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  • Alexandre Fagundes

Kruger Park Safari in South Africa

WRITTEN BY ALEXANDRE FAGUNDES


Because of my job, I have visited South Africa many times in the last years, but never got the chance to take my wife with me and do a safari. Therefore, when I finally planned a vacation trip with her, I had to schedule it and make that long last dream of getting close to the wildlife of Africa to come true.

On the other hand, I am more a traveler photographer, than a wildlife photographer, so, this blog is from a photographer with little safari experience, sharing with I did in order to take the best of this unique experience.


First, the planning. Kruger Park Safari was an obvious decision, since its by far the largest in South Africa and, at the same time, the one with a good infrastructure to explore it even without much experience.

We booked a flight from Brazil to Cape Town and another from Cape Town to Skukuza, which was the closest we could get to the park.

We decided to book a private tour, in order to get the most of our time since we had a short time to explore the park and thought that we would be just wondering around and might not see anything by ourselves.


I found B1 Photo Safari on tripadvisor and started talking to Bernard by whatsapp. Immediately found out that it would be a great guide for us. Not only he helped us planning, but also he helped me rent a proper lens for my Canon R5. The rental company gave me some options, but, meanwhile we were waiting for the trip, Canon launched a brand new lens, the RF 100-500mm f4.5-7.1L IS USM lens, I asked and they were just buying one, so I booked it.

We arrived just to find out that Skukuza airport was very small, but looked like a “boutique” airport, so nice! Bernard took us to the camp where we checked-in and we went right into the Safari.


Impala in Kruger Park Safari

That day we saw, Impala´s, Elephants, but the lions he heard were around, were a bit shy so we couldn’t see them. 

Bernard suggested we book the night safari since there was a forecast of rain the next day, therefore we did it.


It started quite well, we saw a chameleon, than a lot of owls, than nothing else. We wondered around for 40 minutes and nothing happened, until… Lions and lionesses were just sitting on the road. They were feeling lazy, so we saw the largest yawn I ever saw in my entire life!


Lion in Kruger Park Safari

Next day, we woke up early and left the camp before sunrise. It was a full day of safari! He drove us to the south where the Rhynos used to stay. It was a bit hard to find them, but eventually we got to the big boys, playing on the mud. Amazing!


Rhynos in Kruger Park Safari

A giraffe got quite close to us, she looked quite relaxed and comfortable! 

This close we could see all the details of this amazing animal!

Did you know the horns are not attached to the skull untill they are around 3 to 5 years old so that they don’t hurt themselves during birth (its quite a fall heads down!)?


Giraffe in Kruger Park Safari

Then we saw a group of zebras. Looking closer by the viewfinder, the stripes really played tricks on my eyes!

I got some interesting images of them playing with the optical illusion those stripes do on us.


Zebras in Kruger Park Safari

Hyennas were even more relaxed than the giraffe and got quite close to the car many times. Looking that close, they even look cute, but we know how brutal and wild they can be.


Hyennas in Kruger Park Safari

Bernard heard there was a couple of Leopards mating nearby. We got there and could barely see the head of the male inside a large bush. We thought the lady was there inside with him and took us a while waiting until we thought, ok that´s everything we are going to get of leopard today. Then, suddenly, she arrived! She was not with him, but she took a walk to take a pee outside. And she slowly walked in front of us, posing for the pictures…


Leopard in Kruger Park Safari

A beautiful sunset blessed us to finish this glorious day…


Sunset in Kruger Park Safari

During the night we had a lot of rain, so everything was pretty washed the next day and much cooler. Since the river was full, Bernard decided to take us next to the river.

But first,  he decided to take a different road and we saw the king just laying down next to the road!


Lion in Kruger Park Safari

And then, next to the river we saw an amazing herd of Elephants bathing and crossing the river.


Elephants in Kruger Park Safari

After that they moved to the road and crossed right in front of us. One of the males didn’t like much we were there and confronted us, a bit scary, but he was just showing off!


Elephants in Kruger Park Safari

We went back to the camp to have breakfast and prepare ourselves for the last part of our journey.


ALEXANDRE FAGUNDES

Bernard took us to a large rock where we had the view of a very large area of the park, that was the perfect place to finish our wonderful experience!


ALEXANDRE FAGUNDES

In the end, an unforgettable experience, I took amazing pictures, and we had the most amazing time!

I definitely suggest you took a private tour if you have short time, so that you can enjoy as most as you can.


You can see more about my work in my social networks and website:


 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


ALEXANDRE FAGUNDES

Hi, I am Alexandre Fagundes. I´ve been a photographer since 2004. I have traveled the world and took many pictures of interesting places. My work revolves around creating images that preserve moments, places, people and sensations.

Preserving nature, culture and history are recurring themes in my work. It is during my travels that I find inspiration, to capture the sensations and perceptions that I want to convey and immortalize them in the form of an image.




 

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