In December 2019, Andy Biggs and PJ Hicks will lead two private groups of photographers into Botswana's Okavango Delta, one of Africa's best wildlife areas. These photo safaris combine 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 to create a private safari geared specifically toward serious photography and game viewing.
Two dates to choose from: December 2-9, 2019 or December 9-16, 2019
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 areas visited offer an insight into the fantastic wildlife 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 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)
Kwando Lebala Camp - Northern 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 Maun, Botswana airport by our local staff. You will then gather and take a short private plane flight to the Lagoon airstrip. After your arrival you will be transferred to camp, with your first game drive en route.
Our group will have the exclusive use of the entire camp throughout our 3-day stay at Kwando Lebala and we will set our own hours and schedule to allow us to take full advantage of photographic opportunities.
Lebala Camp is situated in the South of the Kwando Reserve, adjacent to the head waters of the Linyanti marshes that form the boundary between Botswana and Namibia. It is located in the 232,000 hectare private Kwando Reserve in the Linyanti area of northern Botswana between the Okavango and Chobe rivers. The Kwando Reserve is located just west of the Linyanti Reserve and includes 80 kilometres of river frontage, wonderful floodplains, and woodlands to the west of the Kwando River.
Lebala is the Tswana word for wide-open plains, and each tent has extensive views over expansive tracts of African plains and wetlands that comprise part of the Kwando-Linyanti flood plain system. This system is an intricate labyrinth of waterways, reed beds, islands, floodplains, bush, scrub and trees. To those in the know - somewhat Okavango like but something different too. This wild expanse is contrasted with the casual understated elegance and luxury of the camp itself.
The Kwando area has a large variety of wildlife but is most noted for its very large Elephant populations. There is rarely a time where one cannot view at least some Hippos and Elephants without even leaving the camp. Lebala has had a Wild Dog den every year for the past 6 years so is probably now one of the best (if not the best) camps in Africa for African wild dogs. There are good numbers of Impala, Lechwe, Kudu, Zebra, Giraffe, Sitatunga, Sable, Roan, Waterbuck, Buffalo, Bushbuck and the smaller antelope. The major predators such as Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Wild Dog and Hyena are resident and regularly sighted. The reed and papyrus swamps are ideal for the numerous and diverse species of birds.
Night drives allow guests a chance to see the nocturnal species such as Civet, Large- and Small-spotted Genet, Honey Badger, and Spring Hare. Nocturnal birding, especially Owls, is also excellent here. Both camps (Lebala & Lagoon) deliver the specials like Aardwolf, Aardvark, Ratel, Serval, Caracal and Selous Mongoose quite regularly.
Days 4-7 (4 nights)
Kwando Splash Camp - Okavango Delta, Botswana
Our flight from Kwando Lebala to Splash is a short plane ride, taking us over the beautiful Okavango Delta and its border with the Moremi Game Reserve. On arrival at Kwara airstrip, we will be met and transferred on a short drive to the camp.
Splash Camp is a brand new camp that is located in the 175,000-hectare private Kwara Concession in the remote northern part of the Okavango Delta. Splash Camp shares a common boundary on the northern edge of the Moremi Game Reserve. The area is one of permanent Delta water, and this unspoiled pristine wilderness has a variety of habitats ranging from reed and papyrus-lined waterways to rolling grasslands and ancient forests. You will discover why the Okavango Delta is considered one of the jewels of Africa and indeed the world. It is mysterious, calming, unpredictable and very wild.
Located around a pan, each of the 12 rooms is situated on a deck overlooking the pan which attracts game year round. All are en-suite with a flush toilet, double sinks and both an indoor and an outdoor shower. In addition each room has a private veranda with outdoor lounge chairs, the perfect place to relax and take in the magnificent views and soak up the atmosphere.
Splash, like the other Kwando Safaris camps, has a small gift shop, lounge, dining room and small plunge pool. Complimentary laundry services are provided.
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.
Private air charter back to Maun after the morning safari activity for our 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.
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 $10,990 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 $1,900 will be charged (please contact us if you would like to have your own accommodation as we have a very limited number of single slots 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.
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 & PJ Hicks
Dates: December 2-9 or December 9-16, 2019
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
2 x Professional photographers leading the trip (Andy Biggs and PJ Hicks)
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 Maun, Botswana (we can assist with these)
International airfare from Capetown or Johannesburg to Maun, 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)