I am not new to the safari experience, having been on many at different lodges and in different countries over the years. The At Close Quarters Big Cat Safari April 21-29, 2018 exceeded my expectations. The focus is on big cats, and I got to see EIGHT different individual leopards during my stay. There is no pressure to hurry from a sighting. If we were watching something and it was near a meal time or end of game drive…no problem, it was flexible. Being the only group at Vuyatela Lodge, we could simply call in late. You will not find this at any other lodge as they adhere strictly to game drive/meal times regardless of how great your sighting is. We got to practice night photography with lion and leopard, which was fantastic.
The photography instruction was very valuable to me. Villiers and Lance were excellent photography teachers, very knowledgeable and patient. You can get as much instruction as you need, regardless of the level of your experience. I left a better photographer and eager to continue learning.
Vuyatela is a lovely lodge, very comfortable and offering good game sightings on the premises. The food was delicious and the entire staff wonderfully accommodating. Extra thank you’s go out to Kirsten and Johan.
I will definitely be back for another trip!
The Big Cat Safari was the best safari i have experienced so far! As a South African who absolutely loves wildlife and wanting to improve my wildlife photography skills this was the perfect safari. The expert rangers, Taxon and Aubrey and the skilled trackers Fanode and William ensured we had amazing sightings of the big cats and also other game to make it a true African Safari experience.
The photographic guidance and Lightroom tuition given by Villiers and Lance was incredibly helpful and I can see the improvement in my photos in just 4 days. There is so much to learn and improve on – so I am definitely going to come back for another trip – hopefully next year.
Kirsten and Johan looked after us very well and we were well fed with delicious meals. It did not take long for it to feel like the ACQ team were old friends and this added to the enjoyment of the Safari.
Thank you all for an amazing time!
This was truly a magical experience from start to finish. As a beginner photographer, I truly appreciated the patience and guidance from Villiers and Lance and have enjoyed moving from the “auto” focus to a more advanced technique! I can’t wait to learn more and this trip has certainly inspired that. Everyone was so generous with their time and expertise. The At Close Quarters team is very professional, friendly and knowledgeable about photography and wildlife. Thank you to the team for the laughter enjoyed and the time you took to get to know all of your guests – this is something I really appreciated and will remember for a long time to come!
I am truly grateful to all the rangers and trackers – Aubrey, William, Taxan and “Van”. These guys made the experience an unforgettable one. Their expertise made the challenge of finding the elusive animals, a remarkable experience! Leopards are my favourite animals and I felt so honoured to spend as much time as we did with these majestic beings.
Thank you to Kirsten and Johan as well as everyone behind the scenes who ensured that we were always well looked after with the delicious meals. Thank you to Michael for joining us on drive and sharing your stories! Thank you to all the other guests who also brought their passion for animals to this event and it made it all the more enjoyable … especially as I got the opportunity to share it with family and friends who also have a great passion for the bush!
One of the things that I appreciated the most, was the incredible respect for the animals that everyone involved had. We were always in good hands. So many incredible memories made and I can’t wait to go back … nature is certainly home for me! Thank you again!