Golden hours in Kruger

Skukuza railway bridge
Skukuza railway bridge

Landscape photography is often about the “Golden hours” just after sunrise and just before sunset. Taking photos at these times in Kruger was a bit of a challenge as this is also prime game watching time. I stayed back in camp at Skukuza one morning to take this sunrise shot of the old railway bridge over the Sabie River and am very glad I made the effort. The view would be familiar to anyone who has spent time there; this version at least has some interesting lighting although the sunrise could have been a tad more spectacular. This was done in traditional landscape fashion, f/16 with a tripod and graduated ND filters.

I did manage one sunrise with some vibrant lighting – the wide shot was taken with my landscape lens and quite a slow shutter speed, a bit hair-raising in a vehicle with three other people under strict instructions not to wriggle. A little later during the early morning game drive I managed to position myself to get the sun behind a silhouetted tree – taken in quite a hurry , handheld with my birding lens and the aperture wide open to keep the shutter speed up for sharpness.

African savanna evening light
African savanna evening light

Rushing back to camp before the gates close in the evening and still hoping for that elusive lion or cheetah sighting is not really the ideal time for landscapes, but I couldn’t resist the lone tree in the savanna at sunset; another image using the short end of my birding lens. The Berg-en-dal sunrise was a bit more planned – taken from the vehicle using a bean bag for support, using my wide angle lens to capture the lovely soft light over the mountains. A fitting farewell image on our last morning.

Berg-en-dal sunrise
Berg-en-dal sunrise

2 thoughts on “Golden hours in Kruger”

  1. Kruger is very beautiful and offers a lot of landscape potential (if you can tear your eyes away from the critters). One evening I climbed up a granite dome on a kopje and got a nice sunset. Of course there was no way I should have been out of the car let alone so far from it. The great thing is right after I got back in the car I saw my first leopard! So it was the best of both worlds, which is what Kruger is really.

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