12 Day Kruger Photographic Safari

Why join a wildlife photography tour?  A pro photographer will spend as much time learning about, and understanding, his subject as photographing it.

This 12 Day Exclusive Kruger Photographic Safari stems from an idea that was dreamed up by 2 highly passionate individuals to showcase the beauty of one of the wildest and most natural areas on earth combined with the drive to share and impart knowledge of wildlife and photography that has been learnt through decades of experiences in the field.

The dream is to show guests the beauty of Kruger away from the hustle and bustle of the busy main camps and to create an experience that will allow photographers to grow their art form through passionate tutelage and advanced knowledge on the wildlife and animal behavior in Kruger National Park.

The 12 Day  Kruger Photographic Safari traverses Kruger in the Northern half of the park and guests will be accommodated at 5 of the smallest and most intimate of all Kruger Camps. These camps have been specifically chosen for the fantastic wildlife in the surrounding areas and the remote exclusive feel they provide by only being accessed via private roads. All of the camps and lodges that we use are far removed from the busy main camps and 2 of the lodges are booked exclusively for our small intrepid group.

The group size is limited to 6 guests, this is a perfect number to allow each guest the personal attention they deserve from our photographic specialist and professional field guide. The safari will be operated in a 10 seater open safari vehicle allowing plenty space for guests to move around and 360 degree views of the surrounding bush and amazing wildlife.

Rick is our exclusive photography expert for the safari and is a photographer inspired by nature itself. He has worked throughout Africa as a guide and photographer and when he is not out in the field he runs highly successful photography workshops for the photographic starter to the more advanced. Rick believes that it is only once we are in nature that we can truly appreciatethe beauty and meaning of life itself, he cannot wait to help you grow as a photographer and impart his knowledge and passion for the photographic industry with you.

Ryan will be the friendly professional field guide for the safari, he is a career guide and has 14 years of guiding under the belt. To this day Ryan is as passionate about nature and guiding as he was when he started. Ryan has been guiding private safaris in Kruger over the last 8 years and there are very few people with as intimate knowledge of the park as he has. He is fun, friendly and always there to provide his guests with the best Kruger experience possible.

The 12 Day Kruger Photographic Safari has 2 departure dates for the year 2019, both dates are specifically chosen for the great photographic opportunities at that time of the year. The dates are both in Spring, one is in early Spring and the other in Late Spring. Spring is a time where the bush comes alive after the harsh rainless winter. The migratory birds arrive back after their summer vacation and the bush takes on the vivid contrasting colours that arrive after the first rains. The sky has a far more dramatic look than the bright blue of the winter and the days are slightly longer giving us more time to explore the bush.

Departure Date:

  1. 27th May 2020


Click Here to Visit Rick`s Website, Wild Artistic

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Kruger Photographic Safari
Kruger Photographic Safari
Kruger Photographic Safari

Kruger Photographic Safari

12 Day Kruger Photographic Safari.

Day 1. Hoedspruit and Swadini Dam Boat Cruise.

Today the adventure begins, guests departing from Johannesburg need to be at the transfer departure point at 6:30am. The transfer will bring guests safely and comfortably to Hoedspruit, a small town bordering Kruger National Park. You will arrive at 13:00pm and be met by Ryan, your guide. Guests that choose to fly in to Eastgate Airport will be picked up and transferred to Hoedspruit. Flights are not included and it is up to the guests to book the best flight option. We kindly ask to book a flight that arrives before 1pm.

Guests will be staying in a luxury lodge inside the Hoedspruit Wildlife Estate, the estate is home to numerous African wildlife species including but not limited to zebra, giraffe, wildebeest and leopard. It is an eco-estate and visitors are recommended to enjoy the area on foot or bike rather than a vehicle. If you would like to arrive a few days before the tour departure date we will happily accommodate you in the estate.

We will all get together at the lodge for lunch on day 1 to meet each other and go through a short briefing of the tour using maps to show where we are going at each stage of the safari. This time will also be used to introduce your choice of photography equipment to Rick, photography specialist, so that he can start to give you specific advice during the safari.

