Capturing Animal Interactions on Safari

Balckshouldered Kite and Purple Roller Interaction in the Kruger National ParkBalckshouldered Kite and Purple Roller Interaction
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This page provides more information on capturing animal interactions on safari and is also our gallery of some of the animal interaction images that we, the authors of the Photographer's Guide to the Greater Kruger National Park, have captured on our many visits to the world-famous Kruger National Park. 

Buffalo chasing lions at Nsemani Dam near Satara camp in the Kruger National ParkBuffalo chasing lions at Nsemani Dam on the H7 near Satara camp
Elephant chasing Martial Eagle, image taken on self-drive in the Kruger National ParkElephant chasing Martial Eagle, image taken on self-drive in the Kruger

Photographs of static animals and animal portraits can be appealing but there are so many of these types of images so it’s better to try and look for / anticipate more exciting images.

These more appealing / exciting images can be action images, but more generally tend to be animals interacting with each other in various ways.

Mammal and bird interactions can be categorized into three basic groups based on how the participating species are affected by the interaction. They include consumer-resource interactions, competitive interactions and social interactions.

Honey-badger and Leopard standoff, image taken on the H1-4 near Balule camp in the Kruger National ParkHoney-badger and Leopard standoff, image taken on the H1-4 near Balule camp
Leopard in tree with Impala grazing below, image taken in the Kruger National parkLeopard in tree with Impala grazing below
Lions and Buffalo, image taken on the H1-7 near Dokweni spring in the Kruger National ParkLions and Buffalo on the H1-7 near Dokweni spring

Consumer-resource Interactions

Lions chasing Cape Buffalo at Nsemani Dam near Satara camp in the Kruger National ParkLions chasing Cape Buffalo at Nsemani Dam near Satara camp

Consumer-resource interactions are interactions in which individuals from one species consume individuals from another species, which will include predator-prey interactions (lion eating a zebra) and herbivore-plant interactions (zebra feeding on grass). Obviously, the predator-prey interaction would be more exciting than herbivores feeding and that’s why many visitors to the parks want to see kills.

Lioness and Steenbok standoff - Kruger National ParkLioness and Steenbok standoff south of Olifants camp
Leopard in tree watching impala grazing below, image taken on a self-drive in the Kruger National ParkLeopard in tree watching impala grazing below, image taken on a self-drive
Lion cubs looking at Buffalo, image taken on a self-drive on the H1-7 near Babalala picnic site in the Kruger National ParkLion cubs looking at Buffalo, image taken on a self-drive on the H1-7 near Babalala picnic site
Impala checking the Leopard hidden in the grass in the Kruger National ParkImpala checking the Leopard hidden in the grass
Elephant drinking while lions look on, image taken on the H1-7 near Babalala picnic site in the Kruger National ParkElephant drinking while lions look on, image taken on the H1-7 near Babalala picnic site
Steenbok looking at Leopard walking by, image taken on a self-drive in the Kruger National ParkSteenbok looking at Leopard walking by

If you struggle to anticipate and capture good animal interaction images on your safaris then this eBook is for you!

We have been visiting the Kruger Park for more than twenty years and capturing animal interactions can be challenging! In this eBook we provide all our tips and techniques on how to capture animals and birds interacting with each other.

Should you wish to get the eBook, click on the book cover above, then click 'Add to Cart' where you'll see a button called 'Add Promo Code'. Click on it then add the word K2K and the 30% discount will be automatically applied. This code is valid until the end of the month, so don't delay!

"Planning a Kruger trip? A new guide by pro photographers holds the key to good pictures. 

Learn from the folks who spent 517 days in the park and make your photos sing!" 

- Romi Boom, Editor of Wildcard Magazine, South Africa

Lions looking at Waterbuck near the Letaba River in the Kruger National ParkLions looking at Waterbuck near the Letaba River

Competitive Interactions

Wild dogs chase Cheetah up a tree on the H7 between Tamboti and Satara in the Kruger National ParkWild dogs chase Cheetah up a tree on the H7 between Tamboti and Satara
Leopard and Hyena drinking at De Laporte waterhole on the H1-1 near Skukuza in the Kruger National ParkLeopard and Hyena drinking at De Laporte waterhole on the H1-1 near Skukuza camp
Male Lion chasing Vulture off his kill, image taken in the Kruger National ParkMale Lion chasing Vulture off his kill
Wild Dogs and Hyena interaction, image taken on a self-drive in the Kruger National ParkWild Dogs and Hyena interaction, image taken on a self-drive

Competitive interactions are interactions involving two or more species that are vying for the same resource. For example, lions and hyenas indirectly compete as they feed on the same prey but for photography, we want to witness direct interactions where the two predators come face-to-face.

