Chobe River & Mala Mala Photo Safari - Botswana & South Africa Aug 2023
US$ TBC Sharing
US$ TBC Single
US$ 4,000 Deposit
PHOTO SAFARI LOCATIONS: Botswana & South Africa
PLACES VISITED: Chobe River & Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
PHOTOGRAPHIC SKILL LEVEL: Any level from beginner to advanced
PHOTO TOUR LEADER/HOST: Stu Porter
This 12 Day Photo Tour offers two very different experiences. This departure begins at the Chobe River in Botswana, with a water and boat-based photo experience like no other in Africa. The second component will be a land and vehicle-based photo safari experience in one of South Africa’s best private game reserves. This amazing combination will guarantee a variety of very unique photographic opportunities.
Your photo safari begins in Johannesburg South Africa where our meet & greet service will welcome you at the arrivals hall. We will all meet up at a local airport hotel for a welcome dinner, a short briefing and an overnight rest.
On the following day, we will board a regional flight to Kasane in Botswana and arrive at our hotel for a late lunch. For the next 3 days, we will enjoy spectacular boat rides on a very cleverly modified photographic boat. The boat is very stable and can easily accommodate six participants and me as your photo host.
Botswana’s enormous Chobe National Park extends all the way to the Chobe River and this allows the reserves abundant wildlife easy access to the river. We will spend our photo boat excursions photographing an array of waterbirds and a variety of animals as they come down to drink. Herds of Elephants are common and often swim across the river to reach small islands where food is abundant. From the comfort of your rotating chair, fitted with a special gimbal for your lens, your camera will not stop clicking as you record the abundance of wildlife that the Chobe River is famous for.
We will spend 3hrs every morning and 3hrs every afternoon on the photo boat (a total of 6 excursions on the river) We have reserved the photo boat for our exclusive use.
After an amazing start to this photo safari, we will fly back to Johannesburg for another transit night in the same airport hotel.
This is where we will say farewell to the other three members of our Chobe River section as this will mark the end of their photo safari.
After a good nights rest, we will board a flight to Skukuza in the Kruger National Park. You will now enjoy being one of only three photographers in a private safari vehicle as we spend 7 days at one of South Africa’s premium private game reserves, Mala Mala. Sharing a common unfenced boundary with the famous Kruger National Park, Mala Mala offers an intimate photographic experience in this pristine wilderness area of South Africa. Off-road driving is permitted at Mala Mala and this will ensure that we get up close to many of its amazing resident animals which amongst many, includes all members of the “Big 5”. An unrivalled feature of Mala Mala is the beautiful Sand River which winds its way for over 15km through the reserve. During the mild winter season, this river is the only source of freshwater and acts as a magnet attracting animals from far and wide. Predators are aware of this and the winter season is known to be the best time to see and photograph the resident Lions and Leopards that are drawn to the river and the abundant source of food that it attracts.
Having a long period of time in this reserve will allow us to explore all areas and get to know some of its resident animals as we follow their stories on a daily basis. Flexibility for photographers is standard at Mala Mala and we will spend most of our time out in the field.
After one final morning game drive, we will catch a domestic flight from Skukuza back to Johannesburg, where we will arrive in the mid-afternoon. This will allow plenty of time to connect with your international flight home.
** Please note that an optional extension to see and photograph the famous Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe is possible to arrange BEFORE you start the Chobe River Section. Please click on the “EXTENSION” TAB for more details, and let us know if you would like to add this worthwhile extension to your trip
Along with an impressive portfolio of birds, you will also have a good chance to see and photograph the following:
Lion, Leopard, African Wild Dog, Cheetah, Elephant, Cape Buffalo, White Rhino, Hippo, Spotted Hyaena, Jackal, Crocodile, Giraffe, Waterbuck, Greater Kudu, Bushbuck, Nyala, Puku, Red Lechwe, Zebra, Wildebeest, Chacma Baboon, Vervet Monkey, & Warthog.
I recently did a trip with Wild4 which far outweighed any expectations that I had! Wow what a trip. There was a great variety of animals, Stu has extensive knowledge of the animals and their habitat and was always mindful of us getting the best shots possible. My friend and I had our own bench seats in all the vehicles, which was great as we both had 2 DSLRs with numerous lenses, each vehicle is equipped with beanbags to steady your camera / lens, pockets and enough room to take a camera bag. We had fantastic opportunities to watch the cats for a good period of time and learn a little bit about their life, rather than taking a photo and moving on. I loved that we could sit and watch the lions at Mala Mala play in the Sand River, it was a fantastic opportunity. Stu provided us with some great tuition, I certainly learnt a lot of new photo techniques which I look forward to using back home. I hired a Canon 500mm lens from Stu which was great, I think I used that about 85% of the time and used a 70-200mm for the rest. We had many opportunities for night photography, silhouettes, time lapse, low light etc At the end of our trip we did the reptile extension at Khamai Reptile Centre. We went behind the scenes at the centre and had one of Africa's leading reptile specialist spend the day talking about the reptiles, spiders, scorpions we were about to take pictures of. Donald and his team certainly made for a very safe photo shoot, they were extremely patient positioning some of the reptiles for better light or different background. I learnt a lot from Donald, living in Australia we do have some venomous snakes, the day certainly gave me a renewed appreciation for the reptiles. I would highly recommend the Wild4 team for your next photographic safari you will not be disappointed.
Linda Cappello, AUSTRALIA
Hi Justyna and Stu, having just returned from a Wild4 Photographic Safari in Kruger Park for 10 days, I would just have to say it was perfect for me and my brother-in-law. Kosie our guide was great. We were unable to stump him on any animal, bird or plant. His ability to spot wildlife and birds and his instincts and knowledge seem hard to surpass. The sightings were far beyond any expectations. John and Ann were a bonus, preparing meals and driving in a separate vehicle and communicating with Kosie via CB when they spotted something interesting. They were like family. Kosie would position us for great photographs and make any requested adjustments, and had great instincts about animal behavior and what they would do next. Can’t say enough good thing about Wild4. Well organized. Thanks for a great experience!
Michael Showalter, USA