After lunch we will head off on our first real adventure together as a group, we will head west toward the mighty Drakensberg Escarpment and to the foot of the Blyde River Canyon. This is the location of the Swadini Dam that has been created by the damming of the Blyde River. Swadini Dam is surrounded by the steep slopes of the canyon and has the stunning geological feature, the 3Rondawels, as a backdrop. We will be using a private boat for the group to explore the dam, get up close to hippo and crocodile and enjoy the stunning birdlife on offer.

The cruise will be at sunset and offers fantastic photographic opportunities not only of the wildlife but also the stunning canyon scenery.We will return to the lodge in the early evening and after you have had some time to relax and freshen up we will meet for our first dinner together as a group.

Dinner will be served at the lodge Boma, a place for eating, enjoying each other’s company and the sounds of the African bush.

After Dinner Rick will provide an educational talk on basic exposure workflow and discuss some of his preferred camera settings for photographing wildlife.

Meals Provided: Lunch and Dinner

Day 2. Kruger National Park (Pafuri Region)

Early this morning we will take the group out on a bush walk on the estate, we will head out at sunrise and take the time to introduce you to the different sights, smells and sounds of the bush. While on foot we will take time to look at the smaller things that are often overlooked on safari in Africa.

We shall return to the lodge for a good hearty breakfast after which we will depart and head north to Kruger National Park. We will pass through the main game breeding areas of South Africa on route to Kruger and we will have chances to see rare antelope like sable and roan.

We should arrive at Punda Maria gate at lunch time and enjoy a short picnic before we continue through the park to the Pafuri Border Camp in the far north eastern section of Kruger National Park.Kruger National Park is one of Africa`s premiere national parks and is the best place in Africa to find the Big 5 and other flagship animal species from the Continent.

Kruger National park is the size of a small country and offers many great wildlife opportunities that will enthrall first timers as well and experienced visitors.We will be spending 2 nights at the Pafuri Border Bush Lodge, The bush lodge was converted from what used to be called The Employment Bureau of Africa Ltd (TEBA) Tourism Facility. It was once used as a recruitment station by labour brokers from 1918 to 1976 for gold mines workers on the Witwatersrand, but now is one of the most private lodges in Kruger.

The closest Rest Camp to theBush Lodge is 70km away and staying here provides the group with the unique opportunity to be the first guests visiting the Mystical Pafuri Region in the morning.The lodge has 4 rooms each with 2 beds and en suite bathroom. The décor is colonial style and there are large spacious living areas for Rick to hold photography workshops for the guests during the heat of the day when we are relaxing at the lodge. The lodge has a swimming pool to cool off and it has a museum that showcases the human settlements and history of the Pafuri area.

We will arrive at the lodge in the late afternoon and after a quick check in we will depart for a short sunset drive to introduce you to what is both Ryan and Rick`s favourite area in Kruger.The main attraction in this most northern section of Kruger is the Luvuvhu River and the fantastic riverine forests that shade its banks. The bird life here is more prolific than anywhere in South Africa and the beauty and low tourist density make this region the most exclusive part of the park.

We will return to the lodge after sunset and settle in, relax, freshen up and enjoy dinner together while we discuss the plans for the following day.

Tonight we will discuss various focusing techniques and  camera settings.   Understanding the different methods used for focusing will enable us to adjust our ‘technical’ approach dependant on the scene or subject being photographed.  We will also discuss creative panning and tracking techniques.

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Day 3. Kruger National Park (Pafuri Region)

Today we will be up before sunrise for what is sure to a highly anticipated safari drive along the Luvuvhu River. The river is only 2km away from the lodge and we will get there as soon as the first rays of sunlight break through the canopy of the Fever Tree Forests. We will spend time setting up beautiful bird shots in the perfect light while searching for the resident cheetah that are often spotted in the area. The Luvuvhu River is teeming with crocodiles as well as water birds that cannot be found anywhere else in the park.

We will stop at a beautiful picnic spot on the banks of the river for breakfast and to search the towering trees on foot for any owls that may be resting above. After breakfast we will continue back along the river and visit the most north eastern point of Kruger, Crooks Corner, it is here where the countries Zimbabwe, South Africa and Mozambique meet and where we can view the lazy, sandy Limpopo River.

We will return to the lodge in the late morning and have some time to relax, enjoy the lodge facilities and have some one on one time with Rick. We will serve lunch at the lodge and then venture out for an afternoon drive.

