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Jan 12 2015

Giants Castle Vulture Hide (Lammergeier)

Photo of the The Lammergeier Vulture Hide which sits on a rocky ledge on top of the mountain at Giants Castle. Copyright Mitchell Krog

The Lammergeier Vulture Hide which sits on a rocky ledge on top of the mountain at Giants Castle.

The renowned Lammergeyer Vulture Hide in the Giants Castle Nature Reserve is open yearly for visitors to watch the bearded vultures and other endangered bird species and offers unsurpassed opportunities for bird photography and bird viewing.

Situated in the Giants Castle nature reserve managed by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife is not only a bird photographer and watcher’s paradise but is also a spectacularly beautiful area of South Africa offering majestic vista’s and landscapes. The Giants Castle (Lammergeieir) Vulture Hide has become a prized destination for both local and international photographers and delivers across the board when it comes to spectacular bird photography.

The hide itself is very tiny but ample for only 3 photographers to shoot comfortably but many photo groups continually try to squeeze in a fourth photographer who will often end up with a shooting gap that is not optimal to getting the really good shots. So if you are going in a group restrict it to 3 only and you will all have a very comfortable shooting arrangement without having a fourth photographer feeling short changed.
Photo of the The Lammergeier Vulture hide which rests on the edge of a cliff overlooking the majestic Drakensberg.

The Lammergeier Vulture hide which rests on the edge of a cliff overlooking the majestic Drakensberg. Copyright Mitchell Krog.



Giants Castle Game Reserve is reached by good gravel roads from Mooi River (about 60 kilometres) or from Estcourt (about 70 kilometres), both towns on the N3 between Johannesburg and Durban.

THE LAMMERGEYER HIDE ‘feeding season’ is May to September, and bookings open in the previous November. Tel +27 36 353 3718, fax +27 36 353 3775. Charges are R150 per person per day, with a minimum of R480 (less then 3 people) for use of the hide. Access is by 4×4 vehicle, provided by yourself or by the reserve. It is advisable to book on the 1st of November when bookings open as the bookings fly in within the first two days leaving only few openings for others.

photo of shooting locations at the lammergeier vulture hide at giants castle

3 photographers will have prime positions for shooting at the Lammergeier Vulture Hide at Giants Castle … refrain from trying to squeeze in a fourth photographer. Copyright Mitchell Krog.

It is advisable for groups to ensure they have flasks of coffee, tea, cool drinks, food and snacks for the day as you will spend the entire day from before sunrise until sunset up there. There is no electricity in the hide and no ablutions either so you are required to go in nature, so prepare for that too. Oh and make sure all your batteries are charged and that you have ample memory cards as you will easily run out of memory cards on an average day’s shoot at Giants Castle. You will also need a 4×4 or SUV vehicle to get up the mountain, either have your own 4×4 or arrange with the front desk to take you up in the morning and fetch you in the afternoon. Trying to get up in your own sedan is seriously not advised, you will spend your shooting time getting unstuck or worse.

The Day visitor Entry fee:= to Giants Castle is R20.00 per adult R10.00 per child and they have excellent accommodation facilities available but be sure to also book well in advance.

Gate Opening and Closing Times: Summer ( October to March ) 05h00 to 19h00 Winter (April to September ) 06h00 to 18h00

If you are an eager bird photographer and you have not been there then Giant’s Castle should be on the top of your “have to go to” lists. Not only will you get to photograph the highly endangered Bearded Vultures (Lammergeier) but you will also have excellent opportunities to capture fantastic images of Cape Vultures, Jackal Buzzards and a variety of other endangered species.

As far as photographic equipment goes, if you don’t have a decent lens for the job PLEASE go to effort and hire one for the weekend. You will need a minimum of a 200-400 mm lens, 400mm prime and if your budget can afford it a 600mm prime lens. Having two bodies one configured with a 200-400 mm lens and the second with a 600mm lens is probably the greatest combination you could hope for. You can hire lenses and cameras from the great people at OutdoorPhoto in Pretoria.

