Okavango Delta Botswana November 2016 – Trip 1

05 – 13 November 2016 ( 10 positions available )
Grant-Atkinson-Sandibe_Y8A7841_0078In November 2016, I will be co-leading a private photographic safari with Andy Biggs to the Okavango Delta in Botswana.  This safari is carefully timed to take advantage of the photographic bonuses that the early summer can provide, in the form of dramatic and interesting skies, rich green grass backgrounds, baby antelope and colourful migrant birds.

The safari and workshop combines some of the best wildlife photography anywhere with two luxurious safari camps, and photographic and digital workflow instruction.  We have chosen these camps in the Okavango specifically for their privacy and access to incredible game viewing. This will give you a unique private safari experience geared towards serious wildlife photography.

 

Safari Highlights

  • We have private vehicles throughout the safari, with only 1 person per row of seating (the vehicles have 3 rows behind the driver, plus a seat next to the driver if you want to be nearer the ground.)
  • An increased luggage allowance so you can bring all your camera gear – up to 80 pounds (36 kg) per person allowance on the charter flights. By comparison, standard weight allowance is typically 44 pounds (20 kg).
  • Exclusive and private use of our vehicles in both safari camps, ensuring freedom to make our own schedule and maximize time spent in the field.
  • Knowledgeable and passionate safari guides in Botswana will drive us in open Land Cruisers to help us get the images we are after.
  • This safari offers superb game viewing and photographic opportunities in some of the best areas in Southern Africa.
  • This itinerary focuses on a real wildlife experience from the surroundings of your comfortable accommodations.
  • The reserves you will visit offer an insight to the fantastic wildlife in Botswana.

Is This Safari For You?

Here are some key points to help you decide:

1. We welcome photographers of ALL levels. This safari will be conducive to learning from one another and include instruction that will suit everyone’s photographic needs. No question is off limits, no inquiry too basic.

2. We are BIG on photographing in the field. We spend most our time and effort on safari activity and making images. We do meet daily to review images and discuss technique, but this is not a “classroom-intensive” trip. Our “classroom sessions” are optional (although the review sessions are valuable and there is not a more beautiful classroom).

3. Non-photographer or videographer spouses / travel companions will love these safaris. We have specialist guides leading all safari activities and optional activities (boating, walks, etc.) are also available at any time.

Itinerary

05-08 November 2016; (3 Nights)

Nxabega Tented Camp – Southwestern Okavango Delta, Botswana

Today you will fly from the city of your choice (typically either Johannesburg or Cape Town, with our assistance if required), to Maun, Botswana, where you will be met by a representative from &Beyond. After a 30 minute flight to the Nxabega airstrip, you will be transferred to Nxabega Camp, just 5 minutes away.

Our group will again have the flexibility to set our own schedule while at Nxabega, and every opportunity will be maximized in terms of photography and time spent on game drives, boat and mekoro (dugout canoe) activities.

Tucked under a canopy of massive ebony trees, Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp reveals the splendour and variety of the Okavango. Sheltered by dense forest thickets, yet opening up onto wide, expansive views over lagoons and channels, the camp showcases the best of what the Delta has to offer. Nine exclusive tented suites are strung out on either side of the camp’s handsome thatched guest areas.

Raised on wooden platforms, the spacious tented suites let in the sights and sounds of the African bush. Escape the heat of the day with a dip in the pool or take in the sun on the broad viewing deck looking out over reeds and floodplains.

The nine East African-style safari tents are on raised wooden platforms with private decks overlooking a floodplain. All tents have an ensuite shower and w.c, and are elegantly furnished with wardrobes, luggage racks, chairs, dressing tables and bedside tables.

The Okavango Delta is home to a large number of species, including semi-aquatic species, such as the elegant red lechwe and shy sitatunga antelopes. Families of hippo hide in the deeper channels and lagoons, while the unique Delta environment supports many minute but beautiful species, including multi-coloured frogs and iridescent dragonflies. The area supports the continent’s largest surviving concentration of elephant and buffalo, which roam the open woodlands. Nxabega means “Place of the Giraffe” and these elegant animals are abundant in the surrounding areas.

One of the most common antelope in the Okavango, the red lechwe is especially adapted for the swampy conditions it lives in. Its splayed, elongated hooves give it a sure footing, allowing it to inhabit the outskirts of the permanent swamps. Although typically nocturnal and difficult to spot, leopard live in the dense riverine thickets of the Delta.

With an incredible wealth of species, the Okavango is a haven for birding enthusiasts. One of its most sought after species is the huge but elusive Pel’s fishing owl, which roosts in the densest evergreen thickets. A quintessential African sound, the haunting call of the African fish eagle can be heard echoing over the channels of the Okavango. The Delta also boasts the largest population of the endangered wattled crane, a large and beautiful species. The African jacana, with its extraordinarily long toes, skims along the top of floating vegetation, giving the impression that it is walking on water.

 

08-13 November 2016; (5 Nights)

Sandibe Safari Lodge – Southeastern Okavango Delta, Botswana

Our flight from Nxabega to Sandibe is a 20-minute plane ride, taking us over the beautiful southern side of the Okavango Delta and its border with the Moremi Game Reserve. On arrival at Sandibe airstrip, we will be met and transferred on a 40 minute game drive to the camp.

Throughout our 5-day stay at Sandibe we will set our own hours and schedule to allow us to take full advantage of photographic opportunities.

Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge was completely rebuilt in 2014, with the main area camouflaged under a tumbling canopy of wild palms and gnarled fig leaves.  The 12 new luxury suites are situated in leafy clearings right on the edge of the Delta’s waterways.  Blending seamlessly with its surroundings, the tranquil beauty of Sandibe Safari Lodge suprizes not only guests but even the occasional wandering animals, startled as rough wooden beams and thatched roofs take shape within the leafy groves.  The sounds of Africa lull and soothe travelers, as elephants splash in the quiet waters, baboons chatter and a myriad of birds call and twitter in the trees.

The new suites each have an en-suite bathroom, twin hand basin, separate w.c and outdoor shower and dressing area. The cottages are airy with all windows covered in gauze to maximise views of the forest. Each cottage has an elevated viewing deck that is perfect for intimate candlelit dinners.

Sandibe Okavango The greens of the river bank peer into spacious guest cottages through large, airy screens.  Gaze out onto the banks of the Santantadibe River from under the canopy of your bed or spend a restful hour watching the quiet play of light on water from your private raised deck. At one with the forest, enjoy the warm luxury of the sun skipping across your skin in the large outdoor shower.

Sandibe is set in a private concession of 8,000 hectares (19,800 acres) on the southeastern border of the Moremi Wildlife Reserve. The area is made up of a superb variety of habitats, which include waterways and marshlands, dry acacia and mopane woodland, riverine areas, open grasslands and seasonally flooded plains.

Sandibe offers guests game drives in open 4×4 vehicles during the day and at night accompanied by an experienced guide, as well as nature walks.

Game viewing is excellent here, and includes buffalo, elephant, lion, leopard, reedbuck, lechwe, impala, zebra and hippo. Wild dogs are among the major attractions of this area and a long-standing program to study the wild dogs is based nearby. Guests will also likely see zebra, reedbuck, red lechwe, impala and all the plains game. Cheetah are occasionally seen, but not regular.  Sandibe offers some of the most consistently superb game viewing in all of Botswana.

AndBeyond (the safari company which owns Sandibe and Nxabega) is renowned for having some of the most highly trained, professional, passionate and knowledgeable guides and trackers on the continent. They have a passion for people and wildlife, ensuring unbeatable interpretive safari experiences. The guides at Sandibe impart an incomparable wealth of knowledge, personally researched and experienced, about local habitats, ecology, birds, trees, plants, small animals and insects. Many of their guides and trackers belong to the surrounding communities and can share cultural information with guests.

13 November 2016

Catch a private air charter back to Maun after the morning safari activity for our scheduled flight back to Johannesburg (scheduled arrival time is 4:40pm). International flights may be scheduled to depart that evening (if feasible) to home destinations or an additional night hotel stay can be arranged for you upon request (recommended). See note below regarding travel extensions.

NOTE: Customized extensions to this safari, including Johannesburg, Cape Town, Victoria Falls and other destinations may be arranged through Eyes on Africa as desired. Ask us for further information

Costs

The cost of this all-inclusive safari is USD9,995 per person (excludes airfare to get to Maun, Botswana). The same rate applies for each participant regardless of whether they are doing photography and participating in the workshop, or not. This fee includes all in-country ground and air transportation as well as hotel accommodation (double occupancy) and all meals as per the itinerary above.

Due to the limited number of spaces available, if a solo guest is willing to share accommodation and we can match with another guest of the same gender, we will do so. If a solo guest is unwilling to share, then a single supplement will be charged (please contact us if you would like to have your own accommodation as we have a very limited number of single slots available).

Please note: We will attempt to adhere to this itinerary as much as possible. However, certain conditions (political, climatic, environmental, cultural, or wildlife migrations) may necessitate changes in the itinerary. We reserve the right to alter any itinerary at any time, if necessary. We will attempt to notify participants of changes as far in advance as possible. Costs incurred by such changes will be the responsibility of the participant.

Included

  • Accommodation on a shared basis
  • Private air charters from Maun to safari camps and back to Maun
  • Additional luggage allowance on the flights / air charters within Botswana (80 pounds/36 kg allowance per person)
  • Exclusive use of the entire camp at Nxabega Camp (Sandibe has been rebuilt as a larger camp than Nxabega).
  • 4 x Exclusive use vehicles (open 4x4s) at both camps
  • 2 x Professional photographers leading the trip (Grant Atkinson and Andy Biggs)
  • All safari activities
  • Services of the lodge guides & staff
  • Relevant park fees
  • All meals and drinks while in Botswana (excluding premium brands)
  • Daily laundry
  • The current Tourism Levies and all relevant Value Added Tax or Government Sales Taxes

Excluded

  • International airfare and/or other transportation between your home and Maun, Botswana
  • Visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal purchases (including curios, spirit liquors, telephone calls etc.)
  • Gratuities
  • Optional extra activities (helicopter flights, etc.)
  • Pre- and post- safari tours
  • Meals or accommodation before or after the safari (except as noted in the detailed itinerary)

What Do I Do Next?

Our groups are small (maximum of 14 participants), so space is limited.  If this exciting trip has your name on it, then now is the time to register.

Remember, there will be limited space available for this workshop. When they’re spoken for, that’s it. If you have any questions before registering, please send me an e-mail with any inquiries.

Gallery

Enquire Now about this Safari