Trip Report: Kruger Photo Safari 15-20 August 2017

Johan van Zyl All Authors, Johan 1 Comment

The name Kruger National Park is a known one to most Wildlife Photographer and enthusiasts.  This legendary Park has attracted thousands of Photographers, all trying to capture the essence of this magnificent place.

Recently I had the privilege of hosting our Kruger Photo Safari, which takes place in the very well kept secret that is Camp Shawu.

Camp Shawu is situated in the Southern section of the Kruger National Park, in the private Shishangeni Concession which stretches a good 15 000ha.  The concession is beautifully located with the Crocodile River running through the southern section and the Lebombo mountains to the East.

Only a 30 min drive after entering the Croc Bridge gate, it is an easy location to get to, and yet so few people know about this hidden gem.

Having previously had some incredible encounters here, naturally I was extremely excited to be back and share this wonderful location with my guests, most of whom have travelled far and wide to enjoy this week.

August is naturally one of the better months for game viewing.  Most of the waterholes are dry and the foliage on the trees are less apparent that in your summer months, although the contrast of the lush green vegetation is not as apparent.

As we set off on our first Safari, I had high expectations of the week, and wow did the area deliver.  I can’t recall ever seeing so many Lions in one area on a particular Safari.  By the end of the five nights we had seen twenty six different Lions, yes 26!!!

Mpanamana Dam that is located in front of Camp was as productive as always, with numerous herds of Elephants moving to and from the dam, and regular visits from White Rhinos.  In fact by the end of the week we had seen all of the Big 5 except Leopard at the waterhole, most of the time from the comfort of our own verandah’s.

There were so many highlights during the week, A Female Leopard with a Cub, numerous Lions Cubs, huge herds of Buffalo, a Cheetah, lots of White Rhino…  But the sighting that stood out during the week was that of a coalition of 8 Male Lions!

One evening as we started heading back to Camp with the excitement of the afternoons sightings still fresh in our minds, we came across these 8 Male Lions all lying on the dam wall in front of Camp Shawu.  What an unbelievable sight to have right in front of Camp and although our guests managed to capture a few images, every bit of me was holding thumbs that they would still be there in the morning.

Our dreams came true when 05:00am the next morning we heard a roar…  It started with one, then two and the next minute the sound of 8 Male Lions roaring surrounded Camp Shawu.  It goes without saying that nobody needed any motivation to get out of bed, grab a cub of coffee and head out as soon as possible to view these incredible beasts.

What a week it was and a special thanks goes to Pam, Kate, Manfred and Julius for the great company and endless fun during the week.

Here are some of the wonderful images that Manfred managed to capture during the week.

Go follow Manfed on Instagram @manfredfoeger

For the next available dates to join this incredible safari, click here.


About the Author

Johan van Zyl


The opportunity of visiting some of the wildest, undisturbed areas and sharing my passion for wildlife, conservation and photography with like minded people is a privilege that I am forever grateful.

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Comments 1

  1. kruger park tours

    Thanks for your fascinating site. I have learned here new thinks.The Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa, covering an area of just under 20 000 square kilometres (7 500 sq/miles). It is about the size of Israel, slightly smaller than Belgium and about the third of the size of visit Victoria Falls. Any suggestions on how to get from Capetown to Kruger to Victoria Falls? … We want to see “the big 5” but aren’t looking for a luxury safari. We are also ….. The one part I left to others was the trip to Vic Falls.

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