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COVID-19 ANNOUNCEMENT

After nearly two years of waiting patiently, we are now taking bookings on all of our African photo safaris.

As travel around the world begins to open up again, we are confident that our 2022 season will be a great success.

Please click on this link to read our most up to date information about COVID-19.

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MalaMala & Chobe River Photo Safari - July | Aug 2023

July 25th - August 05th, 2023
MalaMala & Chobe River Photo Safari - July | Aug 2023
South Africa & Botswana &
3 Spaces

OVERVIEW

This 12 Day Photo Tour offers two very different experiences. This first departure begins at MalaMala where we will photograph from a 4x4 safari vehicle. The second component will be at the Chobe River in Botswana, where we will photograph from a specially modified photo boat. 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 in an airport hotel. On the following morning, you will board a flight to Skukuza Airport in the Kruger National Park, where I will meet up with you and we will be transferred by road to MalaMala Main Camp, 45 mins away.

Enjoy being one of only three photographers in a private vehicle hosted by me and a professional and experienced MalaMala ranger. You will spend six nights at MalaMala Main Camp in beautifully appointed accommodation overlooking the Sand River.

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 MalaMala 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” (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino). An unrivalled feature of MalaMala is the beautiful Sand River. 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 MalaMala 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 all depart on a regional flight to Kasane in Botswana and arrive at our hotel for a late lunch. For the next four 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 including 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).

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.

OPTIONAL EXTENSION TO VICTORIA FALLS - ZIMBABWE

At the end of this safari, there is an optional 2-night extension to view and photograph the magnificent Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.

** View all details of this extension in the EXTENSION TAB

MALA MALA PRIVATE GAME RESERVE

MalaMala Game Reserve is one of the oldest and largest private game reserves in South Africa. It is world-renowned for offering consistent Big Five game viewing (Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Buffalo & Elephant).

The reserve is 13 200 ha (33 000 acres) and shares a 19 km (12 mile) unfenced boundary with the Kruger National Park.

Importantly, MalaMala has 20 km (13 miles) of Sand River frontage. This perennial river acts as a magnet for animals in this pristine wildlife area and is the foundation of MalaMala's unrivalled game viewing and wildlife experience.

The river is a natural drawcard, especially in the dry winter months. The wildlife moves from the Kruger National Park, across MalaMala, to the river and back again, resulting in two-way traffic across the reserve.

The recently renovated rooms are luxurious, the staff are lovely, the food is fantastic, and the wildlife sightings are incredible.

CHOBE RIVER

The stunning and life-giving Chobe River begins as a small mountain spring in Angola, where it is known as the Kwando River. When it reaches Botswana, it becomes the Linyanti River.

It finally becomes the Chobe River at the border post of Ngoma. This section is a broad, twisting mass of water that snakes through swampland and is interspersed by several lush, green islands. The Chobe then meets with the mighty Zambezi River and tumbles over the precipice at Victoria Falls.

This incredible river attracts an unbelievable density of game, including large herds of elephants (which can often be seen crossing the river) and buffalo, as well as countless hippos and crocodiles. The birdlife is extraordinary too. The wide banks and lush grass attract rare antelope such as red lechwe and puku.

There is no better way to explore this area than from the comfort of a specially designed photo boat.

DETAILS

Stu Porter will lead this photo tour.

Photographic tuition and guidance will be offered on this tour making it ideal for beginners. The informal and flexible nature of the tuition also makes it perfect for intermediate and advanced photographers who can choose to engage or simply do their own thing. Our professional photosensitive guides are excellent at locating the wildlife and positioning the safari vehicle for the best photos possible.

Along with an impressive portfolio of birds, you will also have an excellent 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.

DAY 1

Arrive at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa. Overnight.

Your safari begins with a meet & greet at the airport and you will be escorted to an airport hotel within walking distance of the arrivals hall.

