Wild Botswana – November (Selinda, Duba and Chobe)

28 November – 7 December 2020 (9 nights)  

In November/December 2020 Grant and Helena Atkinson will lead a private group of photographers to three of Botswana’s greatest wildlife areas.  The safari includes three nights in the Selinda private concession, three nights in the Duba private concession and three nights on the Chobe River based on a houseboat.  This trip is limited to 6 photographers only, and will have two photographic trip leaders, Grant and Helena.  We will have two vehicles for our group game drive activities.  Selinda is a truly wild and rugged part of northern Botswana, and regularly gives us strong sightings of lion, elephant, leopard, African wild dog, spotted hyaena, giraffe and lots more.  Being in a private concession means that there are only a handful of other game drive vehicles around, and the experience is intimate.  We can also go off-road when we need to get closer. 

Duba Explorers is situated on an island in the northern reaches of the 33,000 hectare Duba concession and surrounded on all sides by pristine Okavango Delta. This intimate camp, with its own private traversing area within the concession and away from that of Duba Plains Camp, consists of five expedition-style tents of light airy canvas on slightly raised decking, each with views of the surrounding floodplain.  Game drives here take in floodplains, forests and island habitats, and typical wildlife of this area includes elephants, lions, leopard, African wild dog, spotted hyaena as well as baboons, monkeys, giraffe, zebra, hippo and buffalo. 

The Chobe River is famous for its abundant elephant herds, as well as hippo, crocodiles and many colourful and interesting bird species.  We make use of a specially designed photographic boat for our excursions, that puts us at a low angle for a strong perspective, and can also go in shallow water, allowing us to make some close approaches to our subjects.  These are some of Botswana’s top destinations when it comes to wildlife safaris.  All images in the gallery are from recent safaris to these destinations.  

 Trip summary

  • Cost: US$12 950 per person sharing, limited single spaces with no single supplement required
  • 6 participants
  • 2 vehicles
  • 2 trip leaders
  • Private concession area
  • Each participant will have their own row in vehicle
  • Specially adapted photography activity boat on the Chobe river 
  • Additional luggage seats 

How do I signup?

We have partnered with Eyes On Africa on this safari.  Our group size is a minimum of 3 participants and a maximum of 6 participants and this is one of our most popular trips. If this exciting safari sounds good and you are thinking of joining this trip, please get in touch with any questions you may have.   

  Enquire now about this safari

Please click on individual tabs below for more detailed information. 

Highlights

  • Nine days on safari in three distinctly different wildlife environments.
  • We welcome photographers with all levels of experience. 
  • We focus on photographing in the field.  We spend most of our time and effort on photographic activities and getting images.
  • Non-photographer or videographer spouses / travel companions  will also have fun on this safari.  The wildlife places we visit will appeal to anyone with a love for animals and nature. 
  •  The photo leaders are experienced naturalists with rich backgrounds in conservation and field guiding and the region’s natural history and wildlife.   
  • A maximum of 3 photographers per vehicle, means that there will be plenty of space to have your gear at the ready, and the opportunity to access both sides of the vehicle.
  • We have modified Toyota Landcruiser safari vehicles, with three rows of seats within, and completely open on the sides to minimize obstructions to photography.
  • Adjustable lens support brackets/platform to assist with the use of heavy telephoto lenses, on one side of each vehicle, depending on availability and exact vehicle specification.
  • Two photographic leaders, Grant and Helena Atkinson will lead the group.
  • The group size is limited to 6 participants and we will make use of 2 vehicles.  The photographic leaders will switch between the vehicles.
  • With 2 photo leaders and only 6 participants we focus on individual attention. 
  • Extra luggage allowances to accommodate the special needs of our photographic equipment for our charter flights once in Botswana 
  • Classic style safari accommodation at Selinda Explorers and Duba Explorers Camp, combined with comfortable accomodation on the houseboat
  • Camp locations are specifically chosen to maximize photographic opportunities by being as close as possible to the prime wildlife areas.  

