Botswana: The Premier Wildlife Safari, July 2010
About The Photographic Safari
In July 2010, Andy Biggs will be leading a small and very private group to Botswana, Africa. The goal of this safari is to photograph the breathtaking wildlife and landscapes of Botswana in a remote setting. We will stay in 2 different camps, Chitabe Camp and Savuti Camp. There is an optional extension to Little Vumbura Camp at the beginning of the safari if you wish to extend the length of your trip.
* We will have private vehicles during the entire safari, with only 1 person per row of seating.
* A virtually unlimited amount of weight per person. Bring as much gear as you can, but please keep it within reason! Standard weight allowance is typically only 44 pounds by comparison.
* This safari offers superb game viewing and photographic opportunities in some of the best areas in Southern Africa.
* We will have the option of photographing aerial shots from a helicopter (additional cost) at Little Vumbura Camp (on the 4-day optional Pre-Tour).
* 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.
* Game viewing is done in open 4x4 vehicles and you will be led by some of the leading guides 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.
July 23-24 METCOURT LAUREL HOTEL- Emperor's Palace, Johannesburg, South Africa
Stay near the airport at the Metcourt Laurel Hotel. On your arrival in Johannesburg, you will be met by our local representative, who will assist you across the terminal and to check in at the hotel. Dinner will be at a nearby restaurant with the rest of the group and is also included.
Emperors Palace is a sensational hotel, casino and convention resort that combines timeless classical elegance and sheer excitement, conveniently situated alongside Johannesburg International Airport. This 80-key, three-star select-services Metcourt Laurel hotel offers you cozy, comfortable and affordable accommodation and delightful service. All Metcourt guests enjoy breakfast at the charming Primavera Restaurant and access to all Emperors Palace’s magnificent variety of facilities.
The group will transfer back to O.R. Tambo airport the next morning, where we catch our Air Botswana flight to Maun, Botswana. From Maun, it is a short flight via Cesna Caravan to our first safari camp.
July 24-28 CHITABE CAMP - Okavango Delta, Botswana
Chitabe Camp is located in a 28,000-hectare photographic reserve built on one of the most beautiful islands in the Okavango Delta. 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.
Chitabe offers guests game drives in open 4x4 vehicles during the day and at night accompanied by an experienced guide, as well as nature walks. Chitabe is strictly a game viewing camp - no water activities are offered here.
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 (read more on the Wild Dogs below). Night drives can be very rewarding with good sightings of the rarer nocturnal animals such as Pangolin, Civet, Serval, Genet, Porcupine and Aardwolf. Guests will also likely see Zebra, Reedbuck, Red Lechwe, Impala and all the plains game.
Chitabe has aided in the support of the Botswana Wild Dog Research Project, which was established by Dr Tico McNutt in 1989. The Wild Dog Project has a study area of about 3000 square kilometres. About 160 wild dogs in ten to twelve packs inhabit this region, and Chitabe lies within this study area. Dr. "Tico" McNutt and the wild dogs featured in the May 1999 edition of National Geographic Magazine.
July 28-August 1 SAVUTI CAMP - Linyanti Reserve, Botswana
Savuti Camp is situated within the private Linyanti Wildlife Reserve along the Savuti Channel, a legendary wildlife region that is best known for its large numbers of predators - especially Lions and Hyenas.
The camp is small and intimate, with seven large comfortable walk in tents with en-suite facilities. Each tent is raised off the ground on platforms and has its own bathroom with a shower, hand basin and flush toilet. There is a separate dining room and pub under reed and thatch, also on raised platforms, as well as a plunge pool.In front of camp is a small water hole which utilizes a solar powered pump to replenish the water. The pan is especially popular with elephants. Savuti has constructed a "woodpile hide" directly adjacent to the water hole which a fabulous for viewing and photographing the animals that come to visit. The hide is made with huge and incredibly heavy leadwood trees that are even too heavy for elephants to budge, so it is quite safe inside the hide. Hides at other waterhole's are also a special feature.
Game concentrations here are high. All of the plains game are prevalent, as well as good concentrations of Roan, Sable and Giraffe. All the predators also occur in the area - Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Wild Dog and Hyena. We have already identified 40 different Lion along the Savuti channel around the camp. The Chobe/Linyanti area is renowned for its dense Elephant population.
Optional Add-On (Pre Tour)
July 20-24 LITTLE VUMBURA CAMP - Okavango Delta, Botswana
We are making reservations at Little Vumbura Camp for those who wish to extend their safari for a an additional 4 nights. This extension occurs prior to the main safari, is optional, and has an additional cost associated. This extension is limited to only 6 guests If opting in for this extension, the overnight in Johannesburg will be on 19-July.
Little Vumbura is situated about 25 km's north of Chief's Island in the neighboring northern private reserve of nearly 130,000 acres, within Botswana's Okavango Delta. Vumbura offers perhaps the best combination of water and land activities anywhere in the Delta. The area also boasts a wonderful variety of habitats and a great diversity of wildlife, including large numbers of Sable Antelope (rarely seen elsewhere in Botswana) and offers excellent fishing.
Little Vumbura accommodates ten guests on a wonderful private island, typically reachable only by boat. Little Vumbura has five tents under an enormous canopy of ancient Okavango forest. Each tent is large and roomy and has en suite facilities, as well as an outside shower for those who want to be even closer to nature. The dining room and pub are under canvas and have been built in and around the existing trees. There is a pool for relaxing by in the quiet of the day. One of the camp's attractions is the outdoor dining area. Wooden decks have been built on the floodplains and dinners under the stars are a wonderful experience.
The main activity at both camps is game viewing in wonderful and varied countryside. Open 4x4 Land Rovers allow close proximity to animals in the savannah and forested areas. Lion, Leopard, Wild Dog, Elephant, Cheetah and Buffalo along with all the plains animals make Vumbura an excellent all-round wildlife experience in a remote and private part of the Okavango. Birding too is great with large varieties and quantities. Walks, mekoro’s and boating give Vumbura's guests the opportunity to enjoy Africa from a different perspective.
NOTE: Customized extensions to this safari, including Johannesburg, Cape Town, Victoria Falls and other destinations may be arranged as desired. Ask us for further information.
The cost of this all-inclusive trip is U.S. $14,980 per person. This fee includes all in-country ground and air transportation as well as hotel accommodation (double occupancy) and all meals. The cost for the 4-day optional Little Vumbura extension will only be set once we determine how many guests opt in for it (maximum of 6 guests only).
We also offer a 50% discount to 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. The non-photographer must travel with a Full-pay traveler. The non-photographer must share a row on the safari vehicle with the full-pay companion throughout the safari. The non refundable deposit for this trip 30% of the trip total.
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). As long as a guest is willing to share, no single supplement will be charged, even if no match is 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 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.
- 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
- 1x Private guide
- 3x Private vehicles at Wilderness Safaris camps
- 1x Additional luggage seat of Sefofane flights / air transfers
- All safari activities and transfers
- 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 Tax
What is Not Included?
- International airfare and/or other transportation between your home and Johannesburg
- Travel Insurance
- Personal purchases (including curios, spirit liquors, telephone calls etc.)
- Optional extra activities (helicopter flights, etc.)
- Pre- and post- safari tours and meals or accommodation before or after the safari
What Do I Do Next?
Our groups are small, so space is limited. If this exciting trip has your name on it; if you're excited by the thought of becoming a member of this trip, 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, send us an e-mail with any inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.