This afternoon we will head out on another drive in the Pafuri region we will start to explore the areas away from the river in the area of the Thulamela Hills. This is a great place to find leopard and offers fantastic photography as the rocky hills and cliffs change between different shades of reds while the sun sets. We will return to the lodge along the Luvuvhu River and hopefully we can get lucky and spot a Pel`s Fishing Owl, one of the most prized sightings in Pafuri.

We will return to the lodge just after sunset and enjoy some time around the fire before we sit down for another scrumptious dinner.

Think like a Pro! Tonight Rick will go through the thought process and questions you should ask yourself prior to capturing the moment.  We will also cover some of the pitfalls every wildlife photographer should be aware of.

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 4. Kruger National Park (Sirheni Bushveld Camp)

We will depart on one last safari drive in the magical Pafuri Region at sunrise this morning. By now we should have picked up on where the predators are active and should be able to predict where to be at the perfect time for some big cat photography, if not we are sure to find many more chances to hone the photography skills all along the river.

We will return to the lodge for breakfast and to pack up and ready ourselves for departure. We will then travel the short distance through the endless Mopani thickets to our Bushveld Camp, Sirheni.

Sirheni is situated on the banks of the Mphongolo River and is surrounded by Mopani Veld, the river is a hive of activity in the area and will be the main focus of our safari here. The Bushveld Camp is another small and intimate camp and the camp has 2 bird hides that overlook the Mphongolo River, this is the perfect place to relax during the heat of the day. The camp is shaded by some of the biggest Jackal Berry Trees around and these attract many stunning bird species. Guests will be accommodated in en suite rooms with twin beds.

We will serve lunch upon arrival at Sirheni and then depart on an afternoon safari along the Mphongolo River. This evening we will serve dinner at the bushveld camp and enjoy the sounds of the African night life.

This evenings educational will be dedicated towards improving composition.  We will discuss different “rules” of composition…when and how to use them to improve our wildlife shots

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 5. Kruger National Park (Sirheni Bushveld Camp)

We will meet just before sunrise today and enjoy a hot cup of coffee before we depart on safari. We will drive along the Mphongolo River and search high and low for any territorial leopards that prize the area along the river. Hopefully we can find a leopard lying comfortably in one of the trees that line the river and set up for an iconic leopard shot. The wildlife activity in the area is fantastic and on top of great leopard sightings we have chances to spot big herd of elephants as well as buffalo. There is a pride of lion that own a territory here and you can be sure that we will do our best to track them down.

We will enjoy breakfast at a picnic site at Shingwedzi Rest Camp and then we will begin to explore the Shingwedzi river. Wild Dog sightings have been great during the day along the Shingwedzi and we will be sure to find out from the camp staff where they have been active. We will stop at 2 of the bird hides set up along the Shingwedzi River and hopefully we will catch some elephants as they cover their huge bodies in mud at mid-day. We will return to Shingwedzi for lunch at the restaurant (Own expense) and then wind our way slowly along the Mphongolo River back to Sirheni.

Today will be an extended morning drive and we will get back to camp in the afternoon, guests will have the option of going out for drive late this afternoon or you can choose to relax at the camp or one of the bird hides.

This afternoon Rick will cover some tips and techniques on photographing wildlife in low light conditions.  This should come in especially handy for those choosing to go on the night drive this evening.

This evening we will serve dinner at camp early and you will have the chance to go out on a Kruger night drive. A night drive is guided by a camp guide and you will go out in an open safari vehicle at 8pm, the vehicle will be fitted with high powered spotlights that you will use to find animals in the darkness, the aim will be to find some of the nocturnal animals that are active in the night such as honey badger, porcupine and small spotted genet to name a few. It is also the time that the predators have the biggest advantage over their prey due to their superior night vision and hopefully you will get lucky and a lion on the hunt or advertising his territory.

Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 6. Kruger National Park (Boulders Bush Lodge) (Astrophotography)

This morning we will meet just before sunrise and you will have the chance to go out on a bush walk. 2 armed camp guides will take you out into the Mopani Veld and along the dry river beds in search for any interesting tracks, spoor or smaller creatures like spiders and insects. We will serve breakfast when we return to camp and then we will depart for the next lodge, Boulders.

