Back in September I led my annual Zambian photographic safari to The Kafue National Park, which is the second largest in Africa and vastly unexplored. Being truly one of the last wild places on this continent and one that is not yet a well trodden tourist route. The beauty of this location from a photographic perspective is that you certainly will not be sharing your sightings with any other vehicles and so all of the images taken whilst on location are unique. By visiting in the middle of the dry season all areas of the park can be accessed and the animals are never too far away from the proximity of water.
On this safari I was particularly hoping to have good sighings of both Lion and Elephant as these are the most iconic animals in Africa. Our base for the first two nights was the fantastic Musekese Camp which is situated on a large open flood plain providing perfect photographic opportunities only minutes from camp. On our first game drive we had a view of a male Lion resting in the dambo. The following morning we went out at first light and soon came across 4 cubs in the thickets waiting for mum to return with breakfast.
Whilst staying at Musekese we always have the option of a boat safari which is great for photographing the mammals coming down to drink at the waters edge, small kingfishers along the bank and also the many Hippos which are resting in the water. Of an evening the light can be stunning on this river creating pools of light.
After two nights, the safari then headed North for 4nights up to the ‘crown jewel’ of the Kafue: The Busanga Plains. This is personally my favourite area of Kafue due to its endless expanse of open savannah with a real chance to create simple and effective imagery without any tension points. We had fantastic encounters with Elephant during our stay, particularly witnessing a large herd of over 100 Elephants crossing the plains.
There is always plenty to photograph whilst on safari. It is not always the large mammals which present aesthetic photographic opportunities.
Our sightings of Lion up on the Busanga Plains were numerous seeing many female lioness and also one of the large Busanga males. We were fortunate to see them active with the Busanga male walking alongside our vehicle for around 15minutes before lying down close to us to rest.
As custom whilst on safari we made the most of the early morning and late afternoon light. This is where the animals are at their most active and is the most productive time for wildlife photography. During the heat of the day we rested in camp which gave us a chance to review our work and also discuss various processing techniques and workflows. I personally think this is an essential part of any photographic safari as I can discuss with every guest areas for improvement and what to change/look out for on the next drive. By critiquing guests images on a 1-1 basis I can ensure that everyone is learning as much as possible on safari and taking home the best images possible.
Thanks to Tony, Gill, Bryan, Jill and Will for keeping me company on this safari. It was a pleasure to guide you into the heart of the African bush. I will be spending a lot of my time on this continent in 2017, starting off by working in Kenya for 3 weeks before going to Namibia with Natures Images in the summer and finishing by leading back to back safaris to Kafue towards the end of the year. All of my 2017 safaris are now fully booked however the 2018 safari dates will be announced in the coming months, so keep an eye on the website for the new safari releases.