Botswana Photo Safari October 2013

07-16 October 2013 (9 nights)

In October 2013, James and Grant, both very experienced guides and photographers, will lead a private group of photographers into Botswana’s prime wildlife areas, including the well-known Mombo Camp, which has been rated the #1 safari camp in Africa by Condé Nast Traveler. This safari and workshop combines some of the finest wildlife photography anywhere, Botswana’s best safari camps, and photographic and digital workflow instruction. We have selected two specific camps in Botswana’s Okavango Delta to create a private safari geared specifically toward serious photography and game viewing.

Safari Highlights

  • We have private vehicles throughout the entire 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 lower down to the ground.)
  • Safari is limited to 13 participants (including 3 “companion” slots priced at a 50% discount for a guest who is willing to share a row on game drives with their full-paying traveling companion. This offer is limited to 3 slots only).
  • A virtually unlimited amount of weight per person of up to 180 pounds. Bring as much gear as you can! Standard weight allowance is typically only 44 pounds by comparison, but we have secured extra seats on the inter-camp charters.
  • Knowledgeable and passionate safari guides in Botswana will drive us in open Land Rovers 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 premier accommodations.
  • The reserves you will visit offer an insight to the fantastic wildlife in Botswana.

 

 

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 subject to camp restrictions.

Itinerary

07-08 October 2013; (1 night)

D’OREALE GRANDE – Emperor’s Palace, Johannesburg, South Africa

Stay close to the airport at the D’oreale Grande at Emperor’s Palace. On your arrival at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport, and after clearing customs and collecting your luggage, you will be met by an Eyes on Africa representative, who will transfer you by road to the D’oreale Grande.

The D’oreale Grande at Emperors Palace is a five-star hotel, luxuriously adorned with hand painted murals and frescos, marble floors, plush carpets, and intricate mosaics. The hotel was recently accepted as a member of Great Hotels of the World – Luxury Collection.

The D’oreale Grande features 196 beautifully designed and impeccably appointed rooms and suites that are fitted with plush, state-of the-art facilities. The hotel’s comfort levels are enhanced by superior levels of service and guest relations.

All rooms incorporate air-conditioning, multi-channel satellite TV, complimentary wireless internet access (Wi-Fi) and the convenience of 24-hour room services. Guests can dine at the elegant conservatory-styled Aurelia’s restaurant, meet or relax in private conclaves of the reception area, absorb the gentle strains of the piano in the Aurelia’s Lounge and Cocktail Bar, or sip on a cocktail while watching the African sunset from a lounge or cocktail bar in the manicured and terraced gardens of the hotel.

The group will transfer back to OR Tambo airport the next morning, where we catch our private charter flight to Singita airstrip. From the airstrip it is a short drive through the reserve to our camp for the next 7 days.

08-12 October 2013; (4 Nights)

DUMATAU CAMP – Linyanti Wildlife Reserve, Botswana Jump to DumaTau Camp

On arrival at DumaTau airstrip after a 35-minute flight form Maun, we will be met and transferred to camp (a 45-minute game drive in open Land Rovers).

Our group will have the felxibility to set our own schedule while at DumaTau and every opportunity will be maximized in terms of photography and time spent on game drives.

DumaTau Camp is a ten-roomed luxury tented camp located in the private 125 000-hectare Linyanti Wildlife Reserve which borders the western boundary of Chobe National Park in northern Botswana. It is situated close to the source of the Savute Channel on one of the many lagoons within the Linyanti Swamp system, which makes game drives along the Savute one of the highlights of a stay here.

DumaTau Camp lies under a shady grove of mangosteen trees, raised off the ground to overlook a large hippo-filled lagoon. The tents are spacious, under thatch with canvas walls, en-suite bathroom facilities and an outside shower. Guests can enjoy the night sounds of Africa from the comfort of their rooms, and shower under the stars! There is a dining room, pub, lounge, swimming pool and a special guest bathroom with a fantastic view.

The region has all the habitat diversity to make it a haven for wildlife, and is well-known for its elephant concentrations as they congregate along the waterways and lagoons during the dry winter months. General wildlife viewing is excellent year round including impala, wildebeest, red lechwe, Burchell’s zebra, giraffe, buffalo, chacma baboon, vervet monkey, and warthog. Predator sightings of lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog and spotted hyaena are good.

