Botswana: The Premier Wildlife Safari, September 2012

September 17-26, 2012

Safari Leader: James Weis

Please see our Safaris and Workshops section for more workshop and safari dates.
 

Lion in the Grass, Okvango Delta, Botswana

About The Photographic Safari

In September 2012, James Weis will lead a private group of photographers into Botswana's prime wildlife areas. 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 specific camps in Botswana's southern Okavango Delta and Linyanti Wildlife Reserve 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.


Legadema the Leopard, Okvango Delta, Botswana

The Schedule

17-18 September 2012; (1 night)
Peermont Mondior - Emperor's Palace, Johannesburg, South Africa

Stay close to the airport at the Peermont Mondior 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 assist you to the complimentary shuttle transfer to the Peermont Mondior.

The Peermont Mondior at Emperors Palace is an elegant and contemporary hotel. Conveniently located alongside the Convention Centre with secure parking and a covered walkway through to the Emporium retail concourse, the Mondior ensures ease of access to the myriad of facilities at Emperors Palace.

The Mondior offers 146 rooms and 4 suites. Each room has tea and coffee making facilities as well as a mini fridge. All rooms have a walk-in shower and separate bath, a 20-inch, flat screen remote-controlled television showing selected D-STV (satellite) channels, as well as wired (cable) high-speed internet connections. Full laundry and valet services are also available.

Oriana, the breakfast restaurant, overlooks the gardens and the Convention Centre. The contemporary cocktail bar, The Silver Moon offers a variety of cocktails as well as traditional bar service. There is a convenient business centre offering a variety of business services and there is high speed wireless internet access in all public areas.

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 Cessna Caravan to our first safari camp.



18-22 September 2012; (4 Nights)
DumaTau - Linyanti Wildlife Reserve, Botswana

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.


22-26 September 2012; (4 Nights)
Mombo Camp - Moremi Wildlife Reserve, Botswana

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.


26 September 2012


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.

 

The Cost
The cost of this all-inclusive safari is $16,490 per person (inclusive of round-trip airfare 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 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.

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 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.

 

Elephant in the Water, Okvango Delta, Botswana

 

What's 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
• 1 x Professional photographer leading the trip (James Weis)
• 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

 

What's Not Included?

• 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)

 

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 info@andybiggs.com.