In November 2020 we will lead a private group of photographers into Botswana's Okavango Delta, one of Africa's best wildlife areas. This small group safari combines some of the finest wildlife photography anywhere, two of Botswana's best safari areas and hands-on photographic instruction. We have selected specific camps in Botswana's Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park to create a private safari geared specifically toward serious photography and game viewing.
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.)
Knowledgeable and passionate safari guides in Botswana will drive and guide us in open vehicles 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 Africa.
This itinerary focuses on a real wildlife experience in very private game drive areas.
The camps visited are some of the most luxurious camps in all of 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 love 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.
Days 1-4 (3 Nights)
Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero - Chobe River, Botswana
Today you will fly from the city of your choice (typically either Johannesburg or Capetown, with our assistance) and will be met in the Kasane, Botswana airport by our local staff. You will then gather and take a short transfer to Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero.
Chobe Chilwero is a luxurious riverside retreat in the heart of the bush on the edge of Chobe National Park, home to the world's largest remaining population of elephants. Sitting above the Chobe River, the lodge offers unparalleled panoramic views across the islands and floodplains as far across as Namibia. This is an incredibly luxurious lodge with just 15 suites, as well as the only full spa on the Botswana safari circuit. Relax in the split-level swimming pool, unwind with a pampering session in the spa or enjoy the gourmet food that the lodge has become known for.
The Chobe River at this time of the year is a hot spot for wildlife activity, mostly the elephants that come down to the river to drink. We will photograph these moments from a boat, shooting our subjects straight on as they take in the 200 liters of water that they average each day. The Chobe River is a vital water source for cape buffalo, elephant, zebra, kudu, impala and other ungulates. Since the group is in a boat we won’t skip photographing the amazing hippo population that occupy the Chobe River, as well as the crocodiles.
The birdlife on the Chobe River is second to none, and this safari will coincide with the mating season for the African skimmer. The African skimmer is a difficult species to locate in Botswana, however we will be in the right place at the right time to try our luck at photographing this beautiful species. We also have great opportunities for the African fish eagle, many kingfisher species and of course carmine bee-eaters.
Days 4-7 (4 nights)
Sanctuary Chief’s Camp - Okavango Delta, Botswana
Our flight from Chobe Chilwero is a short plane ride, taking us over the beautiful Okavango Delta and its border with the Moremi Game Reserve. On arrival at Santtuary airstrip, we will be met and transferred on a short drive to the camp.
Sanctuary Chief’s Camp is located in the former royal hunting reserve of Chief Moremi, in the heart of the Okavango Delta. Chief’s Camp is located in the same region as Mombo Camp and is one of the best wildlife viewing areas in Botswana. With personal service, luxury accommodations, expert guides your time at Chief’s Camp will be memorable. This camp is consistently rated as one of the top safari camps by Condé Nast and Travel & Leisure magazines.
The Okavango Delta is home to a large number of species, including semi-aquatic animals, such as the elegant red lechwe and shy sitatunga. Families of hippo hide in the deeper channels and lagoons, while the unique Delta environment supports many minute but beautiful species, including multicolored frogs and incandescent dragonflies. The area supports the continent’s largest surviving concentration of elephant and buffalo, which roam the open woodlands.
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. The Okavango is also a stronghold for the endangered African wild dog, which is a highly sought after photographic opportunity. Exhibiting a fascinating social structure, wild dog live in packs led by a dominant pair, with a strict social hierarchy. Although particularly 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 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.
We will have a flight back to Maun, Botswana after the morning safari activity and connect onward with your scheduled flight back to either Johannesburg or Capetown. 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.
Please join us for an additional two nights at Baines’ Camp for an amazing experience with our friends at Living With Elephants. LWE was founded to provide rescued elephants a second chance and a safe home in the wilderness. Come and meet Jabulani and Morula, two rescued elephants, saved from culling operations many years back. Doug and Sandi Groves have dedicated nearly 30 years to providing world-class care and refuge for our large friends. These majestic elephants live in an expansive natural habitat and are free to explore and act natural with other wildlife.
Low volumes of visitors are given the rare opportunity to visit Jabu and Morula in the heart of the Okavango Delta. During our walk with the elephants, we will witness private moments as they forage, mud wallow and amble through the bush. This is an intimate and highly educational bush walk where you will learn about the status of the African Elephant, their role in the ecosystem and conservation in general. Doug and Sandi are renowned specialists in elephant biology, ecosystems and natural history. Having lived intimately with their herd in Botswana for three decades, they are your perfect guides for a “day in the life of the African Elephant” and help you connect to elephants and their environment.
During our time at Baines’ Camp we will go on morning and afternoon game drives, taking advantage of the rich wildlife along the Boro Channel in the Okavango Delta.
NOTE: Customized extensions to this safari, including Johannesburg, Cape Town, Victoria Falls and other destinations may be arranged through Andy Biggs Photo Safaris as desired. Ask us for further information.
The cost of this all-inclusive safari is $11,990 per person. 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.
Due to the limited number of spaces available, if a solo guest is willing to share a room 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 of $1,200 will be charged.
The 2-night Baines’ Camp extension the price will be $2,490 and a $250 single supplement.
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.
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.
Safari Leader: Andy Biggs or PJ Hicks
Dates: November 4-11, 2020
Single supplement: $1,200
Accommodation on a shared basis
Private round-trip air charters from Maun to safari camps and back
Additional luggage allowance on the flights / air charters within Botswana
All safari activities
Services of the lodge guides & staff
Relevant park fees
All meals and drinks while in Botswana (excluding premium brands)
The current Tourism Levies and all relevant Value Added Tax or Government Sales Taxes
What is Not Included?
International airfare and/or other transportation between your home and Kasane and Maun, Botswana (we can assist with these)
International airfare from Capetown or Johannesburg to Botswana
Visas (if applicable)
Personal purchases (including curios, spirit liquors, telephone calls etc.)
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)