Wildlife viewing is the primary activity at DumaTau Camp, either on day and night game drives or while on foot and on the water (levels permitting). Short nature walks can be taken along the Linyanti River and Savute Channel, while the camp’s boat takes visitors along the waters of the Linyanti, with hippo and waterfowl alike to entrance. There are also a number of platforms and hides from which to view and photograph animals and birds. One of the best hides is right at the source of the Savute and many species of game and birdlife can usually be seen from this hide.

12-16 October 2013; (4 Nights)

MOMBO CAMP – Moremi Wildlife Reserve, Botswana Jump to Mombo Camp

Our flight from DumaTau to Mombo is a 30-minute plane ride, taking us to the northern tip of Chief’s Island in the Moremi Game Reserve. On arrival at Mombo airstrip, we will be met and transferred on a 10-minute drive to the camp.

Mombo Camp is situated on Mombo Island, an extension of the north-western end of Chief’s Island, which effectively divides the Okavango Delta into eastern and western sections. The whole of Chief’s Island and Mombo fall within the Moremi Game Reserve, and, in particular a zone set aside for “low intensity” safari use. Thus Mombo Camp and Little Mombo are remarkably exclusive and remote.

The sheer numbers and diversity of mammals found in this area all year round simply defy description, from herds of buffalo to the diminutive steenbok, a pretty dwarf antelope species. Elephant, impala, spotted hyaena, lion, leopard and cheetah are all found here and even small predators like serval and side-striped jackal are occasionally seen.

This abundance and variety owes much to the area’s position on the ecotone between the ancient Kalahari sands and vegetation of Chief’s Island, and the more modern, water-borne sediments and grasses of the Okavango Delta fan to the west. In addition, the annual inundation and drying of the floodplains to the west of Camp Mombo allow the large numbers of wildlife to utilise both habitats to the maximum. When the inundation of water arrives in the area between March and May each year, large mammals are able to move into the Chief’s Island area, which contains rich resources of grass and Acacia dominated woodland. The wetlands are fringed by large hardwood trees, containing shade, cover, nesting areas, and food, for a wide variety of mammals and birds. By September and October the wetlands have started to recede leaving behind vast floodplains of short green grass when the rest of the large islands are at their driest. It is this seasonal food availability and quality that has resulted in the excitement and diversity that is the Mombo area.

Birdlife is prolific, with waterfowl like African Jacana, Pygmy-Geese, massive Goliath Heron and migrant waders in summer being particularly common.

Such geomorphological evolution and variety in vegetation has resulted in a richness and diversity that is legendary amongst the original tribesmen and hunters of the 19th and 20th centuries and the Moremi Game Reserve was amongst the first to be promulgated by tribal request in an effort to protect this legacy.

There are presently over 90 lions that are seen regularly at Mombo and it is also one of the best places to see leopards. One such leopard seen almost daily at Mombo, a female known as “Legadima”, is documented in the National Geographic film “Eye of the Leopard” by Dereck and Beverly Joubert.

16 October 2013

Sefofane air charter back to Maun after the morning safari activity for our scheduled Air Botswana 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 $17,750 per person (inclusive of round-trip airfare from Johannesburg 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.

We also offer a significantly discounted price to a guest who is willing to share a row on game drives with their full-paying traveling companion. The cost for a sharing slot (which can only be reserved along with a full-pay slot) is $12,400. This offer is limited to 3 slots only.

Due to the limited number of spaces available, if a solo guest is willing to share 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 (up to, but not exceeding the full sharing cost). If we are unable to match a solo guest with another guest of the same gender, then the single supplement will not be charged.

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 reserves 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
  • Round-trip airfare on Air Botswana between Johannesburg, South Africa and Maun, Botswana
  • Air charters between safari camps in Botswana
  • 1 x Additional luggage seat on Sefofane flights / air charters between the safari camps
  • 3 x Private vehicles (open Land Rovers) at all camps
  • 2 x Photographer / Naturalists / Guides leading the trip (James Weis and Grant Atkinson)
  • All safari activities
  • Services of the lodge guides & staff
  • Relevant park fees
  • All meals and drinks while in Botswana (excluding premium brands)
  • Daily laundry (except in Johannesburg)
  • 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 Johannesburg
  • 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)

Gallery

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