South Africa photographers safaris
The team at On Track Safaris has been providing wildlife safaris for amateur and professional photographers’ for over ten years. Our CEO Will Fox has produced and directed many wildlife photo shoots and TV documentaries, which enables us to offer photographers’ a unique insight into the African bush.
Our photographers’ safaris cater for photographers of any ability. We combine the thrill of a wildlife safari with your passion for photography to offer the ultimate wildlife photography experiences.
These exclusive safaris start at Black Leopard Camp set within the magnificent Thaba Tholo Wilderness Reserve, followed by Rukiya Safari Camp located on the banks of the Blyde River in the Wild Rivers Private Nature Reserve. Rukiya is not only our safari base with an exclusive big five private concession within the Greater Kruger National Park, but is also a key location for our leopard research program. Following three days at Rukiya with our team, you will visit the nearby Klaserie Game Reserve, which is also in the Greater Kruger National Park, where we again have exclusive access to 25,000 acres of pristine big five country.
This safari offers superb opportunities to see and photograph the prolific variety of indigenous wildlife that are found in these area. As our guests often say “we want to see everything” and it is that ethos that has made our award winning South African safaris such a success.
Of-course we understand that photographers have a special approach to viewing wildlife, which is why our photo safaris are all about maximising time with wildlife. And for those who wish to learn more about field craft, our experienced bush experts will provide training in ‘walk and stalk’ techniques, enabling you to get even closer to wild animals, both in Africa and back at home.
Our South African safaris support local wildlife conservation projects, including our leopard research program operated by the On Track Foundation.
We cater for any specific needs you have, whether that be birding, big cats, general wildlife, hide photography, landscapes and sunsets. Whatever your speciality, we will do our utmost to offer you the best wildlife opportunities.
On arrival at OR Tambo International Airport Johannesburg guests are met and transfer by kombi (mini bus) to Black Leopard Camp arriving in time to relax and unwind before a welcome dinner.
Note: The day 1 itinerary above assumes your arrival at Johannesburg Airport before 10:00. The vast majority of international flights arrive between 07:00 - 10:00. If however your preferred flight is scheduled to arrive later in the day, then we can arrange for overnight accommodation before starting your safari.
Morning and evening bush walks or game drives within the Thaba Tholo Reserve. We can also visit the ancient rock art sites within the reserve, which are thought to have been made by the San people over two thousand years ago.
Within the Thaba Tholo reserve we have several photography hides for you to utilise as you wish. These hides were installed for film crews to use during the production of several wildlife documentaries that have been set at Thaba Tholo and facilitated by OTS founder Will Fox, including Masters of Mayhem (BBC). Brunch followed by early afternoon relaxation and a evening game drive, perhaps to watch the sun set over the magnificent mountain scene.
After breakfast we will transfer to our safari base Rukiya Safari Camp (approx 2 hours). Travelling through the mountainous area known locally as the highveld to the Greater Kruger Park area (lowveld).
Rukiya Safari Camp is an intimate, luxury tented camp situated on the confluence of the Blyde and Olifants Rivers in the heart of Wild Rivers Private Nature Reserve. The development of the camp was done with a least-impact footprint with a variety of green or eco-friendly principles employed during the construction process. A large part of the area comprises of deck and canvass that has a minimal effect in contrast to conventional brick and mortar. The operation of the camp follows the ecological-sensitive philosophy by utilizing environmentally friendly products that does not contain harmful chemicals. Up-cycled drift- and pallet wood were used to furnish and decorate the camp and were sourced from local suppliers in support of the community. Following a holistic approach to contribute to an ultimate nature experience, great care is taken to provide guests with all the special touches, pampering and comforts during their stay. Safaris and bush walks are part of the offering of all-inclusive packages. The iconic tented accommodation fortifies the African experience that allows guests to immerse themselves in the beauty of the magical Lowveld. Six en-suite luxury tents have been carefully placed underneath the shade of gaint Jackalberry trees with wonderful views to the river.
Rukiya is our safari home and base for much of our work in leopard conservation. It is offers a unique and intimate wildlife experience and the opportunity to take Big Five game drives in the adjacent Balule game reserve (Kruger Park). When entering Wild Rivers Nature Reserve, expect to be immersed in the vista of endless woodland set against the back drop of the majestic Drakensberg mountains that change colour as the day walks on. This 2,600 hectare reserve is bordered by both the Blyde and Olifants Rivers and boasts a diverse landscape with rocky outcrops and savanna where plains game roam freely. Leopard wander and riverbanks are frequented by hippo and crocodiles.
Day 6 & 7
Each morning you will be woken with an invigorating cup of coffee before setting off on a morning game drive.
On your first full day at Rukiya we will include our unique bush senses experience. This is an activity that we have developed over many years and has proven to be very popular with our safari guests. In a fun way it encourages you to use all of your senses when in the bush. Not just sight, but also smell, hearing and touch. Some of our senses are dulled by modern living, but this simple and fun exercise quickly hones one’s bush senses, ideal preparation for any safari.
Brunch is followed by time to relax and enjoy the photographic opportunities from your private deck with river views, before a late lunch and your afternoon game drive, before returning home for a sumptuous dinner.
Each morning will begin with a sunrise game drive that will take you through the Wild Rivers Reserve and into the adjacent Balule Reserve (part of the Greater Kruger Park). We have exclusive access, so we the flexibility to extend game drive times if we wish and moreover as nature dictates. We can either return to the lodge for a late breakfast or take a packed breakfast.
When the heat of the day has faded a little, we will enjoy a further game dive, stopping for sun downers as the suns sets and returning to the lodge as darkness falls for drinks and dinner.
After breakfast on day five we will transfer to the near by Klaserie Game Reserve, which is an integral part of the Kruger National Park and where we have exclusive access to 25,00 acres of pristine big five bushveld. Even on bush roads it takes only 60 mins to transfer to Klaserie so you will have plenty of time to settle in and relax before your afternoon game drive. Again returning to your lodge for dinner.
Klaserie is also a key location for our leopard research program, offering an extra insight into the resident leopard population.
Daily game drives: an early morning wake-up and an invigorating cup of fresh coffee, will start your first full day in the Klaserie Reserve, followed by an escorted bush walk before returning to the lodge for breakfast. You will have plenty of time for a well-deserved rest during the heat of the day, where there will be time to relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of the African bush. After lunch your afternoon game drive will cover previously unseen areas of the reserve, again returning after dark in time for dinner.
The next day will again start with an early morning bush walk. After lunch there will be an afternoon game drive before dinner. As there are no boundary fences between the Klaserie and Kruger National Park, the bush dynamics are constantly changing which means every walk or drive may offer new and exciting events. As we always say snooze and you loose.
On your last morning in Klaserie, your game drive aims to visit those parts of the concession that we haven’t had time to reach previously, offering an opportunity to get those final photographs, before returning to the lodge for breakfast. After breakfast we will transfer to Johannesburg airport.
Prices are based on a group size of six clients.
Accommodation on a sharing basis (twin rooms) single supplements may apply
Tea and Coffee
Guided game drives and or bush walks
Reserve conservation entry fees (approximately £27)
Tips and souvenirs