Africa Geographic Travel recently hosted a 5 day photographic safari at the picturesque Kariega Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. This trip was led by Brendon Jennings, Kariega Game Reserve’s very own specialist photographic ranger and guide.
Brendon’s intimate knowledge of animal behaviour and movement patterns of the species in Kariega meant everyone had lots of time actually game viewing rather than spending the hours driving about searching for likely opportunities. His understanding of weather patterns, the reserve’s road network and the gentle manner in which he communicated meant the group was able to spend time in some of the most beautifully lit enclaves in the reserve, a huge bonus for all that were keen on landscape photography.
“I thoroughly enjoyed this trip. Top class accommodation, good company, and a superb photo guide and driver. Both Brendon and Gerhard kept us well entertained, took us to magnificent sightings, and crafted each opportunity to best suit photographers at any level of experience.” – Dave Kettles
“This was not just a great game drive in a superb private reserve, but it was specifically a search for photographic opportunities: hippos in beautiful early morning light, young giraffes in combat, lions in full voice by spotlight, a lone black rhino.” – Dave Kettles
“Brendon sat on many occasions at the back with the clients, instead of at the wheel and separate from us the clients… often without his photographic gear, actively helping us photograph, rather than photographing himself. He did this until he felt that everyone was confident enough and well on his/her way to maximising any opportunity that should come our way. Simple and logical as it may sound this is a rather rare trait among most other professional photographers I have been with on others tours.” – Judith Hall
“Brendon, was not just encyclopedic when it came to learning about the subject photographed… but was a true mentor when explaining, with ease, the required settings for the different subjects and or lighting conditions. I will never tire of looking at the wildlife photos I took while on safari with Brendon. His photography instruction and wildlife knowledge, enabled me to greatly improve the quality of my photographs. His photographs and those of the other photographers in our group were very inspiring and made me raise the bar for my own.” – Judith Hall
Action Photography is one of Brendon’s passions and Kariega Game Reserve has the best setting to get a number of accomplished shots. Being early spring (in theory!) some summer migrants were starting to arrive, such as the acrobatic yellow billed kite, making great photographic subjects.
“Even though we did spend a significant amount of time with general game the iconic African species were not neglected. The variety of Kariega is incredible, the rolling hills, beautiful lands, bush and river environments give one many choices for getting the most ideal photographic conditions, especially when wildlife is about. Opportunities were never in short supply, especially since we were getting three drives a day which undoubtedly allowed us to enjoy plenty of chances to capture many magic moments.” – Coralise and Sam
“Brendon Jennings was always there to provide us with the optimal camera settings, whether it was in the morning with the sunrise or the mist, or when required in haste such as the moment witnessed with a lion cub and its father.” – Coralise and Sam
“Being with Brendon in the field, was the most perfect combination ever wished for. For us it was invaluable to get his best tips for camera settings giving this trip an immeasurable opportunity to improve our skills. The facilities, lodge welcoming reception and the food were simply top class. We are already looking forward to join Brendon on his next trip…wherever this may take us.” – Coralise and Sam
And even when the sun had gone… a bit of night photography kept the group well enthralled.
“Overall it was an extremely enjoyable experience where we enjoyed the shared passion of nature and photography. I’m always surprised by the amount of knowledge one gleans from these trips, as well as the friendships that are established long after the last activation of the shutter button.” – Brendon Jennings
Brendon will be leading two more lucky groups of Africa Geographic Travel clients on the next two Kariega Photo Safari departures scheduled for May and September 2014.