Elephant calf, protected by the massive umbrella of the mother elephant, Kruger National Park
Kruger National Park &
Sabie Sands Game Reserve
August 2018: 8/17 to 8/26
Tour host: Daryl L. Hunter
The leopard saw us coming, as we edged toward the acacia tree where he had draped himself across the branches, keeping a close eye on on us as we approached in our all-terrain safari rig. He made a nervous split-second decision to leap back to his feet and put on a show for the photographers below.
Yes - we believe we can make this happen in front of your eyes, as it often does in the bushveld of Sabi Sands Game Reserve of South Africa. Even better - the value photo tour price of $4,895 includes all lodging and meal expenses during the adventure. That's a significant discount from the average African safari tour and it is specifically designed for a small group of photographers.
Longtime wildlife tour leader Daryl Hunter has crafted an affordable photo safari in a traditionally expensive part of Kruger National Park. Daryl did this same tour in 2016 and can't get back there fast enough. Our safari will be based out of a permanent safari camp (with showers and air conditioning) at Sabi Sands Game Preserve which abuts Kruger National Park, the largest National Park in Africa. Daryl is a resident photo safari guide in Yellowstone/Grand Teton and he has been leading wildlife photography tours for years. Jim is a professional landscape and wildlife photographer also from the Yellowstone Region, And one thing both Daryl and Jim are known for is his ability to make a photo shoot fun. Jim has co-led a couple of photo tours to Banff National Park in Canada. We will be accompanied by local African guides who track wildlife daily and know where to find them in the best lighting situations.
Photographers have a different approach to viewing wildlife and you will benefit by traveling with only photographers and a like-minded group of locals who will cater to photographers’ needs. Traditional safaris are geared for the sightseeing tourist - which are more interested in seeing the animals than concerned about the light and getting a world class photo. Daryl trained the camp a bit about photographer's needs in 2016.
Our group will be limited to 7 photographers
Not your normal tent
Kruger National Park is a legendary locale - known throughout the world for its diversity of species and dramatic landscapes. The diversity of habitats in the park, from open savannas to lush riverine forests, allows photographers the benefit of selecting preferred landscapes for their photographs. The animals in the park have adapted to the presence of vehicles which gives photographers many opportunities to get that special shot.
It has been said that even an hour in paradise is a rewarding experience and this can also be said to be true of Africa's greatest wildlife sanctuary. Yes, an hour is rewarding, but six-plus days is a life-changing experience. For an authentic safari experience, this Kruger Park/Sabi Sands safari will give us an unbelievable overview of this iconic destination.
Game viewing from open safari vehicles in the Kruger Park has to be one of the ultimate safari experiences in Africa. These are the animals most people would like to see on safari as they are dangerous and/or exciting to watch. The "big five" was a phrase coined by big game hunters and it refers to the five most difficult animals to hunt on foot. The Big Five consists of the following animals: Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Cape Buffalo and Rhinoceros. Africa's "super-seven", is the big-five animals plus wild dogs and cheetahs.
Mating pair of lions, Kruger National Park
June is an excellent time in Kruger National Park and Sabi Sands Game Preserve - with lower daytime high temperatures that make the animals more active. Kruger National Park also attracts a diversity of birds because it straddles so many eco-zones.
Among the more prominent raptors are the Bateleur Eagle, Brown Snake Eagle, African Fish Eagle and Tawny Eagle. Colorful species include Lilac Breasted Rollers, Bee-Eaters, Kingﬁshers, Weavers and Starlings. Water birds abound along river banks and waterholes, while the grey louries and hornbills are a common sight in the bush.
The legendary Kruger National Park and the surrounding private game reserves combine to form the Greater Kruger Park. For the most part there are no fences restricting the movement of game between the park and the adjacent reserves.
We are arranging the best photo experience possible - with a true adventure atmosphere with fellow photographers. Your two hosts are known for their professionalism, organization and hospitality - and for making things fun. Couple that with a value price that includes all lodging and meals while in camp and at a significant discount versus other photo safaris in the area - and we feel we've got a winning combination for photographers of all ages and all skill levels.
Impala and Rhino at the waterhole
What to Expect
Our main focus will be the amazing wildlife of South Africa. We will always be on the look-out for interesting images during our photo adventure and for this reason, our itineraries are always subject to change. Weather plays a major role in capturing the best images possible. Changing light and weather conditions will always be assessed and changes in the schedule will be made accordingly. Flexibility, patience, and a sense of adventure are key to having a great time and capturing stellar photographs - and we intend to give you a great photography experience.
Group size is 6 photographers plus myself. Small group dynamics enables more individualized instruction for those who would like to have in the field guidance. Often photography tours offered by others have a far larger student to instructor ratio, or huge groups whith mulitiple instructors that over crowd a location. Our adventure offers you a chance to combine a spectacular vacation, a wonderful creative learning experience with managable group dynamics.
