tailored safari specialists

Greater Kruger safari

Greater Kruger Big 5 safari – pro photographer


Manyeleti Game Reserve, Greater Kruger, South Africa

from ZAR 28,860 / US$ 1,865 per person sharing

Big 5

Bird-watching

Bush-walking

Classic Safari

Photographic

Greater Kruger Big 5 safari – pro photographer

E-mail    +27 (87) 551-8105 (RSA)   |   +44 (23) 9387-7464 (UK)   |   +1 (786) 655-4040 (US)

Indication Price (from): ZAR 28,860 / US$ 1,865 per person sharing *view all prices and dates

Length: 3-5 days

Group Size: 3 participants min and 6 max per vehicle

Location: Manyeleti Game Reserve, Greater Kruger, South Africa

Departure Dates: Set departures

INDICATION PRICES

Final prices vary, subject to factors such as exchange rates, time of year and availability. Contact us to fine-tune these prices and to tailor-make your dream safari.

OUR CHARGES

Our fee for compiling your dream safari is included in the price that you pay.

Join award-winning photographer Ernest Porter on a private 5-day photographic safari at the authentic Pungwe Safari Camp in the Manyeleti Game Reserve in the Greater Kruger. We’ve limited this safari to 8 guests, and with a maximum of 6 per safari vehicle, Ernest and Karen will be able to provide personal attention and coach your photography to a new level.

Together they will focus on making sure that you capture great photos and learn about every animal and bird spotted. Close encounters, approached in a manner that always ensures the best shooting angles and lighting, will guarantee your ratio of “keepers”. And the best part? In the Manyeleti you are never competing with dozens of other vehicles vying for a sneak peek of the same sighting – only two vehicles are allowed at any sighting.

Not a photographer? We’ll take the photos and make them available to you after the safari so that you can relax in the moment.

The iconic Manyeleti Game Reserve in the Greater Kruger is one of the best places to consistently watch and photograph leopards in South Africa! With eight territories overlapping the area, leopards are regularly encountered. And of course, the rest of the Big 5 are also seen regularly (lion, elephant, rhino, and Cape buffalo). Even highly sought-after species such as wild dog, cheetah and even pangolin are seen in the area (although of course none are guaranteed), and Pungwe’s rangers and trackers are the best at finding the wildlife you want to photograph.

Back at Pungwe Safari Camp, if exclusivity is the true definition of luxury then with only four en-suite meru-styled tents, Pungwe offers the kind of privacy one can only find in a truly unique safari camp. Thatched roofs over each of the large tents ensure that the interiors remain cool in summer and mild in winter. En-suite bathrooms with free-standing hot showers, large baths, flushing toilets and intricately designed basins provide all the creature comforts one could wish for.

Each of the tents offers either twin or king-size options under a four-poster style mosquito net, providing protection and an ambience reminiscent of a by-gone era, further enhanced by the soft glow of lanterns. The food is wholesome – using locally sourced fresh produce – and often cooked on an open fire. Vegetarian requirements are catered for and although remote and off-the-grid, the luxury of ice is always available.

This itinerary can be combined with the Sabi Sands photographic Safari – see rates and dates page.

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DAY 1: Arrive at Pungwe Safari Camp in the Manyeleti Game reserve

Whether you choose to drive yourself, catch a shuttle or fly in from Johannesburg or Cape Town to the nearest airstrip, we can arrange your transfer to Pungwe Safari Camp. After you have checked in, had lunch and explored your base camp, you will set off with Ernest on your first photographic game drive.

Should attendance swell to 8 participants, an extra photographic guide will assist Ernest. The group will then set off in two different vehicles (4 guests plus one photographic guide on each). Your guides will rotate between vehicles every time you set off on a new drive.

Prior to the start of any drive your guide/s will help you set up your cameras in order to be ready to take those great shots that you came looking for. Throughout the drive and as light conditions vary, their commentary, suggestions and instructions will ensure you are set and ready for whatever the bushveld delivers on the day.

Suggestions of style and composition will also be discussed once your first volley of shots are in the bag.

You will look for elephants, rhinos, and buffaloes cooling off in waterholes, search for cheetahs on the plains, find the lion pride where it was last seen, or per chance join a pack of wild dogs (painted wolves) as they hunt down herds of impala and wildebeest.

Later, as the amazing red African sun slips down beyond the horizon, you will find a suitable vantage point to enjoy a sunset cocktail before bringing out the spotlights and heading out for nightlife photography opportunities. Your guides will position vehicles and spotlights for dramatic backlit scenarios of lions and leopards, chameleons and perhaps even a pangolin.

Back at the lodge you will be greeted with a hot face towel and refreshing drink to reset and rekindle you, as the hum and excitement of the drive winds down. Enjoy a quick shower and join the group back at the mess area or around the fire to discuss the game drive and the plan for the following day – drink in hand!

After a scrumptious dinner, served on candlelit tables at the boma, those keen on an early night may retire to bed. A fire will be kept burning for those keen to stay a bit longer and enjoy the company of fellow guests and the sounds of the bush.