Boulders is a beautiful lodge with rustic charm, it is a private lodge and will be reserved only for our group, situated on a private road, we will be the only group who get to enjoy this lodge for the night. The lodge consists of 2 bed chalets that are set amongst giant granite boulders and built upon stilts. The chalets are connected to a dining/living area by raised platforms. This lodge is not fenced and animals can be spotted in the endless plains and mopani veld in front of the lodge. The lodge is powered by solar power and has a private waterhole.

We will stop on route to Boulders at Mopani Rest Camp for lunch at the restaurant (own expense) after this will slowly travel through the park to the lodge. We should arrive at the lodge in the mid to late afternoon and we will spend the rest of the day at the lodge and enjoy the privacy of having the area to ourselves. At sunset we will set up the tripods and set the scene for you to take the perfect sunset photo.

The deck at the lodge will provide the perfect place to take part in an astrophotography workshop with Rick, we must just cross fingers that the weather plays her part and that it is a cloudless night.

Dinner will be served at the lodge and we can enjoy the evening in exclusivity while keeping a spotlight on the waterhole to watch out for any visitors that come during the night.

Meals Provided: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 7. Kruger National Park (Roodewal Bush Lodge)

We will meet pre sunrise this morning and enjoy a cup of coffee before we head out to explore the area around the lodge. We will have 30 km of private roads to use and hopefully we can find something fantastic all to ourselves this morning. The area is great for leopard again and there is a lion pride with an irregularly large territory around the lodge.

We will return to the lodge for breakfast and then pack up and check out by 10am. We will be headed south towards the Olifants River and we will spend some time exploring this beautiful scenic river that splits Kruger in half. We will go to Olifants Rest Camp for a picnic lunch and to enjoy the views from the top of the towering cliffs.

We will arrive at our next exclusive private lodge Roodewal at around 2pm, Roodewal is a spectacular private lodge set on the banks of the dry Timbavati River. The Lodge has 5 en suite Bungalows with 2 beds in each, there is a large living and dining area. The lodge also has a beautiful private viewing deck under the Nyala Trees overlooking the Timbavati River. The lodge is for the exclusive use of our group and there will be no other guests here.

We will unpack and settle in and then head out on an afternoon safari along the Timbavati River. This particular section of the river is lined with huge jackal berry and apple leaf trees followed by pockets of Mopani scrub. It is the perfect habitat for leopards as well as great feeding areas for elephants. The lion numbers are very high in this area south of the Olifants and we should have great opportunities to practice some wonderful portrait photography.

We will return to the lodge at Sunset and serve dinner on the viewing deck overlooking the Timbavati.

Tonight’s discussion will be aimed specifically at tips and techniques for Bird photography

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 8. Kruger National Park (Roodewal Bush Lodge)

We will depart pre sunrise this morning as we head out to set ourselves up in the perfect area for golden hour photography. The nearest camp to Roodewal is about 2 hours away and we will be completely on our own until someone reaches us long after sunrise. This will be perfect as we will be able to maneuver the vehicle uninhibited by other vehicles and guests.

We will stop for a picnic breakfast on the banks of the Timbavati River and then slowly wind our way back to the Lodge.We will arrive at the lodge around mid-day and have some time to rest and relax. Lunch will be served at the lodge and you will have some time for a one on one with Rick for some highly personal photographic tutelage.

This afternoon we will head back towards the Olifants river and see what photographic opportunities present themselves in the afternoon golden hour. Dinner will be served at the lodge.

By now we should have captured some great images….Tonight Rick will go through some basic photo editing techniques using Lightroom and Photoshop with some of the images we captured.

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 9. Kruger National Park (Talamati Bushveld Camp)

We depart at sunrise again this morning and by now we should be in the natural rhythm of Africa, fingers crossed the Timbavati will have one more special surprise for us before we head further south. We will have breakfast back at the lodge before we depart for our last Camp inside Kruger, Talamati.

Talamati is another intimate Bushveld Camp shared with other guests but downscaled from the regular main camps and found on the banks of the dry Talamati River. The camp has a waterhole that can be viewed from a hide inside the camp and is floodlit through the night. Guests will be accommodated in 2 bedroom cottages with twin beds and en suite bathrooms.