People per vehicle
We will be two people per bench as pictured, it works well with nice people, seven people per vehicle, two per bench with your host sitting shotgun up front. All seats aren't equal so we will alternate though out the vehicle as the days go on. I anyone desires shotgun, that is fine also. Because of the permit scheme for the safari operators only one vehicle per day can be in Sabi Sands Reserve, so the vehicles will alternate between Kruger National Park and Sabi Sands Game Preserve. Once we figure out which vehicle we are traveling in, these groups will remain the same so everyone gets equal time in each reserve. Hence equal opportunity. The hosts may alternate.
August temperature averages can get cool at night. low of 61 degrees high during the day of 81 degrees. Be mindful it can be humid.
What we expect from you
Johannesburg's O.R. Tambo International Airport is where you fly into. South African Airways has roundtrip flights out of NYC for about (today) $1,100.00, Delta out of Chicago for around $1,200.00. Be careful how you book, the Delta flight from Chicago stops in Atlanta and the fee from Atlanta is around $1,600.00. The airlines are nonsensical so shop around.
African Wild Dog, very endangered species
August 2018: 8/17 to 8/26 – 10 day photo safari
Day 1: (8/17/18) You depart from USA for Johannesburg South Africa Tambo Airport from one of many USA gateway cities - including NYC, Atlanta, Washington, D. C., Dallas and Chicago
Day 2: (8/18/18) Arrive: Johannesburg South Africa check into Emperors Palace Hotel to rest up from your flight (note, some like an extra day) . Notify Jim or Daryl when you arrive at the hotel. A “Welcome to Africa” group dinner is on Daryl and Jim at 7:30pm.
Day 3: (8/19/18) The hotel provides an amazing breakfast after which we will have a departure for camp at 8am for the famous Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve at Greater Kruger Park. We leave the vibrant city of Johannesburg behind. The drive to the park is an intersting study of land use.
Upon arrival and check-in we do a quick freshening up before we head into the Sabi Sand Game Reserve much anticipated initiation to the South African bushveld where we are likely to see elephants, rhino's, hippos and hopefully a leopard. We arrive back at camp after dark to be welcomed by a campfire in the outdoor boma area. Our 4x4 game drives follow the best routes for wildlife sightings, improving your chances of sighting the “Big Five” animals of Africa and the abundant wildlife of Kruger National Park. The Sabi Sands Private Reserve is famous for offering outstanding leopard encounters and sightings of other wild animals at close range.
Beer wine or soft drinks are served around the campfire before dinner to discuss our first day’s safari. The evening meal is served in the boma beneath starry skies, or in the thatched dining area. After dinner you are free to laze beside the glowing campfire or escape to your tent to review your first day safari photos.
Baboon river crossing across the Sabi River
Day 4: We get up bright and early for morning coffee or tea enjoyed in the dining area before we venture out for a morning game drive in Kruger National Park or Sabi Sands. Our group will have two safari vehicles, they go seperatly to either one park or the other. It’s off into the untamed bush in the golden morning light soon to be lighting up local wildlife in our viewfinder. We are sure to enjoy a variety of interesting sightings on our game drive, as Kruger Park and Sabi Sands is home to a staggering array of flora and fauna. Species include over 500 species of birds, 147 mammals and 114 reptiles. This South African game park even hosts 34 species of amphibians and 49 fish species!
We head back to camp after our morning drive to satisfy our appetites with a robust breakfast/brunch. Then there is free time for you to put your feet up or enjoy some of the facilities and optional activities at camp. You can swim in the pool, explore the campgrounds or relax on the viewing deck amongst indigenous trees during the heat of the day. This will also allow the opportunity for us to review our harvest of photos of the morning.
Between 12:30pm and 2:00pm a light lunch is served in the dining area at camp and at around 2:30pm we set off on the evening game drive.
Game viewing in open 4x4 vehicles allows you to experience the bush first-hand and get up close to the incredible wildlife of Africa. The camp’s experienced and knowledgeable guides are happy to answer questions on the game drives, ensuring that you gain as much insight into Kruger and Sabi Sand as possible. Guides network with each other and notify each other of wildlife sightings by 2-way radio.
Returning to the safari camp, pre-dinner drinks will be served around the campfire, followed by a well-prepared dinner. Kick back and relax under the canopy of stars, recounting the adventures of your day in the African bush, or head to your comfortable tented room for a good night's rest and photo downloads to your laptop.
Days 5, 6, 7, and 8: These days are variations of above itinerary. Since we have the whole camp we can customize as we go, revisit what we like best or brainstorm other Kruger landscapes and wildlife opportunities to explore.
