Okavango Delta Photo Safari

31 OCTOBER – 9 NOVEMBER 2020

10 DAY / 9 NIGHT WILDLIFE PHOTO SAFARI


I will lead a small group of photographers to Botswana's  Okavango Delta, one of the continent’s natural, unspoiled and sparsely populated parts of southern Africa for ten 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 unspoiled 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 four nights we fly to Xaranna for four nights. This camp offers excellent game viewing and includes Hippo, Elephant, Lion, Reedbuck and the perennial Impala. This is a ‘mostly’ land camp on the Delta which consistently provides, probably, the best game viewing in the whole of Delta.

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.

Botswana2020-2_fixed.png

 STARTING LOCATION   /   ENDING LOCATION

This photo safari starts and ends in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Guests can arrange their homeward flights to depart on the end date after 18:00.


PRICE

$12,800 per person based on double occupancy. Single supplements may be available.

 

ABOUT THE SAFARI TOUR

The tour accommodates a maximum of 6 photographers. All photographic activity is performed from the safety of the safari vehicle. Within the camp, some walking will be necessary. This photo safari experience is suitable for amateur, enthusiast and semi-pro photographers with reasonable knowledge of the camera functions.

The techniques and explanations, adapted to the situation at hand, provided from time to time can be put into practice and immediately experienced in the field. In addition to the technical knowledge, you will gain a greater appreciation for, and understanding of, the magnificent animals we’ll encounter.

The experienced game rangers on game drives will explain the behavior and lifestyle of the animals as we encounter them, enabling you to take meaningful images depicting the nature of your fascinating subjects.  Each vehicle carries a dedicated tracker constantly on the lookout for clues pointing to animal activity in the vicinity.

 

SERVICES AND FACILITIES

The same ground transport company will accompany the photography group for the duration of the safari. There will be 2 vehicles with stadium style seating. The staggered seat position allows photography in all directions without a fellow guest getting in the way. Each of the three rows is reserved for a photographer and his/her equipment.

From your arrival at the starting location until your departure all regular expenses are covered. 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 in Botswana

  • Technical guidance of a professional photographer

  • Post-processing assistance using Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom

  • Radio linked vehicles to report animal sightings as they happen

  • Air flights between Johannesburg, Maun, Nxabega and Xaranna 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

 

EXCLUDED

  • International flights to and from Johannesburg, South Africa

  • 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


ITINERARY

 

31 October 2020

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.

 

1 - 5 November 2020

SS15BW-028.jpg

Head north to Maun, Bostwana
The next morning an early flight takes us from OR Tambo to Maun in Botswana, a flight that should take just over an hour. In Maun we board a local charter flight to take us to Nxabega Airstrip. 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 four nights. On arrival we will checkin, have a light meal and prepare to head out on our first safari in Botswana.

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.

Each morning at sunrise, after a coffee and a rusk, we head out to search the wide plains for cats and elephants. We break mid-morning 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 Nxabega, after breakfast we head out to the local airstrip for a short 30 mins flight to Xaranna Delta Camp.

 

5 - 9 November 2020

Four nights at Xaranna
Blending seamlessly with its surroundings, the tranquil beauty of Xaranna 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.

SS15BW-011.jpg

While lion are commonly encountered near Xaranna, 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.

 

9 November 2020

On the last day, after breakfast we head out to the local airstrip for a short 20 mins flight from the Xaranna Delta Camp 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.



FEES AND TERMS OF PAYMENT
 

COST & TERMS OF PAYMENT


The 10 day (9 nights) all-inclusive photographic safari tour costs $12,800 per person.

Costs are per person sharing.

A deposit of $1,000 per guest is required at the time of booking. Balance is payable, by check 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.



TERMS AND CONSIDERATIONS

 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. Climbing the dunes is optional – you should be able to climb into and out of a safari vehicle and walk unaided for short distances. 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 STARTING LOCATION

This safari starts and ends in Johannesburg, South Africa. Your travel arrangements must ensure that you arrive in Johannesburg no later than 6pm 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 International Airport no earlier than after 6 pm on the final day. If you plan to participate in any add-on side trip, the routing will determine the itinerary at the time of reservation.