALA MALA, South Africa http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/8/2014-tailor-made-photo-safari-to-big We have just completed a tailor made photo safari which took in some of the most productive private reserves in South Africa. All locations were very productive - Lions, Leopards and Cheetahs as well as the African Wilddog and a great Spotted Hyaena den !! were some of the predator highlights.

The "Big Cat Reserve" - (Tshukudu Game Reserve) was once again very productive as far as getting off to a good start regarding photo techniques, night photography, off camera flash and star photography. The final morning was spent observing the two cheetah boys, Floppy and Hunters on their Impala kill.

Thanks very much to the Tshukudu staff and Deon our ranger for looking after us.

Ngala Private Game Reserve was up next, a 4 night stay at this reserve produced a good variety of sightings, Buffalo, Hippo, Elephant, Giraffe, Impala, Greater Kudu and some great bird life. The predator sightings were amazing, with two Leopard sightings. One of the Tekwane youngsters got rather close to a pair of Black Mambas, and the young Leadwood Tom passed through the Timbavati river. The Skoro pride had a Male Lion in tow and the Birmingham pride showed off their young cubs in a beautiful open area. The Spotted Hyaena den was very active with a number of youngsters, my personal favourite being a rather dark coloured and very inquisitive individual :) The highlight however had to be three sightings of the African Wilddogs, two were without the puppies, and one with them in tow, what a great opportunity to see these endangered carnivores and to be able to spend some time photographing them, resulting in the best Wilddog puppy photos yet !

Thanks very much to all the Ngala staff and to Steve our tracker and Amy our ranger.

Final stop on the tour was a three night stay at Mala Mala Private Game Reserve. Our stay started with a bang when we got to spend some of the afternoon with a pair of male elephants fighting for dominance, these were not fully grown adults and thus it was not too serious but a great experience to watch and photograph. We then spent some time with the Kikilezi female leopard and her two youngsters - good news that the second youngster had not been killed by another Leopard as we had feared on the previous trip. We managed to have a good view of them drinking before they moved off into a thick drainage line. Before heading back to camp we came across the Eyrefield pride on the hunt but left them and turned in for the night.

Things from here got more interesting - in the morning we found the Eyrefield pride in front of camp on a fresh Buffalo kill. This was followed up by a sighting of the Princess Alice Pans male Leopard (PAP) and his son the Newington Male Leopard, both at a Sausage tree with a fresh Bushbuck Kill. Not more than a Kilometer away we found two more Leopards, the River Rocks male and the Tamboti female, also near the remains of a Kill - this time an Impala.

Over the next two days we returned to watch and observe these stories unfold, but we also managed to bump into the Airstrip Male leopard and the Ostrich Koppies female leopard who had two very small cubs with her, taking our total Leopard count to 11 !! On top of this the Marthly pride took over the Buffalo kill from the Eyrefield pride and we got to see the Styx pride too. A single Cheetah male was also seen on our final afternoon.

Thanks also to the Mala Mala staff and to Jonno our ranger for looking after us so well

Top notch sightings at all places and a very successful safari !!

Thanks also to Rob & Sue for making their 4th safari with us, it was an absolute pleasure to have had you back again - looking forward to the next one.

Enjoy some photos from the trip and a short video of the Ostrich Koppies female Leopard with her two small cubs.

Best wishes to all

Stu


Short video of the Ostrich Koppies female Leopard cubs at Mala Mala


Young Leopard - Big Cat Reserve

Porcupine - Big Cat Reserve

Lion yawning - Big Cat Reserve

Young Lioness - Big Cat Reserve

Leopard at sunset - Big Cat Reserve

Floppy the Cheetah - Big Cat Reserve

Three Banded Plover - Ngala Game Reserve

Tekwane youngster - Ngala Game Reserve

Young Giraffe - Ngala Game Reserve

Young Giraffe suckling - Ngala Game Reserve

Leadwood tom - Ngala Game Reserve

Hippo and ox peckers - Ngala Game Reserve

Greater Kudu bulls - Ngala Game Reserve

African Wilddog running - Ngala Game Reserve

Spotted Hyaenas at their den - Ngala Game Reserve

A female member of the Skoro pride and a Pelwane male - Ngala Game Reserve

Pelwane male - Ngala Game Reserve

Pelwane male - Ngala Game Reserve

African wild dog pups - Ngala Game Reserve

African Wilddog pup - Ngala Game Reserve

African wild dog pups - Ngala Game Reserve

African wild dog puppy running

African wild dog pups - Ngala Game Reserve

Male Lion - Ngala Game Reserve

A young cub from the Birmingham pride - Ngala Game Reserve

Females from the Birmingham pride suckling their youngsters - Ngala Game Reserve

Young cubs from the Birmingham pride - Ngala Game Reserve

Hyaena cub near the den site - Ngala Game Reserve

Hyaena cub - Ngala Game Reserve

Male Elephants sparring - Mala Mala

Kikilezi female Leopard and cub - Mala Mala

The second cub of the Kikilezi female Leopard - Mala Mala

Kikilezi female Leopard - Mala Mala

Young males from the Eyrefield pride play in the sand river - Mala Mala

The River rocks Male Leopard - Mala Mala

Members of the Eyrefield pride on a buffalo kill in the Sand River - Mala Mala

Young Lioness from the Eyrefield pride at the buffalo kill - Mala Mala

Eyrefield pride with the buffalo kill - Mala Mala

River rocks male Leopard - Mala Mala

Tamboti female Leopard - Mala Mala

Tamboti female Leopard  - Mala Mala

River rocks male Leopard with kill - Mala Mala

River rocks male leopard with Impala kill - Mala Mala

River rocks male leopard resting in a tree - Mala Mala

Spotted Hyaena with a piece of the kill - Mala Mala

Newington male Leopard - Mala Mala

Princess Alice Pans male Leopard (PAP)  - Mala Mala

Airstrip male Leopard - Mala Mala

Young cub of the Ostrich Koppies female Leopard - Mala Mala

Cheetah - Mala Mala

Cheetah yawn - Mala Mala

Female Steenbok - Mala Mala

Zebra - Mala Mala

Red Crested Korhaan - Mala Mala



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wild4photographicsafaris@gmail.com (WILD4 AFRICAN PHOTO SAFARIS & PHOTOGRAPHY) http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/8/2014-tailor-made-photo-safari-to-big Sun, 10 Aug 2014 10:47:00 GMT
2014 LIONS & LEOPARDS of Mala Mala - July http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/7/2014-lions-leopards-of-mala-mala-july
Our first stop was the Big Cat Reserve and some highlights were the lion pride feeding on a giraffe, night photography of the leopards and the porcupines, the female King Cheetah, Floppy and Hunters the resident male Cheetahs out on patrol and a great sighting of the three elephants, Becky, Malutka and Juba !!

Thanks very much to Ben our Ranger for looking after us and all the staff at Tshukudu.

Next stop was a 4 night stay inside the Kruger National Park at Satara camp. As water levels begin to drop the animals are beginning to concentrate along the river lines and large reservoirs. On our first day we found a young male lion trailing far behind the rest of his pride, a  very cooperative common Duiker, lots of beautiful Lilac Breasted Rollers, large herds of elephants and the two main highlights were a herd of 800 plus Cape Buffalo who all arrived at Girivana waterhole and filled it up completely. Lions were close behind and they ran in on the buffalo a couple of times without success. On our final morning we found two male cheetahs on the road south towards Skukuza. We got some great images of them as they scent marked and looked out for potential prey.

Our last stop was a three night stay at Mala Mala, where the focus shifted to Lions and Leopards. We had great success with both - starting with our first sighting of the Marthli Pride barely 20 mins after we left camp. The large Lioness without a tail is always an interesting sight.

We continued our drive in search of the cubs of the "Kekelezi female" and found them resting in a dry mud wallow, it is always a real privilege to see these cats, and even more special to see cubs.

