Last week saw the return of Wildarena.com to the park for 3 photography days crammed with close access to our animals to allow for some fantastic shots. These days normally start off with a trip down to see the elephants, with their large grassed paddock you can get images of them without any fencing or other structures in the background. At the moment we are having some fencing replaced to strengthen it ready for a new bull so we thought we may struggle to get the usual shots but instead we got some great views from a raised area looking down at the elephants and, as they got even closer than normal, were able to get some really fantastic close up shots showing off the skin textures, feeding and dirt baths.
After the elephants it is a slow trip back up the hill taking in the giraffe, encouraging them over with a few tasty branches full of leaves means those amazing close ups are easy to get and from the elevated position of the feeding platform you get them at eye level too.
Moving on from the giraffe we head for the meerkat enclosure and our group here at Knowsley Safari Park really know the score when the photographers are about and need little encouragement to stand up on sentry duty to see what is going on. A few well place meal worms or crickets do the job of getting them moving around again for a few action shots and a charge of a dozen or so meerkats towards some tasty treats is a great site to see even when you’re not holding a camera. While the meerkats were busy on day 2 the parks free ranging marmosets decided to pay us a visit and were very interested in the cameras even grabbing the lenses to have a look what they were all about.
If time permits for the morning session the next move is to the otter enclosure and possibly the sea lions, both these areas can test the skills of the photographers as timing is everything when you are looking for images of the animals coming out of the water. By the time this is done we are all ready for a cup of tea and some lunch, this is also a great opportunity to check through some of the shots taken throughout the morning and many conversations about how many hundreds of shots you have taken already and aren’t you glad you brought extra memory cards.
The afternoon session is spent in the safari drive with a tour around the park in land rovers to get us as close as possible to the action and a highlight is being able to get out and take photos of the baboons from the car friendly route, under the strict supervision of the keepers the photographers can click away through the fence enabling them to get lower down for some really great group and individual shots from the baboons own perspective. Another treat for the afternoon are Knowsley crash of white rhino and being in land rovers we can get a little closer to the action but with three six month old calves about we don’t want to upset the mums, three tonne of rhino heading towards you pointy end first is a bit too much of a safari experience!
After some quick post safari refreshments we are all back in the land rover for the carnivore session. Hunting dogs, tigers and our pride of lions are all on the list to photograph and going in after the last car of the day means we can have the keepers to watch as we take photos right up against the fence to allow shots without and wire mesh in front
If you fancy joining us on the next photo day why not check out the deals at Wildarena.com