As a ranger at Sabi Sabi and aspiring photographer, there is one thing I look forward to in the year and that is the Nikongear photo safari visit. Six days of pure photography and all in the comfort of Little Bush Camp.
With two exclusive landrovers to take you around the beautiful reserve, two experienced trackers and guides who are experienced in wildlife photography there is no doubt that you will end up in the best positions to get the shots you envisaged. Here are the top 10 reasons why I think you should join us.
The days start off early in order to get the best light possible and to catch the animals while they are at their most active. After an early morning wake up, a cup of coffee accompanied by fresh fruit and muffins We head out on the safari and watch the sun rise of the African bush whilst listening the birds singing their dawn chorus. We also get to enjoy the sunsets on the afternoon safari where we will stop for a sundowner.
All the times of the year that Nikongear join us have been chosen as the best times of the year for game viewing and comfort. The bush is typically not as dense as at the end of the rainy season allowing us to more easily locate the animals and then photograph them.
We are located in the area that has the highest density of leopard in the world. This means that your chances of seeing and photographing these beautiful creatures will increase exponentially. Due to their territorial nature we have a good knowledge of their habits and their life stories so you will not only get the opportunity to photograph them but will also leave with a greater understanding of them.
Our lions, known as the Southern Pride, have had an interesting history and they currently have no males in the pride. With 9 cubs to protect and two male lions trying to take over the pride the level of interaction between these lions has increased. We will spend possibly hours with these great cats when we can find them allowing us to get a look into their lives as well as being able to wait for the perfect shot.
Not to place all the emphasis on the cats, the rest of the big five can be viewed up close and personal. Elephants, rhino and buffalo frequent the reserve and can offer some great photo opportunities. The thick skinned herbivores enjoy the areas around the camp and are often visitors to the lodge but your real experiences with these giants will be out on safari. With little fear of the vehicles we are able to get very close to them without stressing the animal, which allows for some unique shots.
At Sabi Sabi we are not limited to using the roads and for any of the big 5, cheetah or wild dog we are allowed to follow these creatures through the bush as long as the conditions are suitable. We do this with the greatest care for the environment and if any damage is cause it is rehabilitated. This does allow another unique view of all these animals, allowing us to stay with the animals till we are all satisfied that we have got the shot we came for.
The big 5 are not the only animals that you will be able to photograph as we have a wealth of other creatures that range from the very common to the rarely seen.
If it birds you are after and even if its not, with a bird list almost 400 birds strong we have some great variety and each of them provide great photographic opportunities.
Afternoon safaris continue into the night and with the use of a spotlight to view the nocturnal creatures, such as the big cats, you will be able to crank up the ISO and test your skills at night. As night sets in the cats very often get active and we regularly follow them on hunts offering a different view on the lives of these creatures. The spotlights also offer different lighting perspectives to play with which can have great results.
As the night draws to a close we will enjoy the exquisite cuisine prepared by our chef and enjoyed under the African sky. All the meals at the lodge will blow your mind but the experience of eating your meal surrounded by lanterns and looked down on by thousands of stars over head will be one of those that stays with you forever.