During our stay we also found a male Leopard known as the "Tree house male" and he was busy stalking Impala. He did not succeed on this occasion but we still managed to follow him after dark before we left him near the Sand River.

We had a brief encounter with "PAP" another dominant Male Leopard in the area.

One Highlight was finding the Kekelezi female with her two cubs as well as the "Airstrip Male" leopard all at the same kill site. To see a male leopard around cubs is very rare, but it is believed that the Airstrip male is the father of the two cubs and is tolerant towards them.

On a bit of a concerning note, we later heard that "PAP" (Princess Alice Pans Male Leopard) had arrived at the kill too and fought with the "Airstrip Male" over the carcass and seemingly won the fight. The cubs and the female would have scattered to get away and at the time of our departure only one of the cubs had been seen again with the female which might suggest that "PAP" could have killed the other cub, but we hope to hear news that both cubs are back with the female Leopard.

Our final highlight was spending some quality time in a perfect position opposite 9 Cape Hunting Dog puppies who proceeded to run up and down in front of us playing like puppies do. This pack is now mobile so to find them is extremely difficult. We were very fortunate to have seen this once in a lifetime sighting..

Thanks very much to Jonno our Ranger for looking after us and to all the Mala Mala staff.

Thank you also to Erik, David and Bridget who joined us on this safari, we certainly did have some amazing sightings that not many people get to see, it was a pleasure having you on the trip..

Here are some photos - best regards

Stu


Lioness with subadult Male - Big Cat Reserve

Bagheera the female Leopard - Big Cat Reserve

A sub adult male Lion with the Giraffe Kill - - Big Cat Reserve

The King Cheetah lying next to Hunters - Big Cat Reserve

Lion pride feeding on the giraffe - Big Cat Reserve

Hunters grooming himself, the "dew claw" is clearly visible - Big Cat Reserve

Malutka, Juba and Becky, the three elephants at the Big Cat Reserve

One of the young female Leopards at night - Big Cat Reserve

A Porcupine arrives - Big Cat Reserve

Male Impala alert after spotting a Lion close by - Kruger National Park

The young male lion we found on our first afternoon - Kruger National Park

A very cooperative Common Duiker - Kruger National Park

The Cape Buffalo at Girivana waterhole - Kruger National Park

Lilac Breasted Roller - Kruger National Park

Herd of elephants at Nsemani Dam - Kruger National Park

The two Cheetah brothers we saw on our final morning - Kruger National Park

A Lioness and a cub of the Marthli Pride - Mala Mala

Three of the cubs of the Marthli Pride - Mala Mala

Siesta time - Mala Mala

The adult Lioness without a tail - Mala Mala

Marthli Lions - Mala Mala

A spotted Hyaena  - Mala Mala

One of the cubs of the "Kekelezi Female Leopard"  - Mala Mala

Night drive at Mala Mala

Red Billed Oxpecker - Mala Mala

Barred Owlet - Mala Mala

Male Greater Kudu - Mala Mala

Buffalo calf with oxpecker - Mala Mala

Elephant herd - Mala Mala

"Tree House Male Leopard"  - Mala Mala

Tree house male stalking Impala  - Mala Mala

Tree house Male Leopard at night  - Mala Mala

Tree house male Leopard - Mala Mala

Tree House Male Leopard  - Mala Mala

Kekelezi female Leopard and one of her cubs - Mala Mala

"Airstrip Male Leopard" leaps with the remains of the Impala Kill as the cub watches - Mala Mala

Leopard cub feeding on the leg of an Impala - Mala Mala

Spotted Hyaena yawning - Mala Mala

Cape Hunting Dog puppies  - Mala Mala

Adult Cape Hunting Dog with a damaged eye - Mala Mala

Cape Hunting Dog Puppy - Mala Mala

Cape Hunting Dog adult - Mala Mala

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wild4photographicsafaris@gmail.com (WILD4 AFRICAN PHOTO SAFARIS & PHOTOGRAPHY) http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/7/2014-lions-leopards-of-mala-mala-july Fri, 25 Jul 2014 00:22:00 GMT
TAILOR MADE PHOTO SAFARI - South Africa - June / July 2014 http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/7/tailor-made-photo-safari-south-africa
First stop was the Blyde River Canyon for some waterfall and landscape photography, followed by a two night stay at Forest Camp where we enjoyed a full day of African Reptile Photography - many thanks again to Donald for providing us with such a great reptile experience :)

Tshukudu Game Reserve, Ngala Private Game Reserve and Mala Mala made up the following 9 nights where we were treated to great and varied sightings of that magnificent cat the Leopard. One of the highlights at Ngala was a visit to the Wilddog den site where we were lucky enough to see all 9 puppies and the adults returning from a successful hunt to regurgitate food for the youngsters. A female Leopard and her two large male cubs as well as two different Lion prides made the stay at Ngala extra special - many thanks to Andrew our ranger and Sam the expert tracker...

At Mala Mala we were once again well looked after by our ranger Brendan - thanks for another awesome stay Brendan !! it started off with a sighting of the small Charleston Pride - two sub adult males and a female - a first for me. Then we had a great run with Leopards, the cub of the Tamboti female, the Kekelezi female with her two cubs, the Nottens female with an impala kill, the West street male and that magnificent Male leopard the "bike"..

The stay was topped off on the final morning with a great sighting with a very small and wobbly baby elephant only a week or so old.

Finally we headed out into the Kruger National Park and based ourselves at Lower Sabie. Sunset Dam and Clyde's pan were on our agenda and we spent many hours sitting at these two bodies of water photographing the birds and mammals as they came down to drink.

Here are a few images from the trip we hope you will enjoy them.

Thanks again to all the staff at the lodges who made our stay so comfortable and to our rangers, Charles at Forest Camp, Matt at Tshukudu, Andrew at Ngala and Brendan at Mala Mala, thanks for getting us into those great positions for some excellent photos !!

A huge thanks to mum for the excellent catering in the Kruger !!

Thanks so much to Larry and Debbie for coming out on safari with us, it was an absolute pleasure to have been able to show you around the Kruger area - looking forward to the next trip with you..

Warm regards

Stu





Small waterfall on the Kadishi Trail - Blyde Canyon

Kadishi waterfall - Blyde Canyon

View of the Blyde Canyon and the Sundial with the Three Rondawels - Blyde Canyon

Bourke's Luck Potholes

Aloes in flower - near the "Pinnacle"

