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
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
WHITE-BROWED ROBIN CHAT
MALE CHINSPOT BATIS
FEMALE BLACK CUCKOO-SHRIKE
FEMALE GOLDEN-TAILED WOODPECKER
SOUTHERN GROUND HORNBILLS
YELLOW BELLIED GREENBUL
BLACK COLLARED BARBET
TRUMPETER HORNBILL AT NEST
KORI BUSTARD DRINKING
A VERY RARE ALBINO IMPALA - SHINGWEDZI RIVER
MALE NYALA AT THE SHINGWEDZI RIVER
LEOPARD NEAR THE LUVUVHU RIVER
MALE NYALA NEAR PAFURI
BIG TUSKER NEAR SHINGWEDZI
CAPE HUNTING DOGS SOUTH OF LETABA
MALE GREATER KUDU
ALOE SUNSET - LETABA CAMP