South African safari options
At Aperture Wild Photographic and Viewing Safaris we specialise in customised bird watching, bird photography, mammal watching, mammal photography on our extended and day safaris.These also include the exciting nocturnal mammal watching and photographic safaris where we explore the bush in search of those special animals that hunt and feed after dark.
Bird, mammal and nature enthusiasts are taken to important nature sites mainly, but not exclusively, in the Cape Province. These areas include the West Coast, Namaqualand and up to the spectacular Augrabies Falls. The interior, including the at times harsh yet beautiful Little and Great Karoo, the Northern Cape through Upington, the southern Kalahari and onto the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park the south and east coasts, through the beautiful Garden Route and on to the Addo National Park outside Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape.
Our day trips are able to accommodate a maximum of six birdwatchers, mammal, wildlife or nature viewing guests. However, all photographic and overnight safaris are restricted to a maximum of four persons. This allows for a high guide-to-client ratio: an essential element in the success and enjoyment of a safari.
We welcome all birdwatchers, mammal watchers, nature and landscape photographers, photographic and specie-listers. To enrich your safari experience, your tour leader will be a professional, qualified nature guide with a wealth of local knowledge as well as an accomplished nature photographer, able to answer most questions regarding habitat, mammal, bird or reptile in the area as well as informal help with many of the photographic situations you may encounter. Our customised safari vehicle has large windows as well as a pop-up roof, which allows 360-degree viewing and unobstructed photo opportunities.
At Aperture Wild we carefully select accommodation for each safari, ensuring that, after a great day in the field, you will enjoy a relaxing night in comfortable, well-appointed lodges. This gives you the opportunity to enjoy a few drinks, a good meal, discuss the day’s photography and sightings or simply kick back, recharge your batteries and get ready for the next stage of your adventure.
Making the best of the environmental conditions
One of the biggest contributors to the success of any photographic or viewing safari is the utilisation of the natural conditions. Birds and indeed most animals are best seen early in the day. Natural light produces the best photo and viewing opportunities and we believe that these conditions should be utilised to the full. However, it is you who will dictate the pace of your safari with us.
At Aperture Wild we strive to supply a product that caters to your specific needs. Should we believe that your safari requires the services of a specialist in a certain field, one will be provided. For example: many nature photographers and, indeed, birdwatchers visiting the Western Cape place a pelagic bird and mammal trip off Cape Point high on their priority list. Should any of our guests wish to experience this awesome, once-in-a-lifetime trip, then we will include this in your itinerary and make all the arrangements for you through one of the pelagic service providers.
Another example would be a botanical photographic or viewing tour of the Cape fynbos biome, one of the richest floras in the world, consisting of approximately 8 000 species (with more than 2 600 on the Cape Peninsula alone). Clients who target specific species may require the services of a specialist in that particular field.
At Aperture Wild we are privileged to work in and enjoy the awesome beauty of nature and the wildlife that lives in it. We believe in the conservation of the environment so that it may yield maximum sustained benefit now, whilst maintaining its ability to meet the needs of future generations. Conservation is clearly a human activity aimed at regulating the influence of humans on the environment.
Aperture Wild wishes to thank Barrie Rose, widely recognized as one of South Africa’s top birders (oceanic and terrestrial), for his assistance with the information and photographs contained on this website, particularly the text on pelagic trips. Many of his excellent images can be seen in the pelagic and other galleries. Thanks also to Gregg and Desré Darling for their patience and knowledgeable input. Gallery photographs by Gregg and Desré Darling, Barrie Rose, Patrick Benade and Uli Glunk.