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.
The wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm Stu shared was priceless, from identifying birds and pointing out animal behaviors, to stories about Kruger Park past, and of course, answering photography questions day in and day out. You were so patient! I really appreciated the custom photo safari vehicle and thoughtful design and extra space it afforded, and the advantage and flexibility of traveling with such a small number of people. I learnt so much, and I look forward to sorting through the images and enjoying remembering all the things we did during our busy photo safari.
Helen Cruickshank, Australia
This was my first photography trip to Africa after a lot of research. Although I spent over 30 days in Africa, my Botswana component was among the most productive and is my favorite country visited. I must say Stu and Justyna's planning and direction for our entire trip is unparalleled and can't thank them enough. Our guides were incredible and the crew that helped us were indispensable. The food during our photo safari was the best for all of the places visited including South Africa. I still don't know how Pula managed to make his wonderful cuisine with so little resources! Our camp crew, Philemon and Ghoms were delightful and truly made me feel cared for and welcome. I have learned much from Stu and only wish I could have had more time learning from him in the field. Stu made our photo safari fun by pairing us with Mark, a like minded gentleman who was a joy to photograph with and talented. The entire experience was amazing with many high quality photo opportunities and think I have captured some magical moments and truly feel enriched by the experience. Thank you so much Stu, Justyna and all involved and I will try to one day do another marvelous adventure with Wild4 African Photographic Safaris !.
Georges McNeil, USA