The Itinerary: 28 November – 7 December 2020 (9 nights)

This safari includes three days in the Selinda concession, three days in the Duba concession and three days exploring the Chobe River on a houseboat.  There will be the opportunity to benefit from the leader’s wealth of experience in this region as Grant and Helena lived and worked in this area for many years.  These are some of Botswana’s top destinations when it comes to wildlife safaris.  This safari represents a fantastic combination of superb wildlife photography experiences, comfortable accommodation and expert guiding.  As always, we will spend lots of time out in the field, and you will be with like-minded photographers who are happy to put in the time to get the images.  We will be staying in classic safari tented camps and for some parts of the safari, we will have the ability to go off-road (not in environmentally sensitive areas) in order to get the best photographic angles of our subjects. All images in the gallery are from recent safaris to these destinations.  

 

Selinda Explorers, Selinda concession, Botswana 

28, 29 and 30 November 2020 (3 nights)

Guests are to make their own way to Maun, Botswana for the start of this safari. After arriving in Maun and collecting luggage, you will be met by Grant and Helena.  From Maun, we will take a scheduled safari flight (with extra luggage allowance for camera gear inclusive) to the Selinda concession (approximate 50 minutes).  On arrival at Selinda airstrip, we will be met and transferred on a short drive (30 minutes) to the camp.

Selinda Explorer Camp is a small, wonderful tented safari camp that is situated on the banks of the eastern Selinda Spillway – a waterway that links Botswana’s Okavango Delta to the Linyanti and Kwando marshes, rivers and floodplains. The camp accommodates a maximum of 8 people.  Our group will have the use of private driver-guides and vehicles throughout our 5-day stay at Selinda Explorers Camp and we will set our own hours and schedule to allow us to take full advantage of photographic opportunities.

We have chosen to stay at Selinda Explorers for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the foremost of these is the wide variety of wildlife for which this region is known. Lions roam this area and have done so for a long time. We might expect to come across them in any of the different habitats that make up this diverse concession. Leopards also occur here and favour the ribbons of riverine forest that line the waterways, but they can be found almost anywhere. Aside from these two charismatic cats, Selinda also provides ideal habitat for African wild dogs and over the last seven years or so, the wild dogs have denned with success here or in neighbouring areas.  Spotted hyena is also present and adds still more to the variety on offer.

The Selinda Channel is a semi-permanent water source that connects the waters of the Okavango River to the northern waterways of the Selinda, Savuti and Linyanti. Our camp is located right on the banks of this important waterway. The Selinda also provides a constant source of replenishment for the herds of elephant and buffalo that frequent its floodplains, woodlands and islands. Other game animals that we might encounter include hippo, giraffe, and a mix of interesting antelope species, like impala, kudu, waterbuck, red lechwe and very rarely, sable antelope. The mix of different habitats also makes for good birding.

In addition to the wide variety of animals that we may encounter, staying at Selinda Explorer camp also means that we will be able to venture off-road in order to improve our vehicle positioning for photography.

View Selinda Explorers website

 On the 6th, after our last morning game drive, we will catch a scheduled safari flight (with extra luggage allowance for camera gear inclusive) to the east, of approximately 55 minutes, to Kasane.

Duba Explorers, Duba concession, Botswana 

1, 2 and 3 December 2020 (3 nights)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pangolin Chobe Voyager houseboat, Chobe river, Botswana/Namibia border 

4, 5 and 6 December 2020 (3 nights)
 

Upon arrival in Kasane airport we will be met and transferred by road (15 minutes) to the jetty for pick-up by the Pangolin Voyager houseboat – our base for the next 3 days.  We will also exit Botswana and check-into Namibia, via immigration offices beside the river itself.

The Pangolin Voyager is a very comfortable way to explore the The Chobe River, famous for its wildlife. The lower deck features five en-suite cabins, with air-conditioning, that can be configured as either double or twin berths. The lounge and dining areas are located on the middle deck. This area can be opened on three sides, affording panoramic views for watching game. The large dining table is the center-point for our daily meals as well as editing sessions. The open-air top deck offers sun loungers, chairs and tables, ideal for viewing the river surroundings. 

By choosing the Pangolin Voyager as our base, we are able to avoid the busiest parts of this popular waterway. The Voyager will moor each night right on the northern bank of the river, allowing us to enjoy the views and solitude of the river long after most other day-visitors have had to depart the park. For our game viewing, we will make use of specially-designed photographic boats that have swivel seats and configurable camera and lens mounts that are completely state of the art. Aside from providing superbly stable and responsive mounts, the boats’ shallow draught will also enable us to access shallow water easily and to make near-silent, drifting approaches to our subjects.

The Chobe River is one of the best places to photograph hippos and crocodiles. Waterbirds abound and add an entirely new chapter to our photographic opportunities, as do some of the raptors that occur in the area. Most bird species are more approachable on the Chobe than anywhere else, making for high-quality photographic opportunities.

Moreover, by basing ourselves right on the river, we are able to be on the water at sunrise and sunset, maximizing our photographic opportunities. The Chobe is well-known as one of ‘the’ places to go when trying to take great photographs of elephants at or in water, as well as up-close hippo and crocodiles.

Some of the birds that abound in the area include African fish-eagle, African marsh harrier, giant, pied and malachite kingfisher, yellow-billed storks and white-fronted and carmine bee-eaters.

View Pangolin Voyager website

Safari Ends 

7 December 2020

On our last morning, after a short outing, we will transfer back to the Kasane jetty where we will be met and driven to Kasane airport in time to connect with scheduled flights onward.

 NOTE:

Air travel and 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.

Detailed costs

This trip will run with a minimum of 3 participants and a maximum of 6 participants.

US$ 12 950 per person sharing

No single supplement but limited single spaces available

ZAR prices are an estimation linked to the exchange rate and exact price will be confirmed via invoice.

This fee includes all in-country ground and air transportation as well as all accommodation and all meals (except as noted above and in exclusions below).

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.

What is included

  • Accommodation on a shared basis, however should you want single accommodation on the safari, please get in touch and enquire if this is possible 
  • 2 x Trip leader (Grant and Helena Atkinson)
  • Private safari vehicles throughout trip
  • Luggage allowance for charter flights in Botswana (from Maun to Selinda, Selinda to Duba and Duba to Kasane)
  • All safari activities and transfers to/from the airports and the hotels

What is NOT included

  • International airfare and / or other transportation between your home and Maun, Botswana
  • Extra luggage allowance for commercial flights
  • Accommodation / Dinner / drinks in South Africa (Johannesburg)
  • Discretionary gratuities for hotel staff and safari camps
  • Discretionary gratuities for driver guides (who will be with us throughout our trip)
  • Visas, travel insurance, personal purchases (including curios, special spirit liquors, telephone calls, etc).
  • Optional pre- / post safari tours and meals or accommodation before or after the safari

General information 

  • Please read our Safari Code of Ethics and Conduct.
  • During the safari we will share our workflow and processing techniques on the computer. To make the most of this opportunity you are advised to bring a laptop and card reader as well as enough external storage for these sessions as well as the editing software you are most comfortable with. Grant and Helena both use Adobe Lightroom Classic CC and Photoshop CC.
  • Air travel and 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.
  • Discretionary gratuities for driver guides are recommended at USD $25 to $30 per person per day.
  • Discretionary gratuities for camp and hotel staff are recommended at USD $15 to $25 per person per day.
  • Any discretionary gratuities for guides, staff and trip leaders should be paid out in cash.
  • Our group size is a maximum of 6 participants.
  • Note also that some of the safari camps will only accept cash for private purchases.
  • There is not likely to be wi-fi or internet connection at Selinda Explorer Camp nor on the Chobe houseboat.  There is cellular phone network along the Chobe River from local Namibian networks.  
  • Tropical rain showers can occur this time of year and you should bring rain gear both for yourself and your camera equipment.
  • Laundry services are offered but no underwear will be done, although you can do this in your room with laundry soap provided. 
  • At Selinda Explorer Camp and Duba Explorer camp, the charging of batteries and electronic appliances can only be done in the main area.  On the Chobe houseboat, we are able to charge in every room as well as the main area.  
  • Special dietary requirements can be accommodated if sent through beforehand. 

  Enquire now about this safari