DAY 2-4: On Safari…

Photographers on this tour are expected to rise earlier than the average guest as the day starts well before sunrise. You will all gather at a designated meeting point for a steaming cup of coffee before heading out.

Morning game drives are the best time to locate the big cats, as they are generally still active after their nocturnal hunts. The Manyeleti is one of the best places to view leopard and lion, and no effort will be spared to locate one of these animals for you.

In addition to these felines, a host of other predators call the “Manyeleti” their home. Sightings of spotted hyenas and black-backed jackals are almost guaranteed, while four species of mongoose – banded, slender, dwarf and white-tailed – may well be encountered.

Morning drives generally last 3+ hours, or even longer – depending on sightings.

The Greater Kruger is a wonderfully diverse area and the range of photographic opportunities it offers are endless. Large raptors roost on exposed branches as the day heats up, and a slow approach may result in very striking take-off images.

Everything from a dwarf mongoose to a hulking white rhinoceros lives here, each presenting a unique and exciting photographic opportunity.

You will return to a wonderful made-to-order breakfast before taking a nap or join Ernest for an optional Lightroom class to learn a few tricks on how to process your photos. Difficult lighting, such as the previous night’s game drive, will be explained, and settings will be sharpened for the next attempt.

Lunch is an abundant spread, and afterwards there will still be ample time to photograph flora and fauna around the lodge, or enjoy a little quiet time before the afternoon game drive.

Tea will be served again at mid-afternoon, after which you will embark on an afternoon game drive.

African wild dogs are not uncommon in the area and, should there be any sightings or trails to follow, you will start your search for these endangered carnivores. A wide variety of colourful birds, two dozen species of antelope, giraffe and zebra will also help to set the stage for great wildlife photography.
As the safari progresses it is interesting to note how people’s photographic view shifts. At first it is the exciting predators that take their fancy, but as those images slowly mount, participants tend to start taking a greater interest in more technical shots. Provided it is a cloudless and moonless night, a night safari can be a great chance to experiment with Milky Way images. The high ISO capabilities of today’s cameras can capture beautiful images with only the moon as illumination.

Night drives always offer the possibility to photograph predators, but you can also try your hand at photographing smaller creatures, such as flap-necked chameleons or one of the seven species of owls residing in the Greater Kruger.

Dinner will be served upon your return.

An image processing class using Lightroom class will include but not be limited to:
• An introduction to Lightroom 6/CC and how to improve your photo management and processing
• Setting up Lightroom to keep things simple yet effective: files and folders
• The basic concept of Lightroom. The catalog versus your photo files and important settings in Lightroom
• The Library module overview
• The Develop module overview
• Introduction to Map, Book, Slideshow, Print and Web modules
• Importing photos and backup strategies
• Finding and filtering: keywords, text, attributes and metadata
• The typical workflow for an outdoor photographer: import, render previews, star rating, flagging, and deleting
• Setting up presets
• Basic editing in the Develop module
• Collections: smart collections and hierarchies
• Exporting photos
• Extras: virtual copies
• Stacking
• Editing in Photoshop through Lightroom
• Renaming multiple photos and creating standard templates for renaming photos

DAY 5: Departure

On your last day at Pungwe you will certainly be encouraged not too miss out on the morning game drive. After braving the early rise for a final time, you will set out again in search of wildlife.

After your last game drive and breakfast, you will then say goodbye to your fellow photo safari guests and guide before your departure.

Please note – should you wish to combine this with further days on a photographic safari then this trip can be combined with a photographic safari at Nkorho bush lodge in the Sabi Sands game reserve.

Indication Price (from): ZAR 28,860 / US$ 1,865 per person sharing (see below for further pricing where relevant)

Departure Dates: Set departures

 

2022 Departure Dates
Dates Per person sharing Per single person Spaces available
17-21 Apr 2022 ZAR 28,860 /
US$ 1,865
ZAR 37,495 /
US$ 2,420
6 spots / 3 chalets
22-26 May 2022 ZAR 28,860 /
US$ 1,865
ZAR 37,495 /
US$ 2,420
4 spots / 2 chalets
30 Sept – 4 Oct 2022 ZAR 28,860 /
US$ 1,865
ZAR 37,495 /
US$ 2,420
8 spots / 4 chalets

Please note the Greater Kruger photographic safari can be combined with our Sabi Sands photographic safari, as follows?

Dates Destination Per person sharing Per single person
22-30 May 2022 Greater Kruger 5 days Sabi Sands 5 days ZAR 78,520 /
US$ 5,070
ZAR 102,110 /
US$ 6,590
26 Sept – 4 Oct 2022 Sabi Sands 5 days Greater Kruger 5 days ZAR 83,320 /
US$ 5,375
ZAR 108,370 /
US$ 7,000

Please enquire about GROUP SAFARIS at Pungwe Safari Camp
With only 4 Meru-styled tents, the lodge can be booked exclusively, with a maximum of 8 guests.