Blyde Canyon

Swadini Dam

Scarlet Chested Sunbird - Forest Camp

White Backed Vulture - Forest Camp

Boomslang - Reptile Park

Green Mamba - Reptile Park

Black Mamba - Reptile Park

Snouted Cobra - Reptile Park

Jabula - Big Cat Reserve

Male Greater Painted Snipe - Big Cat Reserve

Nile Crocodile - Big Cat Reserve

Cape Hunting Dog Puppy - Ngala Private Game Reserve

Cape Hunting Dog Den site - Ngala Private Game Reserve

Cape Hunting dog puppies playing - Ngala Private Game Reserve

Adult regurgitating food for the hungry puppies - Ngala Private Game Reserve

Puppy with the ear of an Impala - Ngala Private Game Reserve

One of the year old Male leopard cubs - Ngala Private Game Reserve

The second male Leopard cub  - Ngala Private Game Reserve

The female Leopard with her two large male cubs - Ngala Private Game Reserve

Male Lion - Ngala Private Game Reserve

Wildebeest - Ngala Private Game Reserve

A sub adult female from the Birmingham Pride - Ngala Private Game Reserve

A sub adult male from the Birmingham Pride - Ngala Private Game Reserve

The "Tekwane" female Leopard - Ngala Private Game Reserve

Two lions form the "Skoro" pride - Ngala Private Game Reserve

The two subadult Male Lions of the Charleston Pride - Mala Mala

The cub of the Tamboti female Leopard - Mala Mala

The Kekelezi female Leopard with one of her cubs - Mala Mala

A Coqui Francolin - Mala Mala

Collared Sunbird - Mala Mala

The Nottens female leopard - Mala Mala

Verreaux's Eagle Owl - Mala Mala

Dead tree and stars - Mala Mala

African Harrier Hawk swallowing a snake - Mala Mala

African Hawk Eagle - Mala Mala

Bicycle Crossing Male Leopard - "The Bike" - Mala Mala

Baby Elephant - Mala Mala

African Fish Eagle Landing - Kruger National Park

Young Hippos fighting - Kruger National Park

Young Hippos fighting - Kruger National Park

White Fronted Bee Eater - Kruger National Park

Southern Giraffe - Kruger National Park

Elephant Herd in the Sabi River - Kruger National Park

Gabar Goshawk - Kruger National Park

Spotted Hyaena and reflection - Kruger National Park

Impala and Reb Billed Oxpecker - Kruger National Park

Giraffe and Impala drinking at Clyde's pan - Kruger National Park

Impala - Kruger National Park

Egyptian Goose - Kruger National Park


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wild4photographicsafaris@gmail.com (WILD4 AFRICAN PHOTO SAFARIS & PHOTOGRAPHY) http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/7/tailor-made-photo-safari-south-africa Tue, 08 Jul 2014 03:08:00 GMT
2014 LIONS & LEOPARDS of Mala Mala - June http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/6/2014-lions-leopards-of-mala-mala-june
Our three nights at the Big Cat Reserve was very eventful with the Lions on a Buffalo kill and the two Cheetah brothers, Floppy and Hunters bringing down a young Waterbuck. The two seasoned Leopards, Jabula and Bagheera were still on form for the night photo shoot.

Then it was off to the Kruger National Park and 4 nights at Satara in central Kruger.
We spent a lot of time sitting patiently at the remaining waterholes and Girivana and Nkaya pan were both very productive. We spent the entire day at Nkaya pan and animals came and went like clock work. A Saddle Billed Stork kept us entertained in the quiet times as she continuously hunted in the pan for Platanas (african Clawed Frogs) Special treats were a beautiful Male Lion with one of the biggest manes I have seen in the Kruger, Rhino, Elephant, Impala, Zebra, Warthog, Wildebeest and Kudu, to name just a few.

The Sweni Bird hide was productive too with a Goliath Heron that showed off his hunting skills right in front of the hide.

Our final stop was three nights at Mala Mala. We began with a sighting of a Leopard and her cub in a tree with a kill. Later on that evening a male leopard arrived and stole the kill.

The Eyrefield pride successfully caught a young male Nyala on one of the night drives. Great bird photography, a rare Sable Antelope and the Newington and the Airstrip Male leopards were some other highlights.

On our final night we witnessed the Bicycle Crossing Male Leopard chase another male leopard at full speed through the sand river where they briefly fought, the "Bike" was the clear victor and chased his counterpart, who we believe was a younger male, off into the night !

On our final morning drive we soon found the Eyrefield pride on the airstrip, we followed them on a brief unsuccessful hunt and then they made their way down to the river and crossed at the perfect place for us to get some Lions in the river photos !! what a great ending to a magical safari..

Many thanks to the staff at Forest Camp, Tshukudu and Mala Mala and to Stefan our guide at Forest Camp, Deon and Matt, our rangers at Tshukudu and to Brendan, our ranger at Mala Mala for looking after us and getting us into great positions for some wonderful photo opportunities.

Thanks also to mum - great food again in the Kruger :) and a huge thanks to Becky, all the way from Whidbey Island - Washington State - for joining us on this photo safari, it was a fantastic trip !

Here are some of the photos - enjoy !!



Flat Rock Scorpion - courtesy Becky Bolen

White Backed Vulture 

Puff Adder

Boomslang

Jumping Spider on Boomslang

Green Mamba

Black Mamba

Snouted Cobra

Lioness on Buffalo Kill - Big Cat Reserve

Male Lion - Big Cat Reserve

Bagheera the female Leopard - Big Cat Reserve

Floppy the Male Cheetah - Big Cat Reserve

Jabula - Big Cat Reserve

Young lions - Big Cat Reserve

Lion - Big Cat Reserve

Jabula - Big Cat Reserve

Bagheera at the night shoot - Big Cat Reserve

Young Lioness - Big Cat Reserve

Male Lion - Big Cat Reserve

Cheetah brothers with Waterbuck kill - Big Cat Reserve

Ntombi facing up to two Rhinos - Big Cat Reserve

Ntombi - Big Cat Reserve

Portrait of King Cheeta - Big Cat Reserve

Zebra at Girivana - Kruger National Park

Kudu - Kruger National Park

Zebra drinking - Kruger National Park

Zebra - Kruger National Park

White Rhino - Kruger National Park

Cape Buffalo - Kruger National Park

Male Waterbuck - Kruger National Park

Female Saddle Billed Stork - Kruger National Park

Blue Wildebeest - Kruger National Park

Warthogs drinking - Kruger National Park

Wildebeest and Saddle Billed Stork - Kruger National Park

Male Lion at Nkaya Pan - Kruger National Park

Impala Drinking - Kruger National Park

Zebra drinking - Kruger National Park

Zebra Nkaya Pan - Kruger National Park

Cape Buffalo - Kruger National Park

Male Elephant - Kruger National Park

Impala running - Kruger National Park

Giraffe - Kruger National Park

Purple Roller - Kruger National Park

Crocodile and Jacana - Kruger National Park

Goliath Heron with fish  - Kruger National Park

Giraffe drinking - Kruger National Park

Juvenile Martial Eagle - Kruger National Park

Bateleur Eagle - Kruger National Park

Young Leopard - Mala Mala

Leopard in tree at sunset- Mala Mala

Leopard sleeping with moon in background (double exposure)- Mala Mala

Young male Lion of the Eyrefield pride- Mala Mala

Brown Snake Eagle- Mala Mala

Sable Antelope- Mala Mala

Barred Owl- Mala Mala

Lilac Breasted Roller- Mala Mala

Roller dive bombing Pearl Spotted Owlet- Mala Mala

Roller and Pearl spotted owlet- Mala Mala

Newington Male Leopard- Mala Mala

Airstrip Male Leopard- Mala Mala

Bushbuck- Mala Mala

Bicycle Crossing Male Leopard- Mala Mala

Bicycle Crossing Male Leopard- Mala Mala

Spotted Eagle Owl - Mala Mala

The Eyrefield Pride thinks about crossing the Sand River - Mala Mala

Warming up in the sun before deciding to cross - Mala Mala

Making their way across the Sand River - Mala Mala

One of the adult Lionesses looks up river - Mala Mala





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wild4photographicsafaris@gmail.com (WILD4 AFRICAN PHOTO SAFARIS & PHOTOGRAPHY) http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/6/2014-lions-leopards-of-mala-mala-june Sun, 15 Jun 2014 13:37:00 GMT
2014 BEST OF BOTSWANA Photo Safari http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/5/best-of-botswana-may-2014-photo-safari Botswana - a name that has always brought to mind the romance of wild Africa.  This great trip certainly lived up to the Africa of old, in so many ways.

We were met at the Xakanaxa Airstrip in the Moremi Game Reserve by our guide Nkosi and expertly driven to our first expedition style tented camp amidst huge rain trees in the Xini Lagoon Region.  The privileged sightings from this camp included 2 lovely male cheetahs, a collection of ten different waterbird species fishing together at a small vanishing waterhole and a fantastic full moon rising/sunset scenario featuring a baobab tree.

After Xini we moved on to the Khwai area which is community owned.  Off-road driving is permitted in Khwai, which added to the excitement.  We had wonderful experiences with leopard here - one included a three month old cub at a kill with her mother, which was very special. Three baby hyaena entertained us when the early morning sun had lured them from their den and we were also lucky enough to encounter Cape Hunting Dogs up close which we managed to follow on a hunt until the vegetation and their speed defeated us.  The camp here was delightful - situated next to the Khwai River under magnificent leadwood trees.