Good News for Avian Photographers, a second vulture hide was opened in the Maloti Drakensberg Park on the 14th of August 2014. Tghe press release reads …. “In the race to save South Africa’s vultures, a second vulture hide will be opened on the 14th of August near Giant’s Castle in the Maloti Drakensberg Park. This follows the opening and success of the first hide at Cathedral Peak in 2013,” says Kevin McCann, Deputy Director at Wildlands Conservation Trust. “The hides offer a means to safe-guard Bearded Vulture populations by providing a safe and stable source of food.” Read more about that here.

Here’s a few images of mine from Giants Castle over the past few years and I highly suggest for any budding, intermediate or pro photographer to book and go have one of the most fantastic photo trips they will ever have.



photo of bearded vulture adult juvenile fighting at giants castle drakensberg - lammergeier

“Bearded Vulture Fight”. Click on image for a larger preview. (Copyright Mitchell Krog – Enquiries: image@mitchellkrog.com – Image REF: ZA3A1359GC)

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Photo of juvenile bearded vulture - lammergeier - taking to flight at giants castle in the drakensberg

Photo of juvenile bearded vulture – lammergeier – taking to flight at giants castle in the drakensberg

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Jackal Fight Skirmish Wildlife Photo Drakensberg Mountains

“Skirmish” – Two Black-backed Jackals have a quarrel over food scraps at Giants Castle in the Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa. (Copyright Mitchell Krog – Enquiries: image@mitchellkrog.com – REF: ZAD3A8970)

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Photo of Jackal and Vulture Fight at Giants Castle, Drakensberg,

“Jackal and Vulture Skirmish”. Copyright Mitchell Krog – Enquiries: image@mitchellkrog.com – REF: ZAX9417GC

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Panoramic Photo of the Majestic Landscape of Giants Castle in th

“The Majestic Landscape of Giants Castle in the Drakensberg” Copyright Mitchell Krog – Enquiries: image@mitchellkrog.com – REF: ZAX8574GC)

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Giants Castle Vulture Hide (Lammergeier) 4.71/5 (94.29%) 21 votes
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Nov 28 2013

Cityscape Gallery Project – Invited Artist by Photohub UK



photohub-cityscape-project-02-Joburg-Johannesburg-Lightning-Mitchell-KrogI am very proud to have been invited as a photographer for a Cityscape gallery project for a client’s house in South Kensington in the United Kingdom. Photohub UK put out a call a while back asking photographers to submit images but personally contacted me after finding my image on the web. Only 5 photographers in total were selected and my photo of lightning over the Johannesburg Skyline made the cut and now hangs proudly in this clients home.

The write up from Photohub.uk follows:

Last week James and Installation Manager Robin travelled to Kensington to complete the framed cityscape project that we called for photographic submissions on a few weeks ago

We received some stunning photography from all over the world which hugely impressed James. Our client selected photographs comprising of a typical Johannesburg thunderstorm, a canal view over Hotel Europe Amsterdam, a nightscape over the Red Square Moscow, A long exposure of the London Eye, Ravello on the Amalfi Coast and New Years Eve in Sydney. The selected images each represent a special time or precious moment in her life for many reasons which included views from hotels she had stayed in, atmospheric night scenes from her home town and a Firework display over Sydney Harbour that she attended on New Years Eve.

Once the images had passed quality checks to ensure they could be used for our desired size we printed them on Fuji Crystal Archive paper, mounted and framed them with Art Glass which was essential in ensuring the prints had minimal reflection in both natural and artificial light.

The 6 metre wide gallery wall allowed Robin to hang the six 750mm x 500mm prints equidistant in perfect alignment which now pay homage to memories of some mesmerizing moments in time and transform our client’s bare wall to an exhibition standard, personalised gallery to be proud of.

Buyers – if you would like us to source and install any photographic art for you please email james@photo-hub.co.uk who can also advise on the best print products and presentation methods to meet your requirements. 

 photohub-cityscape-project-clients-web   photohub-cityscape-gallery-project-01-web

View more on Photohub’s Facebook Page or their web site.