Price Includes:
Accommodation, all meals starting with lunch on arrival day, and ending with breakfast on departure day. Morning and evening game drives, personal photography and Lightroom instruction from Ernest Porter, all transport in the reserve and guided game viewing and walking activities, pro-photographer guiding fees and informal photo processing sessions, tea and coffee, wi-fi, conservancy levies and gate fees and 24/7 office support.
For bookings greater than 6 clients, Karen Blackwood will assist Ernest Porter. Should Karen Blackwood not be able to guide this trip due to other commitments, a suitable, professional replacement would be recruited to co-lead the trip with Ernest Porter.

Price Excludes:
International and domestic flights, transportation to/from the lodge, visas (should your country require one), excess baggage charges, sodas and alcoholic beverages (full bar service available), gratuities (gratuities for the ranger and tracker are mandatory; please plan approximately $10-20/R130-260 per day]); all other gratuities are optional), spa services, laundry service, travel and medical insurance, personal calls, gate fees if self-driving, and any other personal expenses or activities not specified in the itinerary.

INDICATION PRICES

Final prices vary, subject to factors such as exchange rates, time of year and availability. Contact us to fine-tune these prices and to tailor-make your dream safari.

OUR CHARGES

The price you see includes all services rendered by us and we only generate revenue once and if you book one of our safaris. Going directly to any of the lodges and other suppliers in our safari packages will not save you money because we earn discounts from suppliers based on the volume of business that we generate for them.

About your guides

Ernest Porter is an award-winning and well renowned bird and wildlife photographer from South Africa. His achievements include: Africa Geographic Photographer of the Year Top  finalist in 2015, 2016 & 2017, winner of the July 2016 Tamron South Africa photography contest, Best of Africa featured photographer, prominently featured in Yahoo’s “Animals in Flight” Photo Gallery, and multiple VotoArt wins.

He is Canon-sponsored, and published in numerous magazines and wildlife books and guides including Animals of the Greater Kruger. Ernest is a staff photographer for the Black Eagle Project Roodekrans based in Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden in South Africa and has documented the development of four fledglings at the gardens, from hatching to training to departure. Ernest offers privately guided photo tours to the gardens and the black eagles’ nest. He is a sought-after speaker in the avian and wildlife photography community. Ernest is an expert instructor in Lightroom and Photoshop.

Karen Blackwood (Back-up or additional Photographic Guide) is a USA-based airline pilot, wildlife photographer, and world traveller. She volunteers as a Bald Eagle monitor for the Raptor Education Foundation in Colorado, tutors children through Reading Partners, teaches young equestrians basic horsemanship, and has coached many people in the effective use of their camera.

Karen’s photography credits include: January 2018 NOW Photo Awad, published in the 2017 Africa Geographic Yearbook, 2nd-runner-up in Nature’s Best Photography Africa 2017 contest and published in the coffee-table book, April 2017 Best Photo in Nature Photographers, finalist in Best of Africa’s 2017 contest, finalist in Kodak Moments contest, multiple times featured photographer in Naturalist’s Notebook and in NatureGraphy, 1st Honorable Mention in the Kodak National Photo Contest, multiple winners in the Amigo Airshow Photo Contest, gallery showings in Colorado including selection for the exclusive year-long Healing Arts exhibition and fund-raising cards, and the use of her photos in promotional videos and specialised publications.

Accommodation: Pungwe Safari Camp

This photographic safari is based at Pungwe Safari Camp, an intimate, comfortable and authentic bush camp which brings back the essence of a true safari experience – the enjoyment of the wildlife, sounds and smells of wild Africa. This off-the-grid rustic camp utilises solar and generator power for refrigeration (including ice), lights and charging your devices and ‘donkey boilers’ (water boiled over wood fire) for bathroom water. The camp is in Manyeleti Game Reserve, part of the Greater Kruger.

Lodge details

The communal area consists of a thatched lounge, bar and dining area, with a fire pit nearby for those long fire-side discussions. After your scrumptious, candlelit dinner in the traditional leadwood boma, you’ll retire to a comfortable bed with turn-down service for a night’s sleep lulled by the gentle sounds of the bush.

The canvas walls keep you safe from nocturnal animals, while allowing in that quintessential soundtrack of roaring lions, rasping leopards and softly hooting owls.

The four en-suite canvas Meru-styled tents have thatch roofs to keep temperatures down during the odd scorching summer day. The large tents offer simple but elegant comfort, en-suite bathrooms with hot and cold running water and flush toilets. The beds are either twin or large king-sized, with cotton linen and fluffy duvets.

How to reach Pungwe Safari Camp

To make travelling easier for you, we recommend that you spend the night before the safari begins in Johannesburg or Hoedspruit so that you can arrive at the lodge relaxed and well-rested the following day. We can offer you an add-on package that includes B&B accommodations in Johannesburg and Hoedspruit, and round-trip ground transportation including gate fees with a professional driver between Hoedspruit and Pungwe Safari Camp.

Transportation between Johannesburg and Hoedspruit is not included but we can recommend flights.

Round-trip airfare from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit is approximately ZAR 4,500 to ZAR 5,000 You can also rent a car and drive to the lodge from Hoedspruit (approximately 2 hours), or from Johannesburg (approximately 7 hours).

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