BOTSWANA WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP

Grab your camera and come on the adventure of a lifetime as we head off on safari, exploring the incredibly diverse landscape and wildlife of Botswana across 12 action packed days. As one of Africa’s premier wilderness locations the region boasts one of the lowest human populations on earth and the largest, most varied wildlife populations. A nature photographer’s paradise! The journey will see us venture through premier wilderness destinations and game reserves, travelling in custom built safari mobiles designed specifically with the photographer in mind and staying in a combination of luxury tent and hotel accommodation.

Strictly limited to 8 photographers, each guest is guaranteed to receive intensive tuition and take advantage of the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the experience. Given the intimate nature of the small group size, this also means that the tour is open to photographers of all skill levels – even those simply looking to tick this adventure of a lifetime off their bucket list.

Prior to departure, Craig will liaise with each guest to establish their personal goals for the workshop and will then devise a program designed to best assist each individual reach their desired outcomes. The workshop will consist of extensive practical tuition in the field, in addition to post production / image editing sessions.

Location 

Botswana – mobile safari through Moremi, Khwai, Savuti and Chobe

When

Friday 27th September to Tuesday 8th October 2019

Programme

Day 1 | Moremi Game Reserve 

Your flight will arrive around midday into Maun International airport where you will be met by your guide. Your luggage will be loaded into the Frankmobil and we will embark on the first journey to the bush. We will be heading into the Moremi Game Reserve which will be our base for the first three nights. This transfer soon becomes a game viewing opportunity as not long into the drive we will be entering wilderness areas with the possibility of viewing animals. However, our main goal for the drive is to get deep into the Okavango Delta and explore the more remote areas.

We expect to arrive at our camp around sunset on the first day, just in time for a hot shower followed by some relaxation at the fire. Welcome to paradise.

Day 2 and Day 3 | Moremi Game Reserve  

The next two days will consist of an early morning wakeup call, just before the sun has risen, at which point we will have half an hour to prepare our things and meet at the morning fireplace for a much-needed coffee and some food to keep us going throughout the game drive.

We will then aim to set-off for the morning drive as soon as we are allowed to, as per the regulations. The first few hours of the drive are the most exciting as our chances for predators are at its best, and so is the beautiful morning light. A morning coffee break usually takes place in a scenic spot about halfway through the roughly four-hour morning drive. By this point the temperature is starting to climb and the movements of animals (especially predators) comes to a halt. We would then return to our camp to enjoy a nice brunch which has been prepared for us on an open fire.

This is typically the time for showers to take place and a bit of relaxing/catching up on sleep. We will discuss to you our afternoon activity plans which generally leave about 4 hours prior to the sun setting. Our plan here is to have a mix of a shorter drive covering some areas we might have missed in the morning, followed by a nice sundowner boat cruise on the Okavango Delta.

Xakanaka: This region of the Moremi Game Reserve is absolutely stunning. It has a large mix of vegetation types that are very typical of the Okavango Delta and thus there are some target species for us to see. It is located right in the heart of the Delta with an abundance of water. The result of the permanent water can be seen by the large number of huge riverine canopy trees. It feels somewhat like a jungle mixed with a swamp!

Day 4, Day 5 and Day 6 | Khwai Community Area

After another early breakfast and coffee, we set out for one last drive in the Xakanaka region trying to find anything we have missed out on viewing. After the normal morning coffee break, instead of heading back in the direction of our camp we will continue towards the Khwai Concession. We will continue East along the seemingly endless mopane woodland and eventually exit the Moremi Game Reserve to enter our new base for the next three nights, the Khwai Community Trust Concession.

Based right on the edge of the Okavango Delta, Khwai attracts large concentrations of game from the drier surrounding regions to the permanently flowing Khwai River meaning there are high predator concentrations. The area also has a real wild feeling, like we truly are in a strange but wonderful place.

We aim to arrive to our same familiar camp and crew but this time in a different location, around early afternoon for a brunch/meal. After a short afternoon introductory drive we will aim to have a sundowner in a beautiful location and celebrate our new home for the next 3 nights. The drive will then most likely continue a little bit into the night as the use of spotlights is allowed in the area. A huge bonus as we get to view nocturnal animal activity! We will then head back to our camp for a beautiful dinner under the stars and a long night of sounds and smells of this amazing location.

We will stick to the usual morning routine in Khwai of early morning wakeup calls, coffee and food before we then hit the road for another day of adventure and photographic opportunities with the local wildlife. Covering many of the small roads in the huge road network that the area has to offer, we will travel through thick sand and deep water, heading off-road and through dense bush all in the search of predators and beautiful views. The essential morning coffee stop will happen alongside a pod of hippos lounging amongst the water lilies.

We will then make our way back to camp for brunch and to relax during the hotter time of the day and to recharge for the afternoon and evening’s activities and night time viewing of animals. We like to leave ourselves flexible at night to allow the freedom to follow up on the vocalisation of lions which when followed often lead us  to the opportunity of viewing their nocturnal activities – an unforgettable experience and a real insight into the lives of these big cats.

The magic of Khwai is the abundance of animals and the freedom that the concession allows for viewing them in their natural habitat. We aim to leave Khwai having viewed and photographed all the Big 5 and learnt about the  beginnings of the Okavango Delta and its complexities.

