- Hide menu

Africa Photo Safari

A male lion seem to be sharing a buffalo carcass on the bank of the Sabi River in Kruger National Park with a crocodile. Sharing? not so much; shortly after the photo was taken, another crock came up, the lion and his unseen brother left the buffalo and then the to crocodiles drug the carcass into the river. (Daryl L. Hunter)

A male lion seem to be sharing a buffalo carcass on the bank of the Sabi River in Kruger National Park with a crocodile. Sharing? not so much; shortly after the photo was taken, another crock came up, the lion and his unseen brother left the buffalo and then the to crocodiles drug the carcass into the river. (Daryl L. Hunter)

Mating pair of African lions in Kruger National Park of South Africa (Daryl L. Hunter)

Mating pair of African lions in Kruger National Park of South Africa

I have always wanted to go to Africa, but it is a long way away, and it is expensive to get there, I had to figure out a way.

As a photo tour guide in the Greater Yellowstone and beyond I have found I could go to places previously, too far away, by taking ten folks along with me who wanted to shoot in pretty places, or who wanted help with learning their equipment and software.

I didn’t think anyone would want to go to Africa with someone who had never been there before, but after asking some of my Yellowstone and Grand Teton tour guests if they would go if the price was right, whether I had been there or not and the answer was yes. I found, it is common knowledge among photographers that it is the local trackers and guides who were the wildlife experts. It was OK for me to be a tour host only providing good lodging, logistics and photo advice.

Leopard relaxing on an anthill in Sabi Sands Game Preserve at the last moment of the evening. (Daryl L. Hunter)

Leopard relaxing on a termite mound in Sabi Sands Game Preserve at the last moment of the evening.

All destination tours I had led previously, I had gone out to scout first, Africa is a tough one to scout, so I scouted it on Google. All it takes is interminable of hours measured in weeks and months of planning LOL. Due diligence and time was the answer to my Africa conundrum.

I knew what I wanted all I had to do was find it.   I wanted a small camp I could fill with only photographers as photographer’s needs and desires are different than the typical safari guest. I wanted adequate facilities, but not fancy and expensive. Photographers would rather spend $800.00 on a lens rather than a night in a fancy tent by the river. I also wanted to provide a price point where you don’t have to be wealthy to go.

I put together a tour package for Kruger National Park in South Africa and it sold out in two weeks. After eighteen months of planning we were on our way, Johannesburg, Kruger, Sabi Sands, Lions, elephants and leopards Oh yeah.

On safari in Kruger National Park, a group of happy photographers look on amused as I shoot their vehicle while walking backwards and nearly plowing over some unseen tourists on the road behind me. Much to their disappointment, I missed the tourists. (Daryl L. Hunter)

On safari in Kruger National Park, a group of happy photographers look on amused as I shoot their vehicle while walking backwards and nearly plowing over some unseen tourists on the road behind me. Much to their disappointment, I missed the tourists.

Camps offer cookie cutter packages, since I commandeered the camp; their cookie cutter was thrown out the window. I found most photography guests and camp hosts aren’t serious photographers and know little about them. I soon was modifying their itineraries to meet our needs better than the needs of the pedestrian safari guest.

The trophy destination, Sabi Sands Gave Preserve, turned out to not be optimum as it was hurt by the severe drought; hence, Kruger National Park unexpectedly became the prime destination. The lodges prime way of finding predators was spotlighting them at night, well they photograph like crap at night so I shuffled the schedule to skip the spotlighting so we could spend more time on game drives that favored good photography. We likely saw fewer leopards, but we could photograph the ones we found. The ability to change things was important.

My eternity in “Google Hell”  paid off and my research was spot on. The tour came off without a hitch and the portfolio of 12 different photographers looks much different now after I provided an affordable and effective photo safari. I was blessed with a crew of excited clients.

I now have experience and the accompanying confidence that I can host an array of photography tours possibly anywhere.

Where to next?   The Hole Picture Photo Safaris

 

2 thoughts on “Africa Photo Safari

  1. Such fantastic reading. You are the proof of that is the man that doing in this case the trip. Even though you never been in Africa people know you and that is what counted. Marvelous story and extraordinary pictures!
    Congrats,
    Stefano

Leave a Reply to Stefano Rugolo Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *