Exclusive Photo Safari to the Okavango Delta & Timbavati Nature Reserve, South Africa - November 2016
UPDATE: Regretfully, no further bookings are being accepted for this photo safari.
I have selected two of the best lodges in the Okavango Delta and one of the best in the Timbavati Reserve in South Africa for this two-country photo safari.
Of the natural wildlife phenomena on the planet, the Okavango Delta has to be one of the most spectacular. Every year, flood waters from over 1000km away drain into what would otherwise be dry desert sands, supporting an ecosystem that sustains a mesmerizing variety of wildlife – one of the highest concentrations of large game animals in Africa. Hippopotamus wallow in the reed lined channels; water birds of all manner fill the floodplains; elephants and buffalo gather in the shallows and predators are plentiful – the quintessential African wildlife experience.
The Delta is remarkable because it is a a matchless wetland paradise in the arid Kalahari Desert. Without the water, the area would be as featureless as the surrounding desert. Instead, it is one of the most sought after places in the world by wildlife and nature photographers – a shimmering watery jewel in the midst of inhospitable surroundings. Its wildlife-packed expanses are awash with African colours and vistas. For photographers wishing to experience one of nature’s “untouched” jewels, this part of Africa is unsurpassed.
November in the Delta is the height of the breeding season; the early rains trigger the animal kingdom into a frenzy of activity. Migrant birds start courting with their beautiful calls, impala drop their young en-masse and other mammals start their calving. With such an abundance of life, the predators are ever present. Expect an atmosphere of activity on this photo safari. Your camera will be working overtime to capture all the beauty the Delta has to offer.
The game viewing in this “Emerald” season is outstanding with wild dog, lion, leopard, roan and sable antelope, red lechwe and many other large African mammals. With the opportunity of night drives there is the added bonus of seeing some of the nocturnal wildlife, an experience not always available on other photo safaris.
The first part of the photo safari has been built as an iconic photographic journey into the Okavango, to deliver to you the best possible photographic experience. If you are a photographer or wildlife and nature lover it is not to be missed.
Timbavati & Ngala Safari Lodge
In addition I will take you into South Africa to the heart of the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, sanctuary to Africa’s “big five”, traversing over 20,000+ ha of wilderness and undisturbed biodiversity. As there are no fences between the Timbavati and Kruger National Park, wildlife roams freely between the two, promising an incredible African wildlife viewing and photographic experience. The reserve is known for its numerous lion prides as well as the celebrated White Lions of the Timbavati. The Timbavati (along with its surrounding Klaserie and Umbabat reserves), is one of the only places on earth where you may see naturally occurring white lions.
Your “African Home” here is the &Beyond Ngala Safari Lodge, where the magic and mystery of Africa come alive in the colonial ambiance of the elegant accommodation and facilities. You will enjoy this delightful ending to your safari.
Two accomplished and dedicated wildlife photographers, Denis Glennon AO, and Shem Compion have combined their experience and knowledge to conceive and lead this rather special photo safari. Both will be available to help you capture iconic images and experience memories that you will revisit time and time again. It gets better.
Whilst in the Okavango, Shem & I will be accompanied by a legend of the Delta – Kane Motswana – a Bukakwe Bushman who grew up in the African bush and hails from the village of Gudigwa, situated in the north-east of the Delta.
He is a renowned tracker and skilled photographer, making him a unique asset to this photo safari. He spends most of the year in the field, guiding guests on land-rover safaris, mokoro (canoe) safaris and bush walks throughout Botswana using his finely honed tracking skills to track animals e.g. lions and leopards. He has helped create innumerable, unforgettable safari memories for many. His personal bond with the wildlife in the Okavango is simply incredible.
Kane understands photographers and what we are looking for, especially the patience and time it takes to capture those “one-off” compelling images. Above all, he exudes just the right degree of confidence to lead photographers out of a vehicle to track animals on foot, to get incredible shots that other trackers might avoid.
To maximize the time for photography, light aircraft will be used to transfer between lodges in the Delta. There will be no more than three photographers per vehicle with each photographer having his/her own seat row. This arrangement works especially well for photographers using larger telephoto lenses and yet allows ample space for “not-so-keen” photography spouses/partners who just wish to come to know the special spirit of Africa.
THE PHOTO SAFARI IS CONFINED TO A MAXIMUM OF TWELVE PARTICIPANTS, EXCLUSIVE OF THE TWO LEADERS & KANE MOTSWANA.
A MINIMUM OF EIGHT PARTICIPANTS IS REQUIRED FOR THE PHOTO SAFARI TO PROCEED.
ONLY TWO (2) UNSHARED PLACES ARE AVAILABLE ON BOTH THE MAIN TOUR AND THE EXTENSION.
The highlights are so many; here is my selection:
- Photograph the best and most stunning wildlife the Okavango Delta has to offer under the guidance of two competent wildlife photographers
- Experience the unbelievable tracking skills of a true bushman.Photograph the big predator cats in several locations, as they roam and play in lush green grass.
- Photograph lions at night – a magical experience, every time.
- Wildlife diversity is guaranteed in the Delta, which offers large concentrations of iconic game such as leopard, lion, elephant, red lechwe, impala, kudu and tsessebe.
- Bird life is abundant – you will be enthralled by the unbelievable beauty of carmine bee eaters, lilac breasted rollers, and malachite kingfishers.
- Stay in top-end lodges/camps, at Sandibe Lodge, Selinda Camp and Ngala Safari Lodge .
- Photograph Africa’s wild dogs, (an endangered species) in the best place in Africa.
- Take an optional helicopter flight over the delta to capture some outstanding aerial shots.
- Receive extensive help in the field with your photography.
- As this photo safari has been timed to coincide (hopefully) with the arrival of the early season rains, be prepared for outstanding landscape photography under cloud-filled skies.
- This is not a rushed ‘game-viewing’ safari as it lasts 14 days with ample time in each lodge/location to come to know the special photographic opportunities of each location.
- All of the drivers/guides have experience in working with photographers; they have patience and are accustomed to waiting, in order to capture that ‘decisive moment’
- There will be a maximum of three photographers/persons per vehicle
- In the Okavango Delta transfer between lodges by plane to allow more time for photography
- The male lions of the Timbavati are some of the largest and best of the species in Africa – you will be surprised how close we will take you
- With a little luck you might get to sight and photograph the rare white lions during our time at Timbavati
This 14-day photo safari commences in Johannesburg, South Africa on 2 November 2016 and finishes in Johannesburg on 15 November 2016.
The Summary Itinerary is:
|2 Nov||Arrive Johannesburg – start of photo safari||Villa Sterne Boutique Hotel – 1 night|
|3 Nov||Transfer to Sandibe Lodge, Okavango Delta – by air||Sandibe Lodge – 3 nights|
|6 Nov||Transfer to Selinda Lodge – by air||Selinda Camp – 4 nights|
|10 Nov||Transfer to Johannesburg Airport – by air||Intercontinental Hotel – 1 night|
|11 Nov||Transfer to Ngala Safari Lodge – by air||Ngala Safari Lodge – 4 nights|
|15 Nov||Transfer to Johannesburg Airport – by air||N/A|
The more comprehensive itinerary will be posted on or before Friday 11th December 2015 and which you can download by clicking the DOWNLOAD ITINERARY button in the sidebar.
There is an optional extension on this photo safari: The PANHANDLE Extension
The Panhandle Extension is scheduled for 31 Oct – 3 Nov i.e. before the photo safari commences and includes:
1. 31 Oct: Transfer by air to Maun, Botswana from Johannesburg. This flight departs Johannesburg Domestic Airport at 10.10am and the cost is included in the main photo safari.
2. Charter flight from Maun to Shakawe airstrip – approximately 45 mins.
3. Transfer to Xaro Lodge via road and boat – approximately 60 mins.
4. 31 Oct, 1 & 2 Nov: Three (3) nights’ accommodation at Xaro Lodge on an island in The Panhandle.
5. All meals, soft and alcoholic drinks (excluding premium brands).
6. A minimum of five (5) sessions photographing birds from boats in the channels
7. 3 Nov: Transfer by air from Xaro Lodge to Sandibe Lodge, in the Okavango Delta to meet with rest of group.
Xaro Lodge is situated on a peninsula of the mainland and is accessed by a fifteen minute boat trip from its parent camp Drotsky’s Cabins. It offers a tranquil destination, which is superb for bird photography, our primary reason for going there. Bird photography in The Panhandle amongst the tall, shady, riverine forests is one of the best in Africa.
Costs, Terms of Payment & How To Register
Iconic Images is obligated to pay the costs of the photo safari in US dollars.
The cost is: US$17,500.00 per person, twin share, (or equivalent in AU$ at the time of making the final payment).
A single supplement of US$3,500.00 (or equivalent in AU$ at the time of making the final payment) applies, if specifically requested, 50% to be paid at the time of registration and 50% with the final payment.
Terms of Payment for the Main Photo Safari
Terms of Payment are as follows:
1. A non-refundable 25% deposit together with a completed Registration Form, on or before Friday 4 March 2016.
2. A second non-refundable payment of 25% on or before Friday 3 June 2016.
3. A final payment of the remaining 50%, on or before Friday 5 August 2016.
Cost and Terms of Payment for The Panhandle Extension
The cost of The Panhandle Option is US$3,500.00 per person, twin share, (or equivalent in AU$ at the time of making the final payment), 50% payable on registration and 50% payable on or before Friday 5 August 2016.
A single supplement of US$1,125.00 (or equivalent in AU$ at the time of making the final payment) applies, if specifically requested, 50% to be paid at the time of registration and 50% with the final payment.
How to Register
To register click on the REGISTRATION FORM button in the sidebar, download, print, complete the form and return it to Our World Travel. Complete details on how to do this are provided on the form.
To discuss any aspect of international flights for the workshop or the required travel insurance, please contact the Australian booking agent:
Our World Travel, Shop 1/113 Royal Street, East Perth, Western Australia 6004.
Telephone:+61 (0)8 9221 9977; Fax:+61 (0)8 92215577 and request to speak to Mr Nick Missikos.
Alternatively please email Nick at: Nick@owtravel.com.au
If you would like to discuss any aspect of the photo safari or the optional extension, before making a decision to join us, please contact:
Denis Glennon AO on +61 418 923 103 (from outside Australia) or on 0418 923 103 (from inside Australia).
Alternatively email Denis at: firstname.lastname@example.org
If this photo safari is not for you, perhaps you might consider forwarding the information to a friend, who may like to know about it.
Ensure you download the more comprehensive itinerary document which contains most of the information you will initially need, by clicking on “DOWNLOAD ITINERARY’ in the box on the right hand side.
Pre-departure Information & Checklists
To assist you prepare for this photo safari I have compiled a comprehensive, downloadable and printable PDF. It contains helpful information on:
- Travelling with and looking after photographic equipment in Africa.
- Downloading and backing-up images every day.
- Power supply in Botswana & South Africa for charging batteries, laptop, mobile phone, etc.
- Vehicle etiquette and consideration for fellow passengers and photographers.
- Keeping healthy in Africa.
- Money Matters in Botswana and South Africa.
- Immigration and Customs at Johannesburg International Airport, South Africa.
- Arrangements to meet you on arrival at Johannesburg International Airport.
- Travel documents, personal items & clothing checklist
- Personal medical items checklist.
- Camera equipment checklist – this is a comprehensive list and you should not be overwhelmed.
- Summary itinerary.
- Tour Leaders
- Guide to paying gratuities on this photo safari.
- Denis’ choice of lenses and other camera equipment for this photo safari.
The information in this PDF will help with the packing of your selection of camera equipment and other essential items so that you return home with a great collection of iconic images, and many magnificent memories.
A copy of this PDF will be distributed to all registered participants approximately 45 days before the commencement of the photo safari.