You will stay for 1 night in Johannesburg at CITY LODGE O.R. TAMBO

(Bed & Breakfast only)

DAY 2

Fly from Johannesburg (JNB) to Skukuza (SZK). Road transfer to MalaMala Main Camp

After breakfast, depart on the 11am domestic flight to Skukuza airport inside the Kruger National Park.

Our group will be met at Skukuza Airport. Road transfer to MalaMala Main Camp. Arrive in time for lunch.

You will stay for 6 nights at MALAMALA MAIN CAMP in a luxury en-suite room.

(All meals included)
(Local drinks included)

DAY 3

Morning, afternoon & evening photo game drives in MalaMala Private Game Reserve

Enjoy relaxed and flexible photography.

DAY 4

Morning, afternoon & evening photo game drives in MalaMala Private Game Reserve

Enjoy relaxed and flexible photography.

DAY 5

Morning, afternoon & evening photo game drives in MalaMala Private Game Reserve

Enjoy relaxed and flexible photography.

DAY 6

Morning, afternoon & evening photo game drives in MalaMala Private Game Reserve

Enjoy relaxed and flexible photography.

DAY 7

Morning, afternoon & evening photo game drives in MalaMala Private Game Reserve

Enjoy relaxed and flexible photography.

DAY 8

Short morning game drive. Road transfer to Skukuza Airport. Fly back to Johannesburg and overnight

Enjoy your final morning game drive at MalaMala. Road transfer to Skukuza Airport for a midday flight back to Johannesburg.

You will spend a night in Johannesburg at the same airport hotel. For the Chobe River section, three new participants will join the group. The boat we use on the Chobe River can seat up to 8 people so space will not be an issue. We will all meet for an introductory dinner and casual briefing on what to expect in Botswana.

You will stay for 1 night in Johannesburg at CITY LODGE O.R. TAMBO

(Dinner, Bed & Breakfast)

DAY 9

Fly from Johannesburg to Kasane in Botswana. Road transfer to Pangolin Chobe Hotel

After breakfast, we will board a plane for the regional flight to Kasane in Botswana. This is a 2hour flight and upon arrival, we will be met by a representative from the Pangolin Hotel. This will be our home for the next three nights. We arrive in time for lunch followed by our first afternoon boat ride on the Chobe River. As already mentioned, the boat can easily accommodate the group. * View images of the boat in the TRANSPORT gallery *

You will stay for 3 nights at the PANGOLIN CHOBE HOTEL in en-suite rooms

(All meals included)
(Local drinks included)

DAY 10

Morning and afternoon boat rides on the Chobe River

Enjoy a 3-hour morning boat ride and return to the hotel for a delicious brunch. This midday break offers us a great opportunity to download and discuss images as well as post processing workflows.

Depart for a 3-hour afternoon boat ride and return just after sunset.

DAY 11

Morning and afternoon boat rides on the Chobe River

Enjoy a 3-hour morning boat ride and return to the hotel for a delicious brunch. This midday break offers us a great opportunity to download and discuss images as well as post processing workflows.

Depart for a 3-hour afternoon boat ride and return just after sunset.

DAY 12

Morning boat ride. Breakfast. Fly back to Johannesburg

Enjoy your sixth and final photo boat ride on the Chobe River. Return to the hotel for a delicious breakfast and then depart for Kasane Airport for the flight back to Johannesburg.

This flight will arrive in Johannesburg in the mid-afternoon allowing you plenty of time to connect with your international flight home that same evening.

* The other three members of the group will overnight in Johannesburg and then continue with their safari at MalaMala.

VICTORIA FALLS EXTENSION

You can choose to do a 2-night extension to see the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, we can arrange this for you. Instead of going to the airport in Kasane with the rest of the group, you will take a road transfer across the border into Zimbabwe and you will arrive in Victoria Falls for lunch.

** View the EXTENSION TAB for more details **

Two night optional extension to the VICTORIA FALLS in Zimbabwe

OVERVIEW

With one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World only 3 hours away by road, this is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of our 2-night extension to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe

After your final morning photoshoot on the boat & breakfast, we will arrange for you to take a road transfer from Kasane, through the Kazangula border crossing and into Zimbabwe. You will arrive at your lodge in Victoria Falls in time for lunch.

You will have the opportunity to visit this famous waterfall as well as partake in the many activities that are on offer at the Falls, such as helicopter rides, white water rafting, sunset cruises, game drives, night drives, walk with Lions, elephant rides and more. All of these can be arranged on arrival by the lodge reception staff.

After your two night stay, you will have a road transfer to the Victoria Falls airport for your flight back to Johannesburg, arriving in the mid-afternoon.

If you are interested in doing this 2-night extension to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, then please let us know at the time of your enquiry.

PRICE:
$ Please enquire

THE VICTORIA FALLS

David Livingstone, the Scottish missionary and explorer, is believed to have been the first European to view the falls on 16 November 1855. Livingstone named his sighting in honour of Queen Victoria, but the Sotho language name, Mosi-oa-Tunya "The Smoke That Thunders", continues in common usage. The World Heritage List officially recognises both names.

While it is neither the highest nor the widest waterfall in the world, the Victoria Falls are classified the largest, based on its combined width of 1,708 metres (5,604 ft) and height of 108 metres (354 ft), resulting in the world's largest sheet of falling water. The Victoria Falls are roughly twice the height of North America's Niagara Falls and well over twice its width.

The river that flows over the falls is the Zambezi. This is Africa's 4th longest river with its source in Zambia. It flows through 6 different countries before it empties into the Indian Ocean on Africa's East Coast.

Itinerary

Day 1

Road transfer from Chobe River across the border into Zimbabwe. Reach Victoria Falls for lunch

Depart after breakfast from Chobe by road to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. You would arrive at your hotel in time for lunch - visit the falls in the afternoon (overnight Victoria Falls)

You will stay for 2 nights in Victoria Falls at ILALA LODGE

(Bed & Breakfast only)

Day 2

Full day to explore the area

Full day spent at Victoria Falls, visiting the Falls and doing optional activities.

Day 3

Final morning activity then depart for Johannesburg from Victoria Falls Airport

Depart after a final morning activity and breakfast for Victoria Falls airport - fly back to Johannesburg arriving in the mid-afternoon. Connect with your international flight home.

Included

Road Transfers

2 nights in Victoria Falls

Not Included

Visa fees

Laundry not indicated

Meals & drinks not indicated

Entrance fees to view the Falls

All other activities

Tips for hotel staff, drivers/guides

STEP 1 - PLEASE READ OUR BOOKING TERMS & CONDITIONS

We first recommend that you read and become familiar with our booking terms & conditions, which can be found on this page, under the PRICES box.

STEP 2 - GET IN TOUCH

Get in touch with us to confirm that there are still spaces available on the photo safari that you are interested in. Click on the “ENQUIRE NOW” button above.

STEP 3 - AWAIT A REPLY FROM US & THEN CREATE YOUR CLIENT ACCOUNT

Once we confirm with you that there is space available, and you would like to join the safari, we will send you a direct link via email. Follow this unique link to sign up to our CLIENT AREA. After you have registered with your name, email address and a password of your choice, you will then be asked to complete our online booking form.

STEP 4 - COMPLETE A BOOKING FORM

As soon as we receive your completed booking form/s (1 per participant) then you will be required to send us the deposit to secure your place on the safari.

STEP 5 - SEND YOUR DEPOSIT

Deposits can be paid via credit card, PayPal or international bank transfer. We will notify you as soon as your deposit arrives. Places on the safari will only be confirmed once we have received both a completed booking form and deposit payment.

STEP 6 - FINAL BALANCE PAYMENT

As soon as your booking form and deposit are with us, we will update your CLIENT AREA to display the outstanding balance amount. This amount will be due 90 days before the start date of the safari.