Flying from North America to Africa
This trip report will provide the overall details about our South Africa and Kenya trip and cover some of the highlights of each day. After you have had a chance to review the overall trip details, please visit the enclosed photo galleries for each of the five locations we visited:
- Cape Town, South Africa
- Kruger National Park, South Africa
- Samburu National Reserve, Kenya
- Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya
- Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Each of the above listed five photo galleries are broken up into daily galleries so that you get a full impression of the activity and wildlife we observed and photographed each day. Visiting two countries, five different wildlife parks or reserves, with both morning and afternoon game drives provided a wide variety of wildlife encounters making each day adventurous, different and exciting.
Photography equipment used on this trip: (2) Nikon D3S Camera bodies, AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR lens, AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II lens, Nikon TC-14E II 1.4x Teleconverter, multiple Lexar Professional 16Gb and 8GB Compact Flash Cards, (2) Kinesis Photo Gear Bean Bags, Jobu Design Jr Gimbal Head and Manfrotto Super Clamp
Our trip began on Wednesday, December 26, 2012 with South African Airways Flight# 208 departing about an hour late (due to a snowstorm), from Washington Dulles at 6:50PM to Johannesburg, South Africa. We had a one hour refueling stop in Dakar, Senegal.
A map of Africa, courtesy of the Central Intelligence Agency, shows the nations of Senegal, South Africa and Kenya.
Highlighed in red are Dakar, Senegal; Johannesburg, South Africa; Cape Town, South Africa and Nairobi, Kenya.
Arriving in Johannesburg, South Africa
We arrived in Johannesburg at 7:00PM on Thursday, December 27, 2012. We stayed the night in the Protea Hotel OR Tambo Airport.
The three areas we visited in South Africa - Johannesburg, Cape Town and Kruger National Park are clearly shown on the map.
Visiting Cape Town, South Africa
We departed from Johannesburg on South African Airways Flight # 327 at 11:00AM, arriving in Cape Town, South Africa at 1:10PM.
We were met at the airport by our hired driver. The two half days of touring in Cape Town were provided by a hired private driver that we arranged through Cape Town Day Tours. If visiting Cape Town, I would highly recommend that you contact them at: http://www.capetowndaytours.net
Warren at Cape Town Day Tours was easy to work with in setting up a custom itinerary and schedule through our email exchanges.
Estee, our driver, was extremely knowledgeable on every aspect of the area and she let us spend the time at the areas we wanted to visit which was more focused on wildlife. We arranged a private driver for just the two of us so that we could focus the tour due to the limited amount of time that we were able to spend in Cape Town.
We headed toward Hout Bay for a 45 minute Circle Launches Charter Boat trip out to the Cape Fur Seal Colony.
Here is a photograph of the Cape Fur Seals taken during our boat trip out to Duiker Island.
Hout Bay Cape Fur Seals
Here is another photograph of a Cape Fur Seal swimming near Duiker Island.
Then we headed to the Table Mountain and Signal Hill areas of Cape Town later in the day.
Please visit the December 28th Gallery in the Cape Town Gallery to see the rest of the photographs for the day.
We stayed the night at the Protea Hotel Sea Point in Cape Town.
Cape of Good Hope
Our morning with Cape Town Day Tours took us out to Cape Point at Cape of Good Hope and the African Penguin colony at Boulders.
Here is a photograph of Cape of Good Hope – the most south western point on the African Continent.
We also visited Boulders Bay, near Simon's Town, to photograph the African Penguin colony in that area.
This African Penguin is enjoying the mid morning sun.
Here is another photograph of two African Penguins.
Please visit the December 29th Gallery in the Cape Town Gallery to see the rest of the photographs for the day.
Cape Town Day Tours dropped us off at the airport at 1:00pm. We departed from Cape Town on South African Airways Flight #352 at 3:50PM, arriving in Johannesburg at 5:50PM. We stayed the night at the Protea Hotel OR Tambo Airport.
From Johannesburg to Kruger National Park
We were picked up at our Hotel by Simon from Wild Wings Safaris at 8:00am for the scenic drive over to Kruger National Park.
The Kruger National Park Tour was arranged through Wild Wings Safaris as a private tour for just the two of us, versus the potential of having up to nine people in a vehicle. The private tour arranged was the same itinerary that Wild Wings Safaris uses for their “5-Day Best of Kruger Safari."
Dianne, who helped us understand our options, plan the trip and finalize the details, was a pleasure to work with through our multiple email exchanges
Simon, our driver, who was also one of founders of the company, was the perfect choice for us. His knowledge of the park was endless and his interest and passion around photography and wildlife made the safari much more interesting and fulfilling. It is always great when you have someone driving and guiding that understands the basics of wildlife photography – lighting, background, composition, angle, keeping everyone safe, and lingering to enjoy the chance and the moment to photograph some of the greatest wildlife on the planet. It was also a great trip for him since he was able to photograph along with us, and kick back and enjoy also photographing instead of having to deal with the interests of multiple people.
We stayed the first two nights at the Skukuza Rest Camp and the following two nights at the Satara Rest Camp. We stayed in Bungalow units in both locations.
The lodgings arranged in Kruger National Park were great and Simon’s cooking was likewise first class. We did not lack for quality or quantity of food while Simon prepared every meal from scratch with the best ingredients.
Here is a map of Kruger National Park. Map is courtesy of www.krugerpark.com
Entering Kruger National Park
Soon after we entered Kruger National Park we came upon a group of Lions. Here is a photograph of one of the Female Lions.
We will cover alot of our wildlife sightings in this Trip Report. The Kruger National Park, South Africa Gallery will have the photographs for each of the five days presented in a daily Gallery.
Please visit the December 30th Gallery in the Kruger National Park, South Africa Gallery to see the rest of the photographs for the day.
Bull African Elephant in Musk
As we began December 31, 2012, our second day in Kruger National Park, we came upon this Bull African Elephant in musk.
He continued to go in and out the bush and made us continue down the road to stay ahead of him.
Ibis are always interesting birds to photograph and we have seen various species on several continents.
This is the HaDeDa Ibis.
Imapla are very abundant throughout Kruger National Park.
An Impala Fawn is shown in this photograph.