Cape Buffalo under a starry sky as photographed on the NaturesLens African Wildlife of Zimanga photography holiday

Last month I had the pleasure of guiding a great group of guests on our South African Wildlife of Zimanga photography holiday. This tour is the perfect blend of traditional safari game drives coupled with some extraordinary hide sessions. There was something for everyone – majestic mammals, beautiful raptors & little birds.

Zimanga, the South African wildlife reserve is a 3-hour drive from Durban airport. Upon arrival at the reserve entrance, we transferred to the lodge by a land cruiser. We were greeted by giraffe, buffalo, impala, warthog, kudu & nyala as we drove the short distance to our accommodation – what a great start to the trip!

Warthog welcome party as photographed on the NaturesLens South African holiday

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The money shot, one of the young tigers of Tala zone strides through one of the watering holes image captured during the NaturesLens TIgers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday in April 2018

Jean & Kevin joined Jayne on our April 2018 Indian tour to photograph the Bengal Tigers of Bandhavgarh.

Looking back, one of the younger tigers, totally unconcerned by the attention he is recieving image captured during the NaturesLens TIgers of Bandhavgarh Photography Holiday in April 2018

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Three Dalmatian Pelicans photographed at water level on Lake Kerkini - an image captured during a NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece Photography Holiday

Omar & his friend came all the way from Kuwait to join our Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece photography holiday. Our trips this year attracted many international clients from USA & Kuwait to Denmark, Belgium & Germany.
A close up headshot of a Dalmatian Pelican an image captured during a Natureslens Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece Photography Holiday
I have to admit to being blown away when I opened Omar’s email & saw his images. Some of them are absolutely sensational.

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A pair of Dalmatian Pelicans with their beaks just touching the water an image captured during a Natureslens Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece Photography Holiday

Jessica was a guest on one of the Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece Photography Workshops that we conducted in January 2018. Having run this tour for the past four years, the itinerary is now, in our opinion, the perfect experience. But it’s not what we think that matters, the opinion of our guests matter more.

Jessica said, “I had the pleasure to go to Greece in January 2018 to photograph the Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece & I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Not only were there plenty of opportunities to capture images of these big & charismatic birds in various conditions, but we also had a lot of fun with the group. Our guide Sean was always attentive & ready to answer our questions & give photography advice. The accommodation was ideal & the trip very well organised. Being able to photograph the pelicans very early in the morning & late in the afternoon added a special touch to the photos. I would certainly recommend going on this photography trip in Greece.”

A close up of a dalmatian pelican red pouch an image captured during a Natureslens Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece Photography Holiday Read more

Tiger cub looking fierce as his mother rests an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

David learnt that there were two female tigers who had recently given birth to cubs in Tadoba National Park. This was probably around late November 2017 & two other females had also given birth a little earlier. It seemed that a visit to see the Tigers of Tadoba was on!

A Tiger Cub checking the scent on a tree an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

David & I, plus my friend Andy, could not miss this great opportunity of hopefully viewing 3 to 4-month-old tiger cubs. So, we caught a plane to Nagpur & then travelled to Tadoba for some excellent tiger viewing & photography.

David is always networking which helps significantly in the meticulous planning NaturesLens always carry out when preparing wildlife photographic trips & workshops. This was no exception.

Tiger cub looking fierce as his mother rests an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

If you want to get the best possible viewing in the core tiger zones, you usually have to book at least three months in advance.  David learnt that two of the Tigers had made their home outside of the core zones of the reserve. We therefore decided to take a gamble & arrange some of our drives in the lesser used reserve areas. We hoped this would increase our chances of seeing as many different cubs as possible. Of course, this could have gone wrong if the Tigers had returned to the main areas but we felt confident they would not.

Our gamble paid off! In reality, this was probably not an enormous gamble due to the planning by David. Most tourists tend to stick to the traditional core areas as they believe they offer the best sightings. I believe we were the only westerners in the areas where these two females were to be found, which made our viewings & images even more special.

