2014 OCTOBER - Birds of Northern Kruger

This year we will be running our 2nd Birds of Northern Kruger photo safari and although the focus will be on spending the majority of the safari in Northern Kruger, we will also be staying in the south at Skukuza main camp which has quick access to the Lake Panic Bird hide as well as the Sabie River and around an hour away, Sunset Dam outside Lower Sabie Camp - all excellent locations with great birds that are very relaxed in the presence of people and vehicles.

The highlight though will be Northern Kruger. This part of Kruger is extremely beautiful with Fever Tree Forests, Baobab Trees and the beautiful Shingwedzi,  Mphongolo and Luvuvhu Rivers. Silwervis and Rooibosrant dams provide great water birds and a stop at Letaba rest camp on the Letaba River will offer some of the best bird photography without even leaving the camp. My personal favourite is the Luvuvhu River and the drive to Crooks corner where South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe meet. This was the perfect getaway for early Ivory smugglers as they could evade capture by crossing the Limpopo River into a different country. Pafuri Picnic site is a mecca for birds and we will spend two days up in this area.

There is a bias towards birds which is what makes this safari different to our other tours, however there is always time to stop and photograph the other animals too. Northern Kruger has some really big tuskers, Nyala and Tsessebe antelope, as well as the rare Roan antelope, Eland and if you are very lucky, the Lichtensteins Hartebeest !!!

Last year were were also lucky to see Cape Hunting dogs and a beautiful Leopard along the Luvuvhu river.

Northern Kruger is also a lot quieter, not many locals and very few other safari vehicles so it is a very relaxing trip. Cameras, a good pair of binoculars and bird book is all you really need.

Here are some photos from the 2013 safari with some technical notes and a few stories thrown in.

First up some of the birds - a Brown Headed Parrot feeding on the flowers of the flame creeper (Combretum microphyllum) The Venda people used the roots of this creeper to expel a retained placenta after childbirth. October is a good time to see the flame creeper in bloom and it attracts a lot of birds.


BROWN HEADED PARROT
 shot details: Canon 5Dmk3 500mm lens
1/250 @ f5.6 ISO 400 - Manual mode
time: 16:15

Pearl Spotted Owlets are quite active even during the daytime
PEARL SPOTTED OWLET

shot info: Canon 5Dmk3 500mm f4 lens - Manual mode
1/320 @ f5.6 ISO 200
time: 14:12

WHITE-BROWED ROBIN CHAT

CRESTED BARBET

DARK-CAPPED BULBUL

WHITE-FRONTED BEE-EATER

MALE CHINSPOT BATIS

FEMALE BLACK CUCKOO-SHRIKE

HELMETED GUINEAFOWL

 FEMALE GOLDEN-TAILED WOODPECKER
RED-BILLED OXPECKER

BLACK-THROATED WATTLE-EYE

WHITE-CRESTED HELMETSHRIKE

SOUTHERN GROUND HORNBILLS

BLACK-HEADED ORIOLE

GREEN WOODHOOPOE

YELLOW BELLIED GREENBUL

CRESTED GUINEAFOWL
BLACK COLLARED BARBET

BROAD-BILLED ROLLER

TRUMPETER HORNBILL AT NEST

KURICHANE THRUSH

AFRICAN HOOPOE

KORI BUSTARD DRINKING

A VERY RARE ALBINO IMPALA - SHINGWEDZI RIVER

MALE NYALA AT THE SHINGWEDZI RIVER

MALE ELEPHANT

LEOPARD NEAR THE LUVUVHU RIVER

MALE NYALA NEAR PAFURI

BIG TUSKER NEAR SHINGWEDZI

TSESSEBE ANTELOPE



CAPE HUNTING DOGS SOUTH OF LETABA

MALE GREATER KUDU



ALOE SUNSET - LETABA CAMP

8 comments:

  1. I never anticipated how wonderful and numerous the birds would be or the fun of taking photos of them was until one of Stu's trips. Great photos!

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  2. These are beautiful Stu!

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