Kruger National Park - Olifants Rest Camp

13th April 2015
I really enjoy spending time in the Kruger National Park, I regularly get the opportunity to go to private game reserve’s and photograph Lions and Leopards and other big game so when I go to Kruger I like to spend time photographing other smaller animals as well as birds, In the Kruger the general game is habituated to the traffic and it is the perfect place to photograph the more common species of animals.

It was my 16th wedding anniversary recently so my wife and I decided to spend a weekend in the park in Olifants camp. We set off on the Friday morning and took a slow drive through the park up to Olifants rest camp, stopping along the way for a picnic lunch at Satara, the weather was not co-operative and it was cloudy with a bit of drizzle and this weather stayed with us for the rest of the weekend.

Olifants is a beautiful rest camp with a spectacular view of the Olifants river, fortunately for us the park was relatively quiet and we didn’t encounter too much traffic on the roads. We spent the next few days exploring the park between Olifants and Letaba camp, we drove all the small dirt roads and spent many hours photographing birds, Dwarf mongoose and Impalas, it is always challenging going in my wife’s small Hyundai i10 car into the park, there is not a lot of space and photographing through a relatively small window does sometimes test one’s patience ! the car is nice and low so this helps in getting great low angles on our subjects and it has a very small turning circle so doing U turns is very easy.

During our stay we saw a good variety of General game and birds, we did see a huge herd of Elephants crossing the road on the last morning with a very tiny baby and one sighting of 4 young male lions in the rain, they did not look too happy with the wet weather !

A highlight of the trip was watching a small family of Dwarf Mongoose for about 90 minutes as they foraged and searched for food on Saturday morning, there were 2 Yellow Billed hornbills shadowing the mongoose and every now and again after the Mongoose had chased up a grasshopper or some other form of flying insect the Hornbills would swoop down and grab them before the Mongoose could pounce, it was real interesting to watch.

I decided to only used my Nikon D800 camera with a 300 mm F2.8 lens with a 2 x extender for the duration of our stay in the park, sometimes a bit limiting but with the lack of space in the car it worked out the best.

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