Botswana Okavango Delta Safari

30 September – 9 October 2018


Victoria Falls, exclusive campsites and unspoilt deltas

$12,800 (€10,660) PP

Botswana Okavango Delta Safari

11 Oct – 21 Oct 2017


Victoria Falls, exclusive campsites and unspoilt deltas
$11,495 (€10,730) PP
RESERVE YOUR TRIP


I will lead a small group of photographers to Matetsi on the banks of the Zambezi River (near Victoria Falls) in Zimbabwe before heading into Botswana’s Okavango Delta. Fly from Johanneburg into Victoria Falls, located near the famous waterfall on the Zambezi River and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

We spend the next eight days visiting the finest wildlife photography areas in two of Botswana’s best safari camps – Nxabega and Sandibe. The raptors and water based birds are plentiful around the Okavango Delta camps providing photographers with great shooting opportunities.

Every day was a new surprise – African Wild Dogs, African Fish Eagles, Leopards catching fish – mixed in with Ed’s knowledge and enthusiasm for conservation made this trip a real adventure. I will always remember the wide open marsh with elephants all around the vehicles.Christopher R.
Overview
Our group of photographers will be visiting Botswana’s  Okavango Delta, one of the continent’s natural, unspoiled and sparsely populated parts of southern Africa for nine days to photograph panoramic landscapes with Elephants, Leopards, African Fish Eagles, Lechwe antelope and Wild Dogs.

We fly out from Johannesburg to Maun in Botswana, the gateway to western wildlife areas. Shortly thereafter, we head out to the South West part of the delta into Nxabega by charter flight and use land and water craft to explore the unspoilt habitat. The maze of channels, lined by reeds and surrounded by wetlands, support herds of elephant and buffalo. The open flat marshy wetlands, untainted by human settlements, provide unparalleled panoramic vistas of a place in Africa where animals roam unperturbed.*After five days we fly to Sandibe for three nights. This camp offers excellent game viewing and includes Hippo, Elephant, Lion, Reedbuck and the perennial Impala. This is a land only camp on the Delta which consistently provides, probably, the best game viewing in the whole of Botswana.

The homeward bound journey starts first on a charter flight to Maun, Botswana and then onto Johannesburg International from where each guest heads back to their destination that same evening

About the Photo Safari Tour
This tour is for photographers of all skill levels. I will be assisting alongside, guiding and sharing my knowledge of wildlife photography; we will have discussions on long lens technique, action shooting and wildlife observation. In addition to the technical knowledge, you will gain a greater appreciation for, and understanding of, the majestic animals we encounter.  Each vehicle carries a dedicated tracker constantly on the lookout for clues pointing to animal activity in the vicinity.

Services and facilities
The tour accommodates a maximum of 6 photographers. From the moment you arrive in South Africa until your departure, all regular expenses are covered by the safari fees. All accommodation at hotels, lodges and camps, the three daily meals, soft drinks, house wines, local brand spirits and beers, teas and coffees, and refreshments on game drives are included. All transportation, air flights and charters, welcome services and reserve taxes and fees are provided for. Guests travel from far and to reduce the load of clothes I have arranged to provide laundry services at the Lodges. Gratuities and premium brand spirits and beers are excluded.

Safari Tour Outline and Itinerary

The first night at OR Tambo
After arrival at Johannesburg International Airport, you will be transferred to the Mondior Hotel at the Emperor’s Palace adjacent to the Airport for the first night. The 4-star Peermont Mondior hotel at Emperors Palace features 150 spacious rooms and suites furnished in contemporary African elegance and fitted with cutting-edge technology, internet access and digital television. Every room sports tea and coffee facilities and a mini-bar with fridge. The hotel is conveniently located right next to O.R. Tambo International Airport.

Two nights at Matetsi River Lodge, Zimbabwe
The next morning an early flight takes us from OR Tambo to Maun in Botswana, a flight that should take just over an hour.  Shortly thereafter, we board a charter flight to Nxabega. The direct flight takes about 45 mins and a 20 minute drive on a safari vehicle gets us to Nxabega, our home for the next five nights.

Four nights at Nxabega
Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp is located on the edge of the Okavango Delta in a 7,000 hectare exclusive wildlife concession bordering Moremi Game Reserve.

At sunrise, after a coffee and a rusk, we head out to search the wide plains for cats and elephants. We break midmorning for some warm drinks in the open plains, after which we seek carmine bee eaters, lilac breasted rollers, and malachite kingfishers. We return to camp for a warm breakfast and to marvel on the images taken during the outing. Time is allocated for guests to review their images and ask questions about how to improve the images during the morning until early afternoon. Before heading out for the afternoon drive, we have a quick, light snack and set about getting more fantastic images on the waterways either by motor boat or mokoro (pole canoe). At sunset we return for pre-dinner drinks and dinner followed by an early evening to re-charge our batteries.

On the last day of our stay at Nxabege, after breakfast we head out to the local airstrip for a short 30 mins flight to Chitabe, the airstrip serving Sandibe Safari Lodge.

Three nights at Sandibe
Blending seamlessly with its surroundings, the tranquil beauty of Sandibe surprises both guests and occasional wandering animals, startled as rough wooden beams and thatched roofs take shape within leafy groves. The sounds of Africa lull and soothe as elephants splash in the waters, baboons chatter and birds call in the trees.