Royal Bengal Tiger with two cubs an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

It was sweltering hot & extremely humid. More so than Gujarat, (see my other blog post about the trip that preceded this, to The Little Rann of Kutch). But we chose this time because there would be less water about & animals including tigers would congregate more around the central water holes. It can be a difficult time to see other wildlife, & while we did have excellent views of many other species, we did not see the Sloth Bear or Leopard which Tadoba is also famous for, although others did see them. The Tigers more than made up for this though.

David & I also arranged to do a full day game drive which has to be agreed well in advance. I believe only one safari vehicle a day is allowed to stay in the park. A full day can heighten your chances of more game viewing, but it can also be a long hot day in 30c – 40c temperatures. During our time on our own in the reserve, we had great views of the dominant male tiger, Bagrang.  We were very lucky as he is usually only seen a couple of days a month mainly due to his vast range.

A tigress rests as her cub keeps watch an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

The tigers we saw are as follows:

  • Maya with two cubs about 3-4 months old.
  • Sawmili with three cubs about 7 months old.
  • Mavhuri with four cubs about 3-4 months old
  • Sonam with four cubs about 7 months old.
  • Bagrang the dominant male.

A large male tiger crossing the road an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

I have attached a selection of images & hopefully, this will whet your appetite to book a tiger photography tour with NaturesLens in the future.

Photograph the Bengal Tigers of Tadoba for yourself

Join us in India at the end of March 2019. Our India’s Bengal Tigers of Tadoba is a photography holiday of 7 night/8 day duration, which costs £3299 & takes place in India, between the dates of 23rd – 30th March 2019.

It is ideal for photographing asiatic jackal, bengal fox, black kite, black vulture, brown fish owl, crested serpent eagle, dhole, egyptian vulture, gaur, grey mongoose, indian roller, jungle cat, langur monkey, leopard, little egret, little grebe, red jungle fowl, rhesus macaque, sambar, sloth bear, spotted deer, striped hyena, tiger, wild pig & more.

This photography holiday is led by David Miles for NaturesLens. The photography holiday is offered on a full board, non-shared basis. Group size for this photography holiday is a minimum of 3 participants & a maximum of 7, plus David.

All the details of the Bengal Tigers of Tadoba photography holiday.

Two young Langurs playing an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

Two tiger cubs playfighting in water as their mother watches an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

Tigress lounging in water with her two cubs an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

Tigress leading her three cubs down the road an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

Tiger resting her head on her paws an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

Tiger family cooling off in water an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

Tiger cub exploring his environment while staying close to his mother an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

Three indian tiger cubs crossing the road an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

Portrait of a male Samba Deer an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

Mother and cub an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

Indian tiger walking on the road with her three tiger cubs an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

Female tiger at water hole looking backwards an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

Crested Serpent Eagle posing at the end of a tree branch an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

An Indian Gaur with its one day old calf an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

An Indian Gaur peering through the long grass an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

A young indian tiger cub an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

A young baby langur looks up at its mother an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

 

 

A solitary Indian Gaur in long grass an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

A large male tiger emerging from the jungle an image captured during a Natureslens Bengal Tigers of Tadoba Photography Holiday

A mirror reflection of a wading bird at sunset in one of the lakes in the Kutch area an image captured during a Natureslens Little Rann of Kutch Photography Holiday

Many followers of NaturesLens will probably know that David & I have been friends for many years. Well before he & Pui Hang set up NaturesLens & have enjoyed many photographic adventures together.

Just before Christmas 2017, David asked me if I had been to the Little Rann of Kutch. I said I had never even heard of it. Kutch is a little-known wildlife destination in the state of Gujarat near the Pakistan border.  So off we went in March this year to carry out a recce for NaturesLens.

Sunset over one of the lakes in the Kutch area an image captured during a Natureslens Little Rann of Kutch Photography Holiday

We stayed at a lodge near the park of Little Rann of Kutch. The area is mainly a vast saline desert interspersed with thorny scrub & grasslands, appx 5,000 sq kilometres.  It is a very strategic location for bird migration including many types of raptors, waders, cranes, flamingos & other bird species. It is also home to the very rare Asiatic Wild Ass, Indian Wolf, Indian Fox & Desert Fox. Some of these species can be seen nowhere else.

