Driving thru Kruger Game Park in an overland truck is a bit of an exercise in frustration for the photographer. Due to the rigors of the truck schedule, and the sheer size, it is not really possible to control the time of your visit, nor do you have the flexibility to move around for the best composition. In addition, you are competing with the other 14 people on the trip for the limited free space where you can even get a clear view. Still, despite the obstacles, this was a fairly successful day for photography. Today was the first chance I’d had to use my new Canon 100-400L in real world conditions, and I think that once I learn the limitations of it, I’ll really enjoy the capabilities it offers.
Kruger is one of the biggest parks in Africa, if not the biggest, and due to the more developed tourist infrastructure in South Africa, it often feels like an “Disneyland Africa”. It is very well equipped to handle a large number of visitors, and has some very restrictive policies that ensure that the wildlife is not stressed too much by the sheer quantity of people who come for their African holiday. Only about 13 percent of the park is even visible from a road, and large vehicles like our truck are limited to the paved roads only, further limiting the range. Of course in Africa, game spotting is always a matter of luck, but having our range restricted like this felt like we were artificially handicapped with our options. I think I’d have enjoyed the park more if I’d been in a smaller vehicle with the options to go exploring at my own leisure…maybe next time.