1. Grootkolk (Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa)
You just have to look at the Kgalagadi Sightings Facebook Page, which now has nearly 20000 members, to realise that the park has become a firm favourite of South Africans and foreigners alike.
Photographers who are familiar with the park know that within the colossal 38000 km2 park there are certain areas that give you photographic opportunities that are above average. Grootkolk, in the far-north of the park, is one such place.
Some of the best wildlife photos can actually be taken right from camp. Springbok, gemsbok, and red hartebeest regularly visit the camp waterhole, which is close enough for anyone with a 400 mm lens or longer. Brown hyenas and leopards also make regular appearances, even during the daytime! In fact, I usually skip the morning drives from Grootkolk and wait for one of the resident leopards to come down for a drink between 6 and 9 am – it’s happened on most mornings that I’ve tried. And if you do go out on a game drive, you’ve got a decent chance of seeing lions and cheetahs.
The campsite is surrounded by vast open areas and a surprisingly extensive road network, allowing you to get close to the hundreds of animals that congregate there throughout most of the year. Sightings are complimented by breathtaking and striking scenery, like gigantic dry leadwood trees in the middle of golden grassy plains.