Day 9: (6/25/17) We return to Johannesburg along Mpumalanga's Panorama Route, travelling via the scenic highlights of Gods Window, Lisbon Falls and Graskop, in the Blyde River Canyon area which could provide some great landscape opportunities. We arrive in Johannesburg about 5:30 Just in time for check in for the evening flights back to the states.
Day 10. (8/26/18) Arrival in USA and off to post processing hell
That is our safari, you may wish to come early or stay longer and see the sights around Johannesburg, or take a side trip to Cape Town or Victoria Falls since you are on the other side of the world.
Lodging and Hotel Accommodation
We begin at Johnannesburg in South Africa at a clean, safe, modern Las Vegas style hotel including casino for the first night then head to Safari Camp = 6 nights 7 days.
We will be staying in a modern tented Safari Camp. Intimate and comfortable traditional lodging is combined with excellent service. The camp creates a traditional African Safari feel to your journey, and you can be forgiven for thinking you were transported back in time to a different era in unexplored Africa.
This will be Daryl's second trip to this camp and on first trip was delighted to find virtually no misquitos in (October), and clean drinkable tap well water in the tents. Unlimited water for showers although hot water ran out quickly, but it is Africa and nobody cared.
The camp sharing its borders with the world renowned Sabi Sand Game Reserve which forms part of the Greater Kruger Region the safari camp offers guests a unique opportunity of staying in permanent semi luxury tented rooms. We will debark every day from here to experience wildlife game drives in the Sabi Sand as well as the Kruger National Park.
Chic African styled tented rooms perched on raised platforms create the perfect ambiance for your safari stay.
The six tented rooms combine privacy and comfort complete with en suite bathrooms with a shower and air-conditioning, while upholding the traditions of an African safari camp. We will have the complete camp to ourselves.
The tented rooms feature twin beds with linen and African design bedspreads, side table with lampshade, comfortable chairs, mosquito nets, a mirror stand with hairdryer, luggage stands, plug points as well as tea and coffee making facilities. There is no wifi internet service in the bush - however there is cell service that you can access.
Providing you the necessary nutrients for the day, breakfasts will be served in the dining area with a choice of either a traditional fried breakfast, or indulge in a fresh fruit salad and yoghurt, while cereals and fruit juices are there to complete your balanced meal.
Lunch times are in the heat of the day, and with that in mind they prepare refreshing and light meals which are sure to satisfy the taste buds. A variety of fresh sandwiches, fresh salads, fruits and fruit salads will be served along with an iced cold beverage or fruit juice.
The crackling camp fire with flickering lanterns under the African skies sets the mood for dinner, while in the distance some evenings, the sounds of nocturnal animals calling in the distance can be heard. Sure to delight your senses, either steaks, boerewors (sausage) or chicken will be prepared to perfection before your eyes and served with salads, bread rolls and corn, while an ice cold beverage or bottle of South African wine compliments the evening meal.
Drinks are not included
Safari camp swimming pool
Double ocupancy only in camp
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$300.00 discount if deposit is received by 4/1/2017
What's included in the price?
What's not included in the price?
Deposit & refund policy - Read carefully
Do you recommend trip insurance?
Yes, there are few things more disconcerting that paying for an adventure that you can't join because of unforeseen difficulties. It is recommended that you purchase travel insurance to cover any non-refundable registration fees, travel, lodging, equipment rental or any other related expenses. Things happen. The cost for travel insurance is typically 4-7% of the total trip cost, depending upon age and other factors. Knowing you have 100% trip cancellation coverage can make a big difference should you have to cancel for some unforeseen reason. Travel Insurance is highly recommended. Daryl paid under $300.00 last time which included medical evacuation through AAA.
What type of camera equipment do I need?
Is this a tour or workshop?
Are there any baggage limitations during the trip?
What will the weather be like?
I plan on traveling alone. Do I need to bring someone?
Can a non-photographer friend or spouse attend the workshop?
Most activities are within the capabilities of average people in good health. They require the capability of walking over uneven trails and getting in and out of safari vehicles. If you have concerns about your own capabilities and/or fitness as it relates to a trip, please inquire before reserving a space. By forwarding a signed Registration Form and trip deposit, you certify that you do not knowingly have any physical or other conditions of disability that would create a risk for you or other trip participants and you agree to inform us in writing if changes in your health occur any time prior to the tour. Once a trip has been confirmed, medical circumstances will not be considered as exceptions to our cancellation policy. That is what trip insurance is for and why we STRONGLY recommend it for all participants. We assume no responsibility for medical care or for special dietary requirements.
The ebola outbreak in is west Africa over 4,000 males away, it is not a risk in South Africa
Does weather ever alter or cancel events?
Do you recommend trip insurance?
Do I need a passport ?
South Africa Electricity
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