One of the Indian Foxes walking across open grassland an image captured during a Natureslens Little Rann of Kutch Photography Holiday

One of the Desert Foxes curled up on the ground an image captured during a Natureslens Little Rann of Kutch Photography Holiday

An Asiatic Wild Ass with foal an image captured during a Natureslens Little Rann of Kutch Photography Holiday

A young Desert Fox kit an image captured during a Natureslens Little Rann of Kutch Photography Holiday

A trio of Asiatic Wild Ass including one of the foals make their way across the salt flats an image captured during a Natureslens Little Rann of Kutch Photography Holiday

This is a fantastic opportunity to photograph rare & endangered species which will make great additions to your portfolio. The Raptors do not have trees to perch in, so unusually they sit on the ground. This provides unusual opportunities to photograph raptors at eye level as they take off from the ground.

One of the Steppe Eagles flying over the salt flats an image captured during a Natureslens Little Rann of Kutch Photography HolidayOne of the female Montagu's Harrier hunting across the salt flats an image captured during a Natureslens Little Rann of Kutch Photography Holiday

It can be scorching hot in this desert region often up to 38c. But it is a dry heat so much more bearable than some other states of India, which can be very humid.

David & I spent a week exploring the habitats & there are many more great locations we did not have time to visit. Our timing was probably a little bit late as the migrating birds were starting to leave & return to their breeding countries. But we still had great opportunities for photography & realise it could have been even better.

A mirror reflection of a wading bird at sunset in one of the lakes in the Kutch area an image captured during a Natureslens Little Rann of Kutch Photography HolidayA sunset silhouette of a wading bird in one of the lakes in the Kutch area an image captured during a Natureslens Little Rann of Kutch Photography HolidayIt is indeed a location I would not hesitate in returning to in the future. Hopefully, the images here will give you a taste of what to expect on any future Wildlife of the Little Rann of Kutch Photography Holiday to Gujarat.

Two Black Winged Stilts wading in the mirror like waters of one of the lakes in the Kutch area an image captured during a Natureslens Little Rann of Kutch Photography Holiday

Three Lesser Flamingoes standing in the reflective waters of a lake in the Kutch area an image captured during a Natureslens Little Rann of Kutch Photography Holiday

One of the Steppe Eagles with out stretched wings gliding over the barren salt flats an image captured during a Natureslens Little Rann of Kutch Photography Holiday

One of the Lesser Flamingos feeding an image captured during a Natureslens Little Rann of Kutch Photography Holiday

A pair of Lesser Flamingo getting ready to take off at one of the lakes in the Kutch area an image captured during a Natureslens Little Rann of Kutch Photography Holiday

 

A mass of the Lesser Flamingos take flight an image captured during a Natureslens Little Rann of Kutch Photography Holiday

A juvenile Lesser Flamingo with its beak in the water an image captured during a Natureslens Little Rann of Kutch Photography Holiday

A Juvenile Black Winged Stilt standing in water with one leg raised an image captured during a Natureslens Little Rann of Kutch Photography Holiday

A group of Lesser Flamingo and juveniles feeding in water an image captured during a Natureslens Little Rann of Kutch Photography Holiday

A flock of Demoiselle Cranes in one of the lakes at Little Rann of Kutch an image captured during a Natureslens Little Rann of Kutch Photography Holiday

A flock of Demoiselle Cranes congregating in one of the lakes in the Kutch area an image captured during a Natureslens Little Rann of Kutch Photography Holiday

A Female Desert Fox an image captured during a Natureslens Little Rann of Kutch Photography Holiday

A Bar tailed Godwit looking for food in water an image captured during a Natureslens Little Rann of Kutch Photography Holiday

A Dalmatian Pelican drifts gently on the waters of Lake Kerkini photographed during a NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday

Karen joined our Pelicans of Lake Kerkini trip in 2018, having missed out in 2017. She may not have gotten the snow, but she got some awesome light, coupled with fantastic opportunities for reflection shots.

With three boat trips and three shoreline feeds, there were plenty of opportunities to get some classic shots “in the bag” before trying some more creative photography.

A Dalmatian Pelican drifts gently on the waters of Lake Kerkini photographed during one of the NaturesLens Photography Holidays for photography of the Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Read more