The Savuti area of the Chobe Game Reserve was our next stop - a wonderland of marsh, forest, grassland and sandveld.  This time our camp was situated in a grove of Kalahari Apple Leaf trees and had a character all of its own.  It was here that we encountered the marsh lion pride - all beautiful specimens with two sets of young cubs.

I would like to thank the Letaka team for all their hard work and great organisation.  Our guide Nkosi was outstanding.  His knowledge of all facets of the environment in which he works was amazing, as were his driving skills.  His ability as a photographer helped so much in understanding our needs.  Pula, the chef and chief camp organiser was truly phenomenal - the food he produced in camping conditions was incredible.  He was ably assisted by Banda and Frans.

From Savuti we flew to the Chobe River Front for the final stage of our trip. Here we did early morning and late afternoon boat trips in a specially designed photo boat  which had been cleverly adapted for photographers. Thanks to the ability of our boat captain - Shar, we got great shots of white fronted bee-eaters and yellow billed storks at their nests, fish eagles, hippos yawning and elephants playing and drinking in the river, to name  a few.  Many thanks to "Guts" of Pangolin Safaris for all his help and assistance in making this so special.

The "Best of Botswana" Photo safari is different to all our others in so many ways - this is the real Africa, massive remote areas away from crowds of people. The light is amazing and the smells are unique.  

We will be offering a second departure in 2015 as the first departure is already sold out, please email us if you are interested in a space on the 2015 departure. 

Regards to all

Stu


Our camp in the Xini Lagoon area of Moremi Game Reserve 

The Dining tent 

Expedition style tent - en-suite (bucket shower) and battery powered light 

 Our stay in Moremi was made more special by the rising of a full moon on our third night

Cape Buffalo herd in Moremi 

Ostriches running through water in Moremi 

Giraffe and moon - Moremi

Dwarf Mongooses - Moremi

Male Saddle Billed Stork with small fish - Moremi

Zebras fighting - Moremi

A lucky escape from a Lion attack - Moremi

Cape Hunting Dog - Moremi

Red Lechwe - Moremi

Yellow Billed Stork and Hammerkops at the small pond - Moremi

A pair of Saddle Billed Storks arrive at the pond - Moremi

Moon rise and Baobab tree - Moremi

Our safari vehicle at Sunset - Moremi

Baobab tree at sunset - Moremi

Male Impala in early morning light - Moremi

Thinking about the new day ahead - Chacma baboon - Moremi

One of the male Cheetahs in Moremi

The male leopard we photographed on our first afternoon in Khwai

Female Impala leaping - Khwai

Young Leopard cub in Khwai

Warthog - Khwai

The female Leopard returning to her kill - Khwai

Leopard and her cub - Khwai

Leopard cub - Khwai

Leopard Cub - Khwai

A fork tailed Drongo dive bombing a Verreaux's Eagle Owl - Khwai

Hyaena cub at the den in Khwai

Female Leopard with her cub - Khwai

White Faced Whistling ducks - Khwai

Leopard - Khwai

Cape Hunting Dog greeting behaviour - Khwai

Submissive behaviour towards the Alpha Male - Khwai

Cape Hunting Dog - Khwai

Reedbuck - Khwai

Male Greater Kudu - Khwai

Cape Hunting Dog - Khwai

Open Billed Stork - Khwai

Lilac Breasted Roller - Khwai


Bull Elephant in the Khwai River

Little Bee eater - Khwai

Giraffe Drinking - Mababe Depression

Steenbok - en route to Savuti

Sunrise at Savuti

Impala - Savuti

Black backed Jackal - Savuti

Blue Wildebeest at sunset - Savuti

Fish Eagle take off - Savuti

Cape Buffalo running - Savuti

Lilac Breasted Rollers - Savuti

Lion cub chewing stick - Savuti

Lioness on the move watched by Impala - Savuti

Male Sable Antelope - Chobe River front taken from the photo boat

Coppery Tailed Coucal - Chobe River front - taken from the photo boat

Elephant underwater - - Chobe River front - taken from the photo boat

Tree Squirrels - Chobe River front

White Fronted Bee eater departing its nest - Chobe River front - taken from the photo boat

Elephants playing in the Chobe River - Chobe River front - taken from the photo boat

Hippo Yawn - Chobe River front - taken from the photo boat

The special Pangolin Photo Boat - Chobe River front

Spurwing Goose - Chobe River front - taken from the photo boat

Cape Buffalo - Chobe River front - taken from the photo boat

A male African Jacana with its two chicks underwing - Chobe River front - taken from the photo boat

Elephants Drinking - Chobe River front - taken from the photo boat

Elephants playing - Chobe River front - taken from the photo boat

Elephants playing - Chobe River front - taken from the photo boat

Elephant - Chobe River front - taken from the photo boat

Hippo Yawning - Chobe River front - taken from the photo boat

Yellow Billed stork landing - Chobe River front - taken from the photo boat

White Breasted Cormorant - Chobe River front - taken from the photo boat

African Fish Eagle - Chobe River front - taken from the photo boat

African Darter - Chobe River front - taken from the photo boat


African Fish Eagle take off - Chobe River front - taken from the photo boat


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wild4photographicsafaris@gmail.com (WILD4 AFRICAN PHOTO SAFARIS & PHOTOGRAPHY) http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/5/best-of-botswana-may-2014-photo-safari Mon, 26 May 2014 01:17:00 GMT
2014 TANZANIA PHOTO SAFARI with Amboseli Extension http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/3/2014-tanzania-photo-safari-with It is a superb location for elephant photography and this extension will certainly be available on next years safari.

We then passed through the Namanga Border Post into Tanzania and headed for Arusha for an overnight stay and to meet up with the other members of the safari.

This was followed by three nights in the central Serengeti searching for Leopards around Seronera and Lions amongst the Granite Kopjes. We were very lucky to see both as well as a Lioness bringing down a wildebeest and a young male leopard jumping out of a tree but missing his zebra foal target below.

6 nights were spent in the Ndutu area where we saw lots of newly born wildebeest calves but were unlucky this time to see an actual birth.

The highlight was a cheetah count of 20 different individuals, this did include a mother with 5 small cubs. We were also very lucky to see a mother cheetah with 3 subadult cubs bring down an abandoned baby wildebeest, sad to see but perhaps a quicker and better ending for the poor wildebeest.

We had a good deal of lion sightings and on our final morning we stayed with a pride near the Big Marsh, who offered great reflection shots as they lay next to some water.

On to the final two nights at the Ngorongoro Crater in search of the Black Rhino, we were very lucky to see 4 different individuals. A mating pair of Lions was another highlight along with a good variety of birds and lots of zebra, cape buffalo and wildebeest.

Many thanks to our guides, Silas, Mamai, Ole and Wilfred for all their hard work, long hours and excellent driving skills in the tricky conditions.

Many thanks also to Barbara, Marian, Ralph, Winnie, PO and Katrine, it was a pleasure to have had you all on safari.

Here are a few photos from the tour.

Next years safari will run at the same time and there are only 2 spaces left so please contact us if you are interested in joining us in 2015.

Warm regards

Stu

Iremito Entrance Gate to Amboseli in Kenya

We had great weather clear days everyday, and good views of Kilimanjaro

The Elephants tend to make their way to the swamp in the morning and then head back to the foothills in the afternoon.

