As a guide, I always enjoyed watching my guest’s excitement grow as their safari experience was about to begin. This case was no different, and it was Jeremy’s and Shauna’s first safari experience which made it even more special. Their safari itinerary consisted of 3 nights, of which 2 nights were spent at Shindzela Tented Camp in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve (Greater Kruger) and 1 night at Notten’s Bush Camp in the Sabi Sand Wildtuin (Greater Kruger). The reason Jeremy opted with 2 different locations was to experience different camps and environments, and also to maximise his chances of seeing and photographing species that are more prevalent in each specific area. For example, visiting the Timbavati for good chances of seeing lions, and going to the Sabi Sands for its great leopard sightings.
When we arrived at Shindzela, we were welcomed by our guide Cameron who sorted out the check-in process and showed us to our tents. The tent’s simplistic and modern design was great, and it provided us with an authentic bush experience. Part of the simplistic and authentic design was to not incorporate electrical sockets (plug points) within the tents, and so devices and so forth had to be charged in the main area.
After lunch and a quick chat with Jeremy about general camera settings and shooting methods, we were ready to set off on our first safari.
Here are a few highlights from our Shindzela Tented Camp safari.
After checking out from Shindzela Tented Camp in the Timbavati, we headed out of the reserve and into the Sabi Sands to our next stop, Notten’s Bush Camp. Our suites here were very different from Shindzela’s tents, which was great because Jeremy and Shauna got to experience different styles of living spaces that different reserves have to offer. A major difference between this camp from many other camps and lodges in the Greater Kruger is that the suites are illuminated by lanterns at night since there are no conventional lights fitted. I found this to be a great feature, and after speaking to numerous guests about it, they also liked the concept of not having lights in their suites. Another great feature of the suite was the additional outdoor shower overlooking a waterhole. Winter meant that it was not the best time to use this facility, but I would imagine that it gets used a lot during the summer months.
Like the accommodation, our safari experience at Notten’s Bush Camp was also different. At Shindzela we had a private vehicle for the 4 game drives, while at Notten’s we shared the vehicle with 4 other guests for the 2 game drives.
Here are a few highlights from our Notten’s Bush Camp safari.
Sharing a vehicle usually has its cons, but to be honest this did not affect our Notten’s leg of the journey. It was great for Jeremy and Shauna to share their experiences with others, and to also have company whilst out on safari. Photographically speaking, sharing a vehicle in this case did not affect us negatively as well. The other guests were very patient in sightings (we all sat in the leopard sighting for well over an hour) and some of the other guests were very keen photographers themselves.
Overall, the combination of visiting the two reserves worked out really well in terms of seeing and photographing different species. In just 6 game drives, Jeremy and Shauna saw 3 different prides of lions with plenty of cubs, 1 coalition of 2 males lions, 3 leopards, a lot of elephants and buffalos, 5 white rhinos, 1 cheetah, and plenty of other general game species. From photographing elephants on foot at camp, to having a leopard feeding on a kill mere metres away from the safari vehicle, Jeremy and Shauna sure did manage to capture some memorable moments from the African bush!
I hope you enjoyed my first Safari Highlights blog! I’ll be posting a highlights blog just like this for every Photo Safari that I host from now on.
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