Khwai Community Area: Based right on the edge of the Okavango Delta, Khwai attracts large concentrations of game from the drier regions of surrounding area to the permanently flowing Khwai River. And as a result, the region has high predator concentrations and this will be the area we focus our attention on. The area also has a real wild feeling, like we truly are in a strange but wonderful place.

Overnight: Khwai Mobile Site

Day 7, Day 8 and Day 9 | Savuti – Chobe National Park 

This morning we start with a brief drive in the Khwai area before heading North East to the Chobe National Park. One of the best parts about this longer travel day is that it is a beautiful one. We will be travelling North all along the Mobabe depression which is a vast, seemingly endless grass plain which has an abundance of life. We have the chance of game viewing and photographing opportunities throughout the drive. At the most northern tip of this grassland is Savuti, our home for the next 3 nights.

We aim to reach the camp at around midday, at which point we will be shown around the camp and have the opportunity to relax and have some lunch. We will then prepare for the first afternoon of game viewing which will be our first introduction to the Savuti area, an introduction which will also provide an insight into the history of the area. We will be learning of the recent movements of animals from other guides so as to know where to focus our search for the elusive creatures. Please note that as Savuti is within the Chobe National Park, there are set return times for when we must be back at camp so night viewing activities will not be possible in the area.

We have allowed for two full days of safari activities in Savuti in order to give us the best possible chance of finding and viewing our target species for the area. And also, to cover and explore the many roads and beautiful areas that Savuti has to offer. The days consist of an early morning wakeup call before just the sun has risen at which point we will have half an hour to prepare our things and meet at the morning fireplace for a much-needed coffee and some food to keep us going throughout the game drive. We will then aim to set-off for the morning drive as soon as we are allowed too, as per the regulations. We usually start by scanning the hills and surrounding areas for the chance of leopards before moving through the woodland areas and eventually into the open plains as the day heats up. A morning coffee break usually takes place in a beautiful spot about halfway through the roughly four-hour morning drive. By this point the temperature is starting to climb and the movements of animals (especially predators) comes to a halt. We would then return to our camp with a nice brunch prepared on an open fire which will be much needed after the morning animal search.

This is typically the time for showers to take place and a bit of relaxing/catching up on sleep. We will discuss with you our afternoon activity plans which generally leave about 3 hours prior to the sun setting and include the traditional safari sundowner stop where we park the vehicle at a scenic spot where we can watch the sun set as the drinks flow.

Savuti – Chobe National Park: Savuti, also known as Savute lies in the heart of Botswana’s beautiful Chobe National Park. This dynamic wilderness is a sweeping expanse of savannah brooded over by several rocky outcrops which guard a relic marsh and the dry channel that was once its lifeline. The Savute goes through wet and dry cycles, where wild dogs hunt in the dry river channel where crocodiles could be found swimming only twenty years ago. Visitors to this spectacular area can spot abundant wildlife which include a variety of birds, elephants, antelope, lion prides, black-backed jackal, bat-eared foxes, tsessebe, kudu, hyena, cheetah, Cape buffalo herds, and thousands of migrating zebra and wildebeest.

Overnight: Savuti Mobile Site

Day 10 and Day 11 | Chobe River Front  

This morning we will only be spending a small amount of time in the Savuti region before making our way North East to our new destination along the Chobe River. This drive takes us out of the Chobe National park briefly before entering it again as we approach the river.

This section of river is a must see when visiting Botswana, having large concentrations of wildlife at this time of the year, particularly along the river frontage where most of the action happens! The animal life that occurs here is much the same as what we encountered at the other locations, however in seemingly higher densities and we expect elephants to steal the show! This time of the year the Chobe River is a magnet for elephant activities as the water in the surrounding areas dries up.

Our goal here is to get the final vehicle shots we still need after all of our training and practice throughout the trip. Our drive ends at our  accommodation, Pangolin Chobe Lodge. Here we say goodbye to the Frankmobil and hello to a little bit of luxury.

We aim to relax a bit at our new accommodation for a few hours and indulge in some well-deserved lunch. For the afternoon, however we will set-off on our final photographic opportunity which is a boat cruise along the Chobe River. We will travel West along the river along the Chobe National Park and expect to see plenty of wildlife coming down to drink in the late afternoon light which will be the perfect time to let our cameras loose and get those perfect shots.

Overnight: Pangolin Chobe Lodge – This accomodation is located close to the park gates as well as the jetty on the river from where you enter the Chobe National Park, allowing us to be among the first people into the park, and the last out. The view from our position on the hill overlooking the Chobe floodplains is quite extraordinary and with the sun setting directly in front of the lodge, this location affords us some of the most spectacular sunsets in Botswana.

Day 12 | End of Itinerary

Today we will have a lovely breakfast together and head to Kasane Airport. Our trip has come to an end!

Inclusions 

  • Photography workshop with award winning photographer Craig Parry
  • All accommodation
  • Food and drinks as outlined in itinerary
  • All transfers for duration of trip
  • National Park fees
  • Tourism levy
  • Activities as mentioned in itinerary

Exclusions 

  • International and regional flights and airport taxes
  • Photography equipment
  • Accommodation before or after tour
  • All expenses of a personal nature
  • Any additional and optional activities
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Any additional drinks and meals
  • Visa fees if required
  • Tips for tour guides

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