Grey Crowned Cranes were everywhere in Amboseli

Elephant at sunset in Amboseli

We spent some time with this big tusker in Amboseli

Male Elephant in Amboseli

Elephant herd running - Amboseli

Amboseli is one of the few places to watch and photograph elephants in a very open environment

This female was resting her trunk on her tusks - Amboseli

There are a good number of Secretary Birds in Amboseli

One of the vehicles showing the two common shooting positions all beanbags are provided

Cattle Egrets follow the elephants as they disturb insects in the grass. A common vantage point is on the elephants back

The Amber eye of a female Elephant - Amboseli

Thompsons Gazelle - Amboseli

Sunrise near Seronera in the central SERENGETI

This female Leopard walked with us down the main road for about 2 km and then turned off, picked up her zebra kill and dragged it off to a drainage line

5km from Naabi Hill Gate, we came across this male lion on top of the aptly named "SIMBA" Kopjes. "Simba" is the swahili word for Lion

Male Lion on Kopje. These perfectly crafted Rocky outcrops are one of the things that make the Serengeti distinctly unique

A young male Leopard surveys the landscape after finishing his buffalo calf meal. Serengeti

We managed to get a bit closer to the leopard as he crossed the road in the Serengeti

Lioness bringing down a wildebeest - central Serengeti

Spotted Hyaena in the Serengeti

A Brown Snake Eagle warming up in the cool morning. Serengeti

Two Yellow Billed Oxpeckers - Serengeti

A Male Southern Ground Hornbill with a snake at the family nest site - Serengeti

The Hippo Pools in the Serengeti

A Grey-Backed Fiscal Shrike - Serengeti

A tower of Giraffes in central Serengeti

The young Male Leopard who tried to jump onto a Zebra Foal - Serengeti

Lioness with two small cubs - Ndutu

Secretary Bird nest building - Ndutu

The Pride of Lions near the Big Marsh watching a herd of Zebra - Ndutu

The open plains south of Ndutu Lake were occupied by the migration herds - Ndutu

The female Cheetah that had two small cubs - Ndutu

Lions drinking - Ndutu

Jumping Lioness - Ndutu

Zebra dustbathing - Ndutu

Female Cheetah near hidden Valley - Ndutu

Cheetah Cubs playing - Ndutu

Cheetah Cub - Ndutu

Running Cheetah Cub - Ndutu

Spotted Thick Knee - Ndutu

Giraffe and Zebra near Lake Ndutu

Lioness - Ndutu

Two Male Lions - Ndutu

A Lioness stretches - Ndutu

Sunrise near Ndutu Lake

Lioness in early morning - Ndutu

Lioness - Ndutu

Lioness running - Ndutu

Lioness and cub - Ndutu

Blacksmith Lapwing - Ndutu

Long Crested Eagle

Wildebeest with calf - Ndutu

European Roller Take Off - Ndutu

Fischer's Lovebird - Ndutu

Zebra with dark sky - Ndutu

Giraffe drinking - Ndutu

Male Grant's Gazelle scratching himself with his horn - Ndutu

Coke's Haartebeest - Ndutu

Lioness grooming her small cub - Ndutu

Young Lion Cub - Ndutu

Wildebeest at sunrise near Lake Ndutu

Lappet Faced Vulture - Ndutu

Marabou Stork - Ndutu

Secretary Bird - Ndutu

Wildebeest running - Ndutu

Zebra running through Lake Ndutu

Sunset near Lake Ndutu

Three sub adult Cheetah - Ndutu

Female Cheetah with her eyes locked on the abandoned wildebeest

The female Cheetah at the end of her chase - Ndutu

Female Cheetah with her kill - Ndutu

Cheetahs drinking - Ndutu

The female cheetah with her 3 sub adult cubs - Ndutu

Abdim's Stork - Ngorongoro Crater

Black Rhino with Egret - Ngorongoro Crater

Mating Pair of Lions - Ngorongoro Crater

Two Black Rhino, a Wildebeest and a Golden Jackal - Ngorongoro Crater

Kori Bustard in mating display - Ngorongoro Crater

Ayre's Hawk Eagle with Cattle Egret - Ngorongoro Crater

Mating Lions - Ngorongoro Crater

Male Thompsons Gazelle marking territory - Ngorongoro Crater

Arrival at Seneto gate - Ngorongoro Crater

The Ngorongoro Crater from the main view point

Many thanks to our guides - Wilfred, Silas and Ole

Also many thanks to Mamai who guided us in Amboseli !!




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wild4photographicsafaris@gmail.com (WILD4 AFRICAN PHOTO SAFARIS & PHOTOGRAPHY) http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/3/2014-tanzania-photo-safari-with Wed, 19 Mar 2014 02:40:00 GMT
November 2013 KENYA Photo Safari SAMBURU, NAKURU & the MAASAI MARA http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/11/november-kenya-photo-safari-samburu
The weather was fantastic too, clear sunny mornings followed by cloud build up in the afternoons, but very little rain.

The tour started with the standard 6 night extension to Samburu and Lake Nakuru. Samburu was excellent as always, quite wet to start with, which made for some interesting and different photo opportunities, and one highlight was seeing a lioness with her 3 very small cubs. The young Leopard we saw in September was also spotted at the top of a tree.

Elephants and birds are always very good in Samburu and one of my favourite antelopes, the unusual long necked Gerenuk was present in good numbers.

We continued on to Lake Nakuru which is still very flooded and full of water, but we did manage to get some good bird photos as well as good White Rhino sightings and an excellent time with the Rothschild Giraffes.

Finally we headed to the Maasai Mara for our final 9 nights. The Mara was excellent as it always is, a wonderful sighting of a Cheetah going back to her den site and revealing 5 tiny cubs no more than a few weeks old was a sighting none of us will forget.

We photographed a nice young male Leopard, numerous other cheetah and Lions. Another highlight was to see the 1000's and 1000's of wildebeest and zebra still in the Mara. They were very late to return this year and we were lucky to see a couple of crossings.

All in all a great trip. Many thanks to our Guides Mamai and James for looking after us in the field and getting those big heavy cruisers into great positions for photos... and also to staff at the camps... Next November we will be running the same safari so let us know if you are interested as spaces are limited.

Here are a few photos from the safari.

