Mala Mala & Chobe River Photo Safari - South Africa & Botswana Jul/Aug 2023
US$ TBC Sharing
US$ TBC Single
US$ 4,000 Deposit
PHOTO SAFARI LOCATIONS: South Africa & Botswana
PLACES VISITED: Mala Mala Private Game Reserve & Chobe River
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 in one of South Africa’s best private game reserves with a traditional land and vehicle-based photo experience. The second component will be at the Chobe River in Botswana, with a water and boat-based photo experience like no other in Africa. This amazing combination will guarantee a variety of very unique photographic opportunities.
Our meet & greet service will welcome you at the arrivals hall in Johannesburg, South Africa. You will spend your first night resting up in an airport hotel that is within easy walking distance from the airport. On the following morning, you will board a flight to Skukuza in the Kruger National Park. 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.
The first part of this photo safari will come to an end with a domestic flight back to Johannesburg, where we will spend one night in an airport hotel. This break will give us time to go through some of our images and also meet up with three new participants who will join us for the next section of the photo tour at the Chobe River in Botswana.
After breakfast, we will depart on 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 the Chobe River’s well-known wildlife.
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.
The safari will end with a flight from Kasane back to Johannesburg, which will arrive in the early afternoon, allowing time for you to connect with your international flight home that same evening.
Alternatively, at the end of the scheduled tour, you could add on the optional extension to see and photograph the famous Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, just a short drive away from Kasane. Please click on the “EXTENSION” TAB for more details.
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.
Any aspiring photographer who has not yet been on a wildlife safari should join a WILD4 with Stu and Justyna Porter. You will be guided by a graduate professional photographer who is also a highly-qualified South African field guide. Stu's knowledge of photography and his understanding of African wildlife are exceptional. He is also blessed with an amazing spotter's eyesight. I often thought to myself, how on earth did he see that! As each day begins all these talents are passed on with sincerity and quiet enthusiasm to each photographer's needs. Nothing is ever too much trouble and his positioning of the vehicle for the best light and animal profile is always his first consideration. On our tour there were times for laughter and many times when action and adrenalin ran high. Any successful safari is only as good as its backup team. This family company is most ably supported by Stu's wife Justyna who is the drive behind the scenes and efficiently arranges the accommodation and all the logistics. Stu's mother, Ann Porter provides excellent food for the day in the park and around the campfire at night. Both are qualified field guides and their spotting abilities add greatly to each day's safari. This particular trip was most rewarding in both personal and photographic terms and one of the best we have ever enjoyed. Sincere thanks to you all.
Slim & Barbara Callaghan, UK
When two photo trips organised by my tour operator were cancelled. I looked around and found Wild4. Justyna was extremely helpful in putting together a tailor made tour just for me. I opted for 8 nights Kruger, 2 nights Big Cats & the Reptile extension. Some emails later and all was booked and paid for. I tend to shy away from flash but as we were doing a night shoot at the Big Cat Reserve, I quickly learned a great new technique and the photographs turned out wonderful. In short, Wild4 Photographic Safaris is the one you want to book with to get the best opportunities. This is not the last time I will make use of their services. Thank you Justyna & Stu for a wonderful time.
Rob Pelle, NETHERLANDS