While lion are commonly encountered near Sandibe, they are not the only predator found in the area. Although predominantly nocturnal and difficult to spot, leopards are fairly common throughout the Okavango, particularly in dense riverine forest. Apart from the more commonly encountered predators, the Okavango is also a stronghold for the endangered African wild dog, although sightings of this rare animal are relatively uncommon. Exhibiting a fascinating social structure, wild dog live in packs led by a dominant pair with a strict social hierarchy.

One of the most common antelope in the Okavango, the red lechwe is especially adapted for the swampy conditions. Its splayed, elongated hooves give it a sure footing in muddy conditions, allowing it to inhabit the outskirts of the permanent swamps. One of its most sought after species is the huge but elusive Pel’s fishing owl, which roosts in the densest evergreen thickets. A quintessential African sound, the haunting call of the African Fish Eagle can be heard echoing over the channels.

On the last day, after breakfast we head out to the local airstrip for a short 20 mins flight from the Sandibe Safari Lodge to Maun. The direct flight to Johannesburg International Airport from Maun leaves at about 14:00 and will be in Johannesburg by 15:30. International departures can be arranged to leave that evening heading home or to another customized trip extension.

Costs & Terms of Payment
The 10 day (9 nights) all-inclusive photographic safari tour costs $12,800 (€10,660) per person. This includes

  • One night’s stay at the Mondior Hotel at OR Tambo International airport
  • Eight nights’ accommodation, local alcoholic beverages and all meals at the lodges
  • Services of a professional photographer
  • Radio linked vehicles to report animal sightings as they happen
  • Air flights between Johannesburg, Maun, Chitabe and Nxabega airports
  • All airport transfers and relevant park fees
  • Ground transportation of luggage
  • Hire of private vehicles and guides for game drives and park fees
  • Local alcoholic beverages at camp
  • Laundry at the lodges
  • Fees, tourism taxes and levies

The following items are not included

  • International flights to and from South Africa (OR Tambo International Airport)
  • Medical inoculations, vaccinations, travel medicines and prophylactics
  • Premium alcoholic beverages
  • Tips and gratuities for camp staff, guides, rangers and trackers
  • Visas and insurances
  • Optional personal purchases, tours and extra activities

Costs are per person sharing. A deposit of $1,000 per guest is required at the time of booking. Balance is payable, by cheque or wire transfer, no later than 90 days before the start of the tour. Cancellations more than 90 days prior to departure will be refunded in full (less the processing fee of $250). Cancellations within 90 days prior to departure will be refunded in full (less the processing fee) provided we can find another guest to take your place.

As a limited number of spaces are available, if a guest is unwilling to share with another guest of the same gender, then a single supplement will be charged. Although we will try to accommodate requests for single occupancy, this cannot be guaranteed.

We reserve the right to make changes to the itinerary if circumstances warrant such an action. We will attempt to notify participants of changes with as much notice as possible. Changes having an impact on the schedule or on costs will be borne by the participants.

Safari Tour Dates
Want to consider a side tour to photograph wild Tigers? A four day side tour is possible either before or after this tour – more information can be found here.

September 30, 2018 Arrive in Johannesburg, South Africa. Overnight at the Mondior Hotel
October 1, 2018 Fly to Nxabega via Maun, Overnight at Nxabega Tented Camp
October 2, 3, 4 & 5, 2018 Overnight at Nxabega Tented Camp
October 6, 2018 Fly to Chitabe, Overnight at Sandibe Safari Lodge
October 7 & 8, 2018 Overnight at Sandibe Safari Lodge
October 9, 2018 Fly to Johannesburg via Maun – connect with homeward bound flights

Guest will arrive in Johannesburg during the start date and stay at the hotel on that night.

Guests can arrange their homeward flights to depart on the end date as the tour arrives back at the airport by 16:00.

Physical health requirements
This is a great opportunity for you to take pictures of the environment and observe animals in the wild. Most travelling is undertaken in air-conditioned vehicles but some images are best taken away from the vehicle and involve moderate walking. Guests must complete a standard liability waiver  before participating in this safari.

Important Information
This safari tour visits two luxurious and well appointed lodges on the Okavango Delta in Botswana. The safari departs from Johannesburg International airport (OR Tambo) to Maun, Botswana and returns to OR Tambo from Maun, Botswana on commercial flights. This has been determined as the most convenient and cost-effective manner to visit the region. Please note that minor changes to the itinerary and/or flight schedules may occur due to local conditions and to better accommodate our group. You will be informed, to the extent possible, in advance of any such changes.

Mandatory Medical Evacuation Insurance
Some of the areas we visit are wild and at a distance from major cities; it is a condition of this booking for guests to carry their own medical evacuation insurance. You will be asked to provide independent documentary evidence of such cover, failing which cover will be provided for you at your cost and added to your account.

Please provide the office with the insurance company’s name, contact number and your individual policy number. Thank you for understanding that this policy exists in the interest of our guests’ safety.

Travel Arrangements to and from the Departure Point
This safari starts and ends in Johannesburg, South Africa. Your travel arrangements must ensure that you arrive in Johannesburg, South Africa at OR Tambo airport no later than 5 pm on the first day of the tour. That evening the group will meet for a group introduction and welcome cocktails offered by the organizers. This tour ends at 4pm on the last day – please arrange departures from OR Tambo Airport, Johannesburg no earlier than after 6 pm on the final day. If you plan to participate in an add-on side trip to Cape Town, the routing will determine the itinerary at the time of reservation.

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Check out our galleries from previous trips.


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