Warmest regards

Stu


Baby Elephant in the rain - SAMBURU

Tree Agama - SAMBURU

SAMBURU

Scarlet Chested Sunbird in rain - SAMBURU

Golden Breasted Starling in rain - SAMBURU

Vulturine Guineafowl - SAMBURU

Grevy's Zebra - SAMBURU

Lioness with her three cubs - SAMBURU

Dik Dik - SAMBURU

Tawny Eagle - SAMBURU

Yellow Necked Spurfowl - SAMBURU

Namaqua Dove - SAMBURU

Black Capped Social Weaver - SAMBURU

Gerenuk - SAMBURU

Black Faced Sand Grouse - SAMBURU

Elephants - SAMBURU

Northern Masked Weaver - SAMBURU

Lioness and cub - SAMBURU

Lion Cub - SAMBURU

Von Der Decken's Hornbill - SAMBURU

Ground Squirrel - SAMBURU

Red Billed Hornbill - SAMBURU

Vervet Monkey - SAMBURU

Orange Bellied Parrot - SAMBURU

Yellow Billed Hornbill - SAMBURU

Little Bee eater - SAMBURU

Pale Chanting Goshawk - SAMBURU

Purple Roller - SAMBURU

SAMBURU at night

Leopard and Hornbill - SAMBURU

Lesser Flamingo - LAKE NAKURU

Male Impala - LAKE NAKURU

Lesser Flamingo - LAKE NAKURU

Cape Buffalo - LAKE NAKURU

White Rhino and Calf - LAKE NAKURU

Superb Starling - LAKE NAKURU

Rothschild Giraffe - LAKE NAKURU

Northern Shoveler - LAKE NAKURU

Sunrise - MAASAI MARA

sunrise and waterbuck - MAASAI MARA

Sunrise and Ballanites trees - MAASAI MARA

Cheetah - MAASAI MARA

Wildebeest Crossing - MAASAI MARA

Elephant sunset - MAASAI MARA

Yellow Throated Longclaw - MAASAI MARA

Male leopard - MAASAI MARA

Cheetah with tiny cubs - MAASAI MARA

The female cheetah with a baby Grant's Gazelle - MAASAI MARA

Group of Banded Mongooses - MAASAI MARA

Maasai Giraffe - MAASAI MARA

Cheetah - MAASAI MARA

Hartebeest running - MAASAI MARA

Topi Running - MAASAI MARA

Male Lion from the Marsh Pride - MAASAI MARA

Sunset - MAASAI MARA

Zebra at sunrise - MAASAI MARA

Saddlebilled Stork feeding the youngsters - MAASAI MARA

Lion cub -MAASAI MARA

Cheetah - MAASAI MARA

Wildebeest crossing - MAASAI MARA

Lions - MAASAI MARA

Serval - MAASAI MARA

Serval - MAASAI MARA

Serval - MAASAI MARA

Sunrise and Giraffe - MAASAI MARA

Male Lion crossing Olare Orok river - MAASAI MARA

Male Lion - MAASAI MARA

Topi at Sunset - MAASAI MARA

Mating pair of Lions - MAASAI MARA

Ground Hornbill - MAASAI MARA

Secretary Bird - MAASAI MARA

Defassa Waterbuck - MAASAI MARA

Leopard in top of tree - MAASAI MARA

Leopard - MAASAI MARA

Long Crested Eagle - MAASAI MARA

Lions playing - MAASAI MARA

Lioness - MAASAI MARA

Zebra and foal - MAASAI MARA

Topi and Calf - MAASAI MARA

Lion cubs - MAASAI MARA

Topi on termite mound - MAASAI MARA






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wild4photographicsafaris@gmail.com (WILD4 AFRICAN PHOTO SAFARIS & PHOTOGRAPHY) http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/11/november-kenya-photo-safari-samburu Tue, 26 Nov 2013 09:58:00 GMT
KRUGER BIRDING PHOTO SAFARI October 2013 http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/10/kruger-birding-photo-safari-october-2013
A visit to the far north, an area well know in the birding circles (Pafuri) is one of the highlights of the trip. A mecca for birds, this area is unique with some unique species.

The focus was on birds of course but there are very few people who can pass up an opportunity to photograph the larger animals too. We were treated to good sightings of Zebra, Giraffe, Impala, Kudu, Nyala, Tsessebe (also found mainly in the Northern parts of Kruger) Elephant, White Rhino, Buffalo, Lion, Leopard and a special encounter with three Cape Hunting Dogs !!!

In total we saw 131 different bird species and got photographs of many of them.

A birding photo safari takes on a very different pace and we actually spent a lot of time walking around the camps shooting from Tripods as the camps provide excellent opportunities for getting close to birds.

Here are a few photos from the trip, please let us know if you are interested in this birding photo safari for October 2014.

Many thanks to Sharron for joining us on the photo safari, great to have you back on yet another trip with us and for wanting to go up to Northern Kruger..

Warm regards

Stu


Pearl Spotted Owlet

Emerald Spotted Wood dove

Ground Scraper Thrush

Black Headed Oriole

Goliath Heron and Crocodiles in the Shingwedzi River

African Green Pigeon

White-browed Robin Chat

African Grey Hornbill

Green Wood-Hoopoe

Brown Headed Parrot

Grey Headed Bush Shrike

Black-Backed Puffback

African Mourning Dove

Crested Barbet

Brown Hooded Kingfisher

Southern Ground Hornbills

Southern Black Tit

Saddlebilled Stork & Blacksmith Lapwing

Laughing Doves

Yellow Bellied Greenbul

Dark Chanting Goshawk

Steppe Eagle

White-crested Helmetshrike

Meve's Starling

Crested Guineafowl

Black-throated Wattle-Eye

Orange-Breasted Bushshrike

African Hawk Eagle

Black Collared Barbet

White-throated Robin-Chat

Dark-capped Bulbul

Village Weaver

Blue Waxbill

Yellow-fronted Canary

Female White Bellied Sunbird

Broad-billed Roller

Golden-breasted Bunting

Egyptian Goose

Yellow Billed Kite

Little Swift

White-fronted Bee-eater

Helmeted Guineafowl


Trumpeter Hornbill

Verreaux's Eagle Owl

Red-Billed Quelea

Lilac Breasted Roller

Male Chinspot Batis

Female Red-winged Starling

Greater Blue-eared Starling

Male Red-winged Starling

Female Chinspot Batis

Palm Swift

Yellow-breasted Apalis

Arrow Marked Babbler

Green-winged Pytilia and Blue Waxbill

Kurrichane Thrush

African Hoopoe

Ashy Flycatcher

Female Black Cuckooshrike

Female Golden Tailed Woodpecker

Southern Black Flycatcher

Violet-backed Starling

Giant Kingfisher

Green Backed heron

Sabota Lark

Kori Bustard 

Red Billed Oxpecker

White Headed Vulture

Chacma baboon

Mopani Leaves

Impala Lily flower - Shingwedzi Camp

Spotted Bush snake

Male Elephant

Young Leopard - Pafuri

Elephant eating leaves from the Nyala Tree - Pafuri

Impala running - Pafuri

Elephant throwing dust - Pafuri

Male Nyaya Bull with two Red Billed Oxpeckers - Pafuri

Big Male Elephant - Shingwedzi

Tsessebe - Shingwedzi

Cape Hunting Dogs playing - Main road between Letaba and Olifants

Cape Hunting Dog

Large Male Kudu - Roodewal Road - Timbavati

Aloe Sunset - Letaba Camp





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wild4photographicsafaris@gmail.com (WILD4 AFRICAN PHOTO SAFARIS & PHOTOGRAPHY) http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/10/kruger-birding-photo-safari-october-2013 Tue, 15 Oct 2013 09:03:00 GMT
KENYA MIGRATION PHOTO SAFARI sept 2013 http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/9/kenya-migration-photo-safari-sept-2013
This safari still offers the best variety in both species and habitat diversity out of the safaris that we do and the last stop in the Masai Mara provided us with a good migration experience with a total of 5 river crossings, good lion, cheetah and leopard and much more.

Our first stop was Samburu Reserve where we encountered the usual suspects such as Gerenuk, Reticulated Giraffe, Beisa Oryx and the beautiful Vulturine Guinea fowl.

Next stop was lake Nakuru which is now very flooded so apart from the usual sightings of White and Black Rhino as well as a striped Hyaena, we decided to spend the day at Lake Bogoria where there were good numbers of Flamingos.

Finally on to the Masai Mara for the migration. We were lucky to have a good crossing on the first day which is always a relief as it opens up time to go and look for the famous cheetah and Lions of the Mara, both of which we saw a lot of and spent many hours photographing.

Many thanks to our guides, James, Julius and Silas who worked extremely hard to find us animals and drive us around these beautiful east african parks, we all appreciated your tireless energy on the long days out with us photographers.

Here are some photos from the trip - enjoy...

the 2014 migration photo safari has limited spaces left so if you are interested then please enquire soon.

Warm regards from the Wild4 team.