The drive from Roodewal to Talamati takes us through a big change in biome and we will be driving through Savannah Grassland spotted with marula and knobthorn trees. The area around Talamati is predominantly grassland, this area attracts large amounts of grazers which in turn attracts a large number of predators. This will also be our first realistic opportunity to find the gentle giants, the rhinoceros.

We should arrive at Talamati in time for lunch, we will then settle in and relax for a bit before we head out into the plains insearch of game. The open views provide a completely different approach to photography with more emphasis being based on framing the scene. This will be an excellent chance to hone your photography skills even further.

We will return to the Camp at sunset and dinner will be served at the camp.

Tonight we will continue going through some basic photo editing techniques using Lightroom and Photoshop with some of the images we captured. With emphasis placed on creating stunning black and white images.

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


Day 10. Kruger National Park (Talamati Bushveld Camp)

We will meet again pre sunrise and depart for another exciting morning safari. This time we will go out in search for Cheetah, this an exceptionally difficult challenge due to the very low numbers of this magnificent speedster but we know their favoured habitat in the open grasslands and will head straight out there to test our luck. It also happens to be the same habitat preferred by the white rhino, so we may be lucky and have opportunities to photograph both.

We will have breakfast at a quiet picnic site in the park and head back to camp for some rest and relaxation. Rick will start to run classes on post photography and time at camp will be spent with you individually. We will serve lunch at camp before we depart on one last afternoon safari together.

Dinner will be served at camp this evening after we return from game drive, guests have the option to participate in another night drive this evening, however this night drive is for own expense.

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 11. Hoedspruit Wildlife Estate.

This morning we will head out on our last sunrise drive together as a group. We will have seen nearly all the animals we could dream of seeing by now and we decide as a group what we should seek out today, maybe we can get lucky and find the Orpen pack of Wild Dog on an hunt in the area.

We will return to camp for breakfast and then pack up and depart for Hoedspruit. We will arrive at the Hoedspruit Wildlife Estate around lunch time and this afternoon guests can choose to relax at the lodge or take part in one of three optional activities, You can go for a sunset horse ride in the estate (own expense), or you can choose to join Rick and Ryan on an afternoon bush walk or you can visit the Endangered Species Centre where you can learn about the cheetah and wild dog breeding project and get up close to these vulnerable animals (own expense). Rick will also be continuing his one on one post photography class.

Tonight we will enjoy a last supper at the lodge and reminisce on a wonderful safari together and savour the memories we have created.

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 12. End of Safari.

Today will mark the end of the Safari, guests have the option of an early morning walk in the estate or you can relax at the lodge. The road transfer back to Johannesburg departs at 10:30 am. Guest that choose to fly back to Johannesburg will be transferred to the airport at the relevant time.

If you would like to spend some extra time in Hoedspruit we can accommodate you at the Hoedspruit Wildlife Estate.

Additional Photography Topics

In addition to evening educationals,  additional topics covered include:

  1. The basics of light, including intensity, directional and colour of light.
  2. How to interpret the histogram
  3. Focal point
  4. Using Flash
  5. Negative space
  6. Seeing Abstractly
  7. Animal portraits
  8. Panning
  9. Silhouettes
  10. Photographing birds in flight
  11. Freeing your subject
  12. Image file formats
  13. Perspective
  14. Strategies for different subjects such as animals in groups, small and large birds etc


Included/Excluded in this Safari

Included in this Safari…

*Transfers from Johannesburg to Kruger and back by Road
*Kruger Entrance Fees
*Kruger Night Drive
*Kruger Bush Walk
*Kruger Afternoon Drive Every Day
*Kruger Morning Drive Every Day
*Meals (as specified in the day-by-day description)
*All accommodation*A professional driver/guide and assistant
*All transportation mentioned

Excluded in this Safari…

*International flights (from/to the client’s home country)
*Additional accommodation before and at the end of the tour
*Tips: tipping guideline of $10 per person per day for the guide and crew
*Personal items (souvenirs, travel insurance, visa fees and other personal items)

12 Day Kruger Photographic Safari: Price 

$ 4 785 per person Sharing

$ 7 175 per person single/solo traveler

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