The Kruger National Park in South Africa is huge, about 2/3 the size of Belgium. It offers a great variety of options for African safaris and especially for photographic safaris.
First. Wildlife photography enthusiasts can create their own trip by renting a car, driving themselves around in the park and staying at one or more of the many available camp sites. To make sure you see some wildlife, read in advance about the park, get information from the park offices and maybe team up with local guides. Otherwise the trip can be unsatisfactory with regards to wildlife sightings and the missing great photos.
Second. Book yourself on a group safari that stays in an accommodation just outside the park, but has game drives in open 4x4 jeeps with professional guide inside the park. This can be a very affordable option, but keep in mind that the other guests have different ideas about what they want to see and how long they want to stay at a sighting and you as the photographer might be frustrated.
Third. Book yourself in at a safari lodge inside the Kruger Park. Considers taking a private vehicle as it will give you more freedom and the lodge might otherwise put up to 10 guests on one game drive vehicle. Be aware that game drives in the public part of Kruger Park mean that traffic jams at sightings are possible.
Fourth. Book a private game reserve in the Greater Kruger Park. Choose one that guarantees a maximum of 6 guests per vehicle. Taking a private vehicle can also here be a good idea, although it might be pricy. The private game reserve will make sure that you can go off road for cat sightings and no crowds of vehicles fill up the bush and roads. Some private game reserves offer even high end photographic equipment for rent. They are the best choice for photographers with regards to the quality of sightings and freedom as photographer. However, they have a price tag.
Fifth. Book yourself into the exclusivity of a walking safari. Great walking trails are available that bring the guests to off the beaten track places and the accommodations are in mobile tented camps in the middle of the bush. Their price is also very interesting. Their only disadvantage is the problem with cat sightings. When you see cats, you will not be able to sit or stand and photograph them. You are on foot and so are they.
Consider the different photographic safari options when you make your planning to make sure you get what you have in mind, photography wise and safari wise.
Happy wildlife snapping!
Ute Sonnenberg for www.rohoyachui.com