Stu

Impala and baby - Samburu

Elephants  - Samburu

Dik Dik - Samburu

Leopard - Samburu

Martial Eagle - Samburu

Elephants crossing the Ewaso Nyiro River - Samburu

Grey Headed Kingfisher - Samburu

Leopard - Samburu

Lions eating an Impala - Samburu

Palmnut Vulture - Samburu

Gerenuk - Samburu

Gerenuk - Samburu

Male Lion  - Samburu

Male Lion - Samburu

Greater Flamingo - Lake Nakuru

Flamingoes - Lake Bogoria

Spurwing Lapwing - Lake Bogoria

Lesser Flamingoes - Lake Bogoria

Children running in water at  - Lake Bogoria

 - Lake Bogoria

Impala - Lake Nakuru

Wildebeest crossing - Masai Mara

Black Shouldered Kite - Masai Mara

Waterbuck - Masai Mara

Leopard - Masai Mara

Leopard - Masai Mara

Malachite Kingfisher - Masai Mara

Wildebeest at sunset - Masai Mara

Crocodile and Wildebeest - Masai Mara

Wildebeest running - Masai Mara

Thompsons Gazelle with new born - Masai Mara

Baby Masai Giraffe - Masai Mara

Little Bee eater - Masai Mara

lilac Breasted Roller - Masai Mara

Masai Giraffe - Masai Mara

Zebras - Masai Mara

lions  - Masai Mara

Lions  - Masai Mara

Three Cheetahs  - Masai Mara

Cheetahs  - Masai Mara

Spotted Hyaenas - Masai Mara

Cheetahs playing - Masai Mara

Little Bee eater  - Masai Mara

hippos - Masai Mara

Male Lion - Masai Mara

Jackal and Vultures - Masai Mara

mating pair of Lions - Masai Mara

Spotted Hyaena drinking - Masai Mara

Eland - Masai Mara

juvenile Saddle Billed Stork - Masai Mara

Lions watching Topi - Masai Mara

Male Lion  - Masai Mara




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wild4photographicsafaris@gmail.com (WILD4 AFRICAN PHOTO SAFARIS & PHOTOGRAPHY) http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/9/kenya-migration-photo-safari-sept-2013 Thu, 26 Sep 2013 12:18:00 GMT
Best of Kruger plus Big Cats Photo Safari AUG 2013 http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/9/best-of-kruger-plus-big-cats-photo
However the waterholes finally produced the abundance of animals coming down to drink that we had been waiting for, and Nkaya pan near Satara was very busy, so too was Clydes Pan near Lower Sabie.

We were treated to huge herds of Buffalo coming down to drink, heron and Hammerkop action as they sought out their favourite Platanna frogs in the waterholes. Impala, Zebra, Elephant, Kudu and Warthog also made regular appearances at the waterholes.

We were also treated to 4 Leopard sightings including two different females with their cubs. I was also very excited to see the young male Leopard we saw on our May Explorer trip, this time on his own with a kill in a Jackalberry tree on the banks of the Nwaswitsontso River.

The S100 near Satara provided us with a few good hours with a pride of Lions including 10 small cubs.

The small black Hyaena cubs we saw on the Nwanetsi road a few trips back have now started to sport their new spots and are doing very well.

The Big Cat Reserve provided the usual cat action with the Lions, Leopards and Cheetahs. The one remaining Caracal is now a bit more relaxed after his brother was unfortunately killed by a Leopard a few weeks back.

Then finally - a bit of extra fun was had on the Forest Camp extension to photograph the vultures and reptiles. The vulture feed went very well so too the night photography from the blind at camp. there were a lot of Nyala present and the multi flash set up provided some very pleasing results.

The reptile day again provided some variation and a couple of favourite shots were the Golden Brown Baboon Spider, Turner's Gecko and the Puff Adder.

Many thanks to all the participants and to the camp and lodge staff. Special thanks to Doug at the Big Cat reserve for looking after us and to Damien and Donald at the Reptile Park for another excellent and informative day..

best wishes to all

Stu & the WILD4 team

Impala jumping - Nkaya Pan - Kruger Park

Red Billed Hornbill - Big Cat Reserve

Magpie Shrike - Kruger Park

Cape Buffalo - Kruger Park

Crocodiles and Buffalo - Kruger Park

Chacma Baboon - Kruger Park

Rock Monitor Lizard - Kruger Park

Lion cub - S100- Kruger Park

Lions - Kruger Park

Spotted Hyaena cubs - Kruger Park

Vervet Monkey - Kruger Park

Brown Hooded Kingfisher - Kruger Park

Warthog and Hammerkop - Kruger Park

Cape Buffalo - Kruger Park

Cape Buffalo and Hippo - Kruger Park

Elephants - Kruger Park

Grey Heron and Platanna - Kruger Park

Elephants - Kruger Park

Impala and Red Billed Oxpecker - Kruger Park

Male Common Waterbuck - Kruger Park

Cape Buffalo - Kruger Park

Verreaux's Eagle Owl - Kruger Park

Red Billed Oxpeckers on Giraffe - Kruger Park

Hippo at sunset - Kruger Park

Hippo - Kruger Park

Egyptian Geese fighting - Kruger Park

Leopard at the Sabie River - Kruger Park

Female Leopard - Kruger Park

Giraffe - Kruger Park

Lesser Striped Swallow - Kruger Park

Team Photo - Kruger Park

Martial Eagle in tree at sunset - Kruger Park

White Backed Vulture - Forest Camp extension

White Backed Vulture - Forest Camp extension

Vervet Monkey - Forest Camp extension

Nyala baby - Forest Camp extension

Golden Brown Baboon Spider - Reptile Park

Puff Adder feeding on mouse - Reptile Park

Turner's Gecko - Reptile Park

Male Nyala - Forest Camp extension


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wild4photographicsafaris@gmail.com (WILD4 AFRICAN PHOTO SAFARIS & PHOTOGRAPHY) http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/9/best-of-kruger-plus-big-cats-photo Thu, 05 Sep 2013 13:22:00 GMT
4 nights at Mala Mala August 2013 http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/9/4-nights-at-mala-mala-august-2013
Once again this reserve provided wonderful opportunities to spend quality time with and photograph Leopards and Lions as well as a number of other animals. Our focus was on Leopards and we managed to see 5 different individual leopards during our 4 days.

The Marthli male is an individual I had personally not seen before and he is a big Leopard. He was chased off by some members of the Styx pride on our first morning.

We spent a good deal of time with the West Street male who had a Bushbuck kill in a Jackalberry tree on the banks of the Sand River.

One morning we joined the chase to keep up with the pack of Cape Hunting Dogs and found them on an Impala kill which they had stolen from a young female Leopard, who we also managed to photograph.

The Styx pride were around in the Sand River and the 4 Manyelethi Males were also seen together.

All in all a great stay with some excellent Leopard photography.

Thanks to all the camp staff at Mala Mala and special thanks to "Noldy" Nolden, our ranger for looking after us and getting us in and out of all those tight situations - cheers Noldy until the next time..

Warm regards to all

Stu






















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wild4photographicsafaris@gmail.com (WILD4 AFRICAN PHOTO SAFARIS & PHOTOGRAPHY) http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/9/4-nights-at-mala-mala-august-2013 Wed, 04 Sep 2013 12:40:00 GMT
Tailor Made Photo Safari - JULY 2013 REPTILES, VULTURES and the BIG CAT RESERVE http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/8/tailor-made-photo-safari-july-2013
The last 4 nights were spent at the Big Cat Reserve where again we had time to expand on the normal program and reshoot the subjects in different situations. Thanks a million to Richard our guide and all the staff at the Big cat reserve !!

Thanks also to Bob & Ben for coming on the safari - looking forward to seeing your photos from the Shark experience in Cape Town !!

Enjoy



Flat Rock Scorpion

Green Mambas mating

White Backed Vulture

Cape Griffon Vulture

Veiled Chameleon

Black Mamba

Skin detail of a Yellow Rat Snake

The deadly Black Widow Spider

Leopard running

Caracal

Caracal at Sunset

King Cheetah

The Cheetah Brothers, Floppy and Hunters

Jabula the leopard

Jabula the leopard

Male Lion

Caracal

Caracal reflection

Caracal jumping

Leopard in tree

Leopard

Young Male Lion

African Wild Cat

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wild4photographicsafaris@gmail.com (WILD4 AFRICAN PHOTO SAFARIS & PHOTOGRAPHY) http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/8/tailor-made-photo-safari-july-2013 Mon, 05 Aug 2013 10:48:00 GMT
LIONS & LEOPARDS of Mala Mala July 2013 trip "A" http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/7/lions-leopards-of-mala-mala-july-2013
Many thanks to all the staff at all the lodges and thanks again to Doug our ranger at the Big Cat Reserve and to Matt who looked after us at Mala Mala.