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Aug 15 2013

Sunflower Field Sunset Landscape | Magaliesburg, South Africa

Sunflower Field Landscape Photo at Sunset - Magaliesburg, South

“Sunflower Field Sunset – Magaliesburg, South Africa”. (Copyright Mitchell Krog – Enquiries: image@mitchellkrog.com – Image REF: ZAX7632MGB)

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This image is from from last year in Magaliesburg when one of the local farmers planted massive fields of gorgeous sunflowers right on my doorstep. To say I was like a kid in a candy shop is an understatement, I was out each morning and evening to make full use of the photographic opportunity presented to me and captured many wonderful images before the sunflowers started drooping and dyeing back.


On this afternoon some storm clouds were gathering to the South East close to sunset but luckily the storm fronts did not block the last light of the setting sun which created a beautiful warm glow all over the sunflower fields and sky.


It might be another 2-3 years before these farmers plant sunflowers again but I know when they do I’ll schedule in some time to get back out there.


This landscape Print “Sunflower Field Sunset Magaliesburg” is available in print on a variety of Hahnemule Fine Art Papers, Epson Premium Papers and Canvas.

To order prints or for other enquiries on this image or other landscape and seascape images please contact me on image@mitchellkrog.com with Print REF: ZAX7632MGB or simply click here to order this print right now.


Sunflower Field Sunset Landscape | Magaliesburg, South Africa 2.00/5 (40.00%) 1 vote
Jul 30 2013

Echoes of the Fallen Sun | Sunset Landscape Panorama – Nottingham Road, South Africa

Sunset Landscape Panorama - Echoes of the Fallen - Nottingham Road, South Africa
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This image is from my archives from a trip down to Nottingham Road to stay with some family. I had the opportunity to stroll on their neighbours farm and found this dam earlier in the day which I knew would make a great location for a panoramic sunset shot.


Close to sunset I headed down to this dam and got set up in location and waited for magic time to happen. There was a lot of smoke in the air due to many fires in the area but luckily this did not spoil the image. Some clouds passed over close to the dam just after sunset and gave me perfect reflections over the dead still water. I took about 7 frames which I later stitched together to create this panorama.


Nottingham Road situated on the Natal Midlands Meander in the Kwazulu Natal province of South Africa is a quaint little town and surrounding it sits some beautiful landscape photography opportunitites. Well worth a visit and somewhere I will return to soon.


This landscape Print “Echoes of the Fallen Sun” is available in print on a variety of Hahnemule Fine Art Papers, Epson Premium Papers and Canvas.

To order prints or for other enquiries on this image or other landscape and seascape images please contact me on image@mitchellkrog.com with Print REF: ZA3B1129NR or simply click here to order this print right now.


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Jul 22 2013

Photo / Gorilla Pondering | Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Rwanda Gorilla Pondering in Bushes - Virunga Mountains - Volcano

“Gorilla Pondering – Rwanda”.
(Copyright Mitchell Krog – Enquiries: image@mitchellkrog.com – Image REF: RWS7950VNP)

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This photo was captured on an early morning trek in the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda 2 years ago. On this morning our group visited the Agashya (Group 13) family. This family was comprised of members of all ages including some very playful youngsters which were an absolute joy to watch. Some younger and older members of the family were a bit camera shy and spent their time hiding in the bushes.


I captured this older family member hiding in some bushes with a deep look of thought on its face and came across it today in my catalog and decided it was time for it to see the light of day. I love the expressions Gorilla’s make especially one’s that sit alone and stare off into space and was happy to capture a few images like this.


The Volcanoes National Park in the Virunga Mountains of Rwanda is well worth a visit but is getting more expensive by the year. If you want to tick this one off your bucket list don’t delay and get yourself a trip booked today to Rwanda to experience something that is truly unforgettable.


This wildlife Print “Gorilla Pondering – Rwanda” is available in print on a variety of Hahnemule Fine Art Papers, Epson Premium Papers and Canvas.

To order prints or for other enquiries on this image or other landscape and seascape images please contact me on image@mitchellkrog.com with Print REF: RWS7950VNP or simply click here to order this print right now.


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