Best of Botswana Photographic Safari July 2022
US$ TBC Sharing
US$ TBC Single
US$ 3,000 Deposit
PLACES VISITED: Moremi Game Reserve (Okavango Delta) / Savuti (Chobe National Park) / Chobe River
PHOTOGRAPHIC SKILL LEVEL: Any level from beginner to advanced - photo tuition and guidance is offered on this photographic safari
PHOTO TOUR LEADER: Stu Porter
This 13-day wildlife photography safari begins in Johannesburg, South Africa with a flight into Maun, the safari capital of Botswana. From here we will set off on a 13-day photo adventure to explore some of Botswana's best photo locations—the Okavango Delta, Savuti, and the mighty Chobe River.
On arrival in Maun, we are met by our bush pilot, who will transfer us into the heart of the Moremi Game Reserve. A bird’s-eye view of the Okavango Delta is a great way to grasp the immense scale of this wildlife paradise, one of the last intact wilderness areas left in the world, and a photographers playground.
The Okavango Delta begins in Southern Angola and crosses Namibia's Caprivi Strip. It then spreads out over the Kalahari sands, forming a 15 000-square kilometre alluvial fan. The formation of the delta dates back nearly two million years.
Based at our private campsite, which is set up for our group only, we will explore the Xini area of Moremi. Noted for its beautiful seasonal floodplains and many lagoons, this area is very remote and wild.
Our next stop will be near the Khwai River, the eastern-most river of the Okavango Delta. This area offers excellent wildlife concentrations. Elephants come from miles around to drink, pods of Hippos are common, and the semi-aquatic Red Lechwe occupy the river’s floodplains. Lion prides along the riverfront are regularly seen. It is also one of the best places to see and photograph Leopards and the African Wild Dog.
From the Khwai River, we move north and east away from the Delta and through the Mababe Depression to Savuti, a vast thirsty land known for its Lion and Hyaena densities and made famous by films such as “Eternal Enemies” and the BBC's “Planet Earth” series. Savuti is an area within the Chobe National Park and is famous for its dry Marsh and the Savuti Channel.
This is a good area for African Wild Dog and Cheetah. San art dating back 4000 years can be seen on one of the hills.
Our final destination on the wildlife photography tour is the great Chobe River, which we reach by plane. Here we spend our photographic time on a private boat specially designed for photographers. Morning and afternoon sessions of 3 hours each will provide many great photo opportunities of birds and animals that come down to the river to drink.
The photographic safari will end with a flight from Kasane back to Johannesburg.
This is an exclusive small-group photographic safari with a maximum of 6 participants in 2 private vehicles (3 participants per vehicle). This will offer you plenty of space for equipment and guaranteed access to both sides of the safari vehicle.
Stu Porter will lead the tour and will alternate between the vehicles each day to offer photo tuition and guidance.
You will have a good chance to see and photograph the following animals:
Lion, Leopard, African Wild Dog, Elephant, Cape Buffalo, Hippo, Spotted Hyena, Jackal, Crocodile, Giraffe, Zebra, Wildebeest, Red Lechwe, Sable Antelope, Chacma Baboon, Vervet Monkey, Warthog, and an excellent variety of birdlife.
***NB: Luggage for this safari needs to be in soft duffel-type bags, NOT hard cases. This is necessary for the road travel between the different destinations, as well as the short internal charter flights. The dust and waterproof NORTH FACE-type duffel bags are ideal.
My wife Joanie and I joined Wild4 for the Best of Kruger and Big Cats in August of 2014. It was our very first trip on an African safari. I’m a serious amateur photographer and my wife’s a non-photographer but both of us enjoyed the trip thoroughly ! To this day, we still regularly recall the highlights of sightings and events fondly. True to Wild4’s brand promise, Stu Porter delivers maximum photographic times spent chasing photo opportunities out in the field - out 6am as soon as the camp gate opens and back only 6pm when the gate closes. Having no more than three photographers on each of two jeeps allows every photographer immediate access to both sides of the vehicle. Stu always knows where to position the vehicle for the best vantage points. Every day has its highs – big cat chases and kills, grazers sparring, herds of elephants and buffaloes appearing from nowhere at water holes... Thanks to Stu and the enthusiasm and knowledge of experienced senior guide Mike Lentz. Camps in Kruger are basic (by first world standards) but hey this is a safari ! There’s the important benefit of being only a short drive away from dams, good spots to catch the first light when the sun rises. This is important as the gates do not open till 6am so there’s little margin for being late. I had the opportunity to experience first-hand, the Wild4 team’s dedication and commitment to a successful photo trip for guests, beyond the call of duty. The Wild4 team helped solved a major photographic equipment problem. Early afternoon on Day 5, the lens AF motor on my 400mm telephoto lens failed. This was really a disaster on a trip like this, as (like everyone else) I had a spare camera body but not a spare super telephoto lens ! The other lens I had was a medium telephoto zoom, hardly a lens to use with tele-converters. Murphy’s Law indeed ! This happened with seven more days to go ! I enquired with Stu about hiring a lens from the nearby towns. Stu sprang into action immediately whilst still on the afternoon game drive - got his back-office team to make enquiries back in Nelspruit town. This was something new to the Wild4 team as they never had to hire a lens but they found a lens on the same day, a 200-400mm that’s also ideal for safari. The lens had to be dispatched from almost 200 km away and Mr John Porter helped to drive south to collect the lens sooner. I had the use of this lens by the morning of Day 7, with one-and-half day “downtime” in a remote location. Service excellence lived by as a core value indeed. After eight nights I left Kruger National Park with the feeling that I was just warming up and was leaving too soon. I would have gladly extended a few more days if that was possible. But we were bound for the next destination. I notice Wild4 has not been static. More new trips were added. I see the enterprise is growing fast ! Joanie and I are now looking forward to a trip to Kenya, again with Stu and the Wild4 team.
Steve Seow, Singapore
Wild4 Photo Safari gave me much more than an average safari tour. The experiences, friends, and information gathered from my trip will stay with me forever. My anticipations were greatly exceeded to things I could never have dreamed up. I Love Wild!!
Colleen Sullivan, USA