A few of the highlights at the Big Cat Reserve were the two Caracals, Lions and the Cheetah brothers Floppy and Hunters !!

Jabula the Leopard again performed his tricks in the Marula tree and we left with some great images of these animals.

The Kruger Park section provided good elephant, hippo, crocodile and other general game. The highlights were a lioness dragging her zebra kill to the safety of a nearby bush to shelter it from the vultures and the Hyaena den on the Nwanetsi road where we were treated to great close views of the new cubs.

Mala Mala provided good sightings of all the big 5, a big herd of buffalo drank from the sand river. Both Lion prides were seen, the Styx and the Eyrefield !! as well as three of the dominant males Lions in the area.

There were also two excellent Leopard sightings, our first afternoon produced the West street male up in a tree guarding the remains of an Nyala kill, killed by the Dudley female Leopard. Hyaenas were present too and the Male leopard was stuck up the tree. After a number of hours he managed to get down without the Hyaenas hassling him. He moved away from the kill when a troop of Baboons passed by and then the Dudley female reappeared and tried to get up the tree to reclaim her kill, however the Hyaenas were not having it and chased her off. Later the final part of the story unfolded where the female Leopard did make it up the tree and ate what she could. The remains then fell out the tree and provided the patient hyaenas with a meal too.

The second Leopard sighting was of the Airstrip Male on a bushbuck kill. After eating some of the bushbuck he moved away and performed his ritual territorial marking and drank from the river.

A great trip once again and look out for the July "B" trip starting in a few days time.

Many thanks to Murray, Jeanette, Lesley and Stephen for joining wild4 on the "Lions & Leopards of Mala Mala" Photo safari, it was great to spend 11 days with you all !!

Best wishes from the Wild4 team


Buffalo herd - Mala Mala

Buffalo - Mala Mala

One of the Manyelethi Males - Mala Mala

Airstrip Male drinking - Mala Mala

Airstrip Male marking territory - Mala Mala

Members of the Styx pride - Mala Mala

Caracal - Big Cat Reserve

Young Male Lion - Big Cat Reserve

Male Leopard - Big Cat Reserve

Cheetah drinking - Big Cat Reserve

Caracal at sunset - Big Cat Reserve

King Cheetah - Big Cat Reserve

Cape Hunting dog - Big Cat Reserve

Hippo and Crocodile - Kruger Park

Elephants - Kruger Park

Hyaena cub - Kruger Park

Lioness dragging Zebra kill - Kruger Park

West Street Male Leopard - Mala Mala

West Street Male Leopard - Mala Mala

West Street Male Leopard - Mala Mala

Dudley female Leopard approaching the tree with the kill - Mala Mala

Dudley female Leopard approaching the tree with the kill - Mala Mala

Dudley female Leopard being chased by the Hyaena - Mala Mala

Dudley female Leopard being chased by the Hyaena - Mala Mala

Dudley female Leopard being chased by the Hyaena - Mala Mala

Dudley female Leopard being chased by the Hyaena - Mala Mala

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wild4photographicsafaris@gmail.com (WILD4 AFRICAN PHOTO SAFARIS & PHOTOGRAPHY) http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/7/lions-leopards-of-mala-mala-july-2013 Thu, 11 Jul 2013 10:25:00 GMT
JUNE 2013 "LIONS & LEOPARDS of Mala Mala" WILD4 photo safari http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/6/june-2013-lions-leopards-of-mala-mala
Helen and Linda - thanks very much for joining us on safari it was a pleasure to have met you both and to see the passion you both have for the natural world !!

Many thanks to all the staff at the different lodges and to our rangers, Doug at the Big Cat Reserve and Brendan at Mala Mala, without you guys these shots would not be possible - thanks very much !!

Enjoy !!

The wild4 team !!




Caracal - Big Cat Reserve

Lions at the Big Cat Reserve

Caracal at the Big Cat Reserve

Lioness = Big Cat Reserve

Jabula the male Leopard - Big Cat Reserve

Lilac Breasted Roller - Kruger Park

Female Leopard - Kruger Park

3 Cheetah Brothers - Kruger Park

Zebra running - Kruger Park

Male Common Waterbuck - Kruger Park

Tawny Eagle - Kruger Park

Hippos resting - Kruger Park

Hippos and Ox Peckers - Kruger Park

Cape Buffalo - Kruger Park

Bateleur Eagle - Kruger Park 

Saddle Billed Stork in flight - Mala Mala

Son of the Dudley Female - Mala Mala

Young Male Lions of the Styx Pride - Mala Mala

Princess Alice Pans Male Leopard - Mala Mala

Daughter of the Matshipiri female - Mala Mala

Zebra running - Mala Mala

Young male Lions of the Styx Pride

Young Male Lion of the Styx Pride

Female of the styx pride - Mala Mala

Styx pride females - Mala Mala

Vultures at Sunset - Forest Camp extension

Juvenile Lappet Faced Vulture - Forest Camp extension

Female Impala - Mala Mala

The Tamboti female - Mala Mala

Veiled Chameleon - Khamai Reptile Park

Princess Alice Pans Male Leopard carrying the remains of a bushbuck - Mala Mala

Young Styx pride Lionesses playing in the Sand River

Two young Caracals at sunset - Big Cat Reserve

Giant Plated Lizard - Khamai Reptile Park, photo courtesy Helen Clarke

Golden Brown Baboon Spider - Khamai Reptile Park, photo courtesy Helen Clarke

Green Mamba - Khamai Reptile Park - photo courtesy Linda Cappello

Snouted Cobra - Khamai Reptile Park - photo courtesy Linda Cappello

Sungazer Lizard - Khamai Reptile Park - photo courtesy Linda Cappello

Flat Rock Scorpion under ultra violet light - Khamai Reptile Park, photo courtesy Helen Clarke


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wild4photographicsafaris@gmail.com (WILD4 AFRICAN PHOTO SAFARIS & PHOTOGRAPHY) http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/6/june-2013-lions-leopards-of-mala-mala Sat, 29 Jun 2013 11:41:00 GMT
MAY 2013 BOTSWANA's NORTHERN HIGHLIGHTS http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/6/may-2013-botswanas-northern-highlights
Botswana has a lot of great wildlife reserves and parks, but on this first trip I concentrated on what are know as its "Northern Highlights"

This included a stay in Moremi Game Reserve, Khwai concession area, Savuti and I ended up on the Chobe River.

This is definitely a place I will be returning to and next year the plan is to run a trip to these same areas in late May.

I am still working on the last few details regarding logistics and the price for the tour but all the information will be available on the website shortly. If you are interested in doing this safari with us then please let us know and we will put your name down on the waiting list.

Here are a few highlights:

Kindest regards

Stu





Elephants in Moremi - Botswana

Sunset - Xini area of Moremi - Botswana

Lion cubs - Moremi - Botswana

Lions being chased off by elephants - Moremi - Botswana

Hippo - Moremi

Hippo - Moremi

Elephants drinking - moremi

Red Lechwe jumping - Moremi

Little Bee Eater - Moremi

Red Lechwe - Moremi

Red Lechwe - Botswana

Elephant herd - Moremi

Leopard in tree - Moremi

Lioness - Moremi

Buffalo - Moremi

Cape Hunting Dogs - Khwai Concession

Lions - Khwai Concession

Roan Antelope - Savuti - Botswana

Lioness with kill - Savuti

Bradfields Hornbill - Savuti

Baobab tree - Savuti

Elephants crossing Chobe

African Fish Eagle - Chobe

African Skimmer - Chobe

Spurwing Goose - Chobe

Hippo - Chobe


Sunset over the Chobe
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wild4photographicsafaris@gmail.com (WILD4 AFRICAN PHOTO SAFARIS & PHOTOGRAPHY) http://stuporter.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/6/may-2013-botswanas-northern-highlights Sat, 29 Jun 2013 11:40:00 GMT