Not all face-to-face confrontations end badly as we have seen lions and hyenas feeding together on a carcass, a leopard feeding with a crocodile – it depends on how hungry they are and what perceived advantage one has over the other.   

Should you wish to get the eBook, click on the above book cover, then click 'Add to Cart' where you'll see a button called 'Add Promo Code'. Click on it then add the word K2K and the 30% discount will be automatically applied. This code is valid until the end of the month, so don't delay!

"This is an indispensable guide to getting the best out of Kruger, camera in hand or not!”

Caroline Webb, Associate Editor, Getaway Magazine, South Africa

White Rhino with her calf having a standoff with an Elephant at a waterhole in the Kruger National ParkWhite Rhino and calf having standoff with an Elephant at a waterhole
Leopard and Baboon face off, image taken on a self-drive in the Kruger National ParkLeopard and Baboon face off, image taken on a self-drive
Impala checking out the sleeping Lions at Vutomi Dam on the S33 in the Kruger National ParkImpala checking out the sleeping Lions at Vutomi Dam on the S33
Lioness checking out the people in Buffelshoek camp in the Manyeleti Game Reserve in the Greater Kruger National ParkLioness checking out the people in Buffelshoek camp in the Manyeleti Game Reserve
Lions and Impala, image taken at a waterhole on the S131 between Letaba and Phalaborwa in the Kruger National ParkLions looking at Impala at a waterhole on the S131 between Letaba and Phalaborwa

Social Interactions

Mating Leopards, image taken near the S147 and H1-4 near Balule camp in the Kruger National ParkMating Leopards between the S147 and H1-4 near Balule camp
Ore the White Rhino trying to mate with a dead Hippo at the Bowkerkopo waterhole near Mopani camp in the Kruger National ParkOre the White Rhino trying to mate with a dead Hippo at the Bowkerkopo waterhole near Mopani camp

Social interactions are interactions in which both animals tend to benefit from the interaction. An example of this could be animals mating, grooming or sharing a meal.

It could also be two different species that have come face-to-face, and they are curious about each other or simply tolerate each other as they are not competing for the same resource.

Should you wish to get the eBook, click on the book cover above, then click 'Add to Cart' where you'll see a button called 'Add Promo Code' - click on it then add the word K2K and the 30% discount will be automatically applied. This code is valid until the end of the month, so don't delay!

"...the majority of images are really impressive, each chosen for a practical reason, sometimes annotated to stress a point.

The authors clearly know what they are doing. For decades they have mapped their sightings, and in explaining how they achieved their images, they’re sharing invaluable tips on understanding wildlife behavior, reading the signs and getting yourself in the best position for the shot. 
There is a phenomenal wealth of information here; real substance."

- Craig Rix, Editor,Travel Africa Magazine, UK

Elephant and Lion interaction taken on a self-drive in the Kruger National ParkElephant and Lion interaction taken on a self-drive
Zebra and Bateleur coming to drink at a waterhole in the Kruger National ParkZebra and Bateleur coming to drink at a waterhole
Buffalos fighting at Mutlumuvi Bridge on the H1-2 near Skukuza in the Kruger National ParkBuffalos fighting at Mutlumuvi Bridge on the H1-2 near Skukuza
Elephant and Leopard, image taken at Sable Hide on the S51 near Phalaborwa on the H9 in the Kruger National ParkElephant and Leopard at Sable Hide on the S51 near Phalaborwa
Elephant and White Rhino standoff at a dam near Lower Sabie in the Kruger National ParkElephant and White Rhino standoff at a dam near Lower Sabie
Mating Leopards on the S147 near Balule camp in the Kruger National ParkMating Leopards on the S147

The majority of these animal interaction photographs were captured on self-drive safaris, on normal tourist roads, when we were on our vacations, which are anything from a few days over a long weekend, to annual holidays of 14-17 days duration. We also captured some of the images from inside the camps and lodges. 


Elephant and Leopard interaction, image taken in the Kruger National Park on a self-driveElephant and Leopard interaction taken on a self-drive
Elephant and Lion interaction in Kruger